Just when you need it…

Alan has a salutary tale for us all…a slight twist on the usual “it only works when you wear it” theme.

Safety Alert – CRAB gets its life jackets serviced annually, do you?

One of our members, using his own lifejacket (not one of the club’s ones), encountered a problem that he felt ought to be brought to our attention:

He managed, accidentally, to pull the inflate cord on his lifejacket when he was getting Hoi Larntan out of the water, and the jacket failed to inflate fully .

Gas was clearly leaking from around the trigger mechanism, and it didn’t inflate enough even to allow easy access to the mouth top-up pipe.

The jacket is a Seago classic 180N, 18 months old and apparently in good order.  He had not had it serviced, but had checked it visually, ensured the CO2 cylinder was firmly screwed in, and had manually inflated it to ensure there were no leaks in the jacket itself.

Closer examination, the following morning, revealed that the nut holding the trigger mechanism to the jacket was less tight than it could be – though it still needed a spanner to move it.   He disassembled it, checked the two O-rings that seal it, lubricated with silicone grease and reassembled.  He then tested with one of the cylinders that were condemned but returned to us when CRAB’s jackets were serviced – it worked perfectly.

The moral of the story is ‘get them serviced’ and hope the service would pick up this sort of thing!

Your committee will be discussing this at their next meeting.

To the Watch House…

A brisk Easterly kicking up a few small waves in the Pit but warm sunshine in the shelter. So we set out to have coffee and bask in the sun by the old Watch House on the North side of the harbour.

Friendly encouragement from the cox:


What’s this – casual one-handed rowing in the number three seat…?


Mission accomplished…


For those of a certain age, the facilities (sporting a fine 1970s Avocado loo) make this an appealing destination…please leave the flushing-bucket under the drainpipe when you leave – to fill up again from rainwater!


Just time for a short row up the Cley Channel before getting back to beat the tide…Blakeney Church on the sky-line above Bluejacket’s rudder:


Photos courtesy Rosemary and Tom.


Wet, wet, wet…nearly!

Adrian, Catherine and Robin joined by sculler Jonathan enjoyed a four-handed row on Saturday evening, returning to the Carnser to find what a 9.3 tide means (authorised rowers, note the height is given on the booking calendar). Whilst Catherine escaped through ankle-deep water in her Nissan Note, Adrian, Jonathan and Robin watched as the tide rose and decided to await the ebb from the safety of the White Horse from where the three cars could be seen just above the waterline in the distance. Fortunately the water rose only 3 inches up the tyres.

Words and photos from Robin – thanks.



This girl can…push the boat out!

In conjunction with Blakeney Sailing Club, Saturday and Sunday 28/29 May will see our St. Ayles skiffs available for you to come and have a row. This is part of two initiatives from the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) and Sport England to give anyone a chance to try sailing, rowing and other watersports – and, in particular, to encourage girls and women to get more involved with active sports.


If you are 18 years and over and would like to try rowing in one of the CRAB skiffs, do come along, join in the fun and help Push The Boat Out.  To row on Saturday you will need to be at the slipway by the dinghy park at ten o’clock (till twelve o’clock) and on Sunday at eleven o’clock (till one o’clock – because of tides).   Experienced and trained rowers will be there to support and help you get the most out of the day.

For safety sake, CRAB asks that you are able to swim 50 meters and that your doctor would not advise you against rowing.  Then all you need to do is turn up wearing appropriate clothes for the weather on the day (your feet/footwear will get wet), perhaps some cycling gloves would be a good idea.  Don’t forget to bring your sense of humour!

It would help CRAB plan if you contact, in advance:  antahardcastle@icloud.com.

Refreshments will be available.

For full details of everything going on at CRAB this year, and how you can get involved, visit http://groupspaces.com/CRABlakeney/

For the full brochure and further details of sailing please see the Blakeney Sailing Club website: http://www.blakeneysailing.co.uk

or contact:   blakeneysailingclub@gmail.com



Heat late in the day…

When the tide goes out at Blakeney and the boats are put away, CRAB doesn’t stop there. After a beautiful warm, sunny day, the sultry evening drew 25 or more hot-shot rowers on the route inland for a great curry (not too hot, just deliciously flavoured) and evening at Catherine and Stephen’s farm.

After admiring the electric Tesla car and the workings of the digester, generating power for the rest of the farm by converting waste into electricity, much mardling ensued.

The flowers, to thank Catherine for her hospitality and the curry, clearly made an impact – not only on Catherine. Several wives looked meaningfully at their husbands wondering when was the last time they had been given a bunch of flowers like that!

Surprised or what…?


The ideal way to fill in time waiting for the tide to return.

A big thank you to Stephen and Catherine.




Meanwhile, further East…

Driving straight off after the launch of King Lynn’s new skiff, our team of intrepid adventurers had an outing on the River Deben over the bank holiday.   Adrian reports with photos from Rosemary/Robin.
“The Deben Adventure was a great success and this was in large part due to the helpful and friendly harbourmaster, Tony,  and boatyard owner, Mark, at Waldringfield.
We were provided with a mooring and “Visitors” dinghy to get to and from it.
On Sunday 21st May we took the falling tide from Waldringfield. Victoria’s suggestions that we should pass the time by telling improbable stories and singing songs met with little enthusiasm, so the first part of the voyage to Ramsholt was spent enjoying the glorious sunshine and absorbing the unspoilt scenery in silence. Although it was a holiday weekend there were few boats moving on the river.
Filled as we were with memories of the welcome we had received at Waldringfield we were surprised that our call at Ramsholt was treated by the harbourmaster as a hostile invasion. Not wishing to remain where we were clearly not wanted, we picked up a mooring out of range and enjoyed mid-morning coffee content with our own company.
No room at Ramsholt!
crowded slip at Ramsholt.jpg
Moored overnight at Waldringfield:
moored at Waldringfield.jpg
Getting in some useful practice:
Next boat for CRAB.jpg
From Ramsholt to Felixstowe Ferry the river banks become lower and the woodland gives way to marshes and mudflats. Rosemary skilfully shaped our course around the Horse Sand to land on the beach close to the ferry at Felixstowe.
Looking towards Felixstowe Ferry:
looking to Felixstowe ferry.jpg
After a short walk, mingling with the holiday crowds, we found some convenient, if not comfortable, concrete blocks for lunchtime seats, where we were entertained (?) by some jet skiers. Spinach soup, smoked salmon, ham, salad, quiche, flapjack and apples gave the necessary energy for the return trip and this was augmented by the, now rising, tide and a following wind.
At Ramsholt we passed close to the end of the slipway hoping that our friend the harbourmaster would once again make efforts to repel us, but he did not appear. He must have realised that he was outnumbered.
Next day, in showers and a freshening wind, we rowed up river to Woodbridge where we met Malcolm and Peter of the Woodbridge Riverside Trust, who plan to build a St Ayles Skiff. A chance meeting with some scullers from Deben Rowing Club gained us entry to their clubhouse for coffee and rowing conversation. Then, goodbye to our Woodbridge friends and a stiff pull into a headwind, back to the slipway in Waldringfield.
Warning shouts from Mark failed to stop Hoi Larntan before she hit a most adhesive mud patch off the end of the slipway. After some rowing, quanting, mud scooping and load rearrangement, we were afloat again. Plan “B” was adopted and Hoi Larntan landed on a firm shingle beach a few yards down river.
Hoi Larntan was back on her trailer, everyone felt that much had been achieved and it was only 10.15 in the morning!”
Earlier at Kings Lynn:
It does help if we are both using the same channel!
What channel.jpg

Coming thick and fast…

After the howling gale and torrential rain last year at the launch of Kings Lynn’s first skiff Lynn Rewet, what a joy to arrive on Saturday to find bright, warm sunshine. Kings Lynn Coastal Rowing Club were launching their second boat – Ouse Rewet. Local MP and the Mayor and Mayoress doing the honours.


We took both boats…


…and all four skiffs rowed up into the town and raced back against the tide with a good crowd lining the river bank to cheer the rowers on.

‘You know who’ and ‘you know who’ took on the arduous task of providing support from the comfort of the KLCRC RIB!…


Posing before retiring to the Ouse Sailing club for a little light refreshment…




Finally about twelve of us retired to Marriot’s for a jovial CRAB lunch-in-company organised by Andrea and Barrie.

Thanks to Alan for making sure we have the pictures to prove it.