At last…

After a stream of photos of our boats and others in foreign waters, here we are back in our winter base at Barton. Thank you Rosemary for not only remembering your camera but also you took some pictures!

This was Tuesday:



Most important après-row activity – making sure the boat is left in a clean state for the next crew – maximum points, team.


Another fine outing in the cold, steady drizzle today (Wednesday) – up to How Hill and back. We even won the race – in fact you couldn’t see the opposition. They were  nowhere in sight!

Don’t forget:

AGM at Blakeney Sailing Club 7:30 p.m.on Thursday 3 December.

Would be good to catch up with you all there.

‘Tis the season…

Mists and falling temperatures, but the water is just as enticing. We had a great row this morning at Barton Broad. Kept ourselves warm by some serious full-pressure sessions.

Monitored by a Marsh Harrier flying high above us, a darting Kingfisher skimming across the water in front of us and a gaggle of long-tailed Tits flitting between branches. Swans glided serenely and scornfully past and we even got a nod from a huge but benign-looking Highland bull taking a rest on the bank.

Took the camera and left it in the car… so here is another shot of the fresh water sprints in Scotland:


Loch Katrine in the Trossachs…

The Scottish Costal Rowing Association (SCRA the parent body for St Ayles skiffs worldwide) held its AGM last weekend and to add some fun for those who travelled from far and wide to attend, a series of Freshwater Sprints was held on the nearby Loch.

Spectacular at any time, when the sun shines, the scenery in the Trossachs is beautiful.

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Our Captain and President represented CRAB at the AGM (not sure whether they rowed as well?) but Victoria and Mike travelled from Langstone to take part and sent these photos.


The lovely steamship Sir Walter Scott mingled with the skiffs…

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And the safety boat too!…No petro-chemical, internal combustion engines on the Loch…


To see more, and the results, look at the SCRA website:

A helping hand (or eight)…

It may not have been part of the original plan for our impromptu training weekend but increasing the pressure by towing becalmed sailors proved a useful workout:


Don’t be deceived, the catamaran is not overtaking the skiff. Our all-ladies crew is pulling hard in all senses of the word.

All in a day’s training with CRAB.

We were joined by a crew from Kings Lynn Coastal Rowing. They didn’t bring their boat but had a great time trying out our new prototype oars.

The general consensus is that the oars are better balanced and make it easier to power the boat along – but being long with wider blades, catching crabs can be very much the order of the day.

Not a problem in flat calm water, as in the picture above, but Saturday presented a challenge; rowing back against a fresh Easterly with a good old Blakeney chop, was guaranteed to catch the unwary.

Particular thanks to Victoria and Mike for passing on their expertise throughout the weekend.

More from afar…

CRAB members travelled on from Paris to Jersey to assist Standard Chartered Bank to complete a challenge. They were set to bike twice round the island on day one, row round on day 2 and do the Jersey marathon on day 3. Ummm!

This time rowing was in a couple of adventure gigs ( Cornish Pilot Gigs modified by AdventureRowing in Langstone for this sort of thing) – hence the spoon-blade oars being held aloft before leaving St Hellier harbour:


34 miles and 6 hrs 39 mins later the first boat crossed the line; 6 mins later the second boat finished:


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Conclusion of the day, adventure gigs have the world’s hardest seats!

Further afield…

Oarsome Chance Ltd., a charitable foundation giving many youngsters (NEETS) the opportunity to get involved with the build of St Ayles skiffs then go out and row, set off to la belle France to tackle the Travesrsée de Paris.

First, one of the founders needs to learn how to row. Note the natty rowlocks:


CRAB and Langstone rowers made up the numbers.

Next step is to launch – at night!


So far so good – except all the others taking part are in sliding-seat fours! Still there are sights you don’t get on the Thames:


As a bonus, an excursion round the Ile de France – but broke the tiller and had to accept a tow back!


Ah! well, all in a days Skiffie rowing.