CRAB Outing, 21st Jan 2022.

Thanks to Alan C for the following report and great pictures. It looks like it was a beautiful morning on the water.

“Just how many times can you use the word glorious to describe a row on Barton Broad?  I am going to use that word again, as it is accurate!

Tom coxed our first leg, suggesting that we normally row only 2.68 miles when we row to Howe Hill. Today he wanted us to row for 3 miles; after some quiet talk of mutiny, we put our backs to it and maintained 4 miles an hour across Barton Broad and up the River Ant.  On the outward journey there was an uncollaborated sighting of a Kingfisher.  At Howe Hill, it was interesting to see the work going on renewing the wooden quay, where we would normally stop for coffee and elevenses.  Instead, we found a sheltered spot in the shade of the reeds and had a little mardle.

During the return leg we saw a couple of fishermen, a couple of sailing boats and a kayak with a couple of ladies who took a couple of photos of us!  We averaged over 4 mph on this leg.

Today’s team in alphabetical order, Alan, David, Neil, Tom and Sue.”

“Stealth Team sets up very fast times for Robin Combe Challenge.”

The conditions at Barton Turf on Tuesday 11th January were cloudy and wet (see below). However, the report which follows the picture shows how intrepid and determined the Crabbers were.

“A stealth team were out training on the water on Tuesday morning setting fast times preparing themselves for the February challenge. Names of the crew cannot be released as it would compromise the undercover nature of this exercise. Names on the club calendar have been changed for today’s row to protect the athletes. We set out with perfect conditions which cannot be divulged (well, not completely. Ed) and set a special course to Wayford ( Watford ) Bridge using the unique flow rates of the river Ant and lines that ensure fast times. A fantastic time was set for the piece from Cox’s Corner to the Boot Tree. This was used as a warm up prior to our stop at the bridge. Special high calory drinks and solids were consumed during the team talk.We set out from the stop and hit the accelerator as we passed the Boot Tree. The stealth crew set a pace that caused a massive bow wave unsettling swans, ducks and otters as we powered down the Ant. We arrived at Cox’s Corner in a time that was five minutes faster than the up run. Beware, we are the A team.”

What Did Rosemary See?

Alan C takes over the narrative here with this report of the expedition on Monday 10th January. Many thanks to him for the following words.

“A beautiful dawn this morning led to a glorious outing from Cox’s Boatyard.  Tom Harris expertly guided us in a well-oiled routine, launching the skiff down the slipway.  Robin Forrest was the authorised rower and allocated us our thwarts for the outward row.  Robin as cox, Tom as stroke, Steve Perkins in 2nd position, Alan Collett in 3rd and Rosemary Forrest in bow.  By common agreement we elected to row upriver, first towards Sutton Staithe, then after a 180° turnabout, we rowed up to Statham Green for our elevenses (see pictures).

Rosemary felt sure she saw a sabre tooth tiger’s skull on the outward journey.  She coxed us on the homeward leg, very slowly past a certain spot but no exciting finds…. On this leg, Alan and Tom swapped thwarts, Steve liked his so much he remained 2ndposition, Robin took bow.  

We spotted herons, swans, a marsh harrier, three kayaks and a hired pleasure boat, otherwise we had the place to ourselves.

Rosemary was concerned her feet might have been too cold but she need not have worried, she was fine.  Alan perhaps regretted wearing three pairs of trousers.”

Six Go To Wayford Bridge.

Sunday morning, 9th January, was sunny with little sign of the promised gusts. Catherine, Duncan, Anna, Amy, Diana and Barry met and it was decided to head for Wayford Bridge. Amy volunteered to sit in the passenger seat and became chief photographer. Catherine coxed the skiff away from the jetty; the water was again incredibly high. Duncan set an efficient pace for the first part of the route with Barry taking over as stroke before the coffee stop.

The refreshment break at Wayford Bridge was well supplied with Catherine’s marzipan chocolates and Barry’s chocolate finger biscuits. An energy boosting diet!

After a change to the seating plan, the return journey passed pleasantly with much banter and chat between crew members. Barry and Duncan shared coxing duties with the latter guiding the skiff expertly and safely to the slipway. A great way to spend Sunday morning!

“It was a cold, windy one.”

Thanks to Richard A for this account of rowing in sunny, windy conditions on Friday 7th January.

“What a lovely day for rowing. As the forecast was gusts up to 50km from north west, which equates to four on the hooley scale, we decided to give Barton Broad a miss but head to Stalham via Sutton.  As you can see from the picture, the crew of Sue, Tony, Tom and David were enjoying the sunny tranquil waters of the Ant. However, as we took the turn towards Sutton the team were blown up the river by the northwesterly. What goes up must come down. The row back to the Stalham shortcut was a tough stint. It was described as rowing through treacle!  Once we were on the Ant again, heading towards our coffee stop at the Museum of the Broads, things quietened down a little.The row back to base hit a few squalls but the longer than usual tough row was enjoyed by all, including the half frozen cox.”

Rain, rain go away – and it did … well almost.

Richard A again provides the account for the Tuesday 4th January outing. A good time was had by all …

“The crew arrived at Barton Turf with it teeming down. The rain was unforecasted again.
“Do not be angry with the rain; it simply does not know how to fall upwards.” 
However, Richard, Barry, David, Adrian and Duncan prepared Bluejacket for launch. The water was the highest I have ever seen at Barton which made the launch easy. As if by magic, as soon as the skiff was in the water the precipitation stopped.
We set off over Barton Broad taking the scenic route hugging the banks of reeds, looking for wildlife. We saw plenty of swans upended enjoying breakfast but not much else. We entered the Ant and swiftly made our way to How Hill which seems to be the place of choice for the Tuesday and Friday rowers’ coffee stop. We continued our enjoyable conversations over coffee and Christmas excess biscuits hopefully not adding to much to the season’s excesses. 
We rowed back down the Ant at a smooth pace.The weather started to be a “little soft” as the folks from the Emerald Isle say but not enough to don the waterproofs. 
Back at base, Bluejacket was hauled out efficiently and put to bed ready for the next outing.”

The Last Row Of 2021.

Richard A has again provided a vivid report of the row on New Year’s Eve. Many thanks, Richard. Happy New Year to all Crabbers! Stay safe.

“Tom, David, Humphrey, Sue and Richard arrived at Barton Turf amid heavy rain, which was not forecast or even shown on the latest weather report. However, we prepared the boat for launch and by the time we were on the water it had stopped. Thank you Tom for your involvement, and for helming us out on the glassy water. 
There was a minor blow as usual on Barton Broad, 0.25  on the hooley scale, but we set a good pace heading towards How Hill where we moored up at our usual “No Mooring” spot for refreshments. 
We noticed and recorded a brand new crab knot to be used on the stern rope at mooring points. Tom Harris is happy to offer lessons on tying such naval / scouting knots for a small fee.
Richard helmed the crew back to base where we had blue skies and a local temperature of 15 degrees. It was a good job Sue had bought along the last few mankinis from her excellent club shop.”

Hoi Larntan Has Left The Building.

Rob, Jennie, Barry, Diana, Barrie, Andrea, Humphrey and Alan C joined forces at Bayfield Brecks on Saturday 18th December to move ”Hoi Larntan” to Anta’s orchard. The skiff looked resplendent with its touched up club colours of white and blue gleaming in the hazy winter sunlight. With many hands, moving her out of the workshop and hitching her up were tasks completed quite quickly. Soon, a convoy of ”Crabbers” was moving towards Wiveton.

The pictures below show Humphrey bravely attempting to tow ”Hoi Larntan” into Anta’s orchard. It was decided that the team’s muscle power would be equally effective and so it proved. Many thanks to all movers and shovers. Thanks also to Anta for allowing the skiff to be stored on her land.

Friday 17th December. The Second Outing.

There are some prolific “Crabbers” out there! Many thanks to Alan C for words and pictures and to Rosemary F for sending in two more photographs worthy of a caption competition. Keep those reports coming in, they’re much appreciated.

“My first row since before the pandemic started.  I must confess to having felt more than a little nervous/anxious for so many reasons; obviously Covid, but I was questioning myself. Would my skills be up to it…?

I needn’t have worried as Rosemary, Robin, Humphrey and Adrian took me in their stride or should I say stroke.  I was rusty but kept pace and did not catch too many crabs.  The bubble of conversation in the boat and at How Hill was non-stop.

With no wind (smoke rising vertically) the early morning mist lingered until perhaps 1:00pm.

Several fishermen were hailed and exaggerated the size of the fish they were catching, only a couple of pleasure craft and river police kept us company.  Spotter badges were awarded for the heron and the marsh harrier but the otters kept their distance.

Already looking forward to my next row”

Alan Collett.