We’re ready…

A small band (depleted by half-term duty, VHF radio courses, holidays and other activities) helped Barrie turn Bluejacket over, out of the workshop and on to the waiting trailer. She had undergone a few minor paint touch-ups and the fitting of a new brass keel-band.

Looking good in the sunshine, she is ready to go back to the boat park by the salty sea at Blakeney next weekend – beginning of March marks the start of the season.

A big thank you to Robin, Tom, Roland, Jenny and Rob who showed how light(?) and manoeuvrable a St Ayles skiff really is – ably assisted by Peter Yetman from his wonderful micro-brewery next door. Is that why we usually get so many helpers?

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A big thank you, too, to Barrie for letting us use his workshop all winter and for the work he put in – not to mention the support from Andrea and the countless teas and coffees!

In her element…

After a few (too many) weeks in the workshop being re-painted, Hoi Larntan went back in the water at Barton on Sunday. Slightly misty, slightly chilly, but flat water, dramatic winter trees silhouetted against a hazy sky and the whole place to ourselves – except for the swans.

CRAB and Swans

Rosemary and Robin, Jenny and Rob helped get the boat from the trailer to the slipway and then Hoi Larntan looked good again, where she belongs – floating.

CRAB Ian and HL

Setting off with enthusiasm we thought we had snagged an angler’s fishing lines but backing off and letting him reel in we saw he had caught a bundle of twigs and not our rudder. All smiles again, we turned into the Broad and the up the river Ant to be amazed by the mass of hire cruisers wintered at Stalham – acres and acres of them!

A refreshing cuppa and a biscuit by the Museum of the Broads while Rosemary made her number with the nearby cafe/ restaurant owner. She then coxed us home (and took the pictures), weaving our way through what now seemed to be a constant stream of motor cruisers out for an early season run.

CRAB HL's new cover

One final push – (pull or lift depending on how you see it) this Saturday 21 Feb, please. Bluejacket needs to be turned back the right way up, lifted out of Barrie’s workshop and on to the trailer ready to go to the boat park on the Carnser for the start of the new salt water season.

Sorry to ask you again but this really is the last time this winter. Usual warm welcome at 2p.m. a quick lift, then a cuppa awaits. Thanks.

Many hands – 3…

A big thank you to all who came to help make the switch happen – a good team effort. Bluejacket, back from Barton Broad was lifted off the trailer. The newly re-painted Hoi Larntan was brought out into the open air for the first time and dropped straight on to the trailer ready to take Bluejacket’s place at Barton. The final move was to get Bluejacket in Barrie’s workshop and turned over ready for her new keel band.

Steady as she goes…

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Bluejacket on the ground and Hoi Larntan going on the trailer….

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Bluejacket in and being turned over…

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Job done. Time for Andrea to put the kettle on (she took the pictures too) – much mardling ensued.

Time for the switch…

Bluejacket has been collected from Barton after a great row in flat water on a windless, empty Broad.

One or two regulars, I know, can’t be there to help this Saturday, but if you can come it would be great. Should take no more than half an hour to:

– unload Bluejacket, take her off the trailer and rest her on the ground

– then lift Hoi Larntan out of the workshop and back on to the now vacant trailer,

– before carrying Bluejacket in and turning her over ready for her new keel band,

Stay for a cuppa and a mardle.

Can we make it 2 o’clock or just after please, as I can’t get Bluejacket there before that? Thanks.

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Time to switch…

The plan is:

To turn Hoi Larntan over this weekend Saturday 7th and finish off varnishing – (Barrie has generously taken time to touch up the other paintwork and varnish while Hoi Larntan is still upside down).

Collect Bluejacket from Barton on 11th after the row (crew to help me load her please).

Saturday 14th switch boats at Bayfield, so a good few hands to help please. Hopefully return Hoi Larntan to Barton on Sunday 15th to be based there to the end of the month. Meanwhile Bluejacket is checked over and has her new keel band fitted at Bayfield – ready to go back to the Carnser at Blakeney.

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As I say, that is the plan!

Many hands do make light work…2

Another great turnout of volunteers on Saturday afternoon. Thanks to everyone involved – especially Barrie. Having been painting all week, he smiled bravely as he led us by example; Andrea for an endless supply of refreshments; Gwen for walking the dogs again – saves hairs on the gloss finish!

The inside suddenly appeared beautifully coated in gloss cream (not Magnolia, Steve!). A quick cuppa and Hoi Larntan was turned over. With four each side, the speed of the brush deceives the eye – the whole hull primed and undercoated by 4 o’clock. A great afternoon’s work. Well done all.

Next week too, please

Many hands do make light work…

Another good turnout of industrious volunteers at the workshop on Saturday. Must be the lure of Andrea’s tea, coffee and biscuits. Gwen added to the feast with chocolate goodies before assisting by taking the dogs out of the way and giving them a good walk!

Hoi Larntan’s interior was further sanded and cleaned out before the tea break. Then multiple pots of paint and brushes passed down the line. 45 minutes later and a good coating of undercoat made the skiff gleam again.

While all this was going on, the repaired oar was treated to the beginnings of the CRAB yellow and blue livery.

All hands to the paint pot:

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And one Andrea took earlier:

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Thanks to all who worked so hard.

Still plenty to do next week…