Bluejacket lights up a grey day…

70 or so friends, rowers and well-wishers joined in to launch our second skiff – Bluejacket, built at Barrie Borwell’s yard. Barrie can be well proud of the fine boat he has produced. As usual with St Ayles skiffs, many hands came and offered help cutting, sanding, scarfing, glueing, more sanding, turning over, more sanding and then painting. A huge thank you to all who have been involved. Some have responded at the drop of a hat to lift and turn, some have supported with biscuits and cake. Everyone has contributed.

On a damp, grey, windy Saturday afternoon, with more mud than water to begin with, Hoi Larntan was put in the water to await her sibling. Adrian arrived with Bluejacket and the experimental oars on top. Antonia and Juliet loaded the tables to groaning with delicious eats and the odd bottle or two was there to keep our glasses charged and ward off the unhelpful weather.

None of this would have been possible without the generous grant from North Norfolk District Council’s Big Society Fund. We were delighted that the Leader of the Council, Tom Fitzpatrick had come to join us and speed us on our way. Tom is an experienced sliding seat rower but we soon converted him to fixed seat Coastal style. (see below).

 

Here Tom joins President Victoria Holliday in welcoming everyone:

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Rector of St Nicholas church Blakeney, Libby Dady (in the red jacket) gave Bluejacket a timely blessing:

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Then the turn of Mary Athill whose family had bought the hull of an earlier Bluejacket, one of the last trading ketches to work out of Blakeney harbour, to wish the new Bluejacket God’s speed and make it official with a wee dram poured on the boat:

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Time to take to the water – Oh the mud!

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Both boats together. (Barrie’s first row):

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Bluejacket returns for a crew change:

 

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Tom Fitzpatrick, leader of North Norfolk District Council, centre, enjoys a row:

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Not to be outdone, Revd. Libby Dady (in the red) takes a turn too:

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Thanks Antonia and Juliet it was a great feast…this is just part of it:

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Thank you to everyone involved and all those who took photos for us.

We were especially pleased to see our friends from both Wells and Kings Lynn who are starting to build a pair of skiffs each. We’ll soon have some fine competition on the North Norfolk coast.

Needless to say, the sun made a wan appearance just as we packed up!

Happy rowing.