Last row to How Hill…

Our 2015/2016 winter season on the tranquil waters of Barton Broad draws to a close. Our thanks to Cox’s Boatyard for having us and to all the wildlife that came to see what we were doing. On this last day, the Marsh Harrier gave us a close inspection along the river Ant, then checked us back to the marina approach and our slipway.

We tried different configurations of oars – bow and 2 together and 3 and stroke etc. – plus honing our technique for buoy rounding. No photos sadly, as clearly top secret.

The usual resting spot at How Hill we can show…


The pattern of oars here gives nothing away…


On just a very brief count of those who have rowed at Barton since November, I see more than 30 names who have had at least one outing there this winter.

But for now, it’s back to the salty stuff. Hoi Larntan has re-joined her sister Bluejacket back on the Carnser at Blakeney ready for the season ahead.

Happy Easter to all.




Grey skies and cold North wind…Where?

Roland and his crew taking advantage of the sort of weather we expect in Norfolk (but tend not to get every day in March). They rowed out to the old Lifeboat station – now the National Trust visitors’ centre on Blakeney Point. Who wouldn’t make an excuse to stop for a coffee and a chance to enjoy the view





Meanwhile, just to prove it’s not only oar-building that goes on in the kitchen at Thurning, here are some loaves I made earlier – all by hand, no machine involved.



Oars indoors…

The weather and tides have not been at their co-operative best, but still, a few hardy souls have continued to row. I couldn’t believe it when I saw Bluejacket emerge from the mud in the pouring rain and gales last Saturday at Blakeney – but all the crew were smiling and delighted they’d battled out to the Watch Tower and back safely.

The cold, damp weather is equally not good for curing epoxy glues. Heating the barn at Thurning is not an economic option, particularly when there is a perfectly good, warm kitchen!  Just the place for glueing up oars.

After just a few years of marriage Pam got wise to my antics and made sure any kitchen had a central island or pillar to stop me bringing boats in.

Bless her, she has relented and at least the oars have a chance of curing; and we can work in comfort.

The latest stage with oars three and four:



Nessa keeping a watchful eye on a previous pair in the hallway, awaiting their next application of glue and clamping:


Still lots of shaping and sanding; plus glueing the spare oar, generously funded by Andy Marczewski.

I am keeping a tally of the hours Rob and Peter have spent assisted by Barry – not to mention the cups of tea Pam has made for us.