A bit rough in Essex…

Our intrepid team battled wind and waves in the Blackwater River, racing round Osea Island. Adrian tells the tale:
“A chill northerly F5 deterred some, so that only three gigs made it to the start line. Two Harker’s Yard gigs from Rowhedge arrived, but decided that the conditions were too much for them and turned tail.
Blakeney chose the windward end of the line and were first around the first mark. Then a long row to the east end of Osea Island, rolling in the troughs and taking spray over the bow. Blakeney had chosen the most direct route arriving at the same time as Southend CRC in the Seax gig Rosenante; a much faster boat. The only Harker’s Yard gig was trailing well behind.
As Bluejacket rounded the west end of the island the tide turned. In the smooth water to leeward of the island Rosenante pulled away, finishing 4 minutes ahead of Bluejacket. Fly, the local Harker’s Yard gig came in after a further 10 minutes.”
The picture gives an idea of the conditions:

Repair? What repair?…

Hoi Larntan emerges shining and bright after intensive surgery

in Barrie’s “Invisible-Mending Shop”…


Just the lettering to re-do (Steve Soanes is on the case for us). We put her back on the Carnser, just before the recent torrential rain and very high tides. She is now ready for her next outing.

Some of the (not so pretty) stages on the way to recovery…




Thanks Barrie for taking time to sort it for us and for the use of your barn.

A day in the life of Bluejacket…

An essential part of any outing…the coffee break!


Now for the row back home…


Thanks to Alan for taking the photos. I assume he got a coffee too?


Meanwhile, back in the workshop, poor old Hoi Larntan is recovering well. All three planks replaced, so she is watertight again – a little bit of filling, lots of sanding then endless painting. There are 5 paint “colours” if you include the varnish. No wonder Barrie says he is taking a couple of days’ holiday!

Ah well, at least there will be coffee breaks to look forward to.

Walk the Pit…

Tom Green, editor of the Cley Bird Club Newsletter, is planning to lead an informal morning ‘bird walk’ to The Point on Tuesday September 13th.
Leaving the dinghy park at 0930 we will walk down the middle of the estuary identifying the many wading birds we hope to encounter.
Skirting the north edge of the Pit we will go to the old Life Boat Station for whatever mid-morning refreshment, walkers have brought!
The adventurous might wish to head for the beach to swim or look at the wreck of the SS Hjordis while others might wish to take the shorter route to the Watch House along the dunes before heading back across the Harbour to Blakeney.  Kit – Binoculars, if you have them, footwear suitable for water/mud,sand/shingle, telephone.

A great opportunity (Ed.)

There’s a hole in my skiffie, dear…

Hoi Larntan, damaged in transit across London on the way back from the Great River Race, now undergoing remedial surgery.


As she arrived…



Well mend it, dear…

First stage of tidying up…


All six edges of planks on the boat had to be scarfed (angle cut on the edges) and then three suitable lengths of new plywood cut to fit (also scarfed at both ends) before glueing and clamping, one plank at a time. Third one going on tomorrow, then all the cleaning up, re-shaping and finally painting. Hopefully back in action late next week – thanks to Barrie’s swift efforts.

First plank in place…


Will keep you posted.


Great River Race spectacle…

Peter and Vicky were among those pointing their cameras at the more colourful bits of the event.

The slipway at Millwall Docks where 330 boats all had to launch!


Our crew preparing:


Other boats and crews get ready early in the morning…


Then more…


Waiting for the start…


Recognise the building?…


Dragon boats hurtle past, drums beating…


As well as more sedate craft…


It’s quite a jamboree!

Thanks to Rob for photos too.


Great (River) result…

Our team came 2nd in the Vets 60+ after a 3hr (2hr 56min 44sec) row up the Thames from Millwall Dock, under Tower Bridge and on 21.6 miles up to the finish line at Ham House near Richmond.

Well done to all. Lots of CRAB members lined the route in support – many more pictures and details to follow.