Rosemary tells of Hoi Larntan’s visit to Woodbridge.
Woodbridge Riverside Trust (https://www.woodbridgeriversidetrust.org) is intending to build a full-size replica of the Sutton Hoo burial ship in a custom-built shed, just over 90ft long. Two St Ayles skiffs will be built first in the shed and CRAB were asked to bring a boat to the opening ceremony on Saturday 21st April. We stayed overnight at a flat overlooking Robertson’s boatyard and the Deben.
Inside the Longshed was a half-size replica of the Sutton Hoo ship, two St Ayles kits and Hoi Larntan. We had a busy 6 hours answering questions and promoting the joys of skiffing.
Woodbridge is tidal with huge banks of peculiarly glutinous mud exposed at low tide. Unlike Blakeney, this mud has to be removed from feet by high-pressure hose or scraping! We launched Hoi Larntan from a slip at the Longshed once we reckoned the tide had risen high enough. Unfortunately we were wrong and made a rather sticky and undignified departure to a pontoon downstream where we took 14 interested potential rowers out, two at a time, for 10 minute spins. The first customer was the Lady Mayor who earlier had opened the Longshed. Despite falling on her back in mid-row (we hope no telephoto lenses were snooping) she resolved to row again once the skiffs are built.
On the Sunday we made an early departure to benefit from the falling tide and headed down-river, calling in at Waldringfield for refreshments, passing Ramsholt where a surly harbourmaster had refused an earlier CRAB expedition permission to moor (hence the emergency bucket, and beaching at Felixstowe Ferry at the mouth of the Deben for a picnic at slack water after a 10-mile row. Suitably fed and rested we started back up-river on the incoming tide, past the Tide Mill at Woodbridge to the slip at Robertson’s yard in time to enjoy evening reflections on the river. Nine hours on a beautiful river in glorious weather made it a day to remember.