Last Row Of The Barton Season.

Thanks once again to Alan C for the words and also for towing the skiff safely. Welcome to Pauline and Terry on their first row.

“Last row of 2018/19 to How Hill and first row for Pauline and Terry. Safety instructions duly given, initial rowing guidance given, “come forward to row, row” and that was all that was necessary. The timings were nearly spot on, we pulled together as a team almost from the word go! Stephen occupied stroke position and Sue the bow position; she said she surprised herself at how comfortable she had found it. Stephen set a slow and steady rate, we glided over the water. Alan had very little to do as cox!
On Barton Broad the sailing club had set up its committee station ready for the coming races. We even noticed the channel markers were being painted. As several leisure cruisers passed by, we received and gave salutes to each other.
No fishermen were seen as its now the closed season!
A lovely break at How Hill where we enjoyed Pauline’s Almond slice –thanks Pauline.
Sue coxed the return leg, which was over all too quickly –nothing to do with Sue directing us to power up for ten strokes during which time the boat did indeed move significantly faster…..
Outing over the boat was retrieved from the slipway onto the road trailer with all hands helping. The boat was secured with lashings of ropes, straps and bungees galore, ready to be towed back to Blakeney for the summer but first the Wells row on Sunday.”

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Some Thoughts About Reversing.

Below are Alan C’s thoughts concerning nature, peace … and reversing. Many thanks for the account.

“With Richard Andrews coxing, we reversed out of the slipway into Paddy’s Lane using the Dunster reversing technique. Apparently, this was discovered by accident one day, when Rob pulled one stroke as the boat left the slipway rather than one row backwards, thus setting the boat up to continue backwards into open water.
Richard then guided us towards Dilham up the River Ant. He shared his knowledge about where he often sees otters –though we were not so lucky today. Later shouts of kingfisher and barn owl were accompanied by shouts of unicorn and laughter.
With Alan Collett in the Cox seat we lined up for a straight run under the bridge at Wayford under the A149, ten powerful strokes, quickly pulling in the oars and shooting through against the wind. Stephen Perkins coxed the start of the return leg, rotating positions with Rob Dunster whilst Tony Bolderston maintained the bow position.
We shared our picnic fayre, including banana cake and dried apricots. At times we also shared banter. At other times, there was silence whilst we listened to nature or listened to the sound of the boat gliding over the water to the rhythm of one clunk at the end of each stroke – a lovely sound!”

The joy of rowing … and Pilates.

Many thanks to Jayne for this excellent account of her first rowing experience:

“My life as a Pilates teacher in North Norfolk has led me to meet some really fun and interesting people and also has opened doors I could never have imagined. Take today: I mentioned to my husband as we were on our way to the Broads for an afternoon of rowing, that just 4 years ago I would probably at 2pm on a Thursday, be on the M25 in a traffic jam, or in a dingy room on some industrial park, battling it out and trying (and failing) to make my point in another endless ego fuelled team meeting! But, wow, today, we were embarking on another new adventure – rowing! Not the mechanical slog of a gym rowing machine, but real life, water, fresh air, natural and of all things in a proper boat with a real team. People that have come together with a shared passion for the love of movement, real teamwork and just the sheer joy of rowing.

I must admit, I had my doubts I’d be absolutely terrible at this and bearing in mind I’ve also just started to teach a Pilates course especially designed for rowers, I was worried that my lack of technical knowledge, experience of proper rowing and lack of coordination would land me either in the water or worse, lacking in credibility as an ‘exercise professional’. I need not have worried. Victoria, Alan and Rob were the perfect teachers, calm, non-judgmental, smiley, welcoming and full of knowledge. Right from the start, as soon as we’d had our safety brief and got out on the water, we started to row, a bit clunky at first, but after a few drills and one small fall from grace as I lost my concentration and feel off my seat, we started a steady and seemingly smooth row out of the marina and down the river.

The sound and rhythm of the boat was intoxicating. All the stress of the day, any anxious thoughts, troubles and worries just disappeared as we worked together, feeling the water and sensing each other’s movements. The weather was kind, the tide slow, the swans a bit mad, but the sheer bliss of gliding through the water on such a lovely afternoon was heaven. It’s a joy to be alive on a day like that. Pleasure that can be taken from nature and people and the thing I’m most grateful to is my Pilates. How far it’s brought me from my old life of living too fast with people that have no time and always want more stuff. Too many deadlines, too many shiny new things and too much competition to out do each other. Pilates has brought a sense of wellbeing, connection to my body and mind and made me fit enough to enjoy the real pleasures of life, things like rowing on the Broads on a Thursday with my husband and a bunch of lovely people.”

Early Morning Row At Blakeney.

Thanks to Alan C for his summary of the outing. It was certainly one to remember:

“The water was nearly millpond flat but the residue of Storm Freya could be heard pounding the north shore the other side of the spit.
Apparently in 1225 St. Marher said “And te tide and te time þat tu iboren were, schal beon iblescet.”
Time and tide may not wait for any man but, at 6.15, we had to decide whether to wait or call for our remaining crewman. At 6.25 we knocked on Neil’s door and a very apologetic Neil joined us shortly after for a lovely row to Pinchen’s Creek. Rob’s lightweight oars with their thinner handles were a great success. THANKS Rob. Taking it in turns to cox, stroke and row on the way out, on the way back we did it without changing positions. Strangely, the return leg was faster than the outgoing one.
For two hours Catherine, Sue, Neil, Alan and Barry forgot all about land-based thoughts, then they landed back at the slipway at Blakeney.”
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Escaping The Wind.

Many thanks for the words by Rosemary F.

“Richard A, Mark F, Steve P, Rob D and Rosemary hid from the cold wind by rowing up the River Ant beyond Wayford Bridge.The winter appears to be ending as two or three holiday cruisers were spotted, also two fishermen sunning themselves in a boat with endless lines and two deer running alongside the river.”

A Rainy Sunday Outing.

On Sunday 3rd March, Amy, Diana, Sue, Barry and first time rower Stephen enjoyed a damp but happy voyage towards Wayford Bridge. The morning wind was light and stable but a steady, fine rain accompanied most of the journey. Nevertheless, the crew remained in excellent spirits – at one stage singing a selection of boating songs. There was also friendly banter with some waterproofed fishermen and with a group of canoeists. It was great to be out on the water and to return before the wind got up. See the crew below enjoying a refreshment break.

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Bluejacket at Blakeney.

“Bluejacket” is now back at Blakeney and available for use with some excellent new oars fashioned by Rob D. Many thanks for all the hard work! On Saturday 2nd March, helpful Crabbers met at Bayfield Brecks to begin moving the skiff to the Carnser. Below is a photograph of “Bluejacket” in position with some well known, smiling faces completing the picture.

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