Bless the boats…it’s April…

Alan reports on Blessing of the Boats at Blakeney:

It was not the warmest of days nor the coldest of days but the conviviality was both abundant and warm.  The boats were unpacked and ready for presentation, unlike the members of CRAB who were well and truly wrapped against the penetrating wind.  Glasses of sparkling white wine were passed amongst the participants, as was coffee and soft drinks for those who thought it too early.

Our captain of rowing, the Reverend Tom Harris welcomed us all and gave four specifically dedicated toasts including to the boats, the harbour and its users, the beautiful and, at times, over-whelming greatness of the bigger picture.  He concluded with a sacrificial pouring of champagne over the bows of the club’s two St Ayles skiffs, Hoi Larntan and Blue Jacket – though not making any promises that they would go any faster!  Victoria and Tom splashed some wine over their boats too.

Victoria then set off for a row up the Cley Channel.  Meanwhile, safely watching from the shore, several stopped for a bacon buttie and a mardle on the Carnser – in true CRAB style.







Now let the season really begin…




Events update

Dear Crabbers,

Firstly, welcome to two new Authorised Rowers. Adrian Marfleet has joined us from having coxed and coached Celtic Longboats, and Catherine Temple has coxed in some interesting waters, both at home and abroad.
We also welcome new members Veronica Marett, whose husband Alan was one of a number of members who joined us last year, and Neil Thompson, who is probably already known to many of you.
And so to upcoming events.



On Sunday, 4th March we have ‘Blessing the Boats‘. Help us celebrate the beginning of the Blakeney season with a brief ceremony at 0730 which involves boats and glasses of something fizzy.  This will be followed by more solid refreshments (Catherine is providing the Burger Van), and the opportunity to get out on the water for those who wish. It’s quite early in the day, but this could be an opportunity to invite along new members.

On Sunday, May 20th our colleagues in the west of the County are initiating a new rowing event as part of the King’s Lynn Hanseatic Festival (  The rowing aspect of the occasion consists of roughly 2 mile sprints for women’s, men’s and mixed crews. We may possibly only need to take one boat, which makes life simpler.

Then on the weekend of June 2nd & 3rd there are the East Coast Championships. This Brightlingsea based event is for Harker’s Yard gigs only, but boats are available to borrow. So we would just need to turn up as a crew of 4 rowers and a cox.


Finally, we are in the process of updating the events pages of the club website.  The club calendar will shortly contain references to the racing and social rowing opportunities for the year. If you wish for further information please feel free to email me on and I will do what I can to provide it.

Happy rowing,
Captain of Rowing

Early February on the Ant…

Alan tells of an outing with a special guest, abandoning his own boatyard (not to mention wife, family and dogs) for a chance to row with experienced CRAB hands.

Saturday 3rd February

Rowing from Barton Turf across Barton Broad up (down?) the River Ant to Howe Hill in 30 minutes.  Was there a following wind, no! (see photos?)  Was the tide flowing in our favour?  NO!

We welcomed Neil who joined our crew to row for the first time.  Something just clicked and the team all pulled together, perfectly balanced fore and aft, beam to beam with the strokes very nearly all timed to perfection.  Rob coxed us, gently encouraging the timing and not too ambitious rates.  The power was transmitted through the oars and gates resulting in boat speed.  After coffee at Howe Hill, the return journey to Cox’s Boat Yard was equally fun to do.  This time Roland coxed, getting us to power up for first ten, then fifteen, then twenty strokes with easy rowing in between.  The crew rose to the challenge resulting in good feelings all round.

Catherine and Alan took variously bow, stroke, 2nd and 3rd positions in the boat!

No tricks…photos by a friend of Alan’s who just happened to be in Barton Turf on cue.

Looking good – haul away together…

Barton Broad_-1.jpg

Those are sails, not oars…

Barton Broad_-2.jpg

Ah, the all-important coffee-break. No spirits…?

Barton Broad_-3.jpg

Watch out for a row to the Swan at Horning…coming soon.



Sunday morning row…

Barry brings news of a bright outing in the sun, introducing one at least one to a slightly different rowing experience:

“The crew – Diana, Amy, Catherine, Chris and  Barry – set off on a sunny Sunday morning to row to Wayford Bridge. The wind was brisk but the sheltered route made for a very pleasant trip. Refreshment was taken just short of the bridge: chocolate biscuits, coffee and a wee dram of whisky, again, to keep off the chill. Chris, on his first Barton outing after rowing with the Lower Thames Club, enjoyed the experience as Amy’s pictures show.”

Best Wishes, Barry.1517162454811-140237493.jpg

Another spirited row…1517162771524-173937962.jpg

Who said winter was dull in Norfolk?

A skiff from above & other views

Thursday’s excursion from Barton to How Hill was accompanied by Chris Taylor, professional photographer from Sheringham who took some great shots in the boat, from the bank, and using a drone, from above. And the weather co-operated! This was an initial test session, we plan to do some more at Blakeney, perhaps with both boats out.

Here’s a a video and selection of photos – the full set can be seen at Chris Taylor’s website

All images by (Chris Taylor)

CRAB – winter training from Chris Taylor Photo / AeroVisuals on Vimeo.




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