Friday, 2 August 2013

Summer Picnic at Barton Broad

Old and new: Cherub and Hoi Larntan
On what became the hottest day of the year to date, with the temperature well over 30 degrees C, 9 members met at Cox's Boat Yard, Barton Turf to renew their acquaintance with one of our favourite places on the Norfolk Broads.

Andy has control
Ian brought Hoi Larntan, the St Ayles Skiff, which had been built by Blakeney Coastal Rowing Association during last winter and had just competed in the Skiffie World Championships at Ullapool. Philip brought his recently completed and elegant Annapolis Wherry, Adrian and Lynne brought Cherub and Andy and Katy arrived complete with coracle. Sarah, Peter, Robin and James (who had only come to watch but was Shanghaied) completed the crew for Hoi Larntan.

Ever inquisitive, our first destination was Wood End Staithe on the east side of the broad. Narrow shallow and barely room to turn, it's not surprisingly rarely frequented.

Dodging a few motor cruisers the flotilla rowed a short way down the Ant to Irstead, turning near the public mooring, giving us the opportunity to inspect some of the riverside properties, all of which appeared to be named "No Mooring".

Hoi Larntan emerges from Wood End Staithe

NSC is for all recreational rowers
Gaye's Staithe at the south west of the broad was our picnic destination, with some welcome shade beneath the trees and a free supply of cherries.

Andy persuaded a few brave souls to try the coracle. Paddling is an art soon mastered; not so getting in and out of the vessel.

Protected from the freshening wind and shaded from the fierce sun the three boats explored Limekiln Dyke, turning at the head of navigation in Neatishead.

Back on open water we were exposed to the full force of the wind, but once into the broad we had a following wind. Cherub set full sail in the form of Sarah's lacy parasol.

Passing the Norfolk Punt Club raft, moored in the centre of the broad, we were invited to land for tea. The difficulty making a landing in the strong wind was amply rewarded with most welcome cups of tea and a chance to meet some old friends, who were supervising the club's cadet training week.

Back at Cox's Yard, the three boats were soon back on their trailers. Everyone agreed that it had been a most successful event and the club gained a new member, James.