Wednesday 28 May 2008

A Breezy Broad at Barton Turf.

Well I dragged the canoe all the way to Barton Broad in Norfolk at the weekend. The HBBR had their first meeting of the year at the Barton Broad Adventure Centre. There was a good turn out with some old friends and a good few new people.

Saturday was a fine day with blue sky's but there was rather too much wind on the broad for a wee tippy boat like the canoe. So I had a couple of paddles up the river Ant which was realy interesting. Its an old cliche but you really do get much closer to nature in a canoe. I don't believe the holidaymakers in their cruisers saw half as much as i did.

On my first outing i didn't set any sail and just paddled, i found that she is affected by cross winds especially when trying to turn up-wind. When i later went out with the mizzen only she was much better behaved, the mizzen acting like a weather cock and helping to turn head to wind. I also got a very helpful push when running down wind.

I did go and stick my nose out into the Broad but it seemed very big and windy so decided discretion was the better part of valour and headed for home.

And here i am looking slightly gormless!

I also got the chance to helm for Chris Perkins in his Highlander 14 Polly's Folly. Chris is a somewhat in experienced sailor and I was a wee bit concerned that i didn't dump him in the water as he casually reminded me just as we left the jetty that he doesn't swim!

The wind in the cut leading out was very fluky which led to a fair bit of faffing about and a minor collision with a post. Chris's boats are finished to a very high standard so I was a bit embarrassed! Once out into the broad we took off like a train even with a double reef tucked in. The Folly was faultless, very stable and well behaved.

The conditions don't look too bad in the pictures, and really i suppose they weren't, but its worth mentioning that Tony broke his mast in his Joel White Shearwater.

and Wayne everhopefull didn't stop till he hit the catch net at the other end of the broad, and needed a tow back.

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