Last weekend saw the UK-HBBR (UK Home Built Boat Reprobates) assemble at Barton Turf for their third Rally on the Broad. Unlike last year the organisation failed to arrange suitable weather, since it is a non organisation that is perhaps unsurprising. Saturday was a bit on the Rainy side, Sunday was somewhat brighter with a strong and viciously gusty NEasterly although no doubt somebody will look at the snaps on the HBBR site and suggest that it couldn’t possibly have been more than a gentle breeze and those who deployed reefed flappy cloth above their boats were displaying invertebrate tendencies. Monday was wet and unpleasant until we were well on the early drive home when it turned very nice.
Sunday turned into a bit of a nature trail on the cruise down to the pub in Neatishead so I thought I would share a few of the pix garnered whilst CeeDubs piloted Rosie Mae through the gusts. Incidentally those same gusts made for some of the more effective boat snaps it has been my luck to take.
Some excitement was generated at the BTAC when a large moth was spotted hunkered down in the corner of a dining hall window – probably the warmest place it could find. It was just like being back in the Strath.
A bit of trawling for identification suggests that this is a Lime Hawk Moth, a bit of a change from last years Swallowtail butterfly (none of which I saw this year). Had I not been concerned about keeping my pilot, CeeDubs, waiting his passenger I would have extracted the tripod and gone for a slow exposure at small aperture to get crispness across the full wing span.
This is CeeDubs and his lovely ‘Rosie Mae’, nicely stable although there were one or two gusts that caused her to tilt slightly from level. As promised she did keep the camera dry (apart from a drop of rain on the return – I can hardly blame the boat for that though). We sort of drifted out of the Barton Turf cut to the main Broad where we, I mean CW, picked up some wind and Rosie started to move. Grabbing on with both hands and trying to snap with anything free we hurtled across the water (it felt like hurtling to me) CW spotted a Great Crested Grebe and what looked like a bit of weed tagging along, getting the long lens on it revealed the weed was a chick. Only the one though which probably means the sharks have had the rest of the brood. I am reliably informed that there are no sharks but the water is dark enough to conceal all manner of monstrous creatures, not a bit like the crystal clear waters back north. Can anyone explain why water 20 ft deep where the bottom can be clearly seen feels much less daunting than a puddle of a Broad 5 ft deep where the bottom is quite invisible? Anyway the Grebe distracted my mind from being daunted and I grabbed a few shots one of which came out almost good
Further down towards the Neatishead turn CW realised that viewing Richard’s Oughtred Elf ‘Inwe’ and Tim’s Oughtred Acorn ‘Ardilla’ storming along with gunnl’s below the surface (I know that sounds illogical but that’s what it looked like and the snaps don’t say anything different) hadn’t improved my view of wind propulsion drew my attention to a largish bird in hunting mode above the adjacent reedbed
This I think must have been a Marsh Harrier in search of (as we were) Sunday Lunch. Almost immediately, on the next tack, a fisherman was spotted – complete with own inflatable watercraft (almost qualifies him/her for HBBR membership ;-)
Pretty soon after this we lost the wind and I volunteered to row into Neatishead Staithe which was quite enjoyable, certainly a bit less traumatic than being blown about. So enjoyable that it might be worth considering a rowing boat build for this kind of event – Graham’s Coot looked just about perfect although why he wants to spoil such a lovely boat with a sail is beyond me. The only excitement forthcoming in Neatishead was one member trying to walk on water – unsuccessfully and an Otter playing around ‘Inwe’ while Richard was raising sail for the return, sadly I didn’t get to record that.
My thanks go to CeeDubs for providing a pretty firm platform for my snapping and for constraining his sailing by putting in a completely unneccessary reef for my peace of mind. He promised he wouldn’t tip me in and would keep the photo gear dry – both of which he kept. To Richard,Ewan and Wayne for posing for some cracking snaps and to Tim for the Stathe side entertainment at Neatishead - which demonstrated fairly conclusively how deep the water wasn’t. To Sheila and Simon whose hospitality is so good and self effacing that it is danger of being taken for granted Last but not least thanks to the rest of the HBBR faces (old and new) who showed up and provided a warmth of companionship that more than made up for the chill off the North Sea. Roll on next year :-) :-) :-)