And now for something completely different

IMG_5663eRegular viewers of these pages will know that from time to time they can see the latest sailing pictures – usually from the Norfolk Punt Club. Possibly not all those (I use the plural optimistically) who are addicted to the blog will be familiar with the old trading wherries that used to sail the waters of the Norfolk Broads.

0N8A06980N8A7789

These rather lumbering wide beamed, shallow draught boats carried goods from the coast up the rivers and then returned bringing cargoes such as cloth from Worstead to ports for export. A great deal of internal movement of goods in Norfolk also went via these vessels. Until the Second World War many wherries existed although not all of them carried cargo.

0N8A0715

0N8A0707

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few of them were built as pleasure wherries – wherries such as Olive, Hathor and White Moth – even so a wherry is a wherry and despite internal differences the shape of the wherry and the pattern of its sail is very distinctive.

0N8A0729

Earlier this month we had a trip from Womack Water down to Horning on the river Bure on board Olive – one of the wherry yachts. Quite a different sort of sailing – much more stately and silent than the sort of thing I am used to in sailing races.

0N8A0797

Gently floating along all that could be heard was the flapping of the sail, the odd rattle from the tackle and the creaking of the mast. In addition though there was much puffing from the crew who, when the wind dropped were called upon to push the boat along manually with a “quant” (long pole with a rounded end which must not get stuck in the mud). Other boats on the broads definitely noticed us on our wherry when they passed by.

0N8A0756

Coming in to the lunch stop

0N8A0794

A quiet moment for one of the crew

For one thing the wherry is very big, it moves slowly but in all other respects sails like any other vessel – including tacking, which on narrow rivers requires skill from the skipper and patience from other river users.

0N8A0737

Luxurious cabin below decks

IMG_5876

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conversely the wild life had no problem with us – possibly they didn’t hear is coming – but it was a hot day and they like everything and everyone else they were disinclined to expend valuable energy. So they simply watched us and assumed – correctly – that the threat level was minimal.

0N8A0805

The end of the day – arrival at Horning and meeting with the wherry Albion

A terrific trip and one which I can recommend as quite a different way to see the Norfolk Broads at a gentle and leisurely pace.

Advertisements