Friday29th/Saturday 30th to Sunday 1st October


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Evergreen approaching Ludham bridge.  Photo: Jane Stevens


A precursor to this year’s Autumn Cruise was a well-attended and convivial Friday evening dinner at the Thurne Lion.


Saturday dawned with a reasonably dry forecast, but with a threat of some drizzle late on and into the evening, however a lightish breeze from the south-west made for a soldier’s wind and gentle progress up the Ant to Barton broad and the Norfolk Punt Club pontoons, our destination for the night.


Part 1 of a fiendishly plotted treasure hunt had been pre-distributed to Cruiseristas by email and text by Susie and John Thornicroft (RC Ceres and MC Swallowtail) on Friday evening.  This part of the hunt involved observations up the river and on Barton itself, and extensive manipulation of collected data to formulate a date and from that identify a person with a connection with Barton broad. It is amazing how varied in number the buoys and posts on the broad seem to have become, according to at least some of the members competing.  The relevant date was that of the battle of Trafalgar and the person with a connection thereto and Barton broad is of course Nelson, all correctly calculated by Dave Hopwood (MC Elizabeth – we think, and erstwhile of RC Dove).


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David and Claire Calder playing with their new toy.     Photo: Roger Everett


Part 2 of the competition then included a music quiz and an apple throwing challenge. A three-way tie in the apple tossing required an apple toss-off between David Thompson, Dave Hopwood and Joe Edye. Dave was declared champion tosser and duly picking up the prized Gin was surprised to discover that as part of his prize, he had also been awarded the privilege of organising and leading the Autumn Cruise next year!


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The moment the winner heard the full extent of the prize!   Photo: Susie Spivey 


11 boats had made the trip up the Ant and been met at the pontoon by the club skipper Liz Chett and crews of Bewitched and Swallowtail and following the afternoon’s frivolities members enjoyed sitting down to self-catered BBQ courtesy of the NPC BBQ kit. Of course, the evening would not have been complete without the threatened drizzle, so the attending company compressed itself into the NPC pavilion and enjoyed their meals under cover.


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Dusk over Barton.   Photo: Colin Chettleburgh


Sunday dawned with a brisk south-westerly breeze, prompting a relaxed breakfast and pontoon clear up before departure to home ports, via luncheon for some on South Walsham broad.


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Did someone mention sausage rolls?   Photo: Frankie Little


An enjoyable, if short EACC cruise, joined on Friday evening by Carolyn and Jimmy James (RC Moon Daisy), and Chris Reilly and Rachel Gaskin (RC Windrift) and briefly on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning by new members Rob Vincent with Hayley and Joshua in RC Pandora 2.


And now the plaudits, huge thanks to:


The Commodore and committee, Norfolk Punt Club for again allowing us to use their pontoon, BBQ and facilities which make this cruise so inclusive and enjoyable. A donation of £60.00 has been made to NPC to contribute to club funds.


Liz and Colin Chettleborough, for opening-up, prepping, clearing up and pontoon admin.


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If you’re going to have one, have a really big one!  Photo: Roger Everett


Susie and John Thornicroft for spending hours sculling around the broad and thinking of things with which to amuse us all. 


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Tiller dancing - with John Thornicroft, next stop Strictly!  Photo: Frankie Little


Roger Everett, for fulfilling the essential prerequisite jet washing goose-poo from the pontoon, with Lesley, one armed, helping with the prep.


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Chief goose-crap blaster    Photo: Roger Everett


The cake bakers, Liz and Frankie.


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Take three girls, including the port and starboard twins from Arthur Ransome…..   Photo: Jane Stevens


And finally, to you the Cruiseristas and Diners for coming!


Colin Little

EACC Cruise Leader