We should be going some time towards the beginning of July. Looking forward to it already. This year promises to be a classic. Sahdev and myself, in a moment of madness booked to spend the week in a half decker. As its name would suggest, this is essentially an empty hull of a boat. Sleeping is going to be under the canvas awning, a floating tent if you will. Captain Rowlands and First Mate Barber will be spending the week in the a 3 birth wood which gives 1 spare bunk in the event of a torential downpour. My colleague in the Halfdecker has already called shotgun on the spare, but as I will actually be taking my own sawn-off with me, i think i know who will be kipping outside. :-)
In the pre-broads holiday excitement, we swapped a few emails predicting what would happen on the trip.
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-----Original Message----- From: Andy Roberts [mailto:andy@xxxxxx] Sent: 01 July 2002 11:43 To: Rowlands Chris J; Anne Barber; Neil Sahdev Subject: Right then.... So we are fully sorted on the emergency use walky-talky's then. Good news for the Wood, when the skip starts running into problems and can't tell his jib from his main, myself and Mr Sahdev can talk him out of it. On a more serious note, I have made a list of things to bring, and I think it has everything covered. There seriously isn't much, although I did manage to accidently float an 18 pack of Smirnoff Ice through the check-out when I last went shopping, and frankly at an average of 3 a day this holiday is gonna be fun whatever happens. Obviously though, anyone else is more than welcome to have as many bottles as they like, as I am sure you will when all those the shandy's get too much. Nice one on picking up the stuff, btw, JC. I don't know whether you knew what I meant, but in the eventuality of Neil or I waking up early (or more likely, not actually being able to sleep on the granite-hard boards of the boat) then we can fire up a Billy and get some early morning Cha on the boil. So then, Borads2002 is less than a week away... I dunno about the rest of you guys, but I am not really in the holiday frame of mind as yet. I guess NS is since he is actually on holiday. If memory serves AB should've finished her exams - which will probably means she won't be picking this up... So JC this means 2 things, 1. Its only me and you reading this. 2. Its down to us to gear ourselves up for this beggar. So to kick things off, "Where are we gonna be heading this year, ya reckon Yarmouth could be on the cards?" Andy ----- Original message ----- From: "Rowlands Chris J" <chris@xxxxxx> To: "'Andy Roberts'" <andy@xxxxxx>, "Anne Barber" <anne@xxxxxx>, "Neil Sahdev" <sahdev@xxxxxx> Date: Mon, 1 Jul 2002 13:46:45 +0100 Subject: It doesn't happen much, but I think you r right... And then there were two. You know what Mr Roberts, I think your right - it is just me and you left - we are the only ones actualy working for a living at the moment. Everyone else has buggered off. crackle crackle "Norbs, Sahdev, are you there" crackle crackle crackle crackle ".... " crackle crackle crackle crackle "hello, is anyone there" crackle crackle crackle crackle ".... " crackle crackle crackle crackle "Guys, what are you doing, why aren't you answering your talking machine. Put your oars down for a minute and I'll tell you where you are going wrong" crackle crackle Chris surveys the scene - he watches the two imbeciels as they attempt to row through potter heigham bridge. Unfortunately neither of them has seemed to realise that the breadth of the oars of the boat when in use is 15 feet, and the bridge is only 12 feet wide - hence the difficulty. Chris has no choice but to give up on trying to help and pull out the video camera for some unique - never to be seen again footage of two chumps trying to row under a bridge. Extract from Borads Log, 2002. -----Original Message----- From: Andy Roberts [mailto:andy@xxxxxx] Sent: 01 July 2002 14:53 To: Rowlands Chris J; Anne Barber; Neil Sahdev Subject: Re: It doesn't happen much, but I think you r right... > Chris has no choice but to give up on trying to help and pull out the > video camera for some unique - never to be seen again footage of two > chumps trying to row under a bridge. > > Extract from Borads Log, 2002. (cont...) Standing with one of his dirt-encrusted feet on the decking and with the rotting toe of the other helming the boat, the skipper raises his arms aloft to gain a unique view of the moment of impact. The expensive digital state-of-the-art Sony Camediamaster X9500-Pro Cam-corder gripped by the chewed fingers of one hand. An excited grin spreads across his rosy cheeked face. 4 days worth of stubble might mean he's not looking quite as sharp as usual, but his reflexes certainly are sharp. He spotted this action unfolding several minutes ago - his experience on the broads telling him these young up-starts were getting themselves in trouble. Back on "Brown Bess" the atmosphere was relaxed and calm. They had elected to lower the sail and mast at the last minute, but were so super-organised that they were still too early... They flopped the oars, and gave it a bit of Redgrave and Pincent towards the bridge. With about 10 strokes to go before the bridge they noticed a red face appear above the 3 berther following them. The skipper of the other boat had a shiny object in one hand, and was waving it about. Uncertain of what was going on, Sahdev and Norbs ignored him, stowed the oars, and drifted through the boat in perfect 'shoot'. They then watched as the skipper of the wood boat directed the 1930's boat through after them. Although he had lowered mast and sail, he neglected to lower the Sony. There was an audible "CRACK" as it hit the ancient brick work of the bridge. The shiny stainless steel casing broke like an egg and 2000 pounds worth of silicon circuit boards splashed as they hit the surface of the river, and quickly sank to the bottom. In his shock, he dropped the remains of the camera. Realising his mistake he dived into the river to retrieve the camera. His mind quickly was working on permutations and possible warranty claims when he took it into the 'Sony Centre'. "Yeah, one minute it was fine, the next it just stopped working, i dunno why." -- as he removed the only two remaining parts of the camera from a plastic bag : the lens cap, and the padded leather strap. On 'Brown Bess', Sahdev and Rowlands were being as supportive as possible. Whilst laughing they also were watching as the Wood boat drifted skipperless into the moored passenger ferry. And then in disbelief as they boat slowly began to sink. As the Rowlands surfaced looking worried having retrieved nothing, he couldn't actually see the Wood boat -- it had been dragged to the bottom by the sinking remains of the passenger ferry. At least Anne, who had been told by the skipper to "get onto the bridge - record this one baby, it'll be perfect" had captured the whole lot on film. In fact, she was already planning what to buy with the £150 cheque from ITV.... -- We all know this will happen.. Norbs ----- Original message ----- From: "Rowlands Chris J" <chris@xxxxxx> To: "'Andy Roberts'" <andy@xxxxxx>, "'Anne Barber'" <anne@xxxxxx>, "'Neil Sahdev'" <sahdev@xxxxxx> Date: Mon, 1 Jul 2002 16:01:15 +0100 Subject: RE: It doesn't happen much, but I think you r right... (slight modification - I had the wrong lead in during my last message... appoloigies...) At least Anne, who had been told by the skipper to "get onto the bridge - record this one baby, it'll be perfect" had captured the whole lot on film. In fact, she was already planning what to buy with the £150 cheque from ITV.... (cont...) After their 'perfect shoot' the crew of brown bess were feeling very pelased with themselves - and although Rowlands had perfromed a slightly 'less than perfect' shoot, it was by no means as disarsdirus as the afore extract from the log. He had merely grazed the top of the mast on the bridge during lowering as he had slightly misstimed the shoot due by a few seconds. Appart form the top of the mast, the Wood boat was in perfect conditin, the whole operation captured by Anne on the bridge. This was no mean feat, considering Rowlands was operating a one man band, having dropped the only crew member off ten minutes earlier. He had single handidly managed to, whilst sailing up the river with the wind behind he had lowered the jib, then the main, and then dropped the mast onto the perfectly placed crutches which were leaning against the tiller which had been rigged up so Rowlands could stear the boat using his big toe from the front of the boat whilst both lowering the mast and filming Bown Bess pass under the bridge. 'Not bad' Rowlands heard one onlooker say as he cruised under the bridge himself. However, Rowlands was again concerned about Roberts and Sahdev's following actions. As he passed under the bridge he saw them raise their mast and then sail with upmost speed and effiecncy. Unfortunately as the wind was astern of them, and their sail was right out, they both failed to notice the second bridge at potter heigham! As the wind was fairly fresh, and the half decker could accelerate well they were soon up to a good speed - which meant that they were soon upon the bridge. It was Roberts who noticed it first - but it was just too late - there was nothing they could do - except panic of course! One thing they were both very good at by this point in the holiday. 'What happened to all that backwards sailing we were so good at before' The fleet admiral recalled hearing from Sahdev moments before impact. Luckily for the inexperienced crew aboard the half decker Rowlands was on the case, and had flopped the quant as soon as he had realised what was going to happen. Brown bess was fast, but Rowlands' musscles were faster and he was soon upon the half decker - single handidly helming and quanting using the same rig up he had used to steer under the bridge. He came along side the half decker and forced the nose of the boat into the wind - averting disaster. Well nerarly, Brown Bess still ploughed headlong into the bank alongside the wood boat, but at least she wasn't de-masted! Luckily Anne managed to capture the whole even on film for 9mm for the insurance claim to follow. Extract from Borads Log, 2002. =============== -----Original Message----- From: Andy Roberts [mailto:andy@xxxxxx] Sent: 01 July 2002 16:43 To: Rowlands Chris J; Anne Barber; Neil Sahdev Subject: RE: It doesn't happen much, but I think you r right... Well nerarly, Brown Bess still ploughed headlong into the bank alongside the wood boat, but at least she wasn't de-masted! Luckily Anne managed to capture the whole even on film for 9mm for the insurance claim to follow. (cont ....) Chris woke with a jump. "Wh-wh-where am I" he stuttered. "its all right mate, you had a bit of an accident" "I thought I saved the day - i saved you guys. How did i get here? Where is Anne" "One step at a time, JC. The main thing is she's OK, the mast missed her quite, and the Doc says she is gonna be fine." "What do you guys mean? What hit her" "The mast of your boat mate, don't you remember,.. ..you were waving that camcorder around. Anne was filming from the bridge, you had forgotten to lower the mast. You were so busy filming us making the perfect shoot, you forgot about your own boat" This was all true, and what Sahdev had just described was spot on. Cabin Boy-Rowlands, for some reason, having noticed Roberts and Sahdev approaching the bridge perfectly had abandoned helming his boat and had whipped out the borrowed video camera. Presumably this was to study later on, to see just how they managed to look so damned good. Actually he got some really good footage. Its a pity that 10 seconds later, the camera, the boat and 50% of the ancient bridge were on the way to the bottom of the river. As the mast, which was still locked vertically, slammed into the stonework the boat didn't slow down at all. The burgee slapped Anne across the face -- but luckily for all concerned, the mast missed her, and continued on its jounery slicing through the bridge. The whole thing was filmed by several tourists, some of whom survived the incident. The footage of this unique never-to-be-repeated method of navigating Potter Heiham will go down as one of the saddest days for Norfolk. Although in a classic case of just deserts, the Cabin Boy's Brain box slammed into some of the remaining stonework, knocking him out cold, meaning he will be one of the few that doesn't remember what happened that day. ----- Original message ----- From: "Rowlands Chris J" <chris@xxxxxx> To: "'Andy Roberts'" <andy@xxxxxx>, "Anne Barber" <anne@xxxxxx>, "Neil Sahdev" <sahdev@xxxxxx> Date: Mon, 1 Jul 2002 16:22:55 +0100 Subject: RE: It doesn't happen much, but I think you r right... Thrusday Night - Hickling Broad Rowlands awoke in the howling gale. It was light, just - his gut had been playing him up ever since the 40 ounce Rump he had eaton in the pub the night before. ROwlands wasn't convicned it had been properly cooked - although the others did point out that he did order 'rare', and at the time made the comment to the rather attractive waitress - "I don't mind if it's still kicking actualy" to try to look impressive. The crew weren't convinced that the joke went down down very well with the 17 year old Vegan. But alas, that is another story, let me continue... Rowlands awoke, it was 5 in the morning - how did he know - because he had set the alarm the night before (to catch the tide) for 5am and it was bellowing in his ear right now. His fist came crashing down on the alarm - 'there goes another Sony' he thought as the front flap of the £300 phone fell off when he raised his fist. He opened one eye, followed by the other and peered out the window - he hand't slept well the previous night - with Brown Bess crashing around near them and the howling gale blowing outside it wasn't plesaint. He had however found he had slept well for the prvious hour - and now he knew why. As he peered out the window, the starboard side, he could see the bank. NOw this may seem perfectly normal to your everyday skipper waking in the morning in the middle of a broad surrounded by bank - but no, not to this skipper. As he had distinctly remembered moorig brown bess up to the starboard side of the wood the night before! And now it had gone - hence the ceasing of the crashing around half way thorugh the night. At fist he flet panicked, but then being the true professional he calmed it down and surveyed the horizon - as he panned round he then saw it. Brown Bess had become detatched from the wood and had drifted into one of the pylons in the channel of hickling. This jolt must have awoken the crew as they were now franticaly bailing water from the hull - for she had been holed in the front - only a small hole, but enough to let in the water. Rowlands first instinct was to race to the rescue, but then he felt a more urgent need. First he reached for the tripod and then the camcorder - he set the thing up pointing out the window and then pushed record. He was happy to leave the thing running for half an hour (its battery life), and when the camera was dead and no more could be gained from the situation from the entertainment viewpoint he would rescue the two crew members stranded on the post. Extract from Borads Log, 2002. ----- Original message ----- From: "Rowlands Chris J" <chris@xxxxxx> To: "Andrew Roberts (E-mail 2)" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Neil Sahdev (E-mail)" <sahdev@xxxxxx> Date: Wed, 3 Jul 2002 15:05:21 +0100 Subject: Thursday Morning Rowlands first instinct was to race to the rescue, but then he felt a more urgent need. First he reached for the tripod and then the camcorder - he set the thing up pointing out the window and then pushed record. He was happy to leave the thing running for half an hour (its battery life), and when the camera was dead and no more could be gained from the situation from the entertainment viewpoint he would rescue the two crew members stranded on the post. Extract from Borads Log, 2002. Friday Morning 0530 It was half an hour since Rowlands had set up the viedo camera up on the tripod to film the crew of Brown bess. Rowlands had planned to row over to them, at half past. What he hadn't planned to do was fall asleap agian, but after all, he was on the broads and when did anything go to plan? Rowlands was asleap, and with the snooze function of the Sony becomming disabled when the rest of the phone was destroyed - there was no longer any means of awakening the crew of the wood boat. Meanwhile on Brown Bess, the crew were franticaly bailing. They found that if they continued bailing they could stay on top of things, but if they stopped then the half decker started to sink. Roberts, who had been accused of 'over mooring' on the previous holiday (i.e. forgetting about the mud & warps at stracey), was also responsible for the the current dibarce. His first mistake was to, in a spate of independance, only actually attatch brown bess to the wood at one point. He wanted to be free of his master. His second mistake was to atttch the only warp to the main halyard on the wood, which through the night, due to the strong wind and buffeting, slowly fed its way up the mast and out of the block at the top, and where did it go next - into free space. With a gentle 'plop' the warp splashed into the water, unbeknown to either crews, brown bess slowly began to drift towards the danger area of 'the bollards'. da du dehhhh. "Look what you've done now" sahdev was thinking whilst he was franticaly bailing "all that talk of being independant form Rowlands, and look where it has left us". Sahdev was also thinking about the previous day, when Roberts had insisted that they recieve no help from the Wood all day - including meal breaks. Sahdev had only just managed to persuade Roberts into letting Anne give Brown Bess some provisions. One will have to check yesterdays the log for the full details, but to put it simply, Sahdev wasn't impressed with Roberts attempt at cookery with a single gas stove, two bottles of carbonated water, two tomatos, a stick of celery, a corguette (which was accidently dunked overboard at one point in the day) and 14 lamb chops. Note the distinct lack of cooking implements - Roberts had planned to use one of the Oars as a frying pan, well, that was until they were both desroyed in the small fire aboard brown bess during the lunch time effort. But enough of yesterdays incidents, the fact was, Brown Bess was sinking and Olde Chubby fingers abard the mother vessel was in the middle of 40 winks. Luckily for Roberts and Sahdev, an early morning fishing expedition was just leaving one of the many surrounding dykes and spotted the two mariners in need of aid. The old chap putted over with their two stroke and called out, "You two boys ok - looks like you in a spot of bother" in his strong Norfold accent. As soon as Roberts, who was semi native to the area (on his fathers side), had deciphered what the old man had said he jumped at the chance of the old guys help. "Yes, thank you very much for asking" he replied in his crisp Queens tongue. The old man nooded and then both Sahdev and Roberts looked in dismay when he putted off in his boat without looking back. "Where the **** is he going" sahdev looked to Roberts for an answer "what the **** did he say?" in his scuffed basingstoke tone. Roberts was puzzled, but then realised where he had gone wrong. In Roberts response to the mans question, he had failed at any point to actualy ask the man for help. The man had asked if they were ok, and roberts had told them that they were. That was it. The two continued bailing for another three hours until half past eight, and the sun was well up. Rowlands finaly emerged from his peaceful sleep at eight thirty and surveyed the scene. The camera, the smashed phone... "What's going on" he thought to himself, and then it hit him "Holy S**t he thought, and kicked into action". Extract from Borads Log, 2002. ----- Original message ----- From: "Andy Roberts" <andy@xxxxxx> To: "Chris Rowlands (work)" <chris@xxxxxx>, "Anne Barber" <anne@xxxxxx>, "Neil Sahdev" <sahdev@xxxxxx> Date: Tue, 2 Jul 2002 12:13:29 +0000 Subject: borads2002 - day 3 It was another day on the broads. The weather was disappointingly overcast, but the brisk wind more than made up for it. In fact brisk was an understatement: as the cabin boy Rowlands stuck his head out of the awning, the slice of toast he had balanced in his teeth was caught by a gust of wind and flew off across the broad. It landed quite near to Brown Bess which he noted was looking rather good. Everything was stowed to perfection, and the sleek quick lines of the boat did nothing but complemented the way in which she was sailed by its present occupiers. He had to be honest with himself, he was jealous... In the luxury of the Wood you didn't really experience the broads as nature intended. The experienced sailor glanced round the plush cabin, shaking his head at the built in gas hob, and the seats, "tuttt, such luxury", he muttered. He glanced inside and saw his better half Anne curled up asleep on the soft bedding, her head brushing the cabin roof no more that 3 inches from the paraffin lamp. He took a deep breath getting a good lung-full of the fresh morning air. There was quite a strong whiff of Paraffin even from outside the cabin - "hehe, no wonder Anne is sleeping so well" he thought. "She went out like a light.... or should that be, she got knocked out by the light". Not for the first time that week, he wondered what had happened to his sailing ability. Anne was having to remind him how to do things - and even those monkeys Sahdev and Roberts were showing him up. The debacle at the last bridge illustrated this. He rubbed his head, the lump still throbbing away... That day would be different. He began plotting his revenge.... -----Original Message----- From: Andy Roberts [mailto:andy@xxxxxx] Sent: 02 July 2002 17:09 To: Rowlands Chris J; Anne Barber; Neil Sahdev Subject: Re: borads2002 - day 3 That day would be different. He began plotting his revenge.... (cont...) If there was one thing Chris couldn't stand it was being beaten. Yesterday he had been shown up.. ..big time. The challenge was a relatively simple one, and it had all started with a simple race between Brown Bess and the Wood. The pair of boats were approaching Acle bridge together (Acle being one of the few bridges left standing on the broads). Several workmen were gathered around the central portion of the bridge - in fact the harsh white light of the welders torch was visible even in the bright sunlight. When the welder saw the larger of the two traditional boats approaching the bridge, again at full speed and under full sail he became worried. When he saw the crazed look in the eyes of the red-faced individual helming, his welding arm began to shake and he just dived for cover, his parting words were "that nutter might give me work, but I don't wanna end up squashed like one of these girders..". He was right, Rowlands limbs were a blur around the boat, one foot was steering, the other foot was hauling in the main sheet, keeping the boat under perfect control. One hand was out-stretched holding what looked like a video camera and the other was just adjusting the knot keeping the dinghy attached. It was the manic "I am going to lower my mast the last" look in his eye, that had worried the welder. It was worrying the crew of Brown Bess as well... There were two of them, and they knew they could win this game of chicken. The only danger was that they would die laughing watching their robust rival sprinting round the boat on his own. Because, as usual, Anne had been instructed to film the whole affair. Watching one man lower the mast of a boat, whilst quanting and helming was quite a sight... ...especially when it usually ended up with an insurance claim, a sunken boat, and someone being fished from the drink. "You all right there boys?" - Rowlands had time to shout. "Yeah mate" yelled back Sahdev "bloody easy life this sailing innit". "Peeeth O Pithhhh" replied Rowlands with the mainsheet in his teeth. He was at the front of the boat and he was using both hands to try and remove the plate holding up the mast. One of his feet was waving the quant round and the other foot was tied round the mud-weight as an emergency brake. As mentioned the mainsheet was stretched across the boat, and was clamped in his teeth. "Looks like you are sweating there boyo" said Roberts "you shoulda spent a bit more time down the Gym". They watched as Rowlands hopped down the side decking with the mudweight wrapped round his right foot. He was quanting with his left hand and his right hand was guiding the mast down onto his shoulder. For once it all worked well. He helmed the boat through the bridge closely followed by Brown Bess who also made it through cleanly. Rowlands first mistake was to continue the race on the other side. He was clearly angered by the crew of Brown Bess, who already had their mast vertical and their sail was on the way up. "C'mon fat boy, keep up", yelled Sahdev. The second mistake he made was to forget the 'Emergency Brake' was still tied round his ankle. This 25 kilo mudweight was on the end of 30 feet of cord, and he hadn't noticed (and this was his third mistake) that the cord had become wrapped round the top of the mast. As the third toe of his left foot flipped the quick release of the mast the whole mast and rigging sprung into life and snapped into the vertical position -the sheer weight of 15stones of Chris and Mudweight in turn snapped the mast. Not before raising Rowlands about 15 feet above the deck. Following the loud crack of the wooden mast giving, was the loud splosh of the mudweight plus rowlands hitting the surface of the water. Both ended their journey when they sunk to the riverbed. Luckily in a sad twist of fate, the mudweight was still moving at quite some speed when it landed on the Oxy-cetaline canister the welder had dropped from the bridge earlier. The heavy mudweight must've knocked the valve clean off it, because both Chris, Mudweight and Welding equipment were propelled from the water landing neatly on the bank. "Ahh", said Chris dusting himself off "Did you get that Annie?"