Logs and Shanties


Log of Hustler, Part One

by Laura and Sarah / harriers b 2002
Picture the scene, Acle Reaches, winds force four, gusting five, two innocent crewmembers, first time on Harriers, expecting something normal. They find themselves in the alien environment of a Hustler. However, this was no normal, sane Hustler. It was in the charge of a manically deranged skipper and mate. Contrary to popular belief, Harriers is in fact a sailing holiday (the all motoring commodores may appreciate the subtleties of this point), but these two seemed to enjoy sailing just that bit too much..

These crewmembers had been told many times that a flat boat sails fastest. However, they remained unconvinced by the skipper and mates assertions that the boat, being a keelboat, cannot capsize.

Remaining at an angle at which the boat was definitely not flat, the runaway Hustler went tearing down Acle reaches; skipper and mate cackling inanely. Maximum hull speed reached; just over 5 mph. The crew were mildly traumatised by the fact the skipper was overjoyed when the water came over her wellies as she sat on the cabin roof.

Water washing the side decks; 5 points
Water reaching the cockpit coaming; 10 points
Keel showing; 15 points
Water reaching the cabin top; respect!!!!

Log of Hustler, Part Two

by Laura and Sarah / harriers b 2002
Picture the scene. Skipper has finally relinquished the helm. Innocent bilge boy now on the helm, eyes wide, knuckles clenched. Cruisers on all sides, the boat sailing on a run, on the gybe, if not be the lee.

You bear away slowly around a corner. Has the skipper noticed that the direction of the burgee in relation to the sail has dangerous implications? Possibly - she begins to sheet in. The crew decide that it is time for some real action. No controlled gybing around here. He chooses a strategic point. Aha - two cruisers bearing down on each other. Game of piggy in the middle anyone? The bilge pulls the tiller violently towards him in a foolhardy attack. The boom swings across at roughly the same speed as a passing RAF jet. We are now beautifully sandwiched at right angles between the two cruisers.

With truly acrobatic grace and elegance, the skipper dives for the helm. The mate takes on the role of PR representative, and waves casually to the driver of the oncoming cruiser, still at least a foot away. The cruiser driver returns the salute, smiling. Distance is now -2 inches.

Our problems are now half solved; we now have only one cruiser heading towards us at full speed. Using out famed dodgem skills, we swung round, aiming to pass under his stern. Well, possibly a little optimistic; we head at his stern. Continuing to polish our PR skills, we remind the cruiser that the best Broadland sailors remove their fenders while underway, and with a carefully calculated swish of our bows, we replace the offending fenders on the deck.

We continue steadily and peacefully down the river, carrying out some intensive and much required gybing tuition. The crew were horrified at being expected to participate in this unique form of nerve training and cruiser baiting, and wonder if their sanity will ever be recovered.

Log of Hustler, Part Three

by Laura and Sarah / harriers b 2002
Picture the scene. You have chosen a convenient fishing location, only yards from Acle Bridge, and all the delights to be found there. You have had a successful afternoon, having caught one minnow, two wellies, unmatched, and a shopping trolley, and have been disturbed by only two dozen boats.

You see a yacht approach, and marvel at its beauty and seamanship so clearly displayed. They moor close to you, and you have front row seats at they come in with style and panache in what you immediately recognise in the perfect hove to position.

You look on with wild admiration as they reef their sails in a manner that Noah himself would be proud of. They sail off, passing close to the bank, and you are forced to raise your rod (yet again) in a salute to their supreme elegance.

Log of Hustler, Part Four

by Laura and Sarah / harriers b 2002
Picture the scene. You are at home spending quality time with your daughter Katie, and enjoying a rare moment of peace and solitude, i.e. without JB tormenting rabbits in the background, when your peace is shattered by the phone.

Esther: Hello, Esther speaking.
Hustler: Hi Esther, it's Laura and Sarah from Harriers.
Esther, slightly confused: Er, Hello. How's it going?
Hustler: Just a minor problem really. We've been stuck for a while, and people seem to have turned their radios off. Could we have JB's mobile number?
Esther: Of course, it's 0800 I never check my voicemail (and having my phone switched on isn't even an option) So, what happened?
Hustler: Well...

There we were, tacking down Womack Dyke. Boat length about 24 feet. Dyke width, about 20 feet. Minus width of two yachts moored in random places. We tacked just before May from Horning was moored, when a gust put us very much on the lee shore. 'Sorry' they shout, 'we didn't want to moor here - our engine broke down.' We notice that they, like us are a sailing yacht, and have a not insignificant quantpole. They are clearly fans of the commodore school of 'sailing' the emphasis here being on the inverted commas. Attempt number one aborted. We scream back down the dyke on a run. Strange; it seems so much shorter that way. Attempt number two initiated. This time a cruiser tries to rival our skills by attempting formation sailing down the dyke. Surely they wouldn't be so stupid as to try and pass us? Our worst fears are fulfilled. Attempt number two is terminated in a similar manner.

Attempt number three. Alternative tactics drive us to wield the quantpole. We take our sails down on the windward bank in the recognised manner. However, quanting across the Bure proves problematical. The wind is cunningly aligned at right angles to our direction of travel. Instead of moving parallel to the quantpole, the boat moves perpendicular to it. We recall rule number one of quanting. Never let go of the quant. We envisage this becoming difficult, as now only two feet of the quantpole remain above the surface, the rest of the pole exploring the delights of our keel. We hang on to the pole. Now only ten inches of the pole remain. A passing motorboat offers assistance. Two inches of the pole remain. Skipper and mate are mildly worried, though hanging on to the pole with herculaean strength. We accept assistance, with due trepidation.

Log of Hustler, Part Five

by Laura and Sarah / harriers b 2002
Picture the scene. Superskipper has had a good day's sailing. All gadgets are fully functioning on maximum power, and the six day weather forecast has just come in.

Suddenly, a red light bleeps alarmingly. He dives down into his top secret control room, and scans the screens for signs of trouble. While all cutting edge equipment appears fully operational, there is still a dull buzz in the background. It seems to have been doing it for the last hour or so. Strange that. He saunters over, with no sense of emergency, practicing his superskipper swagger.

Andy to Hustler. 'Can you stop playing around with your radio. Out.'
Hustler to superskipper 'We need your help. Rescue us superskip!'
Andy 'I'm on my way. To infinity and beyond'

Superskipper swaggers down the bank, assesses the situation and returns for backup. In the form of a small dinghy. He springs into action and the dinghy planes down the dyke. Boarding the stranded vessel, he ties of the dinghy whilst lifting the quant on his little finger. He pulls up the mudweight and quants off, in one slick simultaneous movement. He then engages full superskipper power, and jet propels his trusty steed, sorry, I meant boat, down the dyke, slicing through the water.

Upon his return, superskipper retires to his underground lair. Scanning the gleaming spread of gadgets for further malfunctions, he is content that the situation is under control. Happy after a successful days work against the forces of the dark side, he placidly catches up with the latest adventures of the teletubbies.

The Harriers who don't do anything

to the tune of veggietales; The pirates who don't do anything
by Laura and most of the cruise / harriers b 2002
We are the bilge boys who don't do anything
We just sit around, playing cards
And if you ask us 'do you do anything?'
We'll just tell you 'we don't do anything.'

Well we've never sailed at Horsey
And we've never sailed at Barton
And we never bait the cruisers cos we never sail at all
And we've never hoist the mains'l
And we'll never sponge the bilges
And we don't like this inspection thing at all.

We are the bilge boys who don't do anything
We just sit around, playing cards
And if you ask us 'do you do anything?'
We'll just tell you 'we don't do anything.'

Well we don't like cooking dinner
And we don't like washing saucepans
And we really don't appreciate the hole that's called a loo
And we're really bored of sailing
And we've had enough of mozzies
And we just can't take the morning wake up horn.

We are the useless mates who don't do anything
We just steal a boat, and sail off
And if you ask us 'do you do anything?'
We'll just tell you 'we don't do anything.'

Well we've never baled the dinghy
And we've never cleaned the grill pan
And we've never mopped the deck cos we don't go up there at all
And we've never thrown a bowline
And we still can't find the mudweight
And it's in the cabin you will find us all.

We are the skippers who don't do anything
We just sit around, drinking tea
And if you ask us 'do you do anything?'
We'll just tell you 'we don't do anything.'

Well we never shoot the bridges
And we never check the forepeak
And we don't untie the gaff jaws cos the crew can do it all
And we never boil the kettle
And we'll never use the bilge sponge
And those pointy bowsprits really scare us all.

We are the commodores who motor everywhere
It's just engine on, and chug along.
And if you ask us 'do you sail anywhere?'
We'll just tell you 'we motor everywhere.'

Well we motored up to Ludham
And we motored back from Ranworth
And we didn't bother hoisting sails until we reached a broad
And we motored up from Hickling
And we'll motor on tomorrow
Cos we really find this sailing quite a chore.

We are the Harriers who don't do anything
Its just mudweight up and lie around
And if you ask us 'do you do anything?'
We'll just tell you 'we don't do anything.'

With apologies to Andy T whose skippers verse I used but couldn't remember it properly, so its probably all wrong and therefore doesn't contravene copyright restrictions anyway...