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Book now: SWAN Norfolk Broads Sailing Expedition
03/10/2021 By Ed Calvert

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SWAN Friday 8th - Saturday 16th April 2022

Sailing expedition in the Norfolk Broads. 

All training takes place in Winchester.

The SWAN Expedition | Facebook 

Applications can be made directly via this link:

https://bit.ly/S72Adult (Over 18s) 
https://bit.ly/S72Young (Under18s) 

Basic SWAN Expedition Information

The week-long expedition starts at Wroxham Scout HQ Friday evening and involves meeting your crew for the week, discussing meal plans, briefings and dinner. Saturday morning, breakfast; then to the local supermarket in our crews to purchase supplies for the week. We have lunch at the HQ and then pick up the boats at 2pm and set sail!

For the next 7 days the expedition explores the Norfolk Broads, mooring for the night at different locations. Most of the boats don't have engines so use is made of tides and wind to get around.  Typically, the expedition covers 130 km. in the week.  The day starts at sunrise, getting the boats ready to sail to maximise daylight.  Some days will involve cooking on the go and sailing for the whole day until the evening destination is reached. Other days less distance is travelled and time is taken sailing on some of the broads (lakes) located on the ‘Broads’’ rivers. This could be training time, games or rafting up on mudweights to have lunch.

Once the expedition reaches its destination for the night, the fleet moors up.  The boats are made ready for sleeping; cooking and eating dinner in crews takes place; ‘Gatherings’ and then bed.  Gathering groups are made up of 6-8 similar aged participants and meet each night on one of the boats. They are either social gatherings (games) or are training gatherings led by one of the experienced skippers on specific aspects of broads sailing (e.g. tides and navigation).  The sailing plan is dependent on weather and changes are made if needed.

On the last Friday the boats are returned to the boat yards around midday.  Boats are tidied and kit packed ready for handover the following morning.  On Friday evening there is a celebration night including songs and fish and chips.  The expedition sleeps on the boats one final night and Saturday morning goodbyes are said before groups travel home.

Part of the expedition is a training programme which aims to progress people to skipper level (obtain a Scout Adventurous Activity Permit (Yachting)). There is a progress book to complete and 4 levels to work through. The programme is challenging and can take one or even more expeditions to progress a level.  Permit assessment weekends each year ensure new skippers are assessed and current permit holders’ assessment is reviewed.  Passing this gives you a Scout Yachting Permit which allows you to be a skipper and take charge of your own boat.  Your permit lasts for five years before needing to be renewed and can be used in scouting outside of SWAN.

The SWAN Expedition is currently administered within Peterborough Scout District and managed by the SWAN Scout Active Support Unit.

The SWAN Expedition | Facebook 

Applications can be made directly via this link:

https://bit.ly/S72Adult (Over 18s) 
https://bit.ly/S72Young (Under18s) 

SWAN a long, but brief History

The first SWAN Norfolk Broads Sailing Expedition took place in 1950 led by ‘The Admiral’ Geoff Keighley (1924 – 2008). He took a group of 15 Senior and Patrol Leaders from the 26th Shrewsbury Scout Troop, on 4 cabin yachts with only one week’s sailing experience. The week was such a success it was run as a 26th Shrewsbury event again the following year and then again and so on until 1964. In 1964 Shropshire scouts joined the expedition for the first time this was the start of expansion that would result in the SWAN we know today. With members from all over the country brought by Scout leaders who were once scouts themselves on the SWAN expedition.  It now includes members from as far afield as Shropshire, Hampshire, Devon, Mid-Wales, Cheshire, Cambridgeshire, Sussex, Kent, Derbyshire, Surrey, Wiltshire, Norfolk and Cumbria.  As a result, the numbers sailing each year are around 80, split across up to 20 boats.

This expansion resulted in the formalisation of the SWAN training scheme which was developed by Geoff Keighley, Bryn Evans and Kester Keighley and formalised at a meeting in The Forest of Dean in 1980. The training scheme created covered more than the requirements for the Royal Yachting Association (R.Y.A.) National Keelboat Certificates and in 1995, SWAN, through a local sailing school started to award RYA certificates alongside the SWAN levels.

 

The scheme was revised in 2010 in conjunction with the SWAN leadership and agreed by Gordon “Rusty” Carter of the Baden Powel School of sailing, Brundall, Norfolk.

The expedition has always had a high standard of training, enabling people as young as 17 to become competent skippers of inland yachts on tidal waters.

Many people have come and gone through the years and they all say one thing;

 

“I can't wait till next year!!!”

More about Remus

I am currently a member of the Winchester Active Support Unit with a specific interest in Norfolk Broads Sailing. Also, I am a member of the Peterborough ASU for SWAN, an annual Scout Sailing Expedition that takes place around Easter each year. I have been Scouting in Winchester for more years than I care to remember, starting as a cub scout in what was then 18th Winchester Littleton, which amalgamated into what is now the 1st Winchester. My Scouting has involved cubs, scouts and venture scouts; scout leadership; ADC scouts and mountaineering adviser; young leadership training; and attendance at two world scout jamborees, one as a UK contingent troop leader. Outside of scouting I have worked in education for over thirty years and I am a keen musician playing trombone in bands, orchestras and small ensembles. I am looking forward to supporting as many Scouts/Explorer Scouts and leaders to become active participants in the SWAN Scouting Expedition. The ‘W’ in SWAN stands for Winchester and historically many Winchester scouts and leaders have taken part in the expedition that has been run for over 70 years. It would be great to see you on the expedition very soon.

Remus Sawyerr

 

 

Winchester District Scouts

 

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