Coastal Exploration Co. - Beer Under Sail

Every now and again we work on something that’s just so special. This project is something that is close to our heart here at SkyRise and we just thouroghly enjoyed the whole process of this film from start to finish.

Earlier this year we were put on to the amazing Coastal Exploration Company by our good friend, photographer and expedition leader Ian Finch. Ian had already worked with CEC on a photoshoot and also some modelling on their boats for North Sea Clothing. CEC is an amazing project set up by owner/skipper and all round great guy Henry Chamberlain. Based in North Norfolk he owns and sails three traditonal sailing/whelking boats, taking people on various trips around the stunning marshes and coastal waterways. Ranging from gentle sailing and picnic days out, to mini concerts onboard, gin tasting, navigation and sailing training and even smuggling voyages! (not real smuggling obviously!!).

SkyRise were asked by Henry to film an amazing project that would involve a beer delivery under sail. The premise for the trip would be to take locally brewed beer from Barsham Brewery in West Barsham, Norfolk under sail, 35 miles up the coast to the stunning Bank House in King’s Lynn. The whole trip would be done in a sustainable manner, even using an electric van to get the beer from the brewery to the boat, then to sail the beer up the coast purely by the power of the wind and sea. The aim of the project is to revive the traditional sailing routes of the part of the UK coast and hopefully beyond and to encourage more sustainable transport of goods.

What unfolded was to be an epic film trip. Once the beer was loaded onto the ‘Salford’ we headed out along the coast under full sail with seven Firkins (Kegs or Barells) onboard. For the first few hours we gently sailed along the stunning coastline out from Wells next the Sea and headed North and into the sunset. However, later on that night, as we started to make our way round the top of the Norfolk coast towards King’s Lynn we were hit by strong Northerly winds and rain. It made for a very exciting night as we rushed along on a rolling sea at 7 knots!

Eventually we made it to out final destination in the early hours tired, weather beaten but elated that we had made it safe and sound with the first cargo of beer to be delivered by sail in Norlfolk for a long, long time.

It was organised that at 4pm a row boat would come off to us and and the beer to then be loaded, and rowed to the shore in a small dock called The Purfleet, taken down into the cellar of Banks House just next door on the quayside, where it could then be served in the bar of the hotel.

A perfectly executed project, which showed that dedication and passion for something always comes good. From a filming point of view it was challenging and technically difficult at times due to close quarters on the boat, the weather and the long hours, but a thoroughly rewarding experience.

A final icing on the cake was a preview of the film shown at Banks House in front of an audience that included the Mayor of Kings Lynn, plus of course a few pints of the tasty beer that we deleivered!

Henry is now looking to do regular cargo deliveries and has signed up with various business’ in the area. So it looks like it could be the start of something very special for not only Henry and his crew, but also the local community.

See the film here.