Saturday, 23 August 2014

Solent Conundrum

Fellow blogger and co author of 1001 Boats, Patrick sent me details of an intriguing painting by Keith Trask, a well known local marine artist and yacht portrait specialist.

In Patrick's own words,

"I have sat and looked at this painting hundreds of times, trying to figure out exactly what is going on in it.
Is it evening or morning?
Is that the Queen Mary approaching Calshot and about to turn into Southampton Water? 
What are the crew of the yacht doing? 
Are they stowing the main or getting ready to hoist it? 
Why are they under spinnaker alone.
Is that a Commadore’s burgee at the masthead or a racing flag? 
If they were racing but have now stopped, where was the finish line? 
Why didn’t they drop the spinnaker there? 
Have they just come out of the Hamble or are they further up Southampton Water – perhaps off Netley? 

Maybe they are trying out a new spinnaker. It looks like the Herbulot pattern that was briefly popular in the late 50s or early 60s. I think this design with the holes in it was then banned by the RORC so that dates the scene, as does the absence of the Coastguard tower at Calshot."

Although I haven't had the chance to sail over there recently I agree that the location appears to be Southampton water near Netley. If so the sun seems to be in the south west or west which puts the time as late afternoon or evening.

As to the other questions we welcome imaginative or factual replies from BB readership.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Folk boat Friday Exception

What with this being number 13 in the Folk boat Friday, the old superstition about Friday 13th and sailors having a strong superstitious tradition here's Little Otter and she might not actually a Folk Boat but has some strong parallels full keel, rudder mounted on a full transom.

As all too often no one was aboard so I don't know what she is, most likely built in the early 1960's and looking good for her age.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Sinking Feeling

Maybe I should have titled this post "the mysterious sinking punts of Provence," which is where we've been on holiday. In the delightful town of L'ille sur la Sorgue the river (the Sorgue) splits into five canals which formerly fed water mills and industry. Today the town provides tourists with waterside restaurants, antique shops and a hugely popular market at the weekend.

What was strange however was the almost universal practice of sinking punts in the canals, like the two examples above. Those were not in the minority and walking around the town it seemed like every punt we came across was doing a submarine impersonation. Like this one below, the waterside dinners seemed totally unconcerned that it might slip from view into the depths at any moment.

Not only punts, but this canoe was stored in the same way. Now I'm aware that old wooden craft need to keep wet in order to keep the seams tight, so maybe with the hot Provencal summer (32 degrees plus most days) keeping the boats submerged is the only way to prevent them drying out?

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Our Beneteau First 210 - Matilda Emilie is for sale

We've put our First 210 Matilda Emilie  up for sale so apologies for the blatant commercialisation of the Bursledon Blog which up to now has been free of adverts but as they say there's no such thing as bad publicity. 

The First 210 is a fast and fun boat, one of the reasons we bought her is so we could go for a few hours sail at short notice, we can be off the mooring and sailing in under 10 minutes. She sails like a big dinghy, but the drop keel and good form stability means she feels safe and stable.

As a fast weekender she is really well suited for our local waters, pointing high allows us to get to places quickly, we can always find a mooring even in the most crowed of Solent hot spots and the accommodation is very comfortable for the three of us.

The open plan interior really changed the game for small 21 footers, maximising the space and creating an light airy accommodation which is easy to move around in.

With a young child a safe cockpit is essential and the First does it brilliantly, our shortlist when we bought Matilda was the Sun 2000 and First 210/211 with the First winning hands down.

For more details, loads of photos and video please take a look at 

Special discount is available for Bursledon Blog readers.

Clinker Boat Bench

If you're walking by the Hamble fore shore you could do worse than pause and rest a while, take in the view of the boats and admire the new seating which has been installed.

Entitled "Clinker Boat Bench" by artist Tim Norris who specialises in large-scale outdoor Sculptural works, his work draws inspiration from the surrounding landscape and where possible uses indigenous natural materials.

Earlier in the year we were passing while Tim was working and stopped for a brief chat, taking his inspiration from traditional clinker work boats he's produced a terrific and practical piece of art.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Folk Boat Friday No 12

On the hard for a scrub a local GRP Nordic Folk Boat, looking clean and ready to race.

The same day I passed her back on her mooring.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Hill Head Hay Fever Cure

Earlier in the summer, the wind had been in the north for a few days and if you know anything about geography you will understand that it felt as though it had blown the entire pollen count off the south downs and into our house. I'd been really suffering with hay fever all day, it was boiling hot but I had to stay in with the windows shut, eyes streaming, feeling wretched and miserable. Worse still it was my birthday

In desperation to try and avoid an evening of the same we decided to take tea down to the beach at Hill Head. The sea breeze had set in during the afternoon blowing wet, salty and pollen free air onto the land, what a relief.

We sat on the shingle beach eating grilled chicken and rice, apple pies for dessert, washed down with a glass of bubbly. It was one of the best birthday dinners I can remember.

Afterwards we walked around the little harbour looking at the boats in the late evening sunshine, doesn't get much better.