Monday, 5 October 2015

The Observatory

Down in the salt marshes between Lymington and keyhaven, on a point on the path are two strange looking shed like structures, close inspection reveals they are an art installation.

Described as a sculptural installation, one of the buildings is an artist's workshop while the other is an open observatory which can be rotated using a winding mechanism inside, so it's possible to follow the sun or the stars or just simply change the view across the marshes, open lake and the Solent.

The project began as part of Winchester Science Centre on the south downs, but has been relocated to Lymington over the summer and I have to say looks very at home in the new nautical setting.

It was certainly proving to be a popular stopping and talking point with walkers and cyclists when we were there. The artist in residence changes often, outside the workshop was a cabinet where people were invited to swap or leave items and write about them in a book.

Friday, 2 October 2015


Seen alongside at Dell Quay what looks a traditional local boat, gaff rigged and fitted out with an engine.

Traditional clinker built (lapstrake if your reading this to the west of Cornwall), she looks to be a stout and seaworthy inshore fishing  craft or similar.

Sadly there never seems to be anyone around to ask, given it was lunch time perhaps the crew had adjourned to Dell Quay Sailing Club or the nearby Crown and Anchor.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Lunar Eclipse

We didn't stay up all night, but fortunately woke up around 2.30AM to see some of the stages of the Luna eclipse of the harvest moon from our bedroom windows. It was very impressive, framed above the chestnut trees across the road.

What with the eclipse, the harvest or what's being called the blood moon and the autumnal equinox we have really big spring tides at the moment. I wasn't up early enough for the 0.6m low water at 5.15AM , but I went for a run just after 6.00 and it was still unusually low.

For some reason we we have very low spring low water, but the high water at 4.9m was not massive, at other times of the year it seems to be the other way around.

The last of the moon was still shinning brightly in the sky.

It's the second major eclipse Erica and I have seen, the previous one on September 16th 1997 in Madeira, which co coincidently was the anniversary of our first date, and which we celebrated over dinner of "steak on a stick" in a Funchal restaurant. But that's another story.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Naming Nemo

Hamble River Sailing Club held a competition for the juniors and cadets to name the newly acquired Jeanneau Jaffa rescue boat.

The winner Elizabeth had the honour of christening the boat Nemo, not with the usual bottle of champagne, but a confetti filled balloon which was popped on the bows.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Bart's Bash No 2

The number of boats on the Hamble for Bart's Bash was well down on last year, but it was still a nice way to spend Sunday and a good excuse take out Tosh our Cornish Cormorant.

Joseph was keen to show mum and dad what he'd learned on his recent RYA 1 and 2 course.

Lots of friends from were out on the water including some much faster boats like this RS Vision below.

The HRSC handicap us really badly (boo shame I hear you cry) so we have a tough time even against Mirrors and and RD Fevas.

I will put my hands up to what was possibly the worst start of my entire racing career, but we were soon overtaking some of the stragglers and later in the race one or two boats who appeared to stop off presumably to dig for lug worms in the shallows, they probably would have done better using a spade rather than the centerboard though.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Last days of Summer on Studland Bay

With a fine weekend in prospect we drove down to Dorset to make the most of the weather before the Indian summer turns to autumn and then winter.

Studland Bay is bordered by a sandy beach running all the way from the Poole Harbour entrance almost right down to Swanage. It's sheltered from pretty much any weather except an easterly wind and relatively shallow so a good spot for us all to get out on the kayaks.

We launched at Knoll beach, a national trust area which is one of the best places to launch, just a few yards from car to sea. Our destination was Old Harry, three chalk formations which lie off Handfast point.

Joseph was getting a little bored so he and Erica found a quiet part of the beach right in the corner of the bay, while I headed out to the rocks.

And as if by design a yacht came sailing past just as I was looking through the chalk archway.

On the way home we stopped off at a viewing point, Hartland Moor to the  left, Poole and Brownsea to the right, the pictures don't do it justice.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Greg's new gaffer

Friend and local boat builder Greg has an interesting project in build down at the Elephant Yard, converting a 1970's Itchen Ferry into a modern, gaff rigged cruising boat.

It's interesting to see what type a boat a professional boat builder makes for himself and knowing Greg who used to build the cunningly fast Memory, I have no doubt that his new boat will have  good turn of speed.

Back in the 1970's a local company Drummond Bayne Marine built a GRP cruising boat based on an old Itchen Ferry hull, I'm guessing they took a mould off an original boat, the Itchen Ferry being a famous Solent fishing boat type, but added a "modern" cabin and Bermudian rig. 

Greg found a cheap example (not the one pictured below I hasten to add) and did some major surgery, which includes cutting off everything above decks, stripping out the hull and a complete remodeling of the stem, pulling in the forward sections. 

The hull mouldings were in great shape, now substantially reinforced. Below Greg giving me the tour of the deck frames, beam shelf and carlins, which are built in straight grained Douglas Fir, lovely stuff.

Greg plans a traditional wooden cabin, she should be launched and ready to go for next season.