Monday, 23 July 2018

Classic lug

While out at Hill Head I spotted this delightful traditional dinghy, looks about 14 feet and with a nicely sloping transom. The rig looks to be dipping lug but it could equally be standing, I didn't pay enough attention at the time.

Either way she sailed really well and looked to be easily handled.

Friday, 20 July 2018

New Safety Boat

Cadets gather at Hamble river Sailing Club to name the new safety boat Humph.. The purchase of the boat was help by Liz Jowett a founder of the Flagstaff Trust charity which supports sailing on the Hamble.

Liz now 94, started sailing as a girl on the Hamble and through her love of the sport has encouraged youngsters in all types of sailing. Here she enjoys a rousing three cheers.

The Flagstaff Trust for Young Sailors was established in 1999 by members Liz and Humph Jowett, and aims to help youngsters undertake all types of sailing, by offering subsidies on any RYA course. The criteria for qualification are that candidates must be under 18 years old and live within 25 miles of the River Hamble. The administration of the trust is managed by HRSC, which has, so far, helped more than 800 young people to attend RYA training courses.

Monday, 16 July 2018

Number 23

Spotted in Lymington, I've always like the classic T-bucket hot rods from the 60's and from the looks of it this is a model T based roadster but with a more classic English sports car look.

The shop owner was busy so didn't get the chance to find out more, the engine I think was a 6 cylinder or it might have been the original model T four, whichever it certainly looked like an in line rather than the more usual V8.

What a great car. That weekend was the Hot Rod and Custom drive in day at the nearby Beaulieu Motor Museum, must go and have a look next year.

Friday, 13 July 2018

Scouts at Hill Head

Joseph joined the Sea Scouts at Hill Head Sailing Club for an evening sail, for many it was their first time on the water, for Joseph it was a good opportunity to sail somewhere new.

It's very generous of the club to invite the Scouts along, they have a really nice fleet of boats including these distinctive Picos with their pink sails.

The slipway is just inside the harbour, here Joseph takes directions from the club instructor Margret who was really good with the kids.

A quick turn to port and out into clear water, one of the nice things about Hill Head. I have to say thanks to Leanne who sailed with Joseph, he was a little nervous heading out, but very different coming back, full of confidence. In the background you can still see a few white crests, hence the reefed down sail.

The incoming boats are sent into the harbour in a waiting pattern while we pulled the others up the slipway.

During which there was some tight manoeuvring between the moorings, which he seemed to take in his stride.

There were about 14 boats out and well over 20 kids on the water, with only 2 capsizes in what were good, breezy conditions. Big thanks to Park Gate Scouts and Hill Head Sailing Club.

Monday, 9 July 2018


We've sailed around it but until the weekend we've never visited Gilkicker Point on land, which is slightly ridiculous as it's only 20 minutes away.

At the eastern end of the Solent and despite the shingle it's one of the most un-spoilt beach areas, with good access, sadly  the greedy Gosport council levy hefty parking charges which is probably one of the reasons to stay away.

A Thames barge motors steadily past with Ryde in the background on the Isle of Wight.

Fort Gilkicker, the Palmerston era fort build to defend the important Spithead anchorage between 1863 and 1871 arranged in a semi circle with 22 gun emplacements (casemates). I wanted to see the fort before it's developed into a luxury waterside development.

Sadly the whole place is fenced off and overgrown so I couldn't get much more than a walk around the perimeter.

Once built those living there will enjoy fabulous views across the Solent, seen here the ferries cross paths one bound for Wooten and the other Portsmouth.

Saturday, 7 July 2018


I've written about  the Westerly Nimrod before and it was nice to see this one close up parked in Lymington recently.

The roll top seats look very comfortable especially for hiking out, but the cockpit does seem a little exposed, I guess you can't have it both ways.

Overall I left thinking there wasn't much I'd want to change except the in the looks department, perhaps some modern graphics and new windows would give it a new look plus some modern sail handing fittings?

Monday, 2 July 2018

Sunny Sunday at Itchenor

We cycled along the Salterns way from Dell Quay along Chichester harbour to Itchenor where the ice cream van which sells a mean Banana ice lolly.

The reach was buzzing with activity, so much so I was almost glad to be ashore on our bikes. Below this XOV owner has been very busy with the varnish, looking great with those reflections in the deep shine.

This is my kind of cruising boat, simple elegant judging by the hull shape a comfortable motion at sea and a stern that doesn't drive you mad slapping while at anchor. If and when we get a new boat for local cruising it will be something like this.

A nice little gaffer or possibly a lugger, great for day sailing and picnics around the harbour.

The reach is almost as crowded as Hamble, well almost but Itchenor is mush smaller and there are many more smaller boats which have been squeezed out of the Hamble in recent years.

Friday, 29 June 2018

Big Birthday

I've just had a big birthday - one ending in a zero and frankly I was a bit humbug about the whole prospect, but Erica surprised me with a fantastic weekend away in Fowey. I've written about Fowey several times it's one of my favourite places in England.In case you missed those posts here are some pics.

If that wasn't a good enough birthday present, Erica had contacted  Marcus Lewis the Captain  of the Troy Class, the one design local day boat, who agreed to take me for a sail. I've met Marcus before he's a local boat builder who has both restored and built Troy's.

On Saturday afternoon we watched the racing from the Royal Fowey YC racing box where Marcus was race officer for the crew race, where the regular crew and helm swap roles. It was great to get a grandstand view and see what was a really tight and exciting finish.

On Sunday Marcus took us out to his boat, we stopped off along the way to fix the steering on his friend's tender, it would have been nice to be of more help than just passing tools but when you're with a professional it's best to keep out of the way.

Marcus at the helm getting under way as we leave the moorings, he's hugely experienced and knows his boat so well it was really good to to be sailing with him.

We sailed out of the river but wind died as we lost the onshore breeze, so turned and hoisted the spinnaker for a run up river to the creek at Mixtow and then beat back. The boat was all that I had hoped it would be, a delight to sail, responsive, straight tracking and with generous sail area great in the light winds.

All in all I couldn't have wished for a better birthday present added to which the weather was fantastic. Huge thanks to Marcus and Erica for organising it.

If only Fowey wasn't a four hour drive away, I would be racing one every weekend.

Still life

Early morning run, not a breath of wind nor anyone around.

Monday, 25 June 2018

Keyhaven Lake

Actually there's Keyhaven Lake, Mount Lake and Hawkers's Lake which stretch from the village and out to Hurst Castle, shallow salt marsh and channels protected by the shingle spit.

The deep channels are good for moorings and a protected place for a quite sail.

Kayaks are great for exploring the tiny channels, inaccessible by boat of foot, but only at high water.

There are a few interesting boats out in the moorings.

And some alongside the harbour wall, like this lovely and really well kept clinker dinghy.

This old fishing boat is the perfect characterisation but seems to have been neglected in recent years.

Looking back across the dinghy park to the two Sailing clubs, Keyhaven Yacht Club and Hurst Castle Sailing Club, both enjoy prime location and would be a great place to spend the weekend.

Friday, 22 June 2018

Well Lane

An alleyway and steps lead down to Well Lane in Hamble, the wall apparently was built from stones recovered from a defence castle built by Henry VIII on Hamble common about a mile away.

You've been warned, don't leave empty castles lying around, the locals will steal them.

Monday, 18 June 2018

Emsworth Classic

Perhaps not exactly what you expecting, but nice to see this parked up in the old Georgian town centre of Emsworth.

I'm assuming it's a 50's something (Chevy, Buick, Mercury ??) and it sure is a cool ride.

Named after El Nino the Pacific weather phenomenon which when it occurs preoccupies sailors across the Pacific, Caribbean and even further out in the Atlantic.

Friday, 15 June 2018

Morning mist

At the western end of the Solent, Hurst Castle and in the distance the top of Tennyson Down on the Isle of Wight peering over the sea fog.

Erica and I planned to sail over to Yarmouth a few years ago, launching Tosh our Cornish Cormorant at Lymington in bright sunshine we headed out of the river to see a a similar bank of fog stretching all across the Solent, fortunately it cleared quickly and we made a quick and safe passage.

Monday, 11 June 2018

Fine day down at Hurst

A fleet of  Terra's out for training, I made that joke about Joseph and his friends at our sailing club and got the blank "durr, Dad joke" response.

Local SCOW, tough little boats I need to get ours out more often.

The good weather has brought people out and it's getting busy down on the Keyhaven Quay.

Friday, 8 June 2018

On the rocks

Familiarity and over confidence. I was slightly distracted by Joseph who was fishing from the stern, I also knew the old stone pier near Holly Hill extends a long way out, but it was high water, I wasn't really paying attention and so we crashed into a barely submerged rock going at a fair old lick which tore a hole about 10 inches long on the port side - ouch.

I planked Gato with 4mm ply which frankly wasn't the best quality, it was light, but 6mm would probably have been better.

Close up reveals the damage, we were lucky that the breech was contained and only flooded the first compartment, see below the buoyancy chamber is divided by a bulkhead about half way, which also seems to have provided more impact strength.

The hole after initial surgery, once I've tidied up the incision  a backing piece from 6mm ply will be epoxied to the inside and a piece of 4mm will go in the hole plus some more epoxy filler to smooth off before the paint.

 All in all could have been a lot worse.