Monday, 21 September 2020

Signs of Autumn

 Fungi growing on an old oak, no idea if it's edible, probably someone will say it's a rare delicacy, but I don't have the experience and am not taking any chances.


Further down the path, fallen acorns crunching under foot as we walk past the donkey fields.

The summer flourish is over. Everything changing and starting to wind down to winter

Out onto the river path where a seasonal breeze was blowing up the river kicking up a few short waves.

Friday, 18 September 2020

The Dales

Sadly for a "sailor away from the sea" there are too few mountains in England, but the  northern Dales and Pennines have some spectacular and rather lovely country especially along the shallow and fast flowing rivers.

Above the River Wear above Stanhope in Weardale, slow and lazy in the dry summer.

The falls at Richmond on the River Swale.

The Wear again at wolsingham.

High Force falls on the River Tees near Middleton in Teesdale, clearly Niagra they are not, but a 70 feet or so high they are powerful even in summer.

Monday, 14 September 2020

Exploring upriver

 We took kayaks upriver and under the low road bridge at Botley Mill to explore the furthest navigable parts of the Hamble.

It was clearly a daring trip with ever present dangers.

An almost French feel to the river as it skirts the old Botley Mill and a bridge that I had no idea existed, note to self must get up and explore on foot.

The very top of the channel the river disappears into a tiny stream, presumably that's the point where fresh water is running down into the tidal river.

And finally our destination the famous Botley falls, not exactly Niagra.

Friday, 11 September 2020

Hadrian's Wall

Work began in in AD 122 during the reign of the emperor Hadrian.

The stone wall ran from the banks of the River Tyne near the North Sea to the Solway Firth on the Irish Sea, it was the northern limit of the Roman Empire.

The wall built which was built to take advantage of the high ridges which separate Roman Britain from the north of which were the lands of the northern Ancient Britons.

The scale of the wall is awe inspiring as it bisects the rugged countryside. We're so fortunate that so much survives to this day.

Monday, 7 September 2020

Nice 12 footer

Spotted this very pretty and superbly finished 12' dinghy at the boat ramp.

The owner had inherited it from a family member who had built it and confirmed it as a Selway Fisher design. From the distinctive bow I think it's a Highlander 12.

Paul Fisher has lots of nice boats featured in his online catalogue.

Friday, 4 September 2020

Day boats

My lonely reader will probably remember that I have a thing about day boats, so here are a couple more I spotted on my recent travels.

Nice open gaffer, looks to have some handy stowage space under the fore deck. The spray hood is a little angular, something more rounded would enhance the looks, but it provides a welcome shelter.

Above on the hard at Itchenor I should know what this is, at first glance I thought it was a Soling, but that keel mounted rudder suggests not.

That sky is remarkable.

Monday, 31 August 2020

Up river

Or to be more precise down river, I got Mrs BB to drop me and my kayak off at Botley wharf which is almost as far as you can get upstream at high water.


The river is narrow and peaceful, paddling slowly didn't seem to disturb the wildlife much or the tranquility.

At the approach to the fork, the river splits left on it's way to Curdridge past the Horse & Jockey pub and the main river to the right down to Bursledon, Hamble and the sea.

I asked this kayaker if she was doing doggy paddle, apparently he hates water but will sit still for a ride.

The main river opens up, thanks fully preserved from development it's much as it has been for the past few hundred years. The day was almost perfect, not a breath of wind, I set off just after the first high water after which there is a stand for about 2 hours so virtually no current either.

I need a waterproof camera with a longer lens as there was a lot to see along the river banks, the nice thing about kayaking is you face forward unlike rowing where you only get to see what you have gone past.