Tuesday 31 January 2012

Winter Day Low Water

Afternoon spring tide in the very depth of winter, monochrome sky above a monochrome sea, the shingle lying bare and seemingly reaching out to Fawley across Southampton Water, Newtown Creek and the high ground on the Isle of Wight in the distance.

You might think that a few hardy souls were out sailing a lone yacht on such a day, but the protected waters of the Solent were busy with yachts, motorboats, the ferry on it's way to Cowes and shipping taking the dog leg channel around the Bramble Bank before heading eastward out of the Solent.

On the foreshore cockle pickers or perhaps bait diggers took the opportunity to get out on the exposed sea bed.

Sunday 29 January 2012

La Corruna

If you've been following Bill's Log and his account of the "cruise of the Aziz" you may have noticed the interesting statue in La Corruna, it certainly holds memories for Erica and myself, as this page from our log shows.
Bill very kindly recalls, we met in 1997 while we were both anchored in La Corruna, Erica and I were heading off to the Caribbean and had just made what was our first real offshore passage across the Bay of Biscay, Bill by comparison was hugely experienced and the advice and confidence he shared was very gladly received.

We also met with Mike Dwyer aboard his Heavenly Twins catamaran a few days later when we were anchored in the Spanish Ria of Muros.

Cold Spell

Is there a seagull equivalent of "brass monkey".

Friday 27 January 2012

Tuesday 24 January 2012

Bognor Regis

Another West Sussex seaside town just along the coast which I haven't visited for over 30 years. Home to the famous "Butlin's Bognor Regis" holiday camp right in the centre of town, my recollection was of neat retirement bungalows, a prim and tidy seaside suburbia.

On a clear and sunny Saturday in January we walked along the almost deserted promenade and along the shingle beach. Neat and tidy it all was, but none the worse for that. We found a cafe for breakfast, enjoyed the views and the ambiance.

To the west of the promenade we found the Bognor Regis Yacht Club, delightfully situated with commanding views. During the 1950's the club was a popular location for the Merlin Rocket, today beach catamarans make up a substantial part of the fleet, ideal boats for launching and recovery off the steep shingle beach.

Saturday 21 January 2012

Ice Breaker

Roll on the summer, can't wait to get out on the water.

Thursday 19 January 2012


Reading fellow blogger Steve's Log of Spartina post about storing his boating equipment in his daughter's bedroom while she is away at college got me thinking about the sheer amount of stuff we sailors , accumulate so I took the camera down to the garage to see just how bad things had got.

I "thinned out" our collection of outboard motors a couple of years ago in anticipation of a house move which never happened, but since then numbers are increasing, there's also another one tucked away for spares, not to mention various tools, grease, oil ect.

I like to keep wooden spars stored safely in the garage over winter, not least because I'm lazy, some of that varnish is 10 years old and still looking good.

The deck and ply wood are part of the SCOW restoration which has slowed down recently with the pressures of work and domestic demands.

Michael Doryman spotted the Bosun's Locker in my post about steam bending and commented " No doubt full of rigging and other (nefarious?) tools of the trade" sadly all too true.

I currently share my home office with two sets of sails,all the bunk cushions which are nice and dry and safe from the dreaded mould, plus the accumulated electrical devices, compasses, binoculars, charts and other nautical paraphernalia kept safe and dry over winter, roll on the new season.

Saturday 14 January 2012


The nights are ever so gradually staring to draw out, spring will be on the way before you know it.

But occasionally you stop and notice that winter has a beauty all of its own.

Thursday 12 January 2012


This small seaside town is only about 30 miles away along the coast, but as we walked along the shingle beach I realised that it had been thirty five years since I’d last visited. In the long hot summer of 1976 we had finished our A level exams and a those of us with cars or motorbikes would drive down the sixty odd miles from west London and camp in the sand dunes which lie to the west of the river Arun.

Today a golf course extends right to the coast, leaving just a small strip of dunes, some of which is fenced off in the name of nature protection.

The the river Arun runs past the town, where opposite a couple of marinas occupy the west bank and then out into the sea setting up very strong currents.This yacht was making slow and bumpy progress against the ebbing tide, but eventually made it past the breakwater and out into the open sea.

The yacht in question looks like a Trident 24 these boats were built between 1960 and 1980 by Marcon Marine to a design by Alan Hill.

Friday 6 January 2012


After the gales of the past week it's nice to reflect that things aren't always so rough as these few boats left afloat for the winter on a very quiet Lymington river just a couple of weeks ago show.

  The fishing fleet too was in port, the boats left secured to their moorings, the crew ashore, the machinery silent.

And down in the marina things were much the same.

Monday 2 January 2012

Classic Motorboat

I don't know much about this boat or her history other than having admired her on the river. If we ever give up sailing this is the type of boat I'd like to have, seaworthy, with a comfortable wheelhouse she could be used all year round, especially so if she was fitted with a roaring stove below decks.

Continuing a theme from an earlier post it could also be an ideal weekend retreat, great views form the wheelhouse saloon. Since a wooden boat is better left in the water, it could be in use all year round with just a couple of weeks ashore for a paint and a scrub.

Some one has obviously taken great care and pride in this boat, with details like the varnished dinghy arranged on davits with contrasting white paint below the waterline to match the main hull colours.