Sunday 30 September 2012

If you went down to the woods..

well -  last weekend, you could have had one of Erica's chocolate cakes.

They were all gobbled up in short order at the Fun Time PreSchool fund raiser Teddy Bear's Picnic.

I fortunately managed to grab one before they left the kitchen.

Friday 28 September 2012

West Solent Scows

A small fleet were out down at Keyhaven recently, there are fleets at Keyhaven Yacht Club and the neighbouring Hurst Castle Sailing Club. Number 55 is a wooden clinker built, the yellow burgee is the give away it's a Keyhaven YC boat.

As declared by the KS on the sale, number 171 is very much a local boat - Keyhaven Scow. Although it has a clinker effect hull, it's a GRP built boat which have been made locally by West Solent Boat Builders since 1980.

This is one of the Cowes Scows, actually it's history is unknown but we spotted it just outside east Cowes marina and the name illiterates nicely.

Work on the Bursledon Scow restoration has been proceeding slowly of late, but I bought some nice pale cream paint for the interior and am trying to get it finished for late November if work, holidays and all the other things don't get in the way.

Tuesday 25 September 2012

News of the fight soon reached the Queen

In 1852 so the story goes, young Freddie Attrill was gathering shellfish on Osborne beach. Another boy came over and told Freddie to clear off, kicking his bucket over as he did so. Freddie stood his ground and gave the boy a good thump, only to be told by attendants rushing on the scene that he had just punched Albert Edward, Queen Victoria’s eldest son and heir to the throne.

The story goes that Freddie was summoned to Osborne House where the Queen rather than admonish the boy, praised  his courage and for standing up for himself, describing her son's behaviour as quite wrong. Depending on which story you believe he might have been given several guineas.

The event is commemorated by this relief on the wall of a house just off the Esplanade in East Cowes.

Friday 21 September 2012

Barge Racing

Hindeloopen is an old Frisian fishing port on the Ijsselmeer, today the fishing has disappeared and the town has reinvented itself  as a centre for yachting and tourism.

We visited the day before a weekend racing event for traditional Dutch barges and had the opportunity to see many of the competitors arriving and getting ready for the event.

The IJsselmeer was created in 1932 when the inland sea, then called the Zuiderzee, was closed by a 32 km dam, the Afsluitdijk, creating what is now a massive and relatively shallow  freshwater lake some 1100 square kilometres in area.

With no tide to worry about it was possible to anchor very close to the shore for a spot of maintenance or lunch.

Some of the more competitive crews were taking the opportunity to practice, this barge was very active raising and lowering the sales several times while we were there, which must have been exhausting.

We did get to see the racing highlights later on the local Friesland television channel, it was very competitive with around 20 boats racing and some heated after race debate which we didn't understand but looked all very good natured.

Tuesday 18 September 2012

Autumn Spring

With the equinox just around the corner there was a big spring tide at the weekend with over 4 meters range.

We had to walk the long way back around the saltings.

Saturday 15 September 2012

Solent Gaffers - Race & Rally

The Solent Old Gaffers annual race and rally started in Lymington finishing in Cowes with the boats assembling at the Island Harbour Marina. We didn't get to see the racing but we enjoyed views of the boats as they arrived or departed.

Below Miss Nighy is based on a Cara 16 dinghy which the owner converted into a lovely day sailor, I met him several years ago and he was astonished that I'd even heard of a Cara 16, let alone had a copy of an old Practical Boat Owner test report. Copies of the 1986 article are available from at £6.95 which seems a bit steep, you can always drop me an email I'm sure I still have it somewhere.

 Lack of planning and the fact that we have a modern triangular sail not to mention twin rudders meant we missed the event but it was great to see some many interesting boats in the river.

A Golant Gaffer (I think) heads out of the river to catch the tide.

Friday 14 September 2012

250,801 Today

I'm not much into following stats but I guess quarter of a million page views is a landmark.

Thanks every one who has stopped by and I hope you enjoyed reading my Bursledon musings.

Just to make sure you've been paying attention.  Anyone know what this is and what you might use it for?

Thursday 13 September 2012


With a perfect September weekend in prospect we took Matilda Emily over to Cowes, sadly the sailing on  Saturday wasn't up to much with very little wind, but it was nice to be away from home and experience the sea side atmosphere in Cowes.

The esplanade in East Cowes offers fantastic views of the Solent and the cruise ships which were heading out from Southampton as they sweep south of the Bramble Bank and close inshore. There's also a really good park, in which young children can play happily while dad gazes out at the passing boats and shipping.

With the summer moving into autumn the heat of the day was lost quickly as we made our way back to the marina and the boat. The Medina river entrance and opposite the Royal Yacht Squadron were starting to be cast in shadows and the sea took on that lovely twilight steely grey blue.

Finally casting a vivid spotlight in the still twilight.

Tuesday 11 September 2012

Steam Boat Kariat

Moored in Cowes Yacht Haven the steam boat Kariat.

She is clearly a working steam vessel rather than a polished museum piece as demostrated by these photos of her engine and coal fired boiler.

Her details are recorded on the Steam Yacht Association of  Great Britain, built as an open fast launch in 1897, she is a local boat designed and built across the Medina River at East Cowes by the Liquid Fuel Engineering Co. Ltd.

 LOA: 35', Beam: 6' 9". Carvel pitch pine on oak frames

Designed speed 12 knots.

Long and thin she looks lovely even in the restrictive environment of the marina, the Union Jack on the Columbine shed across the river (painted for Queen's Silver Jubilee celebrations in 1977) makes a fitting backdrop.

Thursday 6 September 2012


I've never really liked the expression - Keep It Simple is great but why Stupid? It seems unnecessarily disparaging. This boat however really had applied the first part of that expression to really good effect.

Based on a traditional open work boat, many of which were made of steel, powered by a small and simple inboard diesel at around 30 feet long this is a great boat for enjoying the rivers, canals and inland waterways in Holland.

With what looked like a car seat mounted at the stern to provide a comfortable helm from which to enjoy the passing scenery. There is something very appealing about camping afloat like this, you could just imagine waking up to a fine morning in some tranquil spot, bacon frying cup of tea - perfect.