Saturday 29 November 2014

Fresh air and lifted spirits

As Tillerman pointed out my post last weeeknd about the weather was a little depressing, so for the first time in a few weeks Saturday morning dawned well if not bright but at least fine and dry I grabbed the opportunity to go for an early morning row.

The water was like a mirror with just the lightest breath of wind starting to ripple the water out in the middle of the river.

Gradually the sun started to rise over the trees on the eastern shore lending a yellow light to the scene.

It's been a long few weeks at work but rowing a few miles in the early morning blew away the cobwebs, I pulled the boat back up the hill feeling fit and hungry ready for breakfast.

Thursday 27 November 2014

West Country day boats

Down among the moorings in Falmouth and going all the way up to Penryn there are normally some interesting day boats. The challenge is getting a clear view from quay.

Above the small raised coach roof is an interesting feature, presumably it provides some dry and secure storage or maybe even a couple of berths and somewhere to cook. The profile certainly compliments the overall look of the boat.

A classic west country boat, well to my mind at least, I really like the colour scheme, the grey and white really sets off the varnished coaming and that sheer rising up to the bowsprit. This was my favorite by a long margin.

 A beautiful pea green boat, as the poem goes, looking well cared for and ready to go. Guessing that she's either an open mayfly Oysetercatcher 16 or one of the Heard boats built at nearby Mylor.

Plumb stem and transom, this has the look of a working boat, intuitively it seems too small for a quay punt.

I've written about this one before sadly in need of some tlc and attention, but a fine looking boat. On the day the bilges were dry and clean and there was evidence that someone had been down recently to clear out the rainwater and scrub the bottom boards. Lets hope they have plans to restore her.

Sunday 23 November 2014

Another wet and dreary weekend

It was only just over a month ago that I took this picture, since then the clocks have gone back, its dark going out in the mornings, it's dark coming home at night and the weekends seem to be grey and drizzly.

Maybe it just seems that way or perhaps I'm suffering from sunlight deficiency syndrome.

Friday 21 November 2014

The Black Pig

Captain Horatio Pugwash and his crew; Master Mate, Pirates Barnabas, Willy and Tom the Cabin Boy may have given up their television career in 1967, but their notoriety continues, not least due to some dubious and totally false urban myths which originated in the 1990's claiming sexual connotations based on a risque distortion of the character's names.

 Of course the truth is that the good captain and crew retired to run a dredging operation in Christchurch harbour.

I wonder what happened to the Captain's mortal enemy Cut Throat Jake?

Tuesday 18 November 2014

Weekend weather

While we didn't get the spectacular low sun and colours of the previous weekend, the moody, changing sky brought a little breeze which meant the racers had a better time of things.

On Sunday the sea was flat and grey/green with around 5 to 8 knots of wind, a little light but the fleet was moving along pretty well.

With Matilda Emilie sold and Tosh up on blocks while I do some well overdue maintenance and repair to her trailer I'm starting to get withdrawal symptoms, I clearly need to get out on the water.

Sunday 16 November 2014

Hall Walk

We're fortunate having visited Fowey so many times we have explored most of the local paths and byways but this is our favorite.

Starting in the town we caught the Bodinnick ferry across the river to start our walk. The walk can be done the other way around in which case the Old Ferry Inn makes a nice stop at the end of the walk especially if you time things to arrive for lunch.

 From Bodinnick you rise quickly and follow the foot path and National Trust signs which explain that the path was donated by a local land owner. There is a memorial to the towns people who fought and died in the two world wars with a view back across the river.

Following the path you reach the head of Pont Pill the creek which leads east from Fowey. It's a fantastic viewpoint looking south toward Polruan, Gribbon Head (the day mark tower can be seen on the headland on the right) and away across St Austell bay.

The path dips and rises but stays more or less on the top all the way to the top of the creek. I get confused and can never remember if it's Pill Creek or Pont Creek, the name Pont Pill seems to refer to the bridge (Pont) at the  top of the creek.

Below moorings at the river end of the creek, further up it dries so there are only a few boats which can take the ground.

Low water at the top of the creek, the path descends quickly down to Pont Pill, there is an old dock, a couple of houses and the remains of lime kilns. Very quiet and a good place to stop for a break.

Leaving Pont Pill the path rises quickly again and you're soon walking along the top with views along the creek and across the river to Fowey.

There has been a land slip recently so the path was diverted but the end of the walk is the same, Polruan the smaller village on the opposite shore to Fowey. There are a couple of cafes and the Lugger pub which used to have a reputation for great fish and chips, I haven't been for a few years hopefully things are still the same.

If you're still feeling energetic Polruam is worth exploring, go down to the castle and up to the old coast guard watch station. When you're ready go down to the quay and catch the ferry back to Fowey and take the opportunity to get a waterside view of some of the interesting buildings in the town.

Map My walk clocked the distance at 8km which included the ferry rides. If you're down in Cornwall I hope you find this useful. For those a little further away hopefully you enjoyed the views.

Friday 14 November 2014

Water Lily

Water Lily seen over at Chichester Marina no background and no one around to ask.

Tuesday 11 November 2014

November 11th

A German colleague recently asked me why England was "celebrating" the centenary of WW1. I explained that it wasn't a celebration, that is very much the wrong word and perhaps his misunderstanding was due to a bad translation.

One hundred years on it is important to recall the events that plunged the world into such dreadful conflict and sacrifice, and to honour those on both sides.

As time goes by keeping that memory alive becomes more difficult, Harry Patch - Britain's last fighting Tommy having fought in the battle of Passchendaele in 1917, died in 2009 aged 111.

My grandfather also served in WW1 and when I was very young I can recall him attending the local Cenotaph in his best suit and  wearing his polished medals every year until he died in 1968.

Like many I haven't been able to get to see the Poppies at the Tower of London, but we remember the events and the lives they commemorate and the significance of keeping that memory alive.

Our thoughts and gratitude go out to all those who have served and fought to protect our country and our way of life.

Monday 10 November 2014

Autumn colours

Well  maybe not the traditional colours we expect but Sunday morning was such a spectacular break in the recent weather.

On the Hamble the pink ferry was joined by the yellow taxi in a blaze of colour. To the left of the picture our local swans and their three signets.

Down at Hill Head the contrast between sea and shore was remarkable.

Alas the clear blue skies contained all too little breeze, the local fleet waited for the start with little promise of a race. Later we saw spinnakers in the distance so I guess they got a race in even if it was a short course.

Sunday 9 November 2014

High Water Saturday

We took the path up and around the hill and then back down to the cafe at Universal marina for a late breakfast stop intending to walk home along the river.

We'd forgotten about the spectacular full moon the night before and to give any thought to the time for high water, but it was pretty obvious when we got to the river. The river path was flooded and impassable in both directions.

Interestingly the oak trees which grow right down to the normal HW mark got a salt water bath, but they do seem to be remarkably resilient.

Friday 7 November 2014


I had a request for some more information about the motor boat I'd written about in Rorschach Test, so while I was down at Hamble Point I took a few more pictures.

A quick google reveals that she's a Bladerunner 51 - the publicity material describers her, "Finished with the silver hull, she looks fast even without her engines switched on! Surprisingly practical layout and design features enhance her enjoyability whether relaxing onboard or exploring the handling capabilities that this race proven design has to offer"

If you're interested there's one for sale on for $750k, hopefully that one has both propellers.

Tuesday 4 November 2014

Fishermans causeway

I've written about Fisherman's Walk previously, a 340m long causeway snaking from Emsworth out across Chichester harbour to a spot called Fowley Rithe pointing out towards but not reaching Fowley island. The causeway appears to have been constructed between 1826 and 1848 seems to be linked to the oyster industry as mid Victorian maps show oyster beds at the northern end.

Of course when the tide comes in and provided you know where you're going the causeway still offers undisturbed fishing, no comments about Fisherman's Wade being a better name.

Saturday 1 November 2014


Sometimes it's all too easy to take things for granted, or maybe it's because work is so frantic I don't get the chance to look out of the window very often, but I did manage to snap a few pictures with the new phone I got back at the start of summer.

While the view in the background will be familiar with anyone who walks the south bank next to the national theatre, checkout the beach in the foreground. Normally the river runs fast and opaque along this stretch and it's only revealed during big spring tides.

Not sure what this was about but it seemed to be the gondola of an airship that had become attached to the top of the National Theatre, I have to say it looks great.

Just down stream on the Embankment side of the river is WW 1 warship HMS President which has been painted in "dazzle camouflage" to commemorate the centenary of the first world war. It was so dazzling I forgot to hold the phone upright.

Books about town has been a fantastic feature of the summary around London, 50 benches designed by local artists and famous names. This one predictably outside the Globe Theatre.

And of course no visit to London would have been complete without seeing the giant Hippo.

Designed by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman who was hoping ‘to give members of the public a break from their daily routines, to inspire conversation and to cause astonishment.’