Wednesday 31 December 2014

The last post 2014

Here's hoping that 2014 was everything that it promised to be a year ago.

Have a great new year and here's wishing you well for whatever endeavors you pursue in 2015

Monday 29 December 2014

Low down on barges

Low water, on a late autumn morning the view from a small rowing boat gives an interesting perspective on some of the barges on the river.

Unlike the east coast the Solent is not renowned for mud, but there was enough to leave these barge/houseboats high and dry in Saltern's creek.

Slightly down stream at Mercury this one was afloat a;ongside the pontoon, even with the bowsprit pulled up I hate to think what the mooring charges are.

One of the other nearby marina's have just cleared the last three houseboats from the pontoon, Currently the spaces are empty but I wonder if some redevelopment is planned.

Saturday 27 December 2014

All points north

Matilda Emile our First 21 was sold and traveled by trailer to her new base in Scarborough during November.

She's been a great little boat and I'm sure the new owner will have lots of fun sailing her.  If you're up that way the owner is a member of the Scarborough YC and plans to race her in the the club's North Sea race. Now renamed Valkyre before she went back in the water she had a good polish and some paint, I especially like the gold cove stripe and the Christmas tree.

Of course this leaves us with the dilemma of what next? Quite apart from having no idea, I did quick tot up of the remaining Bursledon fleet and got to 10 (including the herb boat) and not forgetting that Joseph will most likely be needing an Opi soon.

Thursday 25 December 2014

Have a very Merry Christmas

Must have been difficult landing his reindeer on that, maybe that's why it's called a flying bridge.

Wednesday 24 December 2014

T'was the nigh before Christmas

Actually this looks more like a left over from Halloween..

It's got to be one of the strangest Christmas decoration ever.

Tuesday 23 December 2014

Motor boat design

I confess to not really being in tune with modern yacht and motorboat design, but I know enough to think that this is maybe probably cutting edge in fast launch styling.

I was out for a lunch time run passing through the local marina and spotted a photo session of this fast motor boat, maybe a modern interpretation of what was called a commuter boat in the US.

The hull form is interesting with those fine bows flowing back to a hard chine which should provide stability. As for the styling, well it's certainly contemporary in the Range Rover Evoque, Star Wars storm trooper look. Hang on a minute didn't Star wars some out in 1977 when people still thought flared trousers were cool?

And don't those gull wing doors look strangely familiar?  It all seems a far cry from the Bauhaus mantra "form follows function" but I have to say I quite like it's post modernist, dynamic metaphor.

I hope the photographer managed to get some better shots than me and that you enjoyed this bit of ironic banter.

Monday 22 December 2014

Pink Boats

What can I say I like pink boats, especially this one.

Maybe I'm getting in touch with my feminine side?

Sunday 21 December 2014

Coffee Shop

Just down the river one of our local marinas had a great little coffee shop, it was a take away but there were seats outside and it was a perfect stopping off spot for walkers taking the river path between Warsash and Swanwick.

Back at the start of the season it closed and a new upmarket restaurant opened, and by all accounts it's very good, but not really the sort of place you'd go to for a tea break while anti fouling the boat or out for a stroll with muddy shoes.

Fortunately the operators have figured that they are serving two different markets and the Coffee 8 shop is back open for snacks and drinks.

Friday 19 December 2014

Around the world Laser

No this isn't about the latest record attempt, the laser in question most probably sailed in some exotic locations when it traveled around the world aboard HMS Illustrious.

It's certainly well traveled and even if it wasn't under it's own sails most of the time it's a boat with a unique history.

Looking a bit sad and neglected it's up for sale, I have the phone number of the seller if anyone's interested.

Tuesday 16 December 2014

London Lights

We took Joseph up to London to see a few of the Christmas sights and lights. Joseph was very determined to see Big Ben and the House of Parliament, back in November at school they'd been learning about Guy Fawkes and the gunpowder plot, the sort of history subject that fascinates five year olds.

The organised queue outside Westminster Abbey was just too much so we went into the adjacent and delightful St Margaret's Church where and there was an organ recital. I reluctantly complied with the no photography signs, but if you visit, the stained glass windows on the east side depict the funeral of Admiral Robert Blake 1657 with the most detailed and exquisite depiction of the Thames and Westminster Abbey.

A little later in Trafalgar Square, Joseph was showing no interest in the giant blue chicken,  rather he was treating our most famous monument as a playground along with the other kids.

The winter market in the South bank was great and Joseph watched fascinated as a street performer lay on a bed of nails in Covent Garden.

As it stared to get dark we walked up through Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus to see the lights in Regent Street. It was very, very crowded and the lights were really underwhelming. The most disappointing visit was Hamley's the world famous toy shop which was manically crowded, run down and had five floors of mostly tat, I know it's been about 50 years since I went there as a child but I remember it being very different, even Joseph wasn't that interested.

On the way back we got off the tube (another exciting first for Joseph) at Embankment and walked across the bridge to see a terrific view of the lights on the South bank, where we stopped off for a glass of mulled wine before catching the train home

Sunday 14 December 2014

Cold Bursledon morning

By the time it got light and I dragged myself out of the house it was after 8.00 AM so not an especially early morning run, but with clear skies all night the ground was covered in a white frost.

Light rain was predicted and sure enough as I write this back at home with my morning coffee it's just started a light drizzle which is washing the frost away.

The past few weeks at work have been crazy, 16 hour days and even two all night'ers, so the opportunity to get out, slow down and feel in touch with the surroundings is wonderful, I think in Zen it's called mindfulness, taking time to experience and appreciate all the things around  you, family , our home, the changing river, winter wildlife, the pale lemon yellow winter sun starting to show through the trees, the hot warming coffee after the exertion of the run: a continuous, clear awareness of the present moment.

Saturday 13 December 2014

Did we get weather bombed?

It was windy through Thursday night and Friday morning, rain was lashing the windows and rattling the slates on the roof, even though we're tucked in the lee of a hill and a row of majestic chestnut trees for protection.

Gusts were consistently 50knots and above, it was definitely a nigh for staying in and the last place I'd want to be is out at sea. But weather bomb? Where did that phrase come from? More like the sort of winter weather you expect on the coast when a big winter depression comes through.

Friday 12 December 2014

Bursledon brick works - winter open day

The heritage museum which is the old Bursledon brick works  site had a pre Christmas winter open day, the weather was fine and surprisingly warm hitting 12 degrees in the midday sunshine.

It's been 2 years since we visited and the program of open day events has clearly become popular judging by the visitor numbers. There was a good turn out of steam engines, stream rollers and traction engines including the lovely Katrina above.

The Hampshire Narrow Gauge trust were running Wendy their full size narrow gauge steam engine on the "main line" and hauling packed trips on the miniature 7.5" gauge with live steam.

There was a selection of immaculately restored stationary engines, including this one running the "magic tap".

The museum is very much work in progress, recording the local industrial archaeology, there's lots of interesting rescued equipment waiting to be restored. One of my favorites is the Kibbler, there was no explanation as to it's purpose, but it's clearly powerful and what a great name.

Wednesday 10 December 2014

Norwalk Island Shaprie - Bella

I've been intrigued by the Norwalk island Sharpies for a long time, designed by Bruce Kirby perhaps better known for his Laser design. Apparently the Norwalk Islands Sharpies are evolved from  American east coast working boats which needed to be fast, safe, economical, and easily handled,
 could go out in all weathers gathering oysters and then run breaking bars to get the catches to market as early as possible. The boats were all more or less flat bottomed, vee sided and unstayed cat ketch rigged.

The modern epoxy ply boats are lightly built and some are fitted with carbon fiber masts.while the type evolved for speed in shallow water there have been some remarkable deep water voyages most famously Robert Ayliffe's crossing of the Bass Straight in his NIS 23 Charlie Fisher.

Fast, easy to handle and shoal draft, sounds like a great cruising boat for the waters of the Solent especially if you want to get away from the crowds with their deep keels.

Norwalk Island Sharies are few and far between in the UK, but Bella has been on the river for a two or three years. If the owners are readers I'd love the opportunity to see how one sails, if you need a crew one afternoon drop me an email.

Tuesday 9 December 2014

Blogger Challenge

A box arrived by carrier, it's dimensions 9" tall, 7" wide and 4" deep, neither of us could think what we had ordered online that would fit those dimensions, what could it be?

Can you guess or maybe you have already received one?

Saturday 6 December 2014

Winter Sun

The cold snap brought with it clear skies, morning frost and a beautiful Saturday morning.

After an exhausting week we still managed to get up early and drive through the frosty New Forest to Lymington where we had breakfast and exceptionally good hot chocolate. Down at the slipway a fleet of Opi's were getting ready at Lymington Town sailing Club and looking great in the sunshine

There was even a pair of SCOWs rigged and ready to sail over at the Royal Lymington YC, great sail colours.

Friday 5 December 2014

Good place to keep the dinghy

Keeping the inflatable covered to avoid damage to the fabric from ultraviolet rays is probably a good idea in the harsh Caribbean sun, not sure that keeping it afloat all the time is all that good idea though, I might be tempted to keep it on deck, there's certainly enough space.

Tuesday 2 December 2014

River debris

It wasn't an especially low tide, but it was enough to uncover the huge amount of debris and rubbish that's ended up in the river - shocking.