Monday 30 November 2015

Clinker dinghy

Every time we walk past the marina at Lymington I can't help but be attracted to this varnished dinghy which may or may not be a Yachting World Dayboat

I know there are more modern, lighter, faster and probably more exciting boats to sail, but I just love these older dinghies, a bit like a classic British sports car, they don't actually go that fast they just feel like they are.

Saturday 28 November 2015

Clever storage

What do you do when the spars and oars are too long to be stored down below as on this Drascombe Coaster?

Some lateral thinking, quick bit of woodwork and you have a very elegant solution.

Thursday 26 November 2015

Holiday weekend

I got an email about Thanksgiving which said " It is a simple concept- take time off to spend with family and friends, share a meal and reflect on our blessings."

It's a shame we don't really have a similar and such thoughtful day in England other than Christmas, although our retailers are rapidly adopting the other aspect Black Friday.

We definitely won't be scouring the shops tomorrow as Erica has a major birthday (ending in a zero), so we're off to Fowey for the weekend with a couple of friends, staying in the posh hotel at the top of the hill, (almost hidden by the trees) to celebrate.

Equally it's a chance to reflect on the past 20 years that we've been together, the wonderful things we've done together and how being together has enriched my life.

Wednesday 25 November 2015

Museum of Modern Art

I was in New York a few weeks ago on business, unusually I managed to get a couple of hours off early one evening and took the opportunity to go the Museum of Modern Art.

I haven't spent any time in a serious art gallery since my student days when we spent a couple of weeks in Paris visiting all the modernist galleries - Pause for jokes about those were they days before Van Gogh cut his ear off.

Anyway while it was exciting to see the Warhol's, Picasso's  Cezanne's, Mondrian's, Monet's in real life, the two pictures which really caught my attention were these by George Serurat (at least I'm pretty sure they are but the photo's are such poor quality I can't read the title cards).

Georges-Pierre Seurat was a post impressionist, developing pointillism, most famously in his picture  "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte."

What I find interesting and exciting about these much more simple views of  the channel coast is the way they so exactly capture the atmosphere and the similarity to our own piece of coast line. The top one while undoubtedly of France, could so easily be Hill Head or Lee on Solent near here a hundred years ago.

Monday 23 November 2015

Thunder clouds

The first cold weather of the year this weekend reminded me that things were quite different not very long ago, as summer turned to autumn.

With some heavy black thunderclouds rolling in from the southeast, the owner of this folk boat might be quite pleased to have the mast unstepped early ready for winter.

Saturday 21 November 2015

East Light of Emsworth

Pulled up on the town quay at Emsworth, Eastern Light has the look of a traditional local boat.

Sadly there was no one around to get more details from.

Looks like a great boat for exploring Chichester harbour and seaworthy enough to venture out and beyond the entrance.

Thursday 19 November 2015

Cobble Salacia

The distinctive cobble shape immediately set this boat aside from the other mostly working boats in Dartmouth's small inner harbour.

The pronounced tumble home at the transom can be seen very clearly as can the hollow forefoot, I wasn't about to wade around in the mud to get a better look.

From what I could see Salacia appeared to be glass fiber construction, length I'm guessing around 16 feet, maybe less.  A nice little boat for pottering around the estuary and a spot of fishing further afield.

Monday 16 November 2015

The wreck of Edmund Fitzgerald

I've been reminded by fellow blogger (now on Facebook) Soundbounder that it was November 1975, forty years ago that the the 729 feet LoA, Great Lakes freighter, the Edmund Fitzgerald sank with the loss of all crew. The tragedy was commemorated by Gordon Lightfoot in a song of the same name.

It's one of those things in life that has stuck with me, even though it took place half way around the world. I can clearly remember when I first heard the song, it must have been October or maybe early November 1976, I was painting a cartoon of the Hobbit Bilbo Baggins for a girlfriend, well it was the 70's. One of the Radio 1 Saturday morning DJ's played US releases and chose the song from Lightfoot's Summertime Dream album.

Fast forward 35 years and we saw some of these huge vessels while on holiday on Lake Huron and got to really appreciate the scale and beauty of those vast freshwater lakes. All the pictures here are of lake freighters approaching the St Clair river which joins Huron and Erie.

In the words of the song "the ship was the pride of the American side" so it's no surprise that there are a number of events to mark the event.

If you haven't heard it, here's the song.

Saturday 14 November 2015

Eastney Houseboats

One of the interesting houseboats down at Eastney looking over Langston Harbour.

 The area is out of the way and sort of forgotten, which is a large part of it’s charm, but I can’t help feeling that some developer or other will be planning waterfront apartments or similar, which would be a real shame

Not quite sure where the house ends and the boat starts on this one, but I'm sure it makes a nice weekend retreat.

Thursday 12 November 2015

Super yacht tender goes Star Wars

It must be the influence of the forthcoming The Force Awakens, but I seem to be seeing storm trooper design influence everywhere.

While passing our local builders who specialise in tenders for super yachts I spotted this, which might be unkindly described as an aquatic version of the Range Rover Evoque, but who knows it equally might be appearing in the film when it opens in Decmber.

Hmm, strong the force is,  in this one

Wednesday 11 November 2015

Lest we forget

The village centre at nearby Stubbington was crowded for the Armistice Day ceremony on Sunday to remember all those who served and fought, and those who still do, in defence of our freedom.

Several local Scout and Guide troops marched to square, including the younger members Cubs, Brownies and Beavers.

It was heartening to see some many people joined together in remembrance of all of those to whom we owe our thanks. The sign on the shop in the top picture says it all.

Tuesday 10 November 2015

Panorama views

I'm quite taken by the capability of our new Fuji XP camera to use some clever software to take panoramic shots like these.




click to view larger images

Saturday 7 November 2015

Stopping for rest

This catamaran sailor looks relaxed taking a rest on the Bramble Bank  in the middle of the Solent at low water springs.

More than a few boats have stopped there unintentionally.

Thursday 5 November 2015

Scoot over to the Isle of Wight

Scoot is a new ferry service between Lymington and Yarmouth at the western end of the Solent. Seen here disembarking passengers at the town quay in Lymington from one of the purpose built craft based on an offshore wind industry work boat hull.


What's really exciting is that Scoot will shortly introduce a service from Hamble to Cowes which will make getting over to the Isle of Wight much easier and to make it even better bicycles go free, so perfect for a day touring the island.

The Hamble is due to start before next spring, pretty mush as soon as the new boat is ready. Looking forward to it.

Sunday 1 November 2015

El Camino - Chemin de Saint Jacques de Compostelle

One of the ancient pilgrim routes to Santiago de Compostela in Northern Spain runs past Aubazine, so we set out to explore the path where it leads to a nearby peak at Puy de Pauliac.

It was very humbling to walk along a path that pilgrims used 1000 years ago and which probably hasn't changed much across all those years, leading through woods which are almost totally chestnut trees, we walked through fallen leaves,  chestnuts crunching beneath our feet.

Occasionally stone cairns marked the route as it rose to higher ground.

We were trying to figure out why the pilgrims had bothered to climb to the top of the Puy when they might more easily have followed the contour line and saved the ascent, but when we arrived at the summit it became clear the view was awe inspiring, with views across the surrounding hills of the Limosin, Dordogne, Auvergne and Lot regions.

Erica has been talking about walking the El Camino for some time, we've been trying to figure out how to she can do it around all the other commitments we have.