Friday 29 January 2016

Local Knowledge

I was able to help out fellow blogger Tillerman recently having spotted the Cowes Hammerhead crane in an old sailing photo of him from back in the 1980's. For anyone who's traveled up the Median river from  Cowes, the crane (sometimes called Souter's crane correctly or not) will be a familiar land mark.

The character of the river changes markedly above the chain ferry which runs between west and east Cowes. Upriver the river frontage is still largely industrial although the seemingly inevitable waterside flats have taken a firm hold. Downriver the entrance still has it's classic, even aristocratic elegance down past the promenade to the Royal Yacht Squadron.

Tuesday 26 January 2016

Morgan Giles Fleet

I spotted these two Morgan Giles 43's a while ago when they were in the hard getting prepared for the season, so it was nice to see them on the water down by the lock gates at Chichester Marina.

The three boats are Gryphis, Pegasus and Leopard are operated as sail training boats, continuing their origin as Royal navy yachts.

It's great to see all three together and in such great condition, especially after seeing them part way through restoration the previous year

As a result of my earlier post I received an email from Ed Hughes who sails a Robert Tucker Silhouette - Misty

Ed writes, "I was browsing though some old photos including a couple taken during my naval training at BRNC Dartmouth in the early 1960s and came across the attached. On the tender is the yacht's name "Gryphis" and it was taken during a trip across the Channel in 1962; not much wind as I recall but it looks as though my efforts in the galley met with a mixed reception".

"Each division at the College had its own MG 43 yacht and Gryphis belonged to 'our' Grenville Division. Imagine my surprise when I Googled her name to find that she was not only still around but in excellent condition and with an assured future ahead".

Thanks to Ed for sharing a real piece of history.

Saturday 23 January 2016

Old and New

Since the early 1980's the Cornish Shrimper has been the classic day boat and weekender for pottering around the estuaries and coastal sailing. With numbers over the 1000 built it's a successful and very fetching little boat.

All of which makes it a hard act to follow, so all praise to the folks down at Cornish Crabbers who have released a new larger version and appear to have left the original one updated but essentially the same boat we know and love.

It was quite handy to see  the boats side by side recently down at Hamble Point. Above not a new boat but immediately recognisable, a true classic.

The new boat is slightly larger at 21 feet, and I'm sure the additional space will be welcome. But nice as it is it, to me at least it just doesn't have the simplicity and elegance of the original. 

It will be interesting to see if Crabbers can retain both boats in their range, I certainly hope so.

Thursday 21 January 2016

Bridge Under Troubled Waters

The footpath across Hamble Common floods quite often at high water springs, but I don't think I've ever seen it this high.

Monday 18 January 2016


With a crisp and clear morning in prospect we set off for breakfast in Lymington, lovey driving through the New Forest with frost still on the ground and mist rising in the bright early sunshine.

Following breakfast and a walk around the market we headed out to Keyhaven and the Hurst Spit.

Clear skies, fresh sea air and sun on the water, doesn't get much better.

Saturday 16 January 2016

Too many boats

Fellow blogger My2Sfish recently asked "How many is too many" boats? To which my reply was you can't have too many boats but I'm gonna need a bigger garage.

And here's the problem, if you look closely you can see 9 including the windsurfer, plus there's another 3 out in the back garden including the herb dinghy and another inflatable stashed away somewhere.

A while ago Dylan Winter of Keep Turning  Left fame described a serious condition Poly Navicular Morbus  more commonly called "too many boats disease".

At the time we had:

Matilda Emilie - First 210 21.5 feet
Poppy - Pram dinghy can't remember the design 7 feet 6 inches
Gato Negro - self designed rowing skiff   15 feet 4 inches
Lollipop - Solent SCOW - 11 feet 4 inches
Tosh - Cornish Cormorant 12 feet 3 inches
Inflatables -  3 off  x 8 feet each = 24 feet
Blue tender - unknown rowing dinghy 7 feet 9 inches
Jospeh's cradle boat  - OK stretching things a little but a real boat none the less at 4 feet
Herb dinghy  - planted up in the garden, could be brought back to use at the cost of a few plants 8 feet
2 kayaks - one single, one double 23 feet in total

I make that 136 feet and 8 inches of boat which put us in the serious, bordering on chronic category according to Dr Winter.

Fortunately help was at hand and now having sold a couple of boats including Matilda we thought we were we're on the slow road to recovery, but then the Oppi and the windsurfer turned up and I've just seen an interesting boat on ebay......

Thursday 14 January 2016

Sunday 10 January 2016

Emsworth Winter Views

A friend's boat on the mud at Dolphin Quay, the subject of a controversial development application. Wooden boat specialist Tim Gilmore was forced off the site which was the last remaining boat building site in the town.

More interesting classics alongside the pontoon.

The incoming tide just making around the wall at the town quay, looking out over the moorings.

The mill pond with Chichester harbour just visible in the background

Wednesday 6 January 2016

Summer days - Lasers on Wolfgangsee

Last summer up in the Austrian mountains, we stumbled upon a Laser regatta at the Union Yacht Club on Wolfgangsee near Salzburg.

It was a great location, the club looked modern and had good access to the lake. The sailors seemed to be a friendly crew.

I can't think of a much better way to spend a weekend, sailing in glorious surroundings which got me wondering about getting into a racing class. There's plenty to choose from and Joseph is growing up quickly so it might be a good way to spend time together.

The big problem is deciding on a racing class and actually learning to race properly.

Saturday 2 January 2016

Can you feel the Force

Fortunately we didn't see this video before Christmas or this might have been on Joseph's wish list to Santa.

Some very clever folks at IBM just down the road in Winchester, who admittedly aren't quite raising star-fighters out of swamps have developed mind controlled robotics.