Sunday 31 December 2017

Happy New Year

2018 as the sun rises on a new dawn, of a new day, of a new year what are you going to do with the forthcoming year ahead?

Not that I actually made any, but I'd be determined to break any new year resolutions by the end of the day and get on with enjoying life, time with family and friends, the sun setting over the western horizon and both the challenges and joy of this fantastic world we live in - have a great 2018.

Wednesday 27 December 2017

Beautiful Morning

What a fantastic start to the day, recent early morning run at first light, light frost and a clear pink sky

I probably over egged the hue enhancement in the photo editor,but it really did look something like this.

Sunday 24 December 2017

Winter wonderland on Thames

I guess it makes a nice change from sand castles. Not quite sure what it was, sort of a winter palace with trees and gardens maybe, I was in a rush and didn't have time to read the signs.

Very impressive and very seasonal - getting out on the beach making sand sculptures is perhaps not the first thing I'd think about on a cold December morning.

Friday 22 December 2017

Adventure of an old Seadog

We've been following the "Adventures of an old Seadog" on youtube, which is one of the better sailing vlogs, but more importantly for us it's bit of a trip down memory lane as he visits many of the places that are familiar from our Atlantic circuit on Blue Clipper 20 years ago


It was late afternoon on 22nd December 1997 that Erica and I made landfall in Barbados 21 days after departure from Banjul in Gambia, arriving in Bridgetown just in time for Christmas carols and palm trees what a great combination

Barry the Seadog in question has recently been in Bonaire and Curacao to the north of Venezuela if you are catching up on recent programs.

If I don't write anything in the next couple of days have a great Christmas where ever you are.

Monday 18 December 2017

Waiting the tide

On a clear and blustery Sunday morning there was quite a lot of shipping anchored off the eastern end of the Isle of Wight.

We don't seem to get down that end of the Solent so often which is a shame, must try harder.

Friday 15 December 2017


A gate beside the Marie (town hall) in Luc Sur Mer, leads to a little park and a whale museum with the preserved and complete skeleton of  a blue whale.

From what I can make out the whale washed up on the beach at Luc in January 1885 and was moved to it's current place in 1938.

In a great example of French community spirit the town has a celebration Les radeaux de la baleine (The Rafts of the Whale), there's also a local society called the Brotherhood of the Knights of the Whale of Luc - check out the pictures on the town site.

Photo courtesy of Temp Forts - Luc Sur Mer 

Monday 11 December 2017

Pier pressure

Joseph pointed out that he's never been on a peir . Being an enthusiastic eight year old his comments were more than little influenced by the attractions of the bright lights, arcade machines and the fairground.

Call me Mr Miserable I just don't like fairgrounds, theme parks and especially arcades, but what can you do. Despite being bombarded with over loud electronic noise, flashing lights Joseph had a good time and I remain convinced that piers are much better from a distance.

Friday 8 December 2017

Dartmouth Dinghies

Dartmouth is a busy harbour with mixed leisure and commercial activity, so not surprisingly there are more than a few working boats and dinghies to be seen. The boat on the left Salacia was seen on a previous visit and by the looks of thinks still actively worked.

Prawle Point is a headland 15 or so miles south of Dartmouth presumably after which this boat was named. She's very well kept and by the looks used often, making for a nice yacht tender or harbour launch.

If you're going to row get a boat like this, easily driven, stable and with good free-board, construction seemed to be fibreglass and based on a traditional hull shape.

For purely practical purposes you can do worse that a modern plastic dinghy, we had the use of one very similar to this a few years ago in Fowey, it was a bit heavy and slow, but stable and safe and of course easy to maintain.

Another traditional boat, at first sight it looked more like a Thames skiff and maybe it is, long and narrow it should be nice to row.

The way it was, this old clinker dinghy is sadly well past its working life, but looks right at home down on the old historic quay.

Monday 4 December 2017

Tractor launching

Using a tractor to launch off the beach is a great idea and is quite popular along the Normandy coast, but I have to wonder about corrosion from the seawater and the associated maintenance required.

This old tractor was going strong and still in daily use at Arromanches, closer inspection revealed the extent of corrosion - which hopefully looks a lot worse than it is.

Friday 1 December 2017

Dartmouth boats

Whenever we visit Dartmouth which is sadly all too rarely, there are always a few interesting boats to see and even at this late time in the year there were a few examples that caught my eye.

I know deep down that if I was going cruising then this ketch would be too big to handle and manage, but I really love this type of powerful offshore yacht.

Below may or may not be PAZIENZA, which if it is, was designed by Jack Laurent Giles and built at the Cantiere Navale V Beltrami in Genoa in 1956 - lovely.

Actually this was seen at Totnes, a deep keel and spade rudder isn't the traditional offshore cruising configuration, but time has proved the seaworthiness, speed and sailing capabilities of this configuration. I really like the purposeful look of this Hunter which I'm sure makes a great offshore boat with that hard dodger/doghouse, but I just think I'd like a bit more boat in the water.

My second favourite of the Cornish Crabber boats (my favourite being the Cornish Cormorant Tosh ) is the pilot cutter below looking every bit the west country boat.