Friday 29 June 2018

Big Birthday

I've just had a big birthday - one ending in a zero and frankly I was a bit humbug about the whole prospect, but Erica surprised me with a fantastic weekend away in Fowey. I've written about Fowey several times it's one of my favourite places in England.In case you missed those posts here are some pics.

If that wasn't a good enough birthday present, Erica had contacted  Marcus Lewis the Captain  of the Troy Class, the one design local day boat, who agreed to take me for a sail. I've met Marcus before he's a local boat builder who has both restored and built Troy's.

On Saturday afternoon we watched the racing from the Royal Fowey YC racing box where Marcus was race officer for the crew race, where the regular crew and helm swap roles. It was great to get a grandstand view and see what was a really tight and exciting finish.

On Sunday Marcus took us out to his boat, we stopped off along the way to fix the steering on his friend's tender, it would have been nice to be of more help than just passing tools but when you're with a professional it's best to keep out of the way.

Marcus at the helm getting under way as we leave the moorings, he's hugely experienced and knows his boat so well it was really good to to be sailing with him.

We sailed out of the river but wind died as we lost the onshore breeze, so turned and hoisted the spinnaker for a run up river to the creek at Mixtow and then beat back. The boat was all that I had hoped it would be, a delight to sail, responsive, straight tracking and with generous sail area great in the light winds.

All in all I couldn't have wished for a better birthday present added to which the weather was fantastic. Huge thanks to Marcus and Erica for organising it.

If only Fowey wasn't a four hour drive away, I would be racing one every weekend.

Still life

Early morning run, not a breath of wind nor anyone around.

Monday 25 June 2018

Keyhaven Lake

Actually there's Keyhaven Lake, Mount Lake and Hawkers's Lake which stretch from the village and out to Hurst Castle, shallow salt marsh and channels protected by the shingle spit.

The deep channels are good for moorings and a protected place for a quite sail.

Kayaks are great for exploring the tiny channels, inaccessible by boat of foot, but only at high water.

There are a few interesting boats out in the moorings.

And some alongside the harbour wall, like this lovely and really well kept clinker dinghy.

This old fishing boat is the perfect characterisation but seems to have been neglected in recent years.

Looking back across the dinghy park to the two Sailing clubs, Keyhaven Yacht Club and Hurst Castle Sailing Club, both enjoy prime location and would be a great place to spend the weekend.

Friday 22 June 2018

Well Lane

An alleyway and steps lead down to Well Lane in Hamble, the wall apparently was built from stones recovered from a defence castle built by Henry VIII on Hamble common about a mile away.

You've been warned, don't leave empty castles lying around, the locals will steal them.

Monday 18 June 2018

Emsworth Classic

Perhaps not exactly what you expecting, but nice to see this parked up in the old Georgian town centre of Emsworth.

I'm assuming it's a 50's something (Chevy, Buick, Mercury ??) and it sure is a cool ride.

Named after El Nino the Pacific weather phenomenon which when it occurs preoccupies sailors across the Pacific, Caribbean and even further out in the Atlantic.

Friday 15 June 2018

Morning mist

At the western end of the Solent, Hurst Castle and in the distance the top of Tennyson Down on the Isle of Wight peering over the sea fog.

Erica and I planned to sail over to Yarmouth a few years ago, launching Tosh our Cornish Cormorant at Lymington in bright sunshine we headed out of the river to see a a similar bank of fog stretching all across the Solent, fortunately it cleared quickly and we made a quick and safe passage.

Monday 11 June 2018

Fine day down at Hurst

A fleet of  Terra's out for training, I made that joke about Joseph and his friends at our sailing club and got the blank "durr, Dad joke" response.

Local SCOW, tough little boats I need to get ours out more often.

The good weather has brought people out and it's getting busy down on the Keyhaven Quay.

Friday 8 June 2018

On the rocks

Familiarity and over confidence. I was slightly distracted by Joseph who was fishing from the stern, I also knew the old stone pier near Holly Hill extends a long way out, but it was high water, I wasn't really paying attention and so we crashed into a barely submerged rock going at a fair old lick which tore a hole about 10 inches long on the port side - ouch.

I planked Gato with 4mm ply which frankly wasn't the best quality, it was light, but 6mm would probably have been better.

Close up reveals the damage, we were lucky that the breech was contained and only flooded the first compartment, see below the buoyancy chamber is divided by a bulkhead about half way, which also seems to have provided more impact strength.

The hole after initial surgery, once I've tidied up the incision  a backing piece from 6mm ply will be epoxied to the inside and a piece of 4mm will go in the hole plus some more epoxy filler to smooth off before the paint.

 All in all could have been a lot worse.

Monday 4 June 2018

Local Protest

We cycled down King's Saltern Lane in Lymington recently and commented about all the potholes.

It seems like we're not the only ones.

Friday 1 June 2018


Sailing around the upper reaches of a wooded river on a fine afternoon in a classic wooden dinghy.

Just perfect.