Friday, 23 August 2019

Sunset on the mud

Unlike the east coast we don't have a huge amount of mud but occasionally at low water in the right conditions it all comes together.

Monday, 19 August 2019

Rum Runner

Spotted by friend Malcolm on the pontoon at Cowes, I always thought this type of boat was called a Baby Bootlegger

Judging by my internet search there are a lot of replicas around 30 feet. The original Baby Bootlegger was designed in 1924 by George Crouch and was a Gold Cup winner.

I presume this is a replica and apologies to the owner if it isn't, either way it's magnificent and immaculate. Plans are available so if you fancy building one and just happen to have a stock of mature mahogany safely stashed away

Friday, 16 August 2019


Evening sail as the last zephyrs die away at the end of a perfect summer day.

Will they make it back to the dock, do they even care, no wind, no tide it will be an easy paddle back.

Monday, 12 August 2019


Ex Morning Cloud. It's an appropriate name considering Ted Heath spent six of his ten years as leader of the conservative party in opposition.

Those of us who grew up in the 60's and 70's probably remember Mike Yarwood doing an impersonation, singing Life on the Ocean Wave, filmed allegedly under the dispatch box in the House of Commons , where all you could see were his sea boots and an anchor, as the then prime minister locked horns with Harold Wilson.

A boat from a different time, the three day week, regular blackouts and power cuts,  disruptive industrial  action across the country. Giles the political cartoonist who's often featured sailing perhaps caught the mood in 1974 with a picture from the London boat show where an obviously wealth woman asked the yacht salesman "have they taxed the wind yet"

Very typical racing yacht of its day, built by local craftsmen in wood as a one off with an enviable list of wins, great so see such a historic yacht being looked after.

Friday, 9 August 2019

Caption Contest

Never being very good at this , my first thought was Fowey Classics?

I'm sure you can do better?

Monday, 5 August 2019

Louie Wills

I've seen this restored Louie Wills 28ft (8.5m) Falmouth Quay Punt , built by WE Thomas in 1900, around the west country several times, having read about her restoration by John Fuge at Golant in Classic Boat years ago, but never before managed to get very close or take a good photo.

Here she is on her mooring upriver across from the village of Golant,  viewed from the garden of the Fisherman's Arms.

Note the Fisherman's Arms is a welcome rest stop after walking up the lovely but hilly paths from Fowey.

Friday, 2 August 2019

Folk Boat Friday

And what a nice one, I really like the raised doghouse cabin.

Monday, 29 July 2019


One of the nice things about kayaks is provided the weather is settled, you can get really close to places which are inaccessible by either larger boat or land.

We've often looked down into this cove from the path.

Not exactly  smugglers caves, but interesting to get a close up look around and a very nice private beach.

Friday, 26 July 2019

Woo Woo - British Moth

I was trying to figure out the amazing the deck controls on this British Moth "Woo Woo" it seemed that everything was adjustable.

Sadly there was no one around to talk to, but it looks like down haul, Cunningham, fore stay tension and even shroud tension could be controlled from the cockpit.

Managing 12 separate lines in addition to sailing the boat must be quite a technical feat.

Later Woo Woo seen on the water as she powers ahead of a rival, maybe as a result in part due to all that string.

Monday, 22 July 2019


I'm sure I heard him call "starboard".

Friday, 19 July 2019


Perfect setting for a perfect boat.

The colour scheme is just lovely.

The sail marking looks like Fowey River FR class, but plain white sails instead of the usual brightly coloured sails which distinguish the class.

Monday, 15 July 2019

The Wight as was

I picked up a copy of this delightful account of the Isle of Wight written based on the authors experiences in the 1950's and very early 1960's.

The reason I was so interested, was my Mum took me to the Isle of Wight in, I guess 1962 or 63.

I actually remember getting off the paddle wheel steamer at Ryde pier looking nervously down at the water, before getting aboard the local train which took us to Sandown, where we were staying. Exactly as the picture above. We had traveled down from London Waterloo on an express steam train, this  local one was so different, slow and stopped at lots of rural halts, as it was in the days before the Beecham closures.

Cowes week 1960's, actually not that much different, these days, certainly more crowds and a lot more lycra.  Still a few black tie outfits and blazers to be seen today, and plenty of folk in jeans and blue jerseys.

Totally disappeared, about the only hint of ship building on the Medina these days is the Hammerhead  crane in West Cowes.

Yarmouth harboour looking very familiar, if much less crowded that it is today.

Sailing off the needles, I'm guessing not a race as they are flying their ensign. Lovely boat.

Friday, 12 July 2019

Slipway Saturday

Lovely Vertue on the slipway at Peter Williams yard at Bodinnick.

Friday, 5 July 2019

Hamble - A village history

Had a quick look through this history of Hamble recently, which was in the in the cafe bookcase. It has some really good, old photos of the village,river and local characters from he past 100 years or so.

I shall be on the lookout for a second hand copy.

Monday, 1 July 2019

Beer Grylls

The latest iteration of the restaurant/cafe at the corner of Rope Walk in Hamble made me smile.

Even in Hamble the restaurant business is a fragile trade, I've lost count of the number of name/management changes the place has gone through.

Friday, 28 June 2019

Wonder revisted

I've written about Wonder the Dan Hatcher built Itchen Ferry, one of a very few still in existence. Last heard she had another major restoration including fitting of an engine if I recall correctly and was in the Medway.

So it was a bit of a surprise to her on a mooring in Fowey recently.

I was having a kayak around the harbour on a grey day checking out boats when I saw an interesting day boat, it wasn't until I paddled around the stern that I realised it was Wonder.

It was great to see her in such good condition, if not in her local waters of the Solent.

Apologies for the poor images, I was a bit unprepared and had stuffed the my camera in the sleeve pocket of my new waterproof , clearly getting my wet fingers on the lens.

Fond memories calking her seams and then pumping her out daily for a couple of weeks while she "took up" all those years ago.

Monday, 24 June 2019

My kind of boats

While I love gaffers and day boats, a type of boat that really stirs my soul are classic offshore yachts like these.

I recall being holed up in the Yealm years ago on the next mooring to this sloop while we waited out a gale, that raised doghouse looks a great place to take watch.

Above a relatively modern either a  Crealock or Pacific Seacraft, either way  lovely looking. Shame modern marina's charge so much for that bowsprit.

Is there anything so lovely as a classic yawl, no idea what this is Alden or S&S perhaps. looks like it's American CCA influenced.

Friday, 21 June 2019

Seagull Saturday

We had visiting seagull who had apparently staked out our decking as his territory.

Despite our refusal to feed him, he became quite friendly and completely undisturbed by us sharing his decking.

Eventually though he got a little too confident and was politely asked to leave.

Whereby he sat and sulked for a while.

Joseph nicknamed him Cedric the seagull.

Monday, 17 June 2019

Current Affairs

Given the state of our political system, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when I read this.

As they say many a true word spoke in jest.

Friday, 14 June 2019

Dell Quay ride

A couple of interesting boats spotted while cycling from Dell Quay down to Itchenor. A local gaffer gets underway

Mary Winifred is interesting, a 45 foot gaff cutter build over 6 years by a man in Littlehampton and named after his mother.

It's a fantastic piece of work and a lovely boat. Here some footage of her sailing.

Monday, 10 June 2019


Arrow is a West Solent One design in fact W1.

Built by Berthon in 1923, previously named Dart and Hauhine, she had a major restoration in 1998/9, she's had an exciting and active career since, with entries in RIOW, The British Classic Yacht Club Regatta, the Regates Royales in Cannes and Voiles de Saint Tropez.

It's always difficult trying to take photos in a boatyard, but I was passing and wanted to have a look.

Friday, 7 June 2019


Almost as if compensating for the fact that with the tide out there's no sailing, the low water landscape has a beauty and fascination all of it's own.

The sculpted river bed, curvacious mud banks and interesting craft at rest

It's great to see the boats swing to their moorings at high tide when the harbour is full of life and activity, but there's an equal and opposite serenity at  low water.

Will the tide be back in time for an evening sail?