Tuesday 31 December 2019

Calm sea

Winter sailing - an all to rare opportunity between the rain and gales we've had this year.

Wishing that 2020 brings calm seas and good winds as we voyage through the next decade.

Sailiing on the mill pond

With the boats laid up for winter members of Emsworth Slipper YC were taking the opportunity for Sunday racing on the mill pond.

Rounding the mark, despite the skippers sailing from the shore a few looked cold, with their radio control sets tucked into a sort of giant mitten and no doubt keen to get back to the club house.

Friday 27 December 2019

Local mud

While we can't compete with the east coast, Emsworth is one of our better low water locations.

Safely settled on the soft mud, it looks like this dinghy is in need of a scrape and clean below the waterline.

The 1960's and 70's were a boom time for small bilge keel yachts like this one, still looking in good shape and hopefully giving pleasure to it's owner.

Tuesday 24 December 2019

Merry Christmas

Wherever you are and whatever you're doing have a great time.

Lobster pot Christmas tree -Emsworth quay

Sunday 22 December 2019

Winter Solstice

Which apparently happened at 04.19 today Sunday 22nd December in the northern hemisphere.

Taken a few hours after along the millpond in Emsworth

And out along Fisherman's causeway.

The mill pond.

Friday 20 December 2019


Traditional dory sadly now doing duty as a roadside exhibit at Courseulles Sur Mer.

The dory was a popular, traditional beached launched fishing boat with a long history along this part of the Normandy coast. There is an Association des Doris at nearby Hermanville Sur Mer. Loads of good photos on their Facebook pages.

Monday 16 December 2019


I do like paddle boarding but it can be exhausting.

Monday 9 December 2019

Old Portsmouth

While Joseph was at a trampoline party, we took the opportunity for a early evening walk around Old Portsmouth.

There was a fine view of the Solent from the old fortifications, a yacht making the entrance in the fading light and magnificent sunset.

The Spinnaker tower and Gunwharf, just to the left you can see HMS Warrior with Christmas decorations lighting the foremast.

Still my favorite pub the Still and West.

The whole area around old Portsmouth and the Camber has been improved since we last went with art and craft shops and cafe's installed in the old fortifications and of course Ben Anslie's Americas Cup base.

Fowey again

Despite a frantic autumn, October and November have flown past, we did manage to get down to Fowey for Mrs BB's birthday.

And perhaps as if in recognition of the tiny window of opportunity the weather which was causing flooding in other parts of the country, was fine and settled

The view from our house was spectacular.

Friday 6 December 2019


There's been a couple of what look like young foxes playing in the field at the edge of the woods we overlook and coming into the garden this autumn.

Seen above enjoying a bit of late season sunshine on the roof of an old abandoned field stable.

And getting quite comfortable under our oak tree.

This morning with a hard frost on the ground one of them came right up to the house looking for scraps Mrs BB had put out for the birds. The magpies and crows who are normally the first to swoop down were all keeping a cautious distance.

Monday 2 December 2019


We've visited the Normandy beaches a few times but had never visited Omaha beach until this year.

American troops landed on two beaches names Charlie and Dog Green at Vierville-Sur-Mer  where this monument provides a poignant reminder.

Either side of Vierville are sheer cliffs, while the beaches were heavily defended.

The channel as seen from the massively fortified emplacement on the nearby Pointe du Hoc.

Friday 29 November 2019

Modern Mo Boat

I spotted this a while ago, a contemporary modern design but not following the current very flat, slab sided aesthetic.  Those smooth, rounded sections that roll up to the deck are reminiscent of an early 20th century speedster or commuter yacht as known n America.

Great visibility from a warm and dry cabin. The hull shape is interesting with narrow v sections running into those flat chines seems to have two separate hull forms, maybe a modern take on the Sea Bright skiff

Presumably should be fast, stable and efficient.

Monday 25 November 2019

Around the Tower

The Tower of London that is, although that skyline is not one Henry VIII would recognise.

I'd arrived nearby early for a meeting so took the opportunity of a particularly fine morning to take a walk around the Tower perimeter, along the Thames and back through St Caterine's dock.

Across the river, the Shard, the Belfast and a collection of modern building which have characterised the river frontage during the past 25 years or so.

Majestic as ever Tower bridge needs no introduction .

My route to St Catherine's dock went across the lock gates, apparently entry can be daunting especially if the tide has started running,

More than a few boats were being used as floating pied a terres and what a great place to stay for a few nights in the centre of London.

I'm guessing that London marina prices aren't cheap, but there appears to be plenty of people who can afford them and are not shy about the fact.

St Thomas tower and the famous Traiter's Gate regardless of your position on BREXIT given the actions of some. of our political class over the past 3 years, there are a few people saying that maybe we should bring this back into use.

Saturday 23 November 2019

Life's a beach

Even as the depths of winter draw near there's still something special about a beach.

Every day the tide ebbs away to reveal the clean sands which hold a fascination for young and old.

In settled weather brings the opportunity to try and collect something tasty for supper.

Taking inspiration from Venice beach, a unmanned lookout station facing the grey channel.

When the tides out it's a long haul back to the sailing club.

Monday 18 November 2019


I checked the Col regs. didn't say anthing about channel restricted by geese, so I gave way until they had passed.

Friday 15 November 2019


Some people have problems with towing.

Down at Hamble Sea Scouts they push and pull trailers at the same time.

Very cool.

Monday 11 November 2019

Shackleton & Son

Walking back to Earls Court tube recently I spotted this fantastic hearse parked beside a pub. I went over to ask permission of the funeral director to take a photo. He was more than helpful telling me about the history of the vehicle.

It's a 1906 Ford model T, originally supplied as a truck bed with a crane apparatus for picking up heavy gravestones. It was shortly after converted to a hearse as seen now and has been in use ever since.

It's owned by J F Shackleton and Son's established 1703 and England's oldest firm of funeral directors who also have other Model T hearses in their fleet,

On the day it was used for delivering poppy badges to local pubs where they are sold to raise money for veterans and Remembrance Day  11th November  - a heartfelt thank you to Shackleton  & Sons.

Friday 8 November 2019

Classic Dinghy - Int 14?

Spotted down at Lymington, someone may tell me otherwise, but it looks like it might be a Uffa Fox designed  International 14?

Uffa Fox's history with the class is well documented,the designs are described as deep chested planning hulls and where built very lightweight.

Lovely detail

Monday 4 November 2019


I've been sailing some different boats this year, I like fast and I like comfortable, and I can imagine a day boat in my future.

My concerns over dinghy capsize and the challenges of self rescue have led me to think of performance keel boats like the Laser Statos keel. The other direction that increasingly appeals  is a trimaran.

Lightweight, fast and although ultimately unrecoverable in a capsize, if sailed sensibly and in the right conditions would make a good choice.

I've been perusing information online and I should know what this is (but can't remember). There does seem to be a growing range of small trimarans being designed and built.