For one reason or another beach launching along the south coast of England is quite rare, perhaps we're spoiled by deep water mooring and slipways, and in some cases councils who have banned beach launching for some unfathomable reason. But over on the Normandy coast of France there's good public access to the sea across the beach for both commercial fishermen and pleasure boaters alike.
Extensive hard sand beaches with good access and abundant free parking allow people to get afloat all along the coast between the rivers at Ouistreham and Courseulles. A lot of local inshore fishermen and sailing clubs use tractors, which given the tidal range and the distance across the sand makes a lot of sense.
Clearly it's ok to leave launching trolleys at the water's edge on a falling tide, just keep a careful eye on the time if you're gone for a long time.
Recovery with an onshore breeze is always going to be a challenge, although these guys made it look very easy, the RIB was up on the trailer and away almost before I could get any pictures.
Good idea to check everything before going to launch, it's a long way back to the clubhouse for a missing shackle or other broken item of gear.
While a tractor is probably the favorite launching vehicle, that Fiat Panda 4 x 4 seems to be doing a good job on the soft sand.
There's been a bit of discussion about camera's recently following Alden's post on the perfect camera. Most of my pics are taken on a Lumix TZ8 with 16x optical zoom(up to 22 x with electronic zoom). I also have a Fuji XP80 underwater camera, which is great for wet environments, but I find the 5x zoom a bit restrictive. Both are pocket sized and easy to carry around all the time.
Alden had commented that the Lumix had pretty good capability in marginal or high contract light. While I out running I thought I'd give my phone a go and see how it coped.
Above maybe there just wasn't the dramatic contrast that I was expecting, but certainly the watery sun behind the clouds seemed more yellow and interesting in real life.
The sky had cleared by the time I got back and overall I think the picture detail and colour is pretty good across the dark sea grass in the foreground and the blue sky.
Maybe I'd use the phone more if I didn't find the whole Apple, Macbook airdrop, preview such a faf, compared to Android/Windows.
Of course it could just be the photographer isn't up to much. And to prove a point here's a classic poor shot taken almost into the setting sun, camera shake and poor focus, but having said all that the iphone did a pretty good job.
Go to pretty much any sailing club at this time of year and you will see scenes like this, neglected and abandoned dinghies. I guess people move on or are busy, surely it would be better to sell this stuff on.
Maybe replacement tubes on the little rib might not be a viable repair, and the lack of cover on what looks like a Merlin Rocket is going quickly to lead to rot and a place on the bonfire, usually at the club's expense.
The annual dinghy haul at Lymington, either sunk or broken or unpaid dues, actually some don't look in too bad condition.
I'm not suggesting that dinghies should be polished and pampered, this example below has more than a few scratches and the transom looks rough but overall well used and kept in solid working condition.
Historic ketch on the hard at Polruan opposite Fowey
You have to admit that's some slipway. The shipyard is C. Toms and Sons Ltd a family business which has owned the yard since 1968 although the history of the yard and shipbuilding in Polruan goes back centuries.