Friday 29 March 2019

Spring morning on the river

Following the mini heatwave in February the weather for the past few weeks has been cold with frequent gales, but at last the sun came out with a very gentle breeze, perfect for an early morning Sunday row down the river and an opportunity to admire the mud exposed by the big spring tide

Stopping off at the cafe, the town quay was showing signs of life with walkers  and cyclist taking the ferry across to Warsash and a few racing boats heading out.

Who needs an outboard, the Hamble lifeboat crew showing how to scull a tender.


"Gato" pulled up on the foreshore at low water, while I drank my coffee and watched the paddle boarders out on the river.

Monday 25 March 2019

Winter Mooring Blues

This small yacht had come ashore in Keyhaven recently and washed up on the shore.

Fortunately Keyhaven is very protected, it would be a very unlucky boat which managed to break from it's mooring and float out of the harbour, perhaps on a very strong outgoing tide, but it would be more likely to run aground or hit one of the other boats.

The boat is well kept and lack of damage suggests that it had only very recently come ashore. Lets hope they got it off and afloat safely, especially so as there was a very high spring tide the following week.

Friday 22 March 2019


Came for a look around on a frosty morning.

There are quite a few foxes and deer in the woods behind our house, we often see them in the field before the trees and they come into the garden from time to time.

He or she seemed to be undisturbed by me taking photos from the kitchen and even the cat didn't seem bothered.

Monday 18 March 2019

Fine Winter's Day

Maybe it's the contrast with the cold, grey winter weather, but when the sun comes out on a fine winter's day everything looks fantastic.

Hard to tell at this distance, this old gaffer looks like an Itchen Ferry

Local fishing boats creating a nice colourful contrast in the morning sun, don't be fooled there was a cold wind causing those ripples on the water.

Looks like an E-Boat with the Hurst Spit in the background and away across the Solent Tennison Down on the Isle of Wight.

Friday 15 March 2019

Monday 11 March 2019

Equinoctial Gales

May have arrived a little early this year, with still 10 days to go to the vernal equinox on 20th March.

I was up early watching the dawn with a cup of tea as is my habit on Sunday, thinking that the clear sky might herald the rare opportunity to go rowing, but a look at the tree tops bending and shaking soon put paid to that idea.

Instead I did a loop of the Hamble river by bicycle, enjoying the relatively sheltered woodlands through Mallards Moor and Victoria Country park until emerging on Southampton water at Netley.

Down at Netley Sailing club there were a couple of casualties, I don't imagine there will be sailing today.

I was pleased to find the Pink Ferry running across to Warsash and indeed from the Hamble side the river looked relatively calm, which just goes to show how quickly things can change., as we approached the Warsash hard.

It was a wild day, blowing old boots as the saying goes, down at Hurst Castle the wind data was showing 20-30 Meters per Second which is about gusting 35 to 50 Knots in real money .

Friday 8 March 2019


Santa brought Mrs BB a paddle board for Christmas, currently still in it's case given the weather we've had over the last several weeks (we saw 50 knot winds at the weekend, definitely not paddle board weather).

Hopefully it'll be nice enough to get it out in the next few weeks, roll on summer and the ideal conditions as above.

Memory on the mud

One or my favorite boats an open Memory sitting on the mud in one of my favorite local harbours Hill Head.

Monday 4 March 2019

Swanwick - a brids eye view

There's quite a lot of drone footage of our lovely river Hamble,  one of my favorites begins at Swanwick hard my nearest launching site and shows the contrast above and below Bursledon bridge.

Enjoy -thanks to DJI Phantom. I wonder if that was you I saw while out running a few weeks back?

Friday 1 March 2019

Le Mans 1983

Sorting out some old books and papers I found this pristine program from the 1983 Le Mans 24 hour race.

We'd driven down with a bunch of college friends, crossing the channel from Portsmouth to Cherbourg and then a wild night time drive through the French countryside and towns on the old  roads as there were no direct motorways or at least we failed to find them.

About five friends had piled into tricky Nicky's old Mk 7 Jaguar, my friend Malcolm had a Sunbeam Tiger with a 4 litre V8, I struggled to keep up  with them in an old MG Midget.

On the way back the clutch operating arm snapped and we drove all the way back double de-clutching, my friend Mark would push to get the car rolling enough so I could get into first and then he'd jump in. The long straight roads in France were easy and we seemed to avoid getting stuck in traffic or too many traffic lights. Somehow we even made it onto the ferry like that, I can't imagine that would be allowed these days.

One of the most memorable aspects apart from the Hawaiian Tropic girls, were Mazda, the first Japanese manufacturer to enter the race with their quirky 717C rotary engine cars which first time out finished 12th and 18th against the mass of Porsche entries.