Lets hope 2021 has more promise than the outgoing year.
Walking through the forest near Fritham we spotted this curiosity which is actually an old post box.
It was erected in the 19th Century bu the nearby Shultz Gunpowder factory to make the postman's life easier and presumably safer.
Long disused it has been restored by the forestry commission.
Spotted this really nice example of a Scorpion dinghy launching at Lymington on a fine winter morning.
It was immaculately built and finished with bright varnished deck and cockpit and grey topsides but curiously named "The Back Pearl of Lyminton".
I keep bumping into the Scorpion dinghy but have never sailed one. Years ago a friend offered me the use of one, but the trailer and launching trolley were so badly rusted at the back of the dinghy park that we didn't bother.
Mrs BB and I were out in the deep forest, not exactly lost but certainly off the beaten track, we were scrambling across a forest stream to rejoin the trail and looked up to see this stag and does looking curiously down at us.
From the pictures in the British Deer Society web pages those amazing antlers look like a Fallow deer.
We stood watching each other for a while, until the deer moved off, as we climbed the hill we could see more of the group watching curiously from a safe distance.
I managed to injure my lower back kayaking towards the end of summer and so unable to run I've been taking a daily brisk walk every day it's not raining.
Going slightly slower and not having to watch my footing on the rough ground has left more time for looking around and admiring the views.
These were taken back in September, things are different now, the leaves have fallen and the ground is much wetter but the outlook is just as good.
A really nice Folk boat heading up to Bursledon, looking spectacular as it passes Brooklands, I was kayaking down from Botley and just had time to pull out the camera.
And still measures up really well against the expensive modern fleet in Swanwick marina (formerly Moody's).
While I'm particularly attracted to open day boat, a classic like this is probably much better for our local waters and just as much fun to sail.
I'm a bit of a sucker for classic bicycles, in fact there's a Raleigh Medale very similar to this lurking down in the garage which I've been thinking about restoring but in reality only needs a couple of tires. But my 30 year old mountain bike is ready to go so the Medale continues to get neglected.
Back to story, I spotted this Elswick which is almost identical to the Raleigh and looks like a great bike for tooling around on.
When I was young I saved up all my pocket money, plus money from Christmas and birthdays for an Elswick Hopper which for a few years was my pride and joy. An elderly aunt encouraged me to go with an Elswick as she had been something of a long distance cyclist before the war.
Wooden classics like this are popular in the US, but all too rare locally, probably post war Britain had austerity pretty much up the the beginning of the 1960's in contrast to the States.
No idea whether this is a native or import but those twin and large bore exhausts suggest something more than a Austin 7 engine lurks under that rear deck.
Classic windscreen and central steering position is interesting.
Say it all.
Down past the Jolly Sailor pub is Lands End Hard, I don't visit often as it's a dead end lane, but on an early Sunday morning stroll I decided to take a detour.
It's a launching site and good for dinghies, but alas a quite restricted turning circle and no parking, mind you if there was the latter the Fareham local council would be levying the charges they have recently announced for all waterside parking despite huge local opposition.
Downstream view as the river bends past Bursledon pool, with Brooklands house in the background.
Another interesting wind vane on local house, surprising the house not called Cormorant's
Cool boat, the Coulam Wheelyboat designed to help disabled folks, primarily wheel chair users get aboard.
The drop down section is to facilitate boarding from a pontoon, but looks like it might make a good beach boat also. Lots of good stories here .
I've made a few kayak trips on the upper Hamble since the summer, the river is so different above the three bridges (road, rail and motorway), the landscape is so different almost undeveloped, oak trees coming down to the water's edge.
Our neighbor is also a kayak-er and it's been nice to have some company, these pictures were taken on what was the most perfect day, virtually no wind, we caught the tide up and then back down as it turned.
These scenes are remarkably pastoral, probably as close as you can get to a Constable view in modern England.
At the very top of the river towards Botely, the channel narrows and the river becomes something different again. In the summer the upper reaches were chock a block with paddle boards and kayaks, as Autumn moves to winter the river is much more quiet.
I've become something of a Kayak convert, liking the simplicity and light weight compared to rowing, facing forward and almost silent paddling technique means that it's easier to get closer to wildlife.
As the song goes, with apologies to Debbie Harry, it was certainly a big 'un this week predicted at 4.9M HW with a south westerly blowing for the past few days pushing it up a bit more
Walkers were either finding an alternate route past the donkey sanctuary or getting wet feet.
I have to admit that Mrs BB discovered this walk and despite her encouragement I put off doing it for far too long on the pretext that it's too far form the sea, fortunately she kept up the pressure and it's now one of my favorite strolls.
St Catherines is a 43-hectare (110-acre) biological Site of Special Scientific Interest on the outskirts of Winchester in Hampshire, most of which is an Iron Age hill fort and national monument.
The route to the hill is along the Itchen river water meadows which are delightful and worth a visit in their own right.
The ascent to the top of the hill doesn't take that long, it's only 163 feet above sea level (53 meters for those so inclined).
The summit has a small thicket of trees and a large community of noisy crows, but walking to the clear spaces reveals spectacular views of the surrounding South Downs and the famous medieval cathedral, the site of which as a place of worship dates back in record to 642AD.
Above another stretch of the water meadow on the path looping back to Winchester and a welcome cafe/coffee shop stop.
A few gathered today at the Sarisbury Green War Memorial and held silence for the Eleventh Hour in memory of those who fought and gave their lives.
A smartly dressed veteran lays a wreath, it was the man in the yellow jacket who spoke the words
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them..
Another veteran (Navy) and with him the next generation, may they learn the importance that we pay tribute, hold in our memory and never forget
Despite COVID and government degree that we should not , more than a few local people came to remember and give thanks, including the staff of local store who locked up to attend.
i know this is a practical design, well protected cabin with good visibility, narrow hull which should be efficient and maximised use of waterline, good open area at the rear.
It's probably great for ply construction, I do wonder about the inherent strength of those smooth flat panels which are so common in modern boat design andsurely inferior to classic curves (think egg shell v's sheet of cardboard), but personal opinion apart, a nice little boat
A case of little and large, I probably should know what this fantastic yacht moored at Berthon's is but will use the excuse of the cover. Whatever she is simply fantastic and wonderful that there are people with enough money to own and maintain her, can you imagine how much effort and varnish alone goes into a boat like this every year.
Somewhat more modest but lovely classic lines none the less, I may be biased but I had a yacht with a blue mast and thought it looked really cool.
Classic elegance and varnished topsides from the pen or Mr Westmacott, lovely example of an XOD.
The 2020 Bursledon regatta was cancelled due to COVID but the committee have put up a great collection of photographs from past years.
Above one of my own pics, the replica man of war was built for the 2005 celebration of the Battle of Trafalgar, when about 25 local dinghies dressed up in various ways to look like warships. The battle was re-enacted using water pistols and buckets of water instead of cannon.
A couple of day boats dried out at low water.
Llong Taid is a double ender, other than that I really can'y guess what the design is, she looks to be plywood judging by the flat planking and the hard chine. She looks very well finished and kept.
More familiar a Devon Yawl, there's quite a few in Chichester harbor and for good reason it's a good boat for those waters.
Both boats seemed to suit their surroundings very well.
The building plate reads Fife, but it's a long way from home moored in Keyhaven where I've seen it doing out and and about on the water.
It's certainly makes a lovely harbour launch and day boat for the western solent, I can imagine a leisurely trip over to Yarmouth for lunch or a picnic in Alum bay.
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