Monday 29 March 2021


An Andrew Oughtred designed Guillemot dinghy passed me on my first row of the season, looking absolutely splendid despite the grey overcast weather.


 It's a lively design which apparently can be built in LOA from  11'6" up to 12'3", I'd be inclined to go for the larger size. 

There's a nice article about a build at the Lyme Regis Boat building Academy in back issue of Small Boats Magazine.

Friday 26 March 2021

New Forest coming to life

With the warm and early spring weather, the New Forest is starting to come to life after what seems a far too long winter.

The churchyard in Minstead blooming with crocus in the sunshine.

Down in the deeper forest the oaks and beaches still bare but catkins, buds and other signs of spring to be seen.

Forest streams have settled down after the heavy rains of a few weeks ago.


All in all a great tonic for the soul having having been shut indoors for far too long.

Monday 22 March 2021

Bursledon Air B&B

 Actually that should probably be Water B&B. So if you fancy a weekend away come the great post lock-down opening up, this bijou floating cabin just upstream from Bursledon bridge might be just the thing.


Well situated within a few short steps to the Little Canton restaurant or if you want to stay in and cook Bradley's Fishmongers. Plus the  Boathouse Cafe, Alexanda's restaurant, the Navigator, the Old Ship and of course not forgetting the Jolly Sailor there's no need to go hungry.s

There are three local country parks nearby, plus the river path (my daily stroll), Hamble and Warsash villages (more pubs and cafes). 

A get away well worth looking forward to, but for now most of our visitors to the area look like this.

Friday 19 March 2021

Woodland path

 One of the benefits of all this lock down exercise has been to explore the local area, which was how we discovered this charming woodland stream

Situated between the Greyladyes Mausoleum and St Leonard's Church.


Monday 15 March 2021

Small Yachts

It's been over 50 years since small fiberglass yachts became available in the UK and the market for these small mini cruisers literally exploded. As yachts have got bigger and bigger over the intervening years, these small craft have been crowded out somewhat by the big boats and expensive marina charges. That said they can make a perfect small day sailor with the benefit of somewhere below to make a cup of tea or have a snooze while at anchor compared to an open day boat.

 There are undoubtedly some tubs around from those days especially the experimental 60's and the unrestrained 70's but equally there are some good examples and while not suggesting these particular boats are in the bargain basement catagory, many can be had for a song.

Back in the day there was a bit of a fad for bilge keelers, some of which unhappily sailed sideways rather than go to windward so research and careful choice for the intended type of sailing is required.

There are also some tough little offshore cruisers among them, we met an Newbridge Virgo Voyager (like the second pic down) which had sailed to the Azores from England, A club member from the RAFYC had made several channel crossings in his 25 foot Westerly Tiger.


Friday 12 March 2021

Greyladyes Mausoleum

I must have passed Greyladyes Mausoleum hundreds if not 1000's of times but never taken the time to stop a while and learn about the history.


The Mausoleum was built in 1911 for Captain Shaw Storey. The Shaw Storeys visited Elm Lodge (now Greyladyes) on their Honeymoon in 1872 and fell in love with the estate. They rented the estate until 1904 when Mrs Shaw Storey bought it. In January 1905 Captain Shaw died and was buried at Sarisbury. Later in 1910 Mrs Shaw Storey had her husband exhumed and brought to the Mausoleum.

Unfortunately the coffin was too large to go inside so he was re-buried outside. The grave next to his is that of Emmeline Shaw Storey his wife, who died in 1937 aged 95. The whole estate was sold to a builder by her nephew in 1938 to pay death duties".

After falling into disuse, the Mausoleum and the site were restored by the combined efforts of Hampshire County Council and Itchen & Hamble Countryside Project. In 1998 the Trustees of Greyladyes Estate entered into a Licence Agreement, giving public access to the site in return for management of the land by Bursledon Parish Council.

Monday 8 March 2021

Not AWB's - average white boat

 Of the 3500 or so boats on the Hamble I'm guessing that 80% are white, sure there are a few striking navy blue boats,, fewer still varnished classics and a sprinkling of other colours out there, but in the main, white fiberglass is ubiquitous.

 These two then are atypical, not least as both are working craft.

Friday 5 March 2021

Robinson's Compass Adjusters

 Long time Hamble landmark now sadly closed, Robinson's was a maritime treasure trove the windows were stacked with all manner of models, compasses, lamps, sea chests, old oars, anchors and all kinds of maritime paraphernalia.

It's probably 20 years since I last visited, to inquire about refilling a Sestrel Major compass which had developed a large bubble, with a grin he told me to :get some white spirit to top it up or gin works fine as well".

Monday 1 March 2021


Sadly now not too much left of the old MFV on the left of the picture, someone set fire to the exposed timbers last summer, that and the winter gales have caused the hull to further collapse.