Friday, 27 May 2022


You just can't not see it at first glance

 Wonder if it was flat pack home build?

Monday, 23 May 2022

Yacht Club Open Day

 A few more pictures from the Royal Lymington YC open day. 

This Royal Enfield cafe racer what exactly what my first bike aspired to, but pretty much the only similarity was the 250cc single, although mine did have a better seat and a propensity for breaking down all the time.

A 1921 GN chain driven Vitess, 101 years old and looking great.

My absolute favorite, what can you say worth a post all of it's own, a 1932 Model A Ford Mcdowell sprint car built by Indianapolis Hall of Famer Myron Stevens - just wow.

A bit closer to home another GN chain drive from 1915 with a V twin side valve engine and body work from 2mm aircraft plywood covered with linen. Certainly predates all the ideas Colin Chapman had for small lightweight Lotus sports cars

Boat tail Austin seemess entirely appropriate for a Yacht Club transport

This is probably the best Karmann Ghia I've ever seen, absolute luxury sports car with that lovely cream leather interior, put the Jaguar alongside in the shade somewhat.

It was a yacht club open day so I can't post without a couple of lovely and well turned out yachts.

Friday, 20 May 2022

Royal Lymington Open Day

 Walking back to the car after breakfast and  a wander around town a couple of weeks ago, when we came upon the Royal Lymington YC open day, with a few boats dressed overall in the river.

Ashore there were a selection of dinghies including a classic International 14 (with the cream sails) and a Flying Dutchman which either was or was a homage to Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (that took some typing).

And there was this lovely SCOW, - sailing or varnishing take your pick as it might be difficult to do both

There were a selection of classic cars on display

And a selection of classic and interesting motorbikes - more of both in a later post when I've had time to go through the photo's properly

Monday, 16 May 2022


 First sail of the season down at Keyhaven, late afternoon HW and near perfect conditions, does it get any better.

In addition to a race there were lots of us just out for a leisurely Sunday afternoon sail.

I was gladly lent a hand recovering the 14' 300lb Wanderer by a generous passer by, which remindined me that dinghies are about handling both on and off the water. In the pictures are a Gull, a SCOW and a Mirror all light weight and easy to manouver ashore. There's probably a direct link between the ease of launch and recovery and the amount of sailing that gets done.

Friday, 13 May 2022

Jolie Brise - under sail

I've written often about Jolie Brise the famous pilot cutter built by Mr Paumelle in Le Harve in 1913 and winner of the  first Fastnet race in 1925.

Most recently I spotter her newly painted in the river and looking fantastic at the start of her 109th season. Better yet friend Malcom was out in the Solent on Saturday and took these great photos of Jolie Brise in action.

Just great to see her out sailing, topsails set in such wonderful conditions.


Monday, 9 May 2022

Brewing Heavy Weather

 Which is actually a line forma Jethro Tull song, but sums up this picture pretty well, down river the sky was clear and the setting sun was shining under the dark gather cloud to the north. The wind was howling and kicking up small standing waves in the river.

Fortunately it passed to the north, but was quite a squally.

The Lines form heavy Horses - Jethro Tull

Bring me a wheel of oaken woods 

A rein of polished leather 

A Heavy Horse and a tumbling sky 

Brewing heavy weather

Friday, 6 May 2022

Oysters return to the Hamble?

 I was walking along the river at dusk and at very low water and spotted something on the far shore which looked odd. It was large and only exposed at low water on the mud adjacent to the old (now derelict) steamer pontoon.  

It was too far away to see in the failing light and thought no more about it.


Until. coming back past Bursledon pool, I spotted this, I've seen the yellow marker bouys when rowing past at high water, but assumed they were for mooring. It looks however,  like they mark out a small area of oyster culture or similar. 

From the size it would be a very small commercial operation so might be experimental?  A hundred years ago the Hamble had a thriving oyster business with oyster ponds on both the Hamble and Warsash foreshore's.

Monday, 2 May 2022

Small and simple

I like small yachts like this one, which were produced by a few boat builders in the early 80's, I had a Jaguar 21 and guessing by the colour this one might be a Hunter or similar.

 Really simple, fun and easy to sail, they are really versitile evolved for club racing back then, they also make a great day sailer or over nighter easy to get into our local crowded harbours. 

I spotted this guy going off for a mid week sail on his own, it probably took minutes to rig those sails redy to hoist and get going.

Cheap to buy, cheap to run, generally they sail well although can be a bit bumpy if the weather gets up due to their light weight, what's not to like.

Friday, 29 April 2022

Getting busy

 Things were getting crowded down on the foreshore as the season gets going and some nice Sunday morning weather.

 There was still enough room to pull Gato up on the foreshore, grab a cup of tea and some biscuits from the cafe and watch the day unfold.

Monday, 25 April 2022

London - been a while

 I've worked in London tow or three days a week since the late 1990's and then suddenly haven't been there for 2 years so on a sunny Saturday over Easter we caught the train up to Waterloo for a family day out.

The view from the South bank is so familiar, yet with the absence of 2 years I had the feeling of being a tourist, snapping pictures of the iconic view of the Houses of Parliament.

We arrived early so not much was open, it's a great time to see everything before the crowds gather, low water exposed the bed of the river.

Clearly there are not nearly enough pubs in London so they had to squeeze another one in on the Thames.

Not our first choice for breakfast, but presumably they wouldn't be open if there were no customers.

Friday, 22 April 2022

Signs of spring

 It's only been just over 2 weeks since the daylight saving time (clocks spring forward) but it feels like spring has been with us ages and cold grey winter long forgotten.

Local woods are filled with bluebells, even the oaks which are typically the last to bud are sprouting leaves and by this time next week will be green and full.

 This woodland stream is still full and fast flowing, not yet in the shadow of the surrounding trees.

Monday, 18 April 2022

Storm Damage

 This pile top had been blown off in the February storms and landed on the mud, in the middle of the lagoon by Bunny meadows. Fortunately someone rescued it and put it to good use.

Friday, 15 April 2022

Smooth Ride

It can't be another mid life crisis as I've clearly been through a few and am far too old, but I'm in the market for a motorbike. Not having ridden for about 20 years I'm leaning towards one of the many modern, retro machines that are currently very popular.  

But just then friend Greg turned up on his 1951 Sunbeam S8, which he describes as a very comfy touring machine. 

It was really advanced in it's day, shaft drive, super smooth SOHC twin, apparently the only distraction from a blissful riding experience is the front brake.

Not that it's for sale, but while there's lots going for such a real classic, I'm still leaning toward something more modern. My first bike was a Royal Enfield Crusader Sport 250, so I have a bit of a soft spot for the brand in all their guises - Bullet, Himalaya, Meteor and the Inteceptor, but then there's MotoGuzzi which are just fabulous to look at.

Might take a while deciding what to get, but need to get on before the summer days are here.

Monday, 11 April 2022

Southwester Dory

Spotted this expedition boat rowing up to Swanwick Hard recently. The owner and crew weren't especially talkative but I did find out it was built from a kit designed by CLC - Chesapeake Light Craft.

They were probably a little preoccupied with recovering the boat onto that enormous trailer.

A bit of internet research reveals that the Southwester Dory is sold in the UK as a kit with options for rowing, motoring or sailing. Apparently there's a Northeaster Dory which is slightly smaller, the Southwester is 18' 10", 62" beam and weights 250lbs. lovely boat.

Friday, 8 April 2022

Tender behind

 While I do like multi-hulls, both catamarans and trimarans, I will admit that aesthetics aren't necessarily their best attribute.


Above, the cockpit area looks to be fantastic offering a secure and sheltered environment both at sea and in harbour, and that tender with the drop down ramp looks equally practical.

Lovely boat, but hanging what looks like a bath tub out the back on davits doesn't really do much for the looks, that said beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Monday, 4 April 2022

Ready for the season

 Jolie Brise newly painted and looking fantastic at the start of her 109th season

Friday, 1 April 2022


Maybe as a result of lock downs or perhaps I just have too many other things to do, but I don't seem to as spend much time wandering around the local boatyards as I used to, which is a shame as there are often interesting boats to b.e seen

 This photo from early 2021 of Maiden the famous 1989 Whitbread Around the World entry sailed by Tracey Edwards and an all girl crew. Great to see her restored again and looking spectacular.

Monday, 28 March 2022

Lutine in the morning light

 I've posted about Lutine before, but just came across this photo of her from last year, looking fantastic in the early autumn morning.

Friday, 25 March 2022

Winter days - not all bad

 As the daffodils come into bloom, the days draw out and the warm spring sunshine takes over from the grey of winter, it's nice to remember we actually had quite a few nice winter days in the past couple of months.

Above perfect day for rowing, it was almost a shame to disturb that mirror like water.


Great day for open water swimming, hardly any boats about, flat calm and no tide running during the stand.

The cafe on the foreshore was serving hot drinks and cakes.

 I got the impression that feeding the swans was a regular thing, he/she was coming right up and taking food from the man's hand and seemed very relaxed in his company.

Monday, 21 March 2022


My reader will know I have a thing for classic gaff rigged yachts, so no surprise that I noticed when Maude turned up on a mooring in the river recently.

I'm fairly sure that she's a Tamarisk 29, built in GRP on the lines taken from a early 20th century Falmouth fishing boat. I'm pretty sure we viewed her over at Thornham marina about 15 years ago when she was for sale and liked her a lot, but decided to buy Greta instead.

 Look forward to seeing her sailing.

Friday, 18 March 2022

Old charts

Apologies to anyone who clicked here hoping to see re runs of 1970's Top of the Pops. 

I recently found some interesting old charts which were being thrown out, this first one, all colour view of the Isle of Wight , the Solent and Spithead price Fifteen Shillings (75pence) puts it pre decimalisation which was 15th February 1971, but actually the correction at time of issue is 23/11/1962

Soundings are show as Feet above Low Water ordinary spring tide and heights in Feet above Low Water.

The second is by Imray, Laurie, Norris and Wilson Ltd, who operate from a very lovely old building , Wych House in St Ives in Cambridgeshire. Although black and white, it dates from December 1977.

The detailing is really lovely and many of the notes appear to be hand written . Soundings are in fathoms and heights in feet. Tidal directions are in Knots and probably still accurate enough to use today.

 I'm not really into collecting but it just seems that these are bits of history and work preserving.

Monday, 14 March 2022

Caution Low Flying Boats

 Caption competition?

"He said park it over there behind the hedge"