Sunday 31 December 2023

Last Post to 2023

 Wishing you all a happy new year

Thursday 28 December 2023


As we approach the solstice and the very depth of winter, it's always useful to think ahead to next summer and sun on the water.

Meanwhile not a bad idea to get out to the garage and shed to make progress with all those winter jobs so things are ready for the good weather when it arrives.

“You become what you give your attention to.” ― Epictetus, The Art of Living:


Friday 22 December 2023

Merry Christmas

The Lobster Pot Christmas Tree on the quay in Emsworth

 And over on the mill pond there's a another tree with an Optimistic outlook.

Monday 18 December 2023

Christmas on the South Bank

 A few views of London's South Bank in the early evening run up to Christmas,

Actually not the South Bank but Covent Garden, Rules is supposedly the oldest restaurant in London where Charles Dickens author of A Christmas Carol used to dine.

Below the view from Waterloo Bridge with a view of St Paul's cathedral to left of center.

Friday 15 December 2023

Harbour Launch

I've passed by this harbour launch many times and have probably posted pictures of her before. With the neighboring boat absent it was an opportunity to take a better picture.

 Berthed at the very top of the creek at Dolphin Quay in Emsworth, she's an ideal boat for picnics, fishing and generally pottering around the waters of Chichester harbour and sound enough for longer trips around the Solent.

Monday 11 December 2023

One for the petrol heads

Apparently this is a exoskeleton car, it wears the tubular chassis on the outside, sort of like a motorbike. The result is a very light, very rigid car which minimises unsprung weight all of which is great for handling and power to weight ratio.

Fortunately the owner was standing nearby and more than happy to chat about his creation, which has getting on for 1000 HP at the wheels, he did tell me what engine but I've forgotten, but definitely not something you can put you foot down hard without a great deal of caution.

As I recall the chassis came form a kit manufacturer but a lot of the detail is custom made.

The sun was very bright so I couldn't get a decent picture which does justice to the enormous air intakes for the inter-cooler and turbos.

 The owner takes it to lots of events and even shopping trips during the summer so you might see it out on the road, but probably only from behind.

Friday 8 December 2023


 I stopped for a chat with the owner of this Seagull pocket cruiser and little sister ship to the Seamew.

The Bell Woodworking Company had been producing DIY kits for the GP14 and asked Ian Proctor to design a small sailing cruiser which would be suitable amateur building and for both coastal and inland waters.

One of the aspects that stood the Seagull apart from the many contemporary  plywood designs was performance, which despite her 18 foot LoA was fast and could stand sail up to 30 knots.

The owner pictured here has had her for many years and has made some remarkable extended voyages, he's considering putting her up for sale but when you have a boat that does things so well it's going to be difficult to find a successor.

Monday 4 December 2023

Peveril Point

Perched at the end of Peveril Point, on the eastern headland to the south of Swanage bay, Swanage NCI (National Coastwatch Institute) is one of the oldest stations, opening on this site on 15 April 1995,  built by the members in 2001 under the guidance of Ian Surface, the station's first manager, a local builder.

 NCI volunteers keep watch along the coast for small boats and shipping.  The Swanage team  looking out over the dangerous ledge which has caught out a few vessels cutting inside the Peveril Ledge Buoy, have  received the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service .

Friday 1 December 2023

More of Valerie

I posted about Valerie of Shoreham back in the summer, when she was in the water.

Here she is hauled out for some winter maintenance, showing her steep forefoot, deep draft and slack bilges, not an extreme plank on edge shape but certainly of that period.

The long counter stern probably adds several feet to her waterline when heeled.


Monday 27 November 2023

Lazy day back in summer

Spent a fine and sunny, lazy day with Mrs BB sailing out to the spit in Keyhaven.

The wind was light but enough to enjoy sailing the club SCOW AMY, but light enough for us to linger for an extended picnic lunch and a swim.

It's what summer is all about.

Friday 24 November 2023

Folk Boat Friday collection

A small collection of Solent Folk boats

Above on a mooring in the Hamble

Above and below heading out of the river

Not a typical racing Folk boat, set up with a self steering wind vane.


Down towards the western Solent going really well downwind

Monday 20 November 2023

Budget Bimini

 Lets face it in the UK keeping out of the sun is only a problem for a few days a year, this looks like a great solution and something that easy to stow down the back of the quarter berth for those days when the sun does make an appearance.

 Colour co-ordinated to match any boat.

Friday 17 November 2023

Classics out on the water

Some interesting classics seen out in the Solent recently.

Don't know what this is perhaps 8meter, it had a support rib just out of shot or could have been a photographer or both, by the time they got the sails up we were sadly too far away to take a photo.

Presume this gaffer was racing in the Sunday Bursledon Regatta off the Meon shore.

 I've featured this classic motorboat before,  nice to see her out on the water.

Nice no nonsense sloop, typical of the 50's and 60's, I really like the raised cabin roof aft, Mrs BB would say it's my kind of boat.

 Open gaff rigged day boat/racer, according to the sail number UANDI,  a Belfast Lough class 2, another Fife design. LOA 24', built in 1897.

 By the time we got close enough for a picture, this classic had sails down and was motoring toward the Hamble entrance, perhaps another Fife?

Monday 13 November 2023

Snakes and Ladders

Probably not ideal for a crew returning back to the boat after a night in the pub.


Saturday 11 November 2023

D Day Beaches - The Struggle for Europe, thoughts for Armistance

 I picked up a copy of- "The Struggle for Europe" by  Chester Wilmot, first impression 1952 in a secondhand bookshop over the summary which is remarkable and highly readable account of the events leading to, during and at the conclusion of WW2 in Europe. Mr Wilmot was a correspondent reporting on those times and had access to and refers frequently to very detailed documentation from both the Allies and Axis Powers military, political and bureaucracy.

Coincidentally as we're again visiting the Normandy beaches I'm currently reading the chapters of D-Day landings so the references are very real, standing on the exact places as described in the text.

Chester Wilmot sadly died when the BOAC Comet he was traveling in crashed in 1954.

In Chapter 11.  Assault from the Sea, there's an exert form Winston Churchill's broadcast to the French people made on October 2nd 1940. 

"Remember, we shall never stop, never weary and never give in, and that our whole people and Empire have vowed themselves to the task of cleansing Europe from the Nazi pestilence and saving the world from the new Dark Ages.... Good night then sleep to gather strength for the morning. For the morning will come." 

D Day was that morning.

While we were in Normandy for half term we visited the British Normandy Memorial at Ver Sur Mer which overlooks the very beaches where the allies landed to begin the liberation of Europe.

 He chose to wear his Sea Scout uniform as a sign of respect and was clearly moved with an appreciation of the enormity of the events and the sacrifices that were made.

Locally St Paul's church where the fence around the War Memorial was badly damaged by a car crash has this rather lovely memorial of poppies around the entrance which were knitted by a team of parishioners.

Whoever decorates our local post box has excelled with this armistice tribute

In the shadow of recent events lets hope for a peaceful day so we can reflect and honour those who gave their lives in our defense.