Monday 28 August 2023

Cowes waterfront

I never tire of Cowes waterfront, there's so much going on it's always a pleasure to see the easily recognisable icons as you approach, the Royal Yacht Squadron being first and fore most.

A summer visitor, but one which which nicely characterises the history and spirit of Cowes.

Former weekend residence and now the Sir Max Aitken museum the Prospect off the High Street is an old sail makers loft, well worth a visit.

The Island Sailing Club, home to the Around the Island Race and many other local sailing events, had a open air visitors bar for the summer,  great spot to watch all thecomings and goings on the river.

Further upriver past the chain ferry on the East shore East Cowes Sailing Club is tucked away between tow industrial buildings. Nice Cornish Crabber in the fore ground.

Back on the west side and before the chain ferry, Clare Lallow boat builders was established in 1867 and has built so many famous boats over the years.


Friday 25 August 2023

Forgotten Modern Motoring Classics?

Walking through the local car park when a couple came speeding in on these two Sinclair C5's, they lined up for a photo with the Citroen AMI electric micro car owned by a friend of theirs.

Anyone who's too young or too old to remember the Sinclair, it was introduced in 1985 as a personal electric vehicle. There are some similarities to the AMI which has a top speed of 28MPH,v's the Sinclair's 15MPH, and range AMI 47 miles v's Sinclair 30 miles. 

The AMI is only about 18" longer than the Sinclair but does have the advantage of seating two people and keeping them dry when it rains, which is probably good progress for the near 40 year elapsed time between them and makes the AMI a much more practical transport for UK, although apparently there's no heater (too much capacity drain one supposes).

The Sinclair did have the advantage that it was considered a bicycle so could be driven at 14 years of age.

 The other drawback of the Sinclair was the recumbent driving position, putting the drivers head roughly at car bumper height.

The Sinclairs are collectors items, talking to the owners (who's names I forgot to ask - apologies) they are also active in the local classic car scene driving  V8 powered cars, clearly not sold on the electric alternative quite yet.

Monday 21 August 2023

Returning home

 Does a summer evening get any better than this?


Friday 18 August 2023

Classics around Fowey

Some classics spotted around Fowey recently.

 Above and below this gorgeous yawl was visiting from Netherlands, built to an design by Sparkman and Stephens it's immaculately maintained - lovely.

No Fowey classic collection would be complete without at least one Troy class, here Lucy's varnish simmers in the late afternoon sunshine.

Perhaps unexpected, but this is what motor cruisers looked like fifty or more years back. The clinker (ship lap) planking is really well done and brings out the hull lines. The cabin roof has the sort of post war aesthetic which was common before fibre glass took over in the 60's. I remember seeing quite a few similar boats in the Thames back in the day.

Raising steam before a trip up the river, good way and good excuse to spend an hour or so on the mooring, enjoying the sunshine and the surroundings.


Monday 14 August 2023

Col regs update

And probably stay away from the Portuguese and Spanish Atlantic coast going by the reports of yachts having trouble with Orcas in the past couple of seasons.


Friday 11 August 2023

The Line

One end of the Fowey Gallants Sailing Club start line is painted on the opposite rocky shoreline

The other is across the harbour in the race office, must save a lot of time each week not having to put start like markers out and retrieve them.


Tuesday 8 August 2023

Squid ink pizza and barbarian doughnuts

 The problems at World Scout Jamboree have been in the news but I though it might be useful to share what we've heard directly from the attendees.

The first inkling of problems was on Tuesday last week, when Unit 59 leaders announced that they would delay going to the WJS by 24 hours as the camp wasn't ready, but they did arrive the next day on time for the opening ceremony which was a spectacular event for the 40,000+ scouts attending.

 (above Members of Hamble Sea Scouts attending WSJ)

It was on the Friday that further problems started, Scouts were asked to stay in their camp, and most of the WSJ activities were suspended due to the heat. Following day the whole UK contingent announced that they were pulling out of the WSJ camp and going back to hotels in Seoul. We had a tearful call from Joseph who like most of his until were really disappointment to be leaving, not least as they had invited the local Portuguese Scouts over for dinner and a cultural exchange which is one of the central points of WSJ. They were also relieved to be leaving as the heat was a problem, the tents being designed for temperate climate had become uninhabitable ovens, the overall total lack of shade on the site, poor facilities and ferocious insect bites (what else would be expected on reclaimed land on a tropical river delta? ).

The first night at the hotel was difficult they managed to get the girls into rooms 4 to a double, but many of the boys had to "camp out" in the ball room, as compensation they got to use the hotel spa so wasn't all bad. They've now got rooms,  and Sunday night a local football club offered 4000 tickets for those who wanted to see the match plus the Mayor put on bus tours around the city for those who didn't want to see the foottie (Joseph included).

 I've been tracking Typhoons since a couple of weeks prior to the event and Khunan which was moving toward Japan is now heading right for Korea  scheduled to arrive on Thursday when 4" of rain fall is predicted in 24 hours which would have undoubtedly flooded the campsite. The scouts in Seoul will probably have to stay indoors as it passes, but it will be an experience to see a Typhoon from  a safe location. Winds in Seoul are probably going to be 40-50mph which we get frequently at home,

Announced Monday that the remainder of the WSJ camp is now being closed, and the scouts being moved to accommodation.

Overall really disappointing that something all these scouts have trained for, not to mention all the fund raising they did hasn't lived up to expectations. That said traveling half way around the world, being part of the event and meeting and making friends with scouts from around the world and most of all coping with adversity are all good life lessons and apart from the disappointment when he called Saturday, all the reports we get are full of enthusiasm and delight, stories of making friends and people helping each other. The generosity of the Korean people to help has been been really great and hugely appreciated, as is all the work by the UK contingent leaders, arranging accommodation and activities.

And the Squid Ink Pizza and Barbarian Doughnuts? Away from camp cooking the scouts have been trying a wide variety of local food, a black pizza tastes better than perhaps it looks and the doughnuts were a definitely a spelling mistake.

Monday 7 August 2023


 What it says on the tin.


Friday 4 August 2023

Cars at the fair

 Another detour from boats, but there were a few interesting vehicles at the recent Sarisbury Fair.

Above looked like a kit car, using Triumph front suspension (can't recall it if it's Spitfire or Herald) but something looked unusual and more authentic. In conversation with the owner it's the wheels, rather than using the familiar modern 13" he had got 15" rims from a TR4/MGA and had them wired to the Spitefire hubs. I have to say it does look right.

 One of the last and probably most immaculate MGF's around, it was built at Longbridge under the Chinese ownership. The paint job doesn't show up in the photo there were metallic/pearl  flecks in the paint - if not quite a "Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamlined Baby"was pretty nice.

Drive the car and dress the part I think it was a 1980 Caddi, the owner was sitting quietly probably needed a rest after thinking about the fuel consumption of that 8 liter monster V8.

One of the local traction engines had a run out from Bursledon Brickworks museum. It's only a couple of miles away but not something that can be rushed, two and a half hours to get steam up and then a very leisurely run as the maximum speed allowed is 12 MPH.

Guessing when you drive one of these you can park wherever you want and not have to worry about someone dinging the bodywork with a carelessly opened door. Interior comfort however didn't appear to have been a major design consideration, probably relatively easy to fix with good access for repairs though.