Monday, 31 December 2012

The last post 2012

My predictions for 2013

Sailing will be more fun than working
A celebrity will be in the news
The tides will rise and fall
The wind will be in the wrong direction most of the time
You will remember where you left that vital spare part, it just won't be where you remembered it was
The weather will improve
(I could be wrong about the weather)

Have a great new year and here's wishing you well for whatever endeavours you pursue in 2013

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Boxing Day

For a few brief moments the sun broke through, but all too soon the approaching front started to close in, rain is foretold by midday but a few folk were out walking the dog, getting some fresh air and even sailing.

It's a day for a roaring fire, warm beer, hot mulled wine, the children will have playing with the favourites of their presents  - hope you're enjoying the holiday.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Merry Christmas

Wishing everyone a merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

The oil refinery over at Fawley looks almost festive at this time of year, lit up in the early evening twilight, apologies but it makes a change from chocolate box images of pretty villages and cute waterside pubs!

Boxing Day seems to be a very British tradition, a public holiday celebrated on the 26th December in UK, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand and other former colonies. It's a day for sporting events and for people to take the opportunity to get out and "blow away the cobwebs" after Christmas day.

It would be great to get out on the water, especially if the weather was clear and bright like the picture above, sadly the weather forecast predicts otherwise, so it will probably be like the picture below, taken on Boxing day last year of a few hardy members of the Seafarers Sailing Club launching from the beach, it was all too familiar cold, wet and windy but everyone seemed to be having good fun.

What ever you are doing over the holiday have a great time and thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, 22 December 2012


I guess from time to time most sailors think about getting a motor boat, most often it's when we're slogging to windward, soaking wet with the rain lashing down, at times like that it's nice to imagine sitting below in the wheelhouse aboard something like this, watching the weather and the wet yachtsmen go by.

The picture, taken into the sun, doesn't really do justice to that lovely canoe stern. Vagabond as she's called was out on the hard last year but alas crowded in by other boats it was impossible to get good pictures, I'll have to keep trying.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Best of the day

It seems that in common with several fellow bloggers,  life has been so busy at work and at home for the last several months that there's been very little time for blogging or indeed just getting out on the water. I suddenly realised that I hadn't been rowing for over a month, so Sunday morning I hauled myself and boat down to the hard shortly after first light. Fortunately with the short winter days that was about 8.30 on what was a clear bright Sunday morning.

Surprisingly the river was already busy, a bait digger was taking advantage of low water.

Perhaps these fishermen were customers for his worms, either way they seemed to be having a good time on one of the empty mid river pontoons.

I wasn't the only rower out, the local crew were out with their Solent galley.

The harbour launch was showing Christmas spirit sporting not one but two Christmas trees, maybe it was to match the twin outboards?

All in all it was a great row, the sun shone, the river was largely empty, I even stopped off at Matilda Emile to take off the jib from the roller furling and bring the battery home.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Lee on Solent

Looking eastward from Saltern's Road park at Hill Head to the built up shore at Lee on Solent.

With an automatic telephoto lens it's easy to replicate the changing view that might be seen from a small boat as it approaches, the destination slowly revealing itself.

 Until finally everything is in clear sight and navigation marks have been identified.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Lymington town gaffers

Saturday morning was bright and clear, so after breakfast and picking up some essential Christmas supplies in Lymington we took the opportunity to wander around in the sunshine for a bit of boat spotting.

This ketch looks like it's come into the river for the winter, sadly it wasn't possible to get a closer view, but she looks impressive.

I believe this lovely canoe yawl is Charmina, an Albert Strange design built by built in 1923 by Ernest Woods and is currently advertised for sale on the Albert Strange Association web site

The last one is Alice III a red hot racer designed by Rogers Yacht Design for a local racing syndicate. Although she looks traditional don't be fooled, to go with her towering top mast, she has lots of form stability and a deep high aspect keel finished off with a lead torpedo.

Friday, 7 December 2012


I took this shot on an overcast and cloudy morning a while ago and forgotten it. When I was looking through recent photo's I didn't recognise where it was.

The photo was taken at maximum magnification and although it's a very familiar part of the river, it's not a view one would normally see, plus the close cropped telephoto image had extenuated and foreshortened the Isle of Wight in the distance which almost look mountainous - or perhaps I just have a vivid imagination.

Monday, 3 December 2012


Down at the Bursledon Brickwork Museum the Hampshire Light Railway was having a bit of a slow time on Sunday, the overnight temperatures had dropped below freezing so it took a while to get the pipes thawed out and water to the boilers.

While we were waiting we watched this traction engine which was doing slightly better,  heading off for an excursion. It was built by Garratt's of Suffolk getting on for 100 years ago and looking none the worse for her age thanks to some meticulous care from her owner.

An electric engine was called into service to pull the 7 1/4" gauge train which was very popular as always with Joseph and the young driver who had recently turned 16 and passed his train drivers test. 

Eventually steam was up  and it was time for a ride with Wendy the blue engine, the configuration with an engine at each end is because the track is there and back until a loop is constructed. The green engine is interesting a Simplex from around 1926 and petrol driven, apparently used in the construction of the original Winchester trunk road. 

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Full Moon

The past couple of nights have been clear, cold and bright with the huge full moon. It was still out the next morning, so I took the opportunity for a early run along the river, it was difficult to photograph but you can get the idea.

For those of us who spend our time in offices, talking to phones and starring at computers it was nice to be in touch with the rhythm of nature even for a short while. With a spring tide in prospect it would be good to get out rowing at the weekend.