CAPREOLUS is a Bermudan yawl of carvel construction, mahogany on oak, built by R A Newman & Sons of Hamworthy, Poole to a design that was apparently inspired by the famous Sparkman and Stephens yacht FINESTERRE.
Between 1966 and 1976 she wore the white ensign in the ownership of one Major D V Bonsor who was a member of the Royal Yacht Squadron. Subsequent owners made considerable efforts to bring her back to a good condition but she was allowed to fall into neglect.
Fortunately her current owner undertook a restoration which completed in June 2011 when Capreolus was relaunched after a two and a half year restoration taking 3,500 man hours.
Greg confirms that she is, as I suspected a Morecombe Bay Prawner, the hull was moulded by Eric Berqvist, who also moulded the Memory which Greg later built at his Salterns yard and the diminutive Winkle Brigs. The moulds were taken from an old motor prawner "Sir William Priestly",
Apparently the mouldings were twisted in the counter so Greg undertook an extensive rebuild having purchased the stripped out the GRP hull and deck from the now long gone Classic Yachts Ltd at the Triangle Boatyard in Bittern. It needed some massive reinforcing with new bulkheads, frames and deck beams to prevent flexing.
Greg then fitted out Black Jack work boat style with an iroko coach roof and internal t&g interior.
Black Jack was fitted with "inherited" sails and spars but as a result was under canvassed, which combined with the shallow draft didn't sail that well.
All that took place about 30 years ago, she was sold to help pay for his studies at the local Warsash college. Black Jack has been since sailed extensively including the channel islands and a spell in Wales before coming back to the Solent and her current home in Keyhaven.
My meeting finished at lunch time so I took the opportunity to walk back to the office along the Thames from London Bridge.
I remember going to the London Planetarium as a young child, probably early 1960's the stars were projected above the then London skyline, very different to what we see now with all the high rise additions.
HMS Belfast looking imposing as ever.
It was a good day for boat spotting with this barge alongside the London Bridge pier
The ever changing face of London from the river, church spires used to dominate the skyline, there are still a couple hidden in there.
Interesting clash of architectural styles are going up in Lymington. These waterfront flats couldn't be more diverse; contemporary brick, mixing with Miami cruise ship, alongside traditional pitched roof with added carbuncle (for want of a better description).
Lucky our local planners are doing such a good job maintaining the spirit and local character, just think what might have been built.
I've tried repeatedly to find this in the Ashley Book of Knots but to no avail.
Not sure that it follows conventional dock line etiquette which I've always understood that if some one is already secured, the newcomer should pass their lines underneath and either make a bowline or secure back to the boat.
It was an unusually low tide at Studland as I set off to kayak around the Old Harry rocks which are actually chalk formations at Handfast point in Dorset.
The very outer parts are described as a stack and a stump or Old Harry and his wife.
With slack tide and a calm sea it was easy to go right around the point, seen here with Swanage in the distance.
Better still with the tide so low it was possible get up close and see parts which I've never had the opportunity to explore before, like some of the smaller caves and windows. The water was crystal clear.
I imagine this low bank doesn't often break the surface, but it made for a nice resting spot and a good reminder to keep well off when sailing past.
The famous stack, seen from the land side and showing the tidal range, which isn't huge a couple of meters at most.
Piracy on the Hamble has been virtually unknown for a couple
of hundred years or so, although there was a spate of outboard motor thefts a few years ago and back in the early noughties, the notorious one legged boat
burglar was caught and convicted on unambiguous CCTV evidence.
Just recently there has been increase in reported sightings of the gentlemen and ladies of fortune.
It started with the Hamble river raid, one of the gig crew
left behind no doubt to guard the boat while the others were ashore for some nefarious purpose.
More recently some unsavoury characters were gathered at the
slipway over the bank holiday.
Later seen at the top of the creek with fellow pirates
proudly displaying the skull and crossbones, presumably a nice quiet spot to hold a
I haven't been to Portsmouth by boat for a quite while (not counting the Brittany ferry last summer) and it was nice to revisit all the familiar features from when we kept Blue Clipper there years ago, the Millennium Tower and Spice Island in the foreground
Mary Mouse, the bar and shower block for Haslar marina based in the old lightship.
A couple of Victory class, local day boats similar to the XOD's but clinker built and I believe unique to Portsmouth.
A Daring class Destroyer alongside.
And another one out on a mooring in the harbour.
Moored in the Porchester channel a very nice sloop, sadly the light was fading.
There's a poignancy to this picture that I like, the remains of a single, old working boat gradually decaying, reverting back to the elements from which it was made. While across the river in the bustling marina a new generation of pleasure boats define the changed times.
Boats have become part time pleasure craft, vessels of affection, with an altogether more trivial purpose, the old discarded and unwanted - it could be a metaphor for modern life or maybe I'm just feeling a bit old myself.
My friend Malcolm asked me to help take his boat back to Port Solent in Portsmouth, not that he actually needed any help but it was a nice excuse to go for an evening on the water and a catch up over a couple of beers.
The remains of the unsettled bank holiday weather were still in evidence, but no rain and the wind was SW 15 knots or less as we left Hamble.
Some spectacular light breaking though the clouds, looking up Southampton water.
Leaving Hamble and getting used to the boat at 1200 revs.
Not long after approaching Portsmouth.
We were going a bit faster with the turbos kicked in and the boat up on the plane, I wasn't really watching the time but it was a whole lot faster than sailing.