Tuesday 31 May 2011

Bank Holiday Weather.

The late May Bank Holiday used to be called the Whitsun Holiday, and for lots of people especially the Civil Service, Local Authorities, banks etc. it was a long weekend with both Friday and Monday  being holidays. Nowadays it tends to be Monday only but it is the start of the schools half term week in England.
All of this means loads of traffic on the roads. 
It is also becoming the traditional weekend when the stalwarts of HBBR that disorganisation of Home Boat Builders, have their annual visit to The Norfolk Broads.

So, once again we congregated at Barton Turf Adventure Centre.
The weather was fairly blustery, quite windy on Saturday when a few of us managed to get out on the water.  Sunday was definitely windy which caused a miss-hap or two on the way back from the pub. 

Monday morning, when these pictures were taken was glorious. The rest of the country was being soaked by typical Bank Holiday weather, i.e. wet and windy but it hadn't reached Norfolk yet, so while everyone else was packing up early and heading home we were out enjoying ourselves.

  Above is Hazy Days, winner of the 2009 WaterCraft Amateur Boat Building Award for most professional looking home made boat.  Her builder, Nick Paull has since added a sailing rig and doesn't she look beautiful!

It didn't last long however and they took a dunking, but they were back on the water in the afternoon, this time with their out-riggers, and bailer!

This is Cee Dubbs in his fantastic little Rosie Mae, giving Peter and Laita Nobes a sailing lesson. Peter is building a Greenshank Dinghy which is nearly complete so he wanted to get his hand in. Notice Cee Dubbs has got a huge reef in which is an indication of how blustery it was.

Its becoming a tradition to all go for a sail in Ever Hopeful, on Saturday afternoon, we jettisoned the ballast and filled it with people, five in all, and had great fun sailing around using the centreboard as a depth sounder. This is owner and skipper Wayne with his mate Marcus on the helm.   The people behind in the Canadian canoe were not sheltering from the sun but using the umbrella for propulsion. They seemed to be getting along nicely.

And here is Yours Truly, taking Coot for a sail on its home waters. 

Designer Andrew Wolstenholme lives in the Broads.  

The little boat was a joy to sail, she behaved herself, and excited rather than frightened her builder. 

When I was out on Saturday I didn't put a reef in and I probably should have as it was a bit marginal at times, so I tucked one in on Sunday and she was very well behaved. She sailed along nicely and would sit quietly when Hove-To so that I could take some photographs.

Of course I couldn't take the photos of my own boat, so many thanks to John "Ratcatcher" Lockwood for keeping me in the view-finder while holding the camera in one hand, driving his boat with the other, and keeping a lookout for hire cruisers. 

Cheers John, that'll be another pint I owe you.  

Wednesday 25 May 2011

Weather Report.

As the South of England continues to enjoy a remarkable spell of good weather, unseasonal storms have hit Scotland.

These pictures were taken by our good friend Susan who lives in West Kilbride on the Firth of Clyde. 

I'm not sure what type the little gaff cutter is, it wasn't there the last time I visited but I do remember seeing the Drascombe Lugger.   

The harbour is very shallow with huge boulders on the bottom so I wonder how much of a pounding the boats took as the tide fell

The little harbour is at Portencross Castle, which is pretty much a ruin. 

Sunday 22 May 2011

What's in a name?

There has been a new arrival down at the Ancient and Venerable.

Our little Sailfish was delivered from its hideaway in Wiltshire and launched down under the Itchen Bridge where access is a bit better than at the Club.

She was escorted up river by our "Gentlemen's Launch" and is now sitting on the pontoon waiting for her new moorings to be laid. 

We've decided we really need to change her name.
 All the club boats are named after birds, but in any case we thought LORAX sounds a bit like toilet cleaner. 

Any Suggestions?    

Thursday 19 May 2011

Wooton Creek

I had a day sail with the Civil Service Sailing Association today in their Dufour 405.  

There wasn't much wind in the morning so we motor sailed over to Wooton Creek on The Isle of Wight for an early lunch.
I haven't been to Wooton before, its very pretty and I think it would be worth exploring further up the creek in something smaller.  

The wind got up a bit in the afternoon and we had fun dodging the traffic in what is one of the busiest sea ways in the world. 

There's always a risk of becoming the filling in a Red Funnel Sandwich 
They come at you from every direction. 

And here is yours truly, as happy as can be, but I can't get used to not having the tiller in one hand and the main sheet in the other. 

Monday 16 May 2011

Sailfish 18 (Not Cornish Crabber)

The Venerable and Ancient, St Deny's Sailing and Rowing Club have been looking for a new cabin boat since last summer.

 In fact ever since I sold their old Shipmate Senior "Cygnet" to the bloke who sold us his Laser. 
I'm not sure who got the better end of the deal there.  

The Boat Sub-Committee of the said Venerable and Ancient have searched high and low to find a boat which meets their stringent requirements. 

I tried to persuade them to spend their entire boat fund and mortgage the club house on a Cornish Shrimper

But they could not be persuaded, and so instead we have gone for this little Sailfish 18 which we found in a barn in deepest Wiltshire.

She is a bit too old, a bit cheap, not all that pretty, scruffy and slightly frayed around the edges.

 In fact she should fit right in and I think she'll be much loved.

She is supposed to be a four-berth but there is no way I'll be sleeping in there with three other hairy blokes.  

Sunday 15 May 2011

Inwe II

If there can be a silver lining from the very dark cloud that is getting your boat crushed by a truck, then getting to discuss your next boat with Iain Oughtred must come close. 

Iain was attending the Oughtred Rally they were heading for when it all want badly wrong so he and Richard sat down and began hatching plans.

Apparently a few bits like centreboard and rudder have been salvaged so it'll be interesting to see what they decide to do. 

I'm very glad to hear Richard hasn't been put off and is planning another build.

Saturday 7 May 2011


This is my good friend Richard Rooth in his Iain Oughtred designed faering, Inwe. 

The Photo was taken at the HBBR Rally at Barton Turf Norfolk Broads last May

On Friday Richard and friends were travelling to the Oughtred Rally in The Netherlands when their car was tail ended by a truck. 

Thankfully no one was hurt but Inwe was destroyed. 

Commiserations Richard, she really was lovely. 

Sunday 1 May 2011

Who ate all the biscuits?

The ancient and venerable
 St Deny's Sailing and Rowing Club
 had an Open Day on Saturday. 

Not a lot of people turned up,
 there were more committee members than punters,
 but that's par for the course.

 One crowd of folk who did come were Chris Partridge and his friends from Langstone Cutters Rowing Club.

 More to the point they arrived in their classic Solent Galley "Bembridge".

 Its massive and puts our old boats in the shade.

Here's Chris trying out Merlin, our oldest boat.

  It was great to see such a friendly bunch of real enthusiastic rowers.  

Even if they did drink our tea, eat our biscuits and nearly sink one of our boats. 

And as usual the best bit about friends coming to visit, is waving them off again.

Cheerio then!