Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Must look

Inspiration for a cold dismal day


I MUST down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face and a grey dawn breaking. I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied; And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying, And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying. I must down to the seas again to the vagrant gypsy life. To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife; And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover, And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.

John Masefield

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Playing with Banners

They say that you dont loose too many brain cells as you get older, well! I have been trying to set up a banner on my site and so far have managed to delete my header, destroy all my replied comments and generall Fa*t things up! I do, however, now have a modified site, but that wasn`t my initial intention. So what to do? I think I`ll just put it down to experience and carry on as it is :o(( "Pillock", Grumble grumble! Ah!!!! I have just spotted the Label box at the bottom perhaps I`ll try a label? Oh dear!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Seasons Greetings

May I wish you all a very merry Christmas!
Kindest regards

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Silent thought for Sunday!

Its 14-00 and I`m just getting ready to collect and deliver a wooden sailing Ketch from the south west coast of the UK to just downstream of tower bridge on the Thames. The weather has been pretty bad for more than a few days now and even today the forecast is for following winds up to 50 miles an hour but at least they will be from astearn so if I can keep the tide, for the best parts of the initial trip, I will be OK as far as Ramsgate (10 hours plus) . Also I will get some shelter afforded from the Goodwins too as I intend passing on the downwind side of them (offshore side, no inshore channel for me this time). If the weather reduces and is suitable I will give Ramsgate a miss passing "The elbow" and enter into the princes channel seaward of Margate sands and on past the new wind farms, down to "Sea reach 1" and up into the better shelter of the Thames itself. The vessel has just had a new engine installation so it is a bit of an unknown, and the sails may be real handy. I reckon the trip will take two days, be fairly riotus and not warm, not to mention wet!

The joys of boating eh! why do we do it? is it for adventure? My reason is because I just love to be at one with nature. It has to be the closest one can get to it being alone in the middle of a sea (even the english channel with no land evident) OK so it gets a bit windy and a bit bumpy its still a great feeling to achieve your goal and make your port safely! Think of me while you are tucked safely up in your beds tomorrow morning or tomorrow night :o)) bye 4 Now!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Aren`t some people nice!

A mate of mine gave me a GPS for my car yesterday, he had broken the bracket and instead of just buying a new bracket he purchased an upgraded system, which now, incooperates his phone (Wow!) bloody BMV drivers, don`t you just love em? tee hee! So I set about making a suitable metal bracket to fit into my dash.

One hour later it was finished, sprayed in primer and fitted to my dash on Velcro pads, "no its not, yes it is, no its not, yes it is? they keep falling off? Ah! read the instructions, Doh! they have to be left for 24 hours? for maximum security! Pillock !!! I did that and now its there in all its glory working away! Now what do I do? I don`t go anywhere strange ? Ive been around long enough to know everywhere :o(( ?

Wow I`ve just found out that I can link my phone to this one too ( I bet he didn`t realisethat Id better tell him!) through Blue tooth, but I haven`t got them so ? out with the poster paints! thats better now I have! I recieve a strange look from wife as I pass the kitchen( unintentional cheauvanistic comment) but I explain to her that I am linking my phone to the GPS, whilst licking lips clear of spilt blue paint! eugh! tastes horrible, much nodding of her head and muttering of " if you had a brain you could rule the world!" What would she know?:o))

What it is, not to be a Technophobe eh? gosh!!! this paint is getting everywhere, must change my shirt, Oh sh*t it all over my hands now and the car door handle as I go to look at my new work of art!

Its gone! Oh B*llocks the velcro has fallen off again! I find the GPS resplendant with quick release, specialist designed and manufactured bracket, in the foot well, Now happily telling me to Turn around at the next available roundabout! Mental note to get some cloth and get the blue paint of the dashboardbefore it sets, and the GPS case. Two screws seems to be the order of the day I think now! Isn`t it always the case ;o)) Second mental note:- book seats for the Blue man show and go in costume, I`ll never get all this paint off :o))

Sunday, December 03, 2006


More people are murdered in the UK each year. by mentally disturbed people released back into the community, than were ever killed by privately owned hand guns since the second world war!

why did the government forbid the ownership of a self protection item that they could at least have kept track of, and why do they still allow inadequate descisions to be made, re the mental health act/return to community "sensor" those making such bad descisions shouild be imprisoned themselves!

In Fact, Exponentially, more hand gun crimes are occuring each year now, since the ban but now there is no track on the weapons! and little or no recourse against the guilty, due to lack of police funding!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Who the!

not only am I "in need of Maintenence" and repeating myself( Oh bye the way Compliments of the season) I`m changing physically, Here is a recent photo of me at work!

The Compliments of the season to you all!

About the Origami Holiday Tree: The Origami Holiday Tree has marked the start of the holiday season at the Museum for over 30 years. The theme of this years tree is Origami Safari, and is represented by a bountiful array of exotic creatures, created by 40 of the 1,600 members of Origami USA. Lions, tigers, bears, elephants, giraffes, and camels hang from and surround the base of the tree. The volunteers begin folding in July to complete approximately 500 creations displayed on the tree. During the holiday season, volunteers will be on hand to teach visitors of all ages the art of origami folding.

I fancy a trip to learn how to fold a Tiger? or an Elephant. Oh! the photo is from the New York Natural History Museum, bye the way!

Compliments of the season! December 25th is nearly here!

Oslo's Christmas tree for London ready, Thursday, Oslo's traditional gift to London, a Christmas tree for Trafalgar Square, will be cut. The 26-metre tree is 100 years old, and the 60th tree to cross the North Sea.The Lord Mayor of Westminister, Alexander Nicoll, and Oslo Mayor Per Ditlev-Simonsen will be present at the traditional cutting ceremony in the Oslo forest.Chidren from the Oslo International School and the local Korsvoll Primary School will sing Christmas carols.The Oslo tree will be lit on Trafalgar Square on December 7th.The tree is a gift to London in gratitude for what the city did for Norway during the Second World War, housing Norway's King and Government in exile.Oslo is also sending a Christmas tree to Rotterdam and Reykjavik

As a kid, each year I would be taken up to Trafalgar square by my Grandfather to see the tree and to look at the model boats, in the shipping companies windows all around the area, I guess I got my great love of the sea from those experiences. The tree never looks as big now as it did then, funny that isnt it?

The model boats once the pride of the various shipping companies, as their fleets representations in London, have mostly gone now but a couple still remain. The Science Museum was always an alternative and from the Age of about seven years old, I would walk from Battersea to Exhibition road each day (when not at school) to see the models there too, and wind the many brass handles of the exhibits to make a model archemedian screw irregation pump work, with its little Arab gentleman working the actual pump`s handle! or a model train, move along a track, or many other wondrous displays. Ah me!

Some 37 Years later at the Tecnology in leisure exhibition, convention in Maastrict I presented a paper to some, one thousand industry leaders, on "The benefits of Planned preventative maintenence in the day to day use of Technical ride park machienery" (Booring) In it, I referred to Museums as having the oportunity to gain revenue and increased funding by becoming the "Themeparks of the future" and the Science museum, London, certainly took that commment on board. What goes around comes around! Eh? Now I need maintaining!!!!!!!!! Hee Hee!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Extinction is for ever! well almost,

I was going to put photos of the tasmanian Tiger and the Dodo, here but I could only find one and that was pretty bad! :o))

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Sharks! the red corpcuscles in our life blood sea.

Shark Fins stored fins aboard a longlining vessel captured off the US coast!

Sharks are the real cleaners of the sea, they rid the oceans of the sick and dying, preventing the stagnation of the seas, in much the same manner as the red corpuscles in our Blood, for without them our planet will die. (A 1968)

It's a pretty gruesome practice. Net a shark, slice off its fins, then throw the bleeding, limbless fish back into the water. This is the source of the primary ingredient in shark-fin soup, a pricey staple of Chinese restaurants throughout Asia and parts of the West.
A tiny portion of the fins on board the King Diamond II when it was stopped at sea by the U.S. Coast Guard 2 years ago.U.S. Coast Guard
The problem is not that people eat cartilage-rich shark fins, but that most of the crews harvesting those fins discard the rest of the huge animal—wasting its protein in a remarkably inhumane fashion. In the West, where the allure of shark fins is low, nearly everyone from shark conservationists to U.S. government officials has condemned the practice. Indeed, 2 years ago the National Marine Fisheries Service, part of the Commerce Department, formally banned shark finning throughout U.S. waters.
However, those rules applied only to fishing vessels flying under a U.S. flag while at sea. Foreign vessels continued to plunder sharks throughout the seas, including U.S. waters, with impunity.
At least in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, that situation may be about to end. On Nov. 23, 63 member nations of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT)—an intergovernmental fishery organization that concerns itself with large fish in the open seas—unanimously agreed to ban shark finning in those two bodies of water.
The decision had been prodded by measures from several influential bodies. In May, for example, the American Elasmobranch Society, made up of biologists who study sharks and related species, passed a resolution urging an international ban on shark finning by the United Nations General Assembly at its fall meeting. And on Nov. 17, the General Assembly complied by "urging" member nations to ban "directed shark fisheries conducted solely for the purpose of harvesting shark fins . . . and to encourage the full use of dead sharks." Who are we to make this descision?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Good ole Sam T !

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (another one)

As idle as a painted ship Upon a painted ocean.
The Sun came up upon the left,
Out of the sea came he!
And he shone bright, and on the right
Went down into the sea.

The moving Moon went up the sky,
And no where did abide:
Softly she was going up,
And a star or two beside.

The fair breeze blew,
the white foam flew,
The furrow followed free;
We were the first,
that ever burst ,
Into that silent sea.

Alone, alone, all, all alone,
Alone opon a wide wide sea!
And never a saint took pity,
opon My soul in agony

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Sunday, November 12, 2006

John Masefield (ah me!)


I MUST down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face and a grey dawn breaking. I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied; And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying, And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying. I must down to the seas again to the vagrant gypsy life. To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife; And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover, And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.

John Masefield

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Soon be winter

Yes, its getting colder! Yes, it will soon be winter!, Yes, I miss the boat ! Yes, I will be on her in a day or too, so I will be less Pi**ed off. As you might have guessed, I have my Mr Grumpy head on today don`t ask me why? I said don`t ask me !!! alright! Ok I`ll tell you In my previous life I was quite athletic and with the cold weather comes the pain! I ache like B*ggery most of the winter, I am lethargic and as a result boored. I guess I have had life too easily.

I should probably think myself lucky that I have all I could want from life, and should enjoy that in its entirety. But Hey!! I`m human and I want more, what do I want ? I haven`t got a clue, I guess I am searching for the not so holy grail, when I find it I will know. Have I got it already Probably but I don`t recognise it as such. Boored boored boored!

Indiginous Specis (ten years hence)

I woke early today (05-00) and thought I would stretch myself a little with a post I have considered but not really thought about fully.

As the indiginous specis of the british Isles the early Populace, kelts , saxons etc are already a mixed bunch and so we start in confusion, with all factions believing that they are the true Indiginous specis.

Recently (in say the last 60 years) things have changed quite dramatically. People have migrated south (our government is predominently scottish) landed here from overseas and now we are an even more "watered" down society! Is this a bad thing I have to ask? as I am a believer that the mongrels of this world survive longer are healthier and providing close interbreeding is avoided we will survive!

The Indiginous peoples of USA ( the american indians) after all lost their country to the imigrants and look what that "great super power" has achieved (give or take a few wasteful wars) in the short time following the indians loss.

Is the UK to go the same way, The UK immigration laws, and its blatant abuse, bothers me, not so much for myself but for my children and their children. We are developing areas of high unemployed and low income where all manner of crime is increasing. We have forbidden all hand guns, ( due to one incident perpetrated by a mad man) yet the incidence of (hand ) gun crime is rising rapidly. Our values are depreciating, no longer do we see people standing up to allow a less capable person take their seat on the bus. More often are we hearing of another robbery, too little funding. over zealous Stealth taxation. poor hospitals. In fact the whole UK and its systems are depreciating rapidly. What is the way forward I ask myself. Change the government? bring a halt to continued immigration?.

Increasing numbers of Brits are emigrating fed up with the situation they find themselves in, so they too are guilty of becoming the next generation of immigrants to wherever they decide to settle, and so it goes on.

As a "Norman" ( not am Eric :o)) ) myself I guess I cannot say too much but I have to ask will the UK go the same way as the USA in that the indiginous specis will be minimalised (if its not the case already) or will there be some room for the remaining Brits to lead a good life in a secure established society?

Monday, October 30, 2006

Summat 2 ponder upon!

To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen, who play with their boats at sea - "cruising," it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change.

Only then will you know what the sea is all about."I've always wanted to sail to the South Seas, but I can't afford it." What these men can't afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of "security." And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine - and before we know it our lives are gone.What does a man need - really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in - and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That's all - in the material sense. And we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention from the sheer idiocy of the charade.

The years thunder by. The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it the tomb is sealed.Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?-

Sterling Hayden

Friday, October 27, 2006

Don`t know what his dvd is like but!

His site is worth a read and, inavertantly, contains some very good tips that Mmmmmmm might concider using for funding her world cruise? costs nothing to join but you might like to contribute by purchasing a dvd of his cruise so far? having availed yourselves of his daily log entries. (fousands of them)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

What a well thought out statement

"I have always had the feeling that these long journeys act upon my system as a thorough cleansing of all the nastiness that accumulates during a period on shore. Once out of sight of the coast, a man is all alone in the presence of his Creator, and he cannot remain a stranger to the forces of nature that surround him. Soon he will be part of these himself, regaining his simplicity and refining himself in contact with the brute forces that embrace him and swallow him up.
And it is this, I believe, this need not simply for novelty, but for physical and spiritual cleanliness which drives the lone sailor towards other shores; there, his body and mind are freed from their terrestrial ties and bondage, and can regain their essence and integrity in the natural elements which the ancients deified. Wind, Sun and Sea: the seaman's triune god!"

Bernard Moitessier

Written before there were as many Woman sailors evident

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Good Man is RKJ

Here he is pictured at the Dinkirk little ships meet ( in guess where!) Dunkirk on an old diesel powered steam Tug.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Piccie for Mmmmmmmm !

Notice how straight it is too, except for the "designer" kink in the end! that is :o))

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Are those seagulls swimming or walking number one?

They appear to be walking Captain! "Oh Shite! full astearn number one"

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Dancing on Tables this weekend!

Well I crossed the solent (both ways this weekend) to the Isle of wight and stayed with a mate on his boat (you know the one whose landing stage we rebuilt). I had a great time and ended up on the Saturday night at a certain hostilery where dancing on the tables is not ony condoned its encouraged. We ended up finally going to sleep at 02.30 Sunday morning Wow!! very late for me. I enclose a photo of the place so those of you who can recognise it might comment as to what its name is (Fuff??)

Monday, October 02, 2006

And the amount left in the dingy

look at the size of that compared to the power plug

Am I a Jonah!

I delivered a 45 foot princess from Brighton to Shepperton last week. We left brighton at 22.00 hours arriving at Hammersmith bridge at 16.00 approximately. As we were about to pass under the bridge we picked up a rope on the starboard engine, stopping it dead and refusing to operate in gear, this caused the boat to turn broadside, I tried to correct this by going astearn on the only operational engine and picked up the rest of the rope causing that engine to stop too. I announced that we had a problem and immediately headed for the anchor to stop the boat from continuing with the tide and impacting with other moored boats close by, whilst the owner and friend who were lowing the radar arch at the time, tried to regain control of the engines ( without any luck).

The pin that released the anchor was firmly stuckin in and no amount of my cursing and pulling would let it free, so I called to the owner, that we would need plenty of fenders to prevent damage in the impact with the by now fast closing moored vessels. I grabbed a large ball fender and fitted it to the most advantageous point and then instructed him to to throw me a long mooring line which he kept on the fly bridge and made my way to the bow (we passed under the bridge broadside with 300 mm to spare and were now able to straighten up the vessel with the use of the bow thruster only, but were travelling astearn in the current of about three knots) I fixed the line to the Anchor winch via the port fairlead and as we were about five metres off the first lot of passing boats, but heading straight for a group of plastic small boats (moored to a footbridge type pier) I instructed the owners friend to take the wheel and the owner who had by now lined the rest of the boat with fenders, to get another long rope ( all though this was unneccery as he was on the case already) and deal with the stearn should he get along side first. I spotted a large mooring ring on the roof, of a soon to pass, canal boat and instructed the owners friend to forget our attitude and just get the boat as close to canal boat as he could with the use of the bow thruster, which he did. We were just about to pass the canal boat when I jumped onto the roof and ran for the ring passing the rope through it with two turns. The flimsyg ring (about 8 mill in diameter) didnt seem strong enough but that was all we had for the moment, I took a quick look around as the rope took the strain, and the boat pulled around to face into the stream. and spotted a stronger cleat on the bopw of the canal boat should I need it in an "emergency". The fenders did their job and the owner jumped off the stearn onto another vessel.

After a few ajustments we breathed again, and our pulse rates returned to normal. The pier "superintendant" immediately appeared (as they do, looking for fees) and asked how long we were intending to stay as we couldnt moor where we were. He was dispached with a king size hornet in his ear as out plight was pointed out to him. we checked the depth of the water and found that it was reducing rapidly which would mean that the vessel would ground in about an hour (something that Princess 45`s cannot do as the rudders are forced through the hull and the integrity of the hull is breached. We called the coastguard explaining our plight and that the vessel was in imminent danger of being holed who dispached the RNLI river rescue to our aid.

Within about four minutes of the call the sirens were heard and the blue light was approaching fast. they pulled along side assesed the problem and we affixed our lines to them for a tow to their station at Chiswick pier, where we could sit quite happily until we fixed the problem (as it didn`t dry out) I have to say that the Lifeboat crew acted with the greatest of proffessionalism, they were well trained and cheerful and their equipment was of the highest standard, they did however pickup a blockage to their port water jet whilst they were towing us and were forced to reduce speed to barely more than the surging current, we all looked at each other with a single thought, would we and they now be sent off down river ajoined, without any control power? It didn`t happen and with good spirits we arrived at the pier where two of the crew were waiting for us, to take lines etc. They (the lifeboat) went alongside inbetween us and the pier and acted as an actual buffer to the pier and lines were exchanged. They then went out astearn and down the pier to their berth, where they commenced the clearing of their jet drive.

We telephoned for the services of a Diver as the owner refused to let me have a go at clearing the blockage when the tide was slack, the current was by now running well. He arrived at slack water the next day and managed to clear the port prop and shaft, but the tide beat him and he wasn`t able to clear the starboard one. We waited for the tide to be suitable ( draft wise) for passage along Sion reach and on to Richmond half tide lock where the barrier would be open and progressed up river on one engine and entered the non tidal waters above Teddington lock where the diver could work with impunity having little worries about the tide.

The diver returned at 08.30 the next day and cleared the rest of the rope ( which was 9 inch circumference, green and white barge rope, about thirty feet of it, Ouch! Thankyou Mr Cory) We returned up river to Shepperton where the owner was supposed to be attending a Commodores sail past and was by now a couple of hours late he did however make a run past the other moored boats whith the commodore aboard and we dipped our ensign in salute, whereupon the commodore replied with his own salute. God only knows what they all thought of the ragamuffing crew in heavy weather gear, no blazers and white slacks for us that day. We settled on the owners mooring about ten minutes later as the torrential rain stopped. The boat will be lifted out for drive train inspection, on Tuesday and the gearbox integrity investigated for damage.

As a "govenor", and full supporter of all things to do with the RNLI and having now had to call them twice in my boating life ( the first time whilst diving off Selsey Bill and watching the boat sink past me in mid water) I have to say that they provide a brilliant service, their crews are fully dedicated and professional, and their tea is brilliant! thanks again Guys for a job well done.

Lifes never dull is it?
"Am I really a Jonah?"

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Monday, September 25, 2006

Yesterday (Sunday, just so you all know when I wrote this post)

The usual flock (squillions of the b*ggers) of starlings arrived at the marina this afternoon and in "orderly fashion" as if there were some sort of school teacher ordering them to do so, they settled on the rigging of all the marina sail boats, whilst waiting their turn to roost in the area under "Wheatherspoons" which they do each night (while their number grows ready to emigrate to Morocco and then mid Africa). My next door, but one, neighbour decided that she would go to the boat next to me and shake the rigging to dislodge them, this she duly did and they flew off and circled around, but not before they Shat great amounts of blackberry sh*t all over my newly cleaned white GRP boat. Why do people do such things, what a bloody pillock that woman is. I have just spent another hours trying to get blackberry stains out of my gell coat, She walked away without a mark.Her boat which was next door, on the other side to me, to the boot whose rigging she shook was completely missed by them as was she. I wish I was a starling I wouldnt miss her! Oh well! I`m getting used to being in the Sh*t these days.

Friday, September 22, 2006

01-52 still no progress with postings whats going on?

Ho hum! I guess I`d better allow for at least four days to get a posting?

15.00 Friday wheres my posts?

Why is it taking me so long to get anything posted now? Chatting with a mate, he is writing a program to copy the blogger site system! I am tempted to fund him and use him ! so get your a8ses into gear please!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

This post was entered at 22.40 today thursday 12th September

please comment when you see it first so I can get an Idea of when it actually gets on to my site in view!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Off to SBS today

I quite look forward to a boat show visit, or do I? really! do I? There are so many boats ,so many dreams and perhaps just too much marketing hype. The show organisers don`t exactly tell the truth re the amount of sales, they never really come out and say that the boat industry is drying up or that sales were bad this year or that year, perhaps its just my wrong instincts and they are not? and its only certain manufacturers that are the ones on the bread line, (certainly not Janneau or Beneteau with their cheap productioin costing, spray glass systems).

I shall walk around, as I have done for very many years (not Southampton of course) and look in awe at the large cruisers, Nordhaven etc, the latge sailboats, Swan nautor etc, and the electronic boys toys, sure I have computer navigation and Radar but the forward scanning sonar now available (if one has the money) is incredible. Mind you at fifty knots does it work :o)) (who the hell does fifty knots, well the "Super seasick" does, the sea cats).

I shall eat the burgers and drink the plastic cupped (foul) tea and during the break I shal contemplate why the hell I made the effort to come, then its off to wind up a few stand holders. to watch the man that each year demonstrates the drill bits that can drill right through a file( I wonder what he will be drilling through this year) Oh! and the large bearded gentleman that has a renown bench vice system and carves large eagles and such like, Oh! and the diamond file seller she will be there too, again I ask myself why do I go as I shall see the same boats mostly, certainly the same stalls, (I`m not interested in the diving, sail training, canoeing, ditch crawling,etc so I have cut my required exposure to about 20%) why do I go? the journey is 60 miles the parking absymal! with transfer buses or large amounts of money if you can find a space.

Oh well! its 07.35 here and time to get ready for the two hour journey and to ponder further just why? Why the "hell" do I bother?

answers on a post card to the show organisers please :o))

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Well today started off OK but!

Yesterday evening I arrived at the delivery boat , carried out all the usual checks, safety equipment vessel, compitence etc, although a couple of points were border line( old flares but just in date) . I agreed to take her through the lock and on to the fuel pontoon, having her ready, fuelled, for the off by 06.00 today.

Today I duly arrived on time and started up the vessel, the owners PA was still asleep (can you believe) cast her off ( the vessel not the PA you understand) duly spun her around and took her out through the lock into the main Marina area and on to the fuel pontoon. The fog horn was wailing and the sea was like glass, Ideal sea state for this sort of vessel (60 foot plus Hatteras. with about 1000 metres of bimini and side walling two stories up) which I expected to "sail" like a sideboard. This is the second time that I have tried to deliver her having encountered some failing or other in the past.

At the pump I found that the port filler would not recieve fuel and appeared to be full (I knew it wasnt the case) and so I fuelled the starboard tank with about £400.00 of fuel giving the vessel a decided lean to starboard, confirming that the port tank was pretty much empty. The Balance pipe was located and opened and the vessel levelled herself as the fuel transferred itself across. I again filled the starboard tank also with another £400.00 plus until the port was also full. By now the owner (but not his PA) was fully awake and up and about, the fog horn had silenced, although a bit of mist was evident (we have great Radar if needed) so off we went. all seemed OK and I ran a few checks once again, only to find that the nav lights tripped out and wouldn`t stay on (dead short) not too much of a problem as I anticipated an overnight in Ramsgate and so no night passage, having an ETA there at 05.30. I contacted an engineer who works out of Dover to have the problem sorted , so that was OK. everything else was going OK the owner went below to check out the engines, Humungous great MTU circa 60s diesels newly serviced etc, only to have him return wight faced to tell me in a high pitched babble that I had to switch off the starboad engine as we were sinking and that there was water everywhere in the engine compartment, I shut down the engine and asked the mate ( who was by now settled, dozing in a steamer chair on the rear deck) to investigated, He returned to say that I had shut down the wrong engine (good job it wasnt a 747, it has happened). The owner having negotiated a rather splendid spiral staircase, and now disorientated, before stating which engine it was,had told me the wrong one, I started up the stopped engine and closed down the offending one, but not before the mate had opened the engineroom door and got a full soaking with sea water from the source, he is a grumpy old sod anyway! :o)). The problem seemed to be that the water pump airbleed elbow/ had broken off.

I spun the boat around to make for out home port and, leaving the owner at the wheel, and instructions to follow the plotted course on the plotter, I briefly went below to check to see if a temp repair could be effected. No sooner had I left the port engine room to report back to the owner that we were going to have to continue to make our way back, than I bumped into him on the stairs, "Whos at the wheel" I asked, "Oh! Pheobe" he replied! I got back to the wheel to find this diminuative lady PA happily sitting in the "Big chair" singing away at the top of her voice, but now heading for France. "How am I doing" she said! "what course are you on" I asked "Oh! the one that Sydney gave me when he asked me to take over" she replied. I "took control"and we turned to the correct course and approached Brighton once again. They as ever were very accomodating and duly took our lines as I brought her into her temporary berth, astearn, with a large vessel to our bow. I have to say the "landing" was as perfect as it could be ( one engine remember, even if I do say so myself particularily as it is a strange, to me, vessel) I tried to switch the running engine off but to no avail, so I had to return once again,to the engine room to locate the solenoid and manually activate the stop on the diesel pump (I wonder if the captain of the QE2 has this sort of problem?) given the amount of hot pipes and my short sleeves I nearly burned myself a couple of times. Ahhhhh poor soul! do I hear you say?

The various works ( by now quite a list) were duly agreed upon and who would sort them out before a further attempt at her delivery be made, the Mate is seeing to that. I duly removed all my gear off the boat, navigation computer charts wet weather gear etc etc and went off with the owner and the mate for breakfast. it was a short trip and an early one. St Katherins have been notified of the delay in arrival as have Ramsgate. I bet when the boat is ready, the sea state won`t be! Oh well thats life at sea. Oh I forget to mention that my back decided to trip out just before all this took place too! sooooo "on the whole" I dont think that I did too badly for a, all be it, temporarily relative cripple :o)) Tee he!!!!!. at least my back will be comfortable by the time the next attempt is made.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

A not so lucky sailboat

Run aground in the shallows of the Thames :o((. Its at a time like this that I would get off the boat and start to clean the bottom and prop! lets hope that I never have to do this on a delivery, could get expensive

A little sailboat bimbling along in the estuary

Just before the squall hit us! note the sky, pretty exciting?

More photos of Lulworth

I want one!

I forgot the Buddist shrine photo too

What a magnificant structure! you will never find a piece of litter or grass leaf out of place around it, I swear that a monk appears and sweeps up without one seeing him. It is said that they live in tents at the base of the edifice but I have never seen any presence. beautiful though in a strange sort of manner! He must have been one hell of a guy to have all the followers that he still has. Thats one business I would like a slice of! or was it the holy Roman church? not sure.

The Tower of London

I lost this photo when I was trying to write my "last post" so here it is . I was "stationed" there for a while, mainly spending time in Jankers behind the parade ground clock, polishing shell cases. you can just see the top of the Traitors gate arch, so called because the spikes on the top of the port cullis were used to hold the severed heads of so called traitors! and they say that Vlad the Impaler was bad?

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

On the way out from Queenborough I spotted

My next project boat (with my Tim Zim head on that is) arriving, I had a call from the tug skipper who didnt know he was driving the wrong way round asking if it was OK to moor alongside? well what could I say but "Strike a light Govenor" (cause thats how all us cockneys start a sentence) you shouldn`t be within a mile of me, but as the channel is only 500 yards wide at this point, I would let him do so! Suddenly the harbour masters launch appeared alongside and stated rather firmly that there would be "no striking of any-bodies lights" otherwise both the gas tanker and the explosives wreck (montgomerie) situated a quarter of a mile to its stern, would blow up and send Canary wharf down town to Shepperton.

Queenborough an inlet off the Medway estuary, made a good tie up for the night and repairs to the starboard engine

Whilst on the next section past the QE2 Bridge

I lost the starboard engine and was hit by a squall where the weather went from nil knots to not being able to look into it in 5 seconds. it was time to turn for a secondary destination and so I found my way to Queen borough! more to follow.

The Thames barrier even though they tried to stop me getting out I swerved through Charlie span and escaped!

On through the Thames Barrier

Even when they tried to stop us leaving I skidded around and went out of the open one (Charlie Span)

The Cutty Sark`s a funding lark!

One could have five like her built new in Turkey for the cost of a minor refurbishment! Wheres your heart Robin! Its certainly not in my pocket! what a waste!!!

Onwards across the international date line!

Not if the French had it their way? they and the Germans own all our commodities now, so why not the date line going through Paris! Over my not so dead Body!!!!! Tout suite portfabour mine frauline mit motor :o))

On past some of the financial institutions of London

Oh!! I nearkly forgot the H.O.P. and "Big Ben"

Ah I remember the days when I could stroll down and watch the ceremony of the Keys for the 500th time such memories!

Whilst serving with the Royal Fusiliers I "spent some time" (behind the parade ground clock, the armory!) here before the regiment were shipped to Cyprus and then eventually amalgamated into the Royal regiment of fusilies etc.

I shouted "Quack-quack! at them like you do in Boston and got told to "desist" (off) by the police fact rib?

Beautiful sculpture on bridges destined not to be seen by most people

The largesr brick building in europe?

dear old Battersea and Albert bridges with the buddist temple before "The Chelsea bridge Hotel"

The Chelsea Bridge Hotel is the red box on the Right hand side! I cant believe that we used to jump off these as Kids!and climb "the Albert towers"

The Chelsea reach Houseboats where Damien Hurst had his

I very nearly bought one of these for £35K god knows what it would cost today! battersea bridge is to the right of this picture.

Battersea old church

I once picked up a stick from these foreshores only to find that it was an eel!

Hammersmith bridge at neaps just off High water

We did get under with the radar arch down!

Boats at the Dove pier just before Hammersmith bridge

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Guess youv`e all heard it!


"Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, But rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting...'Holy S**t...What a Ride!"
-unknown !

Works for me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I always think that life is the wrong way round and that we should all die during one great siesmic Orgasm!

I got one of those ( photos) whilst I was down there!

And a speeding ticket for 36 mbh in a 30 zone euuugh! how will I explain that to the IAM without getting a soppy letter telling me how they expect better from thie members?

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Mondays task

Well I have finally signed up for the delivery of a Princess 415 motorboat from Shepperton to Brighton possibly via a few french ports as well! I estimate that I will leave Teddington about 1200 having left Shepperton in enough time to get there by then (approx two hours before for a slow run) High tide at London Bridge is 12-55 and so Richmond half tide lock will be Hightide one hour after (13.55) I should arrive there at 12-55 and have enough depth of water from then on to London bridge! my bioggest delay will be at Hammersmith bridge but the tide is a neep tide and if I get there a while before high water I will clear it with the Radar Mast down. From then on it`s down through Wandsworth reach past Battersea square and its historic church where once the Swan public house stood (and I was briefly a member of the sea scouts across the road) and on through and chelsea reach, past all those house boats where Damien Hurst the "Artist" lived. Under Battersea bridge where as a boy we used to jump off and dive into the thames avoiding the police boats by running along the foreshore and then up the sloping concrete wall by Rank Hovis MC Dougal flour mills (using the expansion joints for climbing holds) no policeman ever came near to catching us but we did cut our feet occasionally on broken glass, even when swimming in my schoo plimmies, I was a regular at the anti vivvi`s (the local hospitals) accident surgery

Albert bridge is the next bridge to pass under and that holds some really good memoris for me! as a kid ( until I got married) I lived off Park Gate Road and Battersea park was my playground.

Albert bridge used to be the point that the Chelsea arts college students used to enter into Battersea on their rag week so we used to climb up the suspension arms of the bridge and sit in the mini towers ready with bags of flour to Zap em as they arrived! I never fell off into the water but often thought that I may. I had a friend called johny who did though! He survived to fight another day.

On down the river between Chelsea and Albert bridges lies the buddist temple? I think, in battersrea park. Chelsea bridge is the home of the Chelsea bridge hotel (a Burger/cofee stall on the battersea side) as a young Biker and indeed more lately with an annual management outing from my theme park, I use to kid people that we would go to the Chelsea bridge hotel, for a meal. On my last visit It was as usual full with bikers and I turned around to find that my Personell manager had hitched a ride on a motorbike and was off down the road doing the fast run , which consisted of a trip down to the roundabout and back as fast as it could be done! bearing in mind that she was fourtyish and wearing a miniskirt she caused quite a stir, with many other bikers offering her a fast ride. The Battersea powerstation is the next object to pass and stands "resplendant" as the largest brick built buildnin in Europe! No insides, as Alan Brown of Alton towers fame had them removed but I guess its classed as a building. With Cadogan pier left far behind, we will continue on down past the Houses of Parliament and "Big ben" the OxO building and st Catherins dock just past Tower bridge and the Tower where as a Royal Fusiler I "spent some time"

The Thames takes us past may famous institutions and buildings and out into the industrial parts of Tilbury and Dagenham (once the home of the Ford motor works UK) Under the Queen Elizabeth bridge and then into the estuary proper at Southend on sea and its great (of late burnt down ) Pier. By now I will be heading for the four fathom channel located south of the Medway channel ( bouy) used by the vessels heading down the princess channel and into the medway to the "Medway docks" there. This channel is never fully four fathoms minimum so it is worthy of note that I shall approach it (on neeps) whilst the tide is filling the thames to ensure that even should I touch ground (it won`t happen as its expensive) I will have enough water to move me off any grounding.

The four fathom channel (is the inshore route to the south coast rather than taking the princes channel, offshore) saves me some time and of course fuel but has its hazards (minimal) it passes Faversham and whitstable ( famous for its oyster beds ending at the Margate sands. From where we will turn south west past Ramsgate through the goodwin sands, where many a ship has been lost, past Deal to Dover!The most famous of the Cinqe (5) ports built to dissuade the french from invading (with the amout of Norman dissentangle lorries and the fact that they now own a large part of out utilities) I think that I can firmly say that the cinque ports were a waste of time. More to follow??????? if wanted

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The cricketer!

The Television crew were eating their bacon sarnies compliments of the butty-wagon when the producers "Huray henry" voice suddenly boomed out "come on guys lets get some work done" thin as a pole and obnoxious as he was I guess that he must have been good at his job. The two chimps that were the centre of attention of the crew were suddenly spurred into action by his voice. the male, Simbad! was now threarening to throw an orange out of his moated enclosure and after several pretend throws he finally let the orange go whereupon the producer ran forward and with great dexterity caught the orange shouting at the top of his voice! How Zat!

The old malechimp turned his back and walked back to sit along with the female. The producer now "full of himself" for being so clever as to catch the orange hung on the rail taunting the old chimp who did his best to ignore him. The producer now decided that he should give the orange back to the chimp and threw it into the enclosure where it eventually rolled to the foot of the old chimp. Glad to have his orange back he picked it up and once again threatened to throw it back into the group! whereupon the producer stood forward to catch it. The chimp decided that he wouldnt throw it to him and tried to get someone else to catch it and aimed it at a female of the crew. The producer pushed her out of the way and again caught the Orange, shouting "Hows Zat"! throwing it back to the chimp!

A few minutes passed before the old chimp stirred and the crew had started to film their asignment. He started to jump around and swinging his arm with the orange in it, he once again made a few aborted attempts to get someone to catch it, the Producer decide that he had started this off, he had better "play ball" and as the Chimp loosed off the "Orange" he jumped into the air quite dramatically to catch it, only this time it wasnt an orange as the whily old chimp had swapped it for "Unko" ( Japanese for shit)
the produer caught it and shouting Hows Zat as it squeezed through his fingers the crew to a man laughed as one of them said pretty "shitty"!!!!!!!!!!!!

I still laugh when I recall the old chimp! ( Sinbad) he was a gorgeous chimp very handsome and quite intelligent! He departed this world whilst he was stamping around in his new three dimentional cage, doing his look at me and what a fine specimen I am (which he was ) display, literally falling off his perch. I rather see myself doing that one day! :o))

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Who`s the inteligent being ?

The silver backed Gorilla sat "boored" inside his "deep littered" cage, Yes! he was well looked after! he had been checked over by the vet this week and served the very best of food by his attendants and his many "wives" were there for him, when he could catch them (his cage was a three dimentional construction and they tended to take to the high ground to get away from his advances unless they felt otherwise) Today he sat there quietly not making eye contact with the many visitors standing and watching him. The day was warm and he was sitting quietly gently picking sunflour seeds out of the deep litter, (his Keepers had salted them prior to his being let out)With his massive hands he would gently turn over the straw and with his great fingers , collect a single seed from underneath it, popping it into his mouth and relishing it as though it was a "Black Magic Cherry surprise) He was supprisingly dexterous for such an awe inspiring creature, his public stood trance like, as he gently moved his great frame along the cage to a better spot, they moved with him watching his every move. On the corner of the cage there was a shallow pool in which he used to sit on hot days but mainly he would drink from it. after about ten minutes he had positioned himself adjacent to it ,gently dipping his fingers into the cool water and sucking the moisture from them. The public, his public, were fascinated, even more people had gathered around to watch him. When he felt that he had attracted enough he slowly dipped his great hand into the water up to his elbow. Cupping his hand he swung his great arm out of the water in the direction of the crowd covering them all with water. Those that had realised what he was going to do, did so too late and those that didn`t, stood there dripping and giggling at their own stupidity. The gorilla now making eye contact with a few of his public carried on gently foraging for sunflour seeds. I have to say that he didn`t look so boored anymore, bless him!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Back in the Internet cafe world

Brighton is devoid of lots of people so I am making the best of it, as the weekend will be manic, The weather is overcast and humid! Swimbo has gone off to fill up the credit cards while a Blogger mate, now in London, living it up! is having trouble being issued with one. How about "Amex" their in Brighton they should make one available but at a price I guess? Well I have 7 minutes to go and no more change so, I will write quickly as my time is running out (in more ways than one) :o)) 13-00 in M&S once again for lunch and then back to the boat to plan my next delivery from Sunbury to Brighton, that should take all of five minutes! Last Monday I visited an old frind of mine at monkeyworld in Dorset and we jawed for a while, he has become very famouse since the Monkey business series started a couple of years ago. We were both in the Zoo busines for many years and I would quite happily say that he is the best Primate keeper in the UK if not the world. He has decided that he has done enough for primates for the momentand for one week only he is doing a round UK coast ride on his motorbike raising funds for a new kids hospice in Dorset. More power to your elbow Jeremy. Make Brighton your firsts stop.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

I`m sixty three on Monday

But Im not telling anyone as they all think I am younger (Yea right!) I was sitting here trying to think of a memorable time in my life when I was "small" and I thought of the time, when at age seven I walked into my mums bedroom in the middle of the night to find that she was sleeping on her back , something that she wasn`t allowed to do, as she would always cough, and keep my Dad awake (who always had to go to work the next day!) I didnt want to wake her so I gently kissed her and noticed how cold she was.

The next day I was sent out to fetch some cigarettes and on the way back I was passed by virtually the whole of our neighbours in the street going out in various cars including a 1935 Taxi with the perambulator back (what a memory) the Taxi stopped and my Dad said that I was to go straight home and that my Grandad would be waiting for me, which he was!

When I asked to see my Mother again I was told that "She had gone to live with Jesus"

She died aged 37 from Lung Cancer!

One for Fuff! whose been wearing sandals then?

Friday, July 21, 2006

Changes at the Marina

Well the "Walk of fame cofee house" has gone and a splendid new "Gourmet fish and chip"- shop has opened (owned by the same people)! he wrote the Tears of a clown song for Leo sayer and his wife ( of course) does all the work in the shop! they are a great couple and very hard working. He`s into promotional things and the theatre etc. We had a meal there on the day they opened and it was great. Half way through the meal an ageing guy with a gold chain around his neck appeared at our table and asked if the new owners were doing OK to which I replied " who are you then? " he turned out to be the Mayor of Brighton (as if I didnt know) and we had a brief but pleasant chat about the new venture. Just outside the Walk of fame, there is another venture in the form of Tuck tucks (three wheeled taxis similar to those in India) they are splendidly painted in colours differing from Rattan to the union jack, and its cost £2.50 for a trip that would cost £5.00 in a "normal" taxi! However I did wait for a ride and noted that four Tuck tuck drivers were awaiting a lift from a fifth and decided to ask them how long I should expect to wait for one and was told ten minutes and that there was only one now in service for the night! Given that there were three people (a tuck tuck carries only 2) in front of me I decided that a return ticket that I already had from a previous excursion could be used instead.

I do feel that they should catch on but and its a very big but. if you would like to ride in a three wheeled scooter with a driver more used to delivering Pizzas then take one, but they do throw them around a bit (as would be expected) How the hell they have got a Hackney carriage license for them I have no Idea, but I do believe that the UK can now be confirmed as being into the last throes of becoming a thirld world country, having had our health service compared with that of india! and actually sending people too far down our waiting lists, to India for their treatment! :o(( Thank God (your`s not mine) for India and its accomodating people!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Brighton today

Sitting in the internet cafe! as the wind is creating a small problem for the folks I was due to instruct on boat handling for the day, so I`m here and writing. The delivery of last week fell through as the owner found a couple of lads to do it cheaper, and anyway, I had a bad feeling about the delivery as I felt the boat had some inherrant faults. It turns out that the new owner has had to have various repairs done to both engines and his upper steering isn`t working (surprise surprise) It still hasn`t left port and the delivery fees are going up and up by the day! shame! Am I a bitch or what?

The weather today is great for sailing and at force 5 gusting 7 its quite lively for sailors too let alone the odd "stinkpot" that has ventured out today to return soon after somewhat chastened!

I had a call from my friend in Ipswich currently on a marine science degree course at Plymouth, with a couple of questions re the manufacturer of the Andrea gail and aquisition of the blueprints. I have already tried that route and they wouldn`t play ball, but they do still manufacturer the boat so a copy of the modern plans would be OK for her purposes ( her thesis) .
This afternoon I shall have lunch in M&S and then back to the boat, at 16-00 I will give some instruction on coursework to another new owner and then out to dinner for the evening! what it is to be retired! tough life isnt it?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Well Last Monday!

I dived over the side and scrubbed my bottom! its been a while since I have grasped the spatula and given my hull a damn good clean. There was so much weed on her that it took a while to clear it. I then fired up the engines and took off for the river (chanel) for a blast I opened her up to about two K and we went to 12 knots and gradually she climbed up to fifteen and with the tachos finally showing 2300 rpm we peaked at 16 and a half knots just a little over the point at which she planed. She usually goes to 2600 rpm and 20 kts but with some weed still on and around the "P" brackets, shafts and the rudders. I felt that she was doing OK considering. took her down to worthing beach and back just for the hell of it. I stopped on the way for another swim and generally had a good time. After I had her snugged up in her berth I noticed that I still had the bathing platform ladder down and so this would have caused the equivalent of a skiier being dragged behind so I was even more pleased with how she had done.

The weather has been hot and stayed that way until wednesday when it became stormy and overcast but humid. Its now moving back to nice weather and the Barometer is rising steadily so were in for some better weather for the weekend so Yahoo! its back out for more racing around and swimming.

Seriously though! I really have to get back to sailing before much longer and I just have to do some more long passages, I am getting old and missing out, putting myself into a position where I will be looking back and saying what I should have done " Twenty years from now, you will be more dissapointed by the things you didnt do, than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe haven, catch the trade winds in your sails, Explore, Dream, Discover," MARK TWAIN Yea right! I can, I must ,
I just have too, I will!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Went along to pull some ropes and!

got lumbered with a skippering job. Not so bad really but a bit unexpected. The owner of this lovely steel dutch built motoryacht had just managed to get it to the external survey part of somebody purchasing it and needed to get the boat out of one port dock where she had wintered to the dock where it was to be taken out and surveyed. So I went along initially for the ride and to pull ropes. On arrival it became apparent that the present owner wasnt too happy with his own compitence and had tied her up with about thirty shorelines with at least twenty half hitches securing them in place so two hours later we had her untied and were ready for sea!

The owner had found out that I was compitent and asked me if I would take her away from the pier, as he didn`t "feel too confident", and so I agreed. having done my own brief but fairly through check of her condition and compitence, I accepted that she would make the journey in safety and brought her off the pier, turning her on her engines to point down the fairway towards the exit lock a mile away. I grasped the wheel ( topsides) and spun it to check that it was operating OK to find that it wasn`t ! I pointed this out to the owner who ran around switching on and off the auto pilot asking if it made any difference!!!!! finally I told him that he should top up the upper wheel hydraulic system (which he agreed he would do) So now steering from the lower wheel position the owner proceeded down the fairway to the 15-00 "lock out". the time that we got to a thousand yards from the lock was 15-00, a yacht was waiting in the lock and worried about her draft as she was "loosing water" finally at about a hundred yards off the lock and at about eight knots, the owner suddenly decided that he didnt feel confident about fitting the vessel into the lock which was about three feet wider than her and handed the wheel over to me saying Oh S8it! you take it into the lock please. So slowly astern we went and we steered quietly into the the lock tying up on the outgoing side. the yacht expressed his concern about his draft and I agreed to let him go out first when the gate opened. the lock duly emptied and the gate opened and the yacht left.

I thought the owner would be happy to take the boat out but no he wanted me to do it so I obliged. we cleared the cill by about two feet and headed into deeper water turning for our destination port. after about twenty minutes the starboard engine over heated and was closed down to allow it to cool (not stopped but left on tick over so cooling water circulated but all torque was reduced) we progressed towards out destination port in a sort of "tacking" motion, to such an extent that my collegue was joking with me about
" where are we going now? Jersey, no London. no Calais, no worthing", the owner couldn`t steer for tofee but was having a great time trying. I would think that we covered at least double the mileage needed. The starboard engine cooled down and we used it to enter the destination port lock, with the owner steering and me by his side working the throttles. ( it was the only way I was going to get him to retain controll into the lock) . We/I, berthed her up aginst the crane dock and we were invited to a drink on the owners new boat, which I declined.

I have to say I have heard of skippers suddenly being given control when an owner hasn`t deemed himself confident ( usually in bad weather) but never before has it happened to me or at 8 knots heading for a lock in an unfarmiliar boat,( when originally only there to "pull ropes").

Bless him he was a great chap and really knew his limitations. Probably a lot more so than I can truthfully say for myself :o))

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Foxes have gone!

I`m really "Teed Off"! as today is the first day that I haven`t seen any foxes in the garden. The lady next door blocked their access hole in the fence to prevent her visiting mothers "yappy rat" from getting out and now! no more foxes! Ah well! on the positive side, I can safetly rebuild my shed foundations without worrying about one being left inside and buried alive (as if?) I guess that I could repair the fences too? nah thats asking too much maybe next week?

Friday, June 09, 2006

Cruise ship off Brighton

The cruise ship currently at anchor off Brighton Marina is disgorging passengers into the Marina by "Bun boat" landing them behind the RNLI mooring position. The passengers leave the boats and go for a walk around the marina, I don`t believe that any or many of them actually get to see the highlife of Briton proper? I can`t help thinking that an oportunity has been missed here. If I were the local leader of the council I would have met the Captain and the passengers on board and personally welcomed them to Brighton (complete with Town cryer). what a wonderful oportunity to miss? just imagine if the next time the weather was suitable and the next cruise ship passing did the same what would that eventually do for the taking of the brighton shops, if any of the pasengers found out about the wonderful bus service and the ease of the Taxi system here. I would probably get the Chamber of commerce involved too. Oh well just a thought!

One of my regular customers (for my Skippering Services) has asked me to take them out and around the cruise liner tomorrow (if its still there that is) so I will even get to be able to give you the name of her too :o)) if the wind is OK (as his vessel is as big as a house and shape like a floating sideboard) we should leave the marina at and hour before Highwater (10-00) and return three hours later but it never actually happens like that and low water here we come with it usual problems of poorly dredged and restricted channel into the Lock and her home berth.

The weather here is great for the third day running with temperatures in the 70s and a clear blue sky, a small/little adiabatic wind (for Fluff!) which is quite cooling suprisingly enough!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

My last post

Was brought about as a result of the distraction created by "The Family"that appeared in the IT cafe in Brighton (as you can read for yourself) next to me. I was happily doing a search for property in the Rio Ebro valley and not having much luck, as nobody seems to have heard of it! when "The Family from Hell "arrived, the son age 7 , immediately used me to aid his climb up onto the high stool and the mother dumped her bag onto my arm and stood with her back to me adjusting her sons seat, needless to say the cheap perfume was overpowering (perhaps Im being pikky?) the father arrived and in a loud voice announced that he really enjoyed Chitty chitty bang bang the other day. (knowing that the "Lady boys" are currently performing in brighton I didnt think that he should have announced how much he enjoyed their show) . He then went on to discuss how his son was doing at school and asking what cofee they wanted and what his son wanted to drink, I gave them one of my witherring looks and it all stopped and the father went off to get the drinks. the respite lasted about 5 minutes and the Ebro valley got even more complicated. He was all too soon back with his loud apologies for getting Latte instead of Cuppachino and inane questions as to why his son was doing what he was on the compbox. He then placed the cofee in my space! I am a very spacially aware person and was surprised, as had it not been a seven year old at the compbox the cofee would have landed in his lap, as I continued to use the mouse unaware of their recent positioning ;O)) Oops sorry! So I decided to blog my dislike of what was happening to me. The mother changed seats with the son and commenced tapping her crossed legged foot onto the structure of the table and when she got fed up with this she decided to turn sideways and kick me whithout apology.

It took about a minute for them to decide to read what I was typing with such gusto and "noisy fingers" and so they upped and left with many sighs and many comments that I have no doubt, they would have liked to utter to me, but didnt!

Whilst I am convinced that I am a miserable old bugger, I was really p**ed off by their actions as was the lady to my left who didn`t participate other than to look at them and then me and raise her eyebrow. What chance has the child got in life being part of a family that believes it is Ok to act as they did in this occasion?

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Internet Cafe

Hi folks!
at this moment I am in the bton IT heaven with an ajacent family who having spread all their cofees ec over the worktop they are discussing in loud voices such important items as Chitty chitty bang bang etc. Am I a grumpy old sod or is this normal? Oh! I jave been kicked and the continual Kicking of the under shelf is something else. so its goodbye from me!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Weathers not very nice!

As you know the weather has been pretty bad in this part of the globe but we still went down to B`ton on Friday, as I had agreed to be involved in a business launch of a couple of new friends there and it took place outside in the rain and howling wind. They are a great young couple and I really wish them well, both in their life togeather as well as their business venture. Their boat, which they live on, is in the inner part of the marina and so they had access to a small pergola where the food and drink was laid out (very professionally I must say!) and a green plastic sheet was used to part clad the pergola and afford some shelter to the food etc. 20 plus invitees didn`t show and it must have been a little dissapointing to present to, mainly friends and aquaintainces and virtually no future customers. We stayed for the prsentation and when things got down to the drinking and eating we crept off back to our boat after complimenting and thanking them both on all their efforts. the wind blowed and the rain "stormed" and the marina was generally noisy with the waves coming completely over "the wall"

on Saturday the weather didn`t get much better and we took a (small) train ride into B`ton passed the erected tent that will eventually house the sand carving exhibition. Last year there was no tent and so the weather played havoc with them, so this year a tent and increased entrance fee I gues!

In the Marina drive there was a large collection (the biggest meet ever) of Lamborghinni`s from Muira`s, Espada`s, and Countach`s about a 100 plus with outdoor events people and a band etc with the owner/drivers staying in the Grand hotel on Saturday night. How do I know all this well you guessed it I klnow a couple of the owners on of a Countach and one a Muira. I mooched around a bit having a look but something was lost with so many of the same vehicles to look at. I had work to do on the boat but bad weather is never conducive to be to do it although it is probably the best time , so I went to the internet cafe and commented on a few blogs and I guess spoiled their days. I had a cofee in Marks and went back to the boat.

Today I decided that I was going back to Surrey and my "foxes" on the way home about 250 minis passed us on their way to the Madera drive to their annual London to Brighton run, I felt for them as the rain was still falling heavily and the wind blowing at gale force. and as is the way quite a few minis were stopped by the side of the road with Ignition problem from water ingress into and onto the distributor and coil assemblies. I have no doubt that they will all eventually make it (Team spirit prevailing)

Well the Foxes have been fed, my granchildren have been played with, their gorgeous both of them, (He`s still biting and she is still smiling and now standing on her own) and I am now settling into the combox seat to pester a few other unsuspecting souls out there.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Can you believe that no one lives in the above house?!

We passed this edifice to the stonbe masons talents on a paid bus tour. This palace was left to the people of Spain ( I think) and is reputedly the best maintained building on the continent, but the window paint was peeling Tee Hee I spotted that ! I think it was the summer palace or something for the Monachy and with its views across the valle over the "Peons" it sounds about right.
The weather was in the high seventies and eighty on a couple of days. Yes it has its Mac Donalds and Starbucks (doesn`t everywhere?) and its ladies of the Afternoon (working girls) all slavic and eastern european. Gypsys were rife and a guy had his pocket picked as we sat for afternoon tea, but the "gypsy" was humilated into giving it back and her pleas that it was "someone else and they went that way Senor"ended in her suddenly saying Oh look! it was on the floor all the time! yea right!!! I reckon that there were enough Policemen around to about the ratio of ten to one! OK it was the area of the Paliament building but 10 to 1 its a bit high. The Parks were special and the cultivated flower beds around the many statues something else. the work ethic was good with people working in the streets etc until 22-00 . I loved the Museo Naval ( naval museum) and the Prado Museum (art)

Would I go back again NOOOOOOOO!!!! not with average meal for four at £150-00 plus a burger ( supplied by the hotel as a snack) that split my tongue with a piece of bone in it and cause me to have to get the plane whilst virtually drinking my own blood ( for about six hours) The cut would not heal and ended with me in Casualty at my local hospital, arriving at 21-00 and finally getting away at 01-30 today with it still bleeding, a little, which I agreed to put up with. Why didn`t I go the the Madrid hospital? I made the right choice "not to" as I would have missed the plane and all that goes with it (friends staying to make sure that one was OK etc etc!) The bleeding stopped by 07-30 today What a poorly soilder I was? I couldn`t even have a plaster to put on it, and when they injected the anisthetic into my tongue prior to stitching the bleeding got less so they decided not to stitch it. Was I sore? have you ever tried pushing your tongue out onto a hyperdermic needle, no wonder it stopped bleeding it had had enough after about twenty shots and was too frightenent to bleed much anymore! te Hee!

Madrid is such a clean city and boy are the council houses grand

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Back from Brighton

Had a blast today, sorted out the air problem on my Racor filters and took PG out for a burn! with a little growth on the hull and prop to get rid off we went for a twenty mile "burn" ending in MOB excersises to get a friend who has the same boat but never "driven" it get the feel. It was then back to the mooring and a quick check below to ensure that alls well and I found that the diesel filter for the Generator was dripping into the bildge and that both "stuffing glsnds" were excessively dripping too! so its back into the bildge I go again upon my return :o(( is there never any end to "Boat maintenence" ????????????? Te Heee! I love it. so its off to the Solent I go on my next burn de da de da de da!
Off to feed the foxes now! :o))

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

One of the four Fox cubs, this year

The Fox loved the eggs

Here is a photo of the Fox (Vixen) taking the eggs. She isnt happy for me to be close to her earth as yet when her cubs are out so I will wait a while and see how it goes!

One for Fuff! Evanthia had these ready to give to me Monday!

but I didnt get there until today so I will give them to the Foxes and try to photo them taking them! I wonder what they will make of them?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Saturday, April 15, 2006

I`m Back!!!!!!!! briefly!!

For the last four days I have been in Brighton working on stripping and repairing my straight six 250 BHP Volvo version of a mooring anchor (Port side engine). I finished at about 19-00 yesterday and spent the next three or so hours with stain remover getting the oil off the upholstery and the fixed carpets. Yes, Yes, I removed most of them! but I tripped with one seat cushion as I relocated it and fell, landing on top of it with an oily cylinder head under, Eugh!! haemorrhoids !!!! a real PITA. The engines now run like a swiss watch (a smokey, noisey, Swiss watch, but never the less a Swiss watch! seriously though it is really first class, if I do say so myself. I am indeed chuffed with my efforts! The boat is now sparkling clean and running well (until the next time) Christ! Volvo spares are over priced! and they really "had my trousers down" with O rings at £2-40 each (nothing special usual price £2-50 for a box of a thousand) head gaskets sets at £100 each (I needed two) needless to say, where I could I purchased good quality "same sort" spares! Shame I didnt ask Feltham Marine for a price before committing them to ordering me just a couple of exhaust gaskets, a small bag of O rings and four filters ? Wammo!!!! £270-00 Quid !!!! Ouch!! eqivalent from another supplier £180-00 what a rip off! Ho Hum!!!who Cares its only money!! Yea right!!!! it`s not the money its the principle Volvo have of Ripping off the customer, as for Feltham Marine thats another thing! I am at Beauleiu on the weekend and have a stand at the Boat Jumble. its a usual pilgrimage much like the rock concerts that I attended as a Young person. I go there the day before and enjoy the surroundings! the New forest is a beautifull place (I used to keep one of my sail boats in the river there "Genevievre") have a great Dinner and sleep on the site ( ablutions are a bit basic but available) wherever I can,in the dry, and wake refreshed???? to make my fortune on the day. I do spend a lot of and money recieved on enormous Burgers though, and come home about a stone heavier! I am on my way back to Brighton soon to get the outside of the boat cleaned and polished and to attack the small "beard" that has started to form on the bottom, but thats another story! The engines are Brilliant now and both finally fully rebuilt and thats what matters at this juncture! Have a great Easter weekend! even if the Church has placed it, this year, at the beginning of summer!!!!!!!!!!!:o))))

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

I get a regular.....

Update from Lin and Larry Pardey and look forwards to its arrival, they are still very active in their "Dotage" I`m sure that Lin would never forgive me for saying that if ever she found out. It is so refreshing to hear about their life to date with Larry now almost full recovered and back to "his old self" they have now more or less settled in New zealand and have a cottage on an Island with a boatyard attached. Their books are something that most cruisers can relate to and indeed learn from if ever one gets the chance to read them. The cost concious sailor ISBN 0-9646036-5-9 and Storm Tactics ISBN 1-85310-787-5, to name but a couple.

I remember the first time I met them they were giving a talk about storm weather tactics at the Earls court Boat show and I had just arrived there and "tricked" my back out in the subway tunnel from the tube station, I headed like a doubled up tortiser to the first aid post on arrival and after about an hour of lying down on a hard trolley and several paracetamol I was now starting to creep around the show (well having got there I was Blo*dy well going to have a look). Hardly able to breath and certainly not able to straighten up, I got as far as the lecture stand and stopped by its curtained doorway which housed many chairs. Whilst I was evaluating the possibility of getting up again after sitting on one of them, Lin came out of the darkness, and said Oh! your our first customer! to which I said that I didnt like to disillusion her but My back has "gone" and I was actually looking for somewhere to sit. She made me very welcome and introduced me to Larry and I stayed for the show. I have to say that I was entranced with their vigour and knowledge of their trade/craft.

I knew about Hiscock and many of the the others but hadn`t really thought much about Lin and Larry until then. I hope that I may meet with them again in the future and look forward to the possibility but in the meantime I will cherish their words in their "Updates to me". Did I get home from the show? yes I did but I went direct from their lecture, and spent the next five days flat on my back, not something I would ever want to happen again. Excert from "The ravings of an old man".

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

have I finally .......

Got rid of Word Varification???? Maybe I will want it back! who knows?

Booring blog or what?

I have decided that my Blog is now worse than Booring (its always been booring! ) so I think a rethink is needed!!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Arrived at the office (A1 cafe) and...

I was confronted with Paddy sitting on his own with about 60 rolls on a large plate waiting for me to come in and start throwing them about. I guess it was Evadne`s way of saying that it was alright and that I was allowed to spend my money on their premises. So the rolls went back carefully onto the counter and it`s back to normal for a while!

Well the Ma........

trix is all sorted and painted, ready drying for a second coat when I get back from the office. It really was a mess the black covering is similar to the tar that is to be found in cancerous lungs from smoking and needed neat petrol to remove it and a good blowing from an airline to dry it off. I guess that the previous owner of the Matrix assembly (not me) had a faulty Turbo thats bearings leaked burnt engine oil it smelt very much like it. Ah well its all clean now and off to the office I go! Hi ho, Hi ho!!

look at that matrix it looks just like a cancerous lung

look how gungy it is inside the airway