Saturday, 18 August 2012


No blog, no style ?...Wrong. We have been busy sailing the good ship - MFV53 - on a high summer cruise through the sunny islands that make up the world of - Instagram. If you haven't got it, get it. If you don't know it, google it. So, pull up a deck chair, raise your binoculars and search for - mfv53 - on Instagram. Over and out.

Thursday, 14 June 2012


One ( of a pair ) of French hand painted wall hangings dating c1760... Nuff said, here are the pic's -

Saturday, 5 May 2012


My talent for drowning has been honed from an early age. As with any great accomplishment in life, it is important to start young. I was about six years old when I had my first go at it. Thinking back on that initial attempt, I'm pretty impressed. I hadn't thought it through at all, but I got just about everything right.

The occasion was a family picnic on the seafront at Meols, a few miles from the Wirral peninsula. Like many north-west English seaside spots - Southport, Blackpool, Morecambe - it usually lacked sea. This day was different. An unusually high spring tide had driven the picnickers off the sand and on to the promenade itself. Close to our picnic spot was a slipway, running down into the sea parallel to the front. The slipway was protected on the seaward side by a low wall a couple of feet high. A mass of screaming children were amusing themselves jumping off the wall into the shallow water on the slip. I was one of them, but not for long. I can see now that several lifelong character traits were about to assert themselves : a contrarian nature, a dislike of crowds, and an impulse to test the limits. I decided to jump off the wall and into the sea proper. Off I went.

I can still see the surface of the water as I rose up towards it : a little circle of light. I rose just the once. I can still feel the puzzlement as I sunk again, away from the light. I can still taste the salt water flowing into my lungs, closing down my life. Did that life replay itself as I floundered lower and lower ? There was nothing to replay. I did not know that I was about to die. It was puzzling, and quiet, nothing more. I can still feel the strong arm that came from nowhere and gripped me tight and pulled me up and out.

The Marine Quarterly available only by subscription from here...

Thursday, 19 April 2012


Well, a jaunt to Suffolk was on the cards, so friends, children, friends of friends, more children, friends of children, plus duvets and all the essential items to survive a weekend out of London were bundled into cars and we headed off to an old victorian school house ( that friends of friends have ) in Suffolk for what we thought was a bit of a - come what may - weekend. It was a bit more planned than that cause on arrival we found that the main hall had been dressed entirely as a jungle and that entertainers had been booked. The entertainers were basically a mobile zoo... they had - a bunch of meerkats, skunks, snakes ( large and small ) tarantulars, and lots of other hairy funny things that I forget the names of. They even had a great big bloody honey bear, honest. Anyway, after a blurred night we set the controls for Southwold pier and a spot of lunch...

As usual, I had my camera with me, and soon found these brass plaques attached to the railings of the pier... which is the point of this tale.

We did, Mrs Robinson...

Monday, 2 April 2012


The Cockney Rebel, a rather huge boat, turned up at the yard last week. She was previously owned by musician Steve Harley from the popular music band Cockney Rebel. Now then, women in boatyards are very rare. Women that own and work on their boats, even rarer. So on this sunny day all eyes were on - the blonde. She was working from Aft to forward, cleaning years of neglect from the boats topsides. When she started to remove the name, ( it had to go ) she started first with the L, then the E, and so on B, E, R, Y, E, working forward....  Guffaws were starting to trickle in from other ( male ) boat owners working on their boats... and when she removed the N, howls of laughter were coming from everywhere. She was completely oblivious as to what was going on.  I sauntered over, with my camera, and told her why everyone was laughing. She nigh fell of her ladder laughing too... Here are the pics -

Wednesday, 7 March 2012


This is a pic of some well used brushes that have come to the end of their life. They are now stuck, by various epoxy resins, to the base of a door in my - new best friends - workshop on Hayling Island. Both Richard and I have been slogging away on our boats for around the same time ( since 2005 ) literally a stones throw away from each other and we met a few months back.  I really wish I had filmed some of my boats restoration, but I didn't, so here is some of Risga's story instead -

Spring is in the air, so watch this space for further updates, it's going to be a grrrreat summer !

Saturday, 4 February 2012


This is Frank Dunster. I have known Frank for over 15 years , he's helped me out a few times in the past, and more recently when he moved my boat, the Cap Horn through Chichester Harbour to Premier Marina for her restoration. Until watching this film I had NO idea of his full story. Watch carefully... it's very moving. Frank is a real local hero.