Friday, 26 September 2014

It's two years this month since Charlie passed away. How incredible it is that time flies. Please join me and take a moment to reflect on his time with us. And let us be thankful for his inspiration and the adventure-packed writings that Chas has left us with by his two published books, Sailing Just for fun and In Shoal Waters, both modern classics of sailing literature. And for those that stepped forward in search of answers simply just being there for advice on any sailing related matter.

Someone once told me sailing is escapism. I was baffled by this assumption as anyone who has taken up cruising will understand and know it is all consuming- a Tao. Exploring the coast in a boat, as opposed to on foot, that has been pretty much a major part of your life is not escaping. It is spending time in a reality, a place where the waters are the same today as they were for the likes of Maurice Griffith, Francis B Cooke and Charlie Stock. This is a constant in our lives as clockwork as the incoming tide.

More than ever the coastal and offshore waters are our last frontier. Don't wait for tomorrow, or the next day to get out there and start enjoying them. Make it your reality.

This song, on the link from Youtube; Moon River sung by Andy Williams, also sadly no longer with us, was played at Charlies funeral service. I shed a tear every time I hear it but please take the time to listen to it. Absorb its words as it tells of the free spirited wonder of cruising.

Good sailing, Tony

Sunday, 21 September 2014

West Wight Potter

  One of the pleasures of cruising is not knowing what is round the next bend in a creek or river. Well, I was rewarded when I met Dave Morl, who was moored in his charming West Wight Potter 'Roamer', while sailing down the tiny Waxham New Cut on the Norfolk Broads earlier this year. I pulled over and put the kettle on for a 'brew-n-yarn' only to learn that Dave knew my boat well and had met Charlie and Shoal Waters on The Broads on a number of occasions over the years, and was now delighted to meet her new owner, yours truly, doing the same type of cruising. A while later he  gave me a guided tour of Roamer, a C-Type built on the Isle of Wight, pointing out how his boat has been tailored to his needs (in true small-boat owner tradition) by the useful modifications or adaptations he had made to her over the last 30 years or so.
  A useful tip for other would be trailer-sailors - Dave trailers roamer for long distances - 200 miles plus - to reach various cruising areas around the country and on these occasions prefers to drive through the night when the roads are clear of traffic. One way he does this for a return journey, after a cruise, is to take the boat out of the water in the afternoon, when you can de rig her and get everything ready in daylight, and then sleep on the boat until 01.00 or 02.00 in the morning or whenever it is your desired time to leave.
  Later we both went on to have a delightful evening sail in company, totally unplanned, through Meadow Dyke, until dusk and mooring at a quay heading downstream of Candle Dyke for the night. Cheers Dave, it was a delight to meet you.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Havengore Route Notes 1

I have put a few notes on a photograph that may be useful to sailors contemplating  the Havengore Route for the first time. I consider this route one of the vital inshore sea lanes for the small boat skipper. 1: It saves a journey of around 10-12 miles, if traveling to the Blackwater. 2: And more importantly, using the route is safer for the small boat who would otherwise be sailing up to 10 miles offshore to get round the sands. 3: Invariably, working the route is forever interesting - a shoal water challenge - a test in itself in ones navigation, calculations, shallow water pilotage and passage planning. (sheer luck even)..... Good sailing, Tony

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Monday, 8 September 2014

New Creeksailor Book: 'SEA-COUNTRY' Available Now

My new book, titled 'SEA-COUNTRY' - 'Exploring Thames Estuary By-ways Under Sail' has just been released and is available from the publisher's Lodestar books as from today, 08/09/14. If you have appreciated any of the writings on this site then you will love reading this book. This book is for the creek sailor, small boat enthusiast and armchair sailors alike, lovers of the coast and country, those interested to read of the wild and forgotten places along England's East Coast just waiting to be explored. It's not only packed with tales of small boat cruising adventure, undertaken in my cruiser Shoal Waters, but touches on history, traditional boats of this unique cruising area, and more. I really hope you enjoy it. Please support the muddy cause by purchasing your copy direct from the publishers by clicking on the book link in the column on the right.You can read a sample here Sea-Country PDF sample

An educational read for all those who sail the east coast and think they've been everywhere - you haven't. Highly enjoyable. Don Ramsay - Sea-Change Sailing Trust