Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Port and Starboard

Port and Starboard
The clocks have gone forward one hour so summer is definitely here. If you are preparing a boat for the coming season I wish you well with it. For those that don’t own a boat but like to get a boat fix every once in a while, there’ll be more opportunities to boat-watch as the annual stream of pleasure boats up and down our rivers and creeks begin to take to their moorings on the water over the next couple of months.
Still under wraps, our new cushion
  Some of you may have come across the chain of thought that the word ‘posh ‘originated from the nautical terms port and starboard. This was in the days when well- healed 19th century ship passengers, on their way to India, would be able to afford the better bunks on the port side for the journey out (port out) and starboard on the homeward leg (starboard home). With the other passengers on board being mere mortals and gawking; ooh, there posh, as the cash-laden bashed past toward their favored bunks with leather-cased luggage. 
  Well, there is definitely no posh aboard Shoal Waters (we can do pie-mash but not posh) – she’s firmly at the working end of the boat scale and at 76000 plus nautical miles traveled, and counting, continues to be well used and cared for.
  Why all this posh tosh you might ask? Well, we have a new bunk cushion for 2015, it’s cherry red, and I couldn’t help commenting to the maker when I collected it that it was all rather posh-looking! I didn’t quite use those exact words but that was the gist of it. And yes, it may look posh set beside the other, now seasoned looking, cushions but the creek-sailors among you will know that a session of weighing anchor will have me scrambling below inevitably covered in dark goo from the bed of a creek, which will wipe away any glint of posh to our preferred ruddy and cheerful glow, like the rest of her.  
 Good sailing, and boat watching, Tony

Thursday, 12 March 2015

2015 Small Boat Sailors Rally

This year the Small Boat Sailors rally will be on Saturday 13th June. As a reminder; we meet on a friendly basis in the memory of the late Charles Stock, the intrepid adventure sailor and former owner of Shoal Waters, who inspired many to take to the water in an inexpensive boat and begin cruising under sail. We have been meeting for the last four years now so this will be our fifth. Last year we met on the Broads in Norfolk. (see pic)
All sizes and types of craft are welcome to join us. Very relaxed itinerary made up as the day passes. Check your tide tables as tides will be neaps so we may sail down to Bradwell and raft-up in the area, with the aim of heading back upriver on the evening tide. Bring your puddings - I have the kettle to cook them in if you haven't! And wellies too.

Date: Saturday 13th June
Place: Goldhanger Creek, River Blackwater, Essex

Have a small dinghy and would need to launch nearby? We may be able to accommodate you.
Inbox or email Creeksailor on the address above in the sidebar.
Note: All weather permitting. Safety is paramount and it is up to each skipper to ascertain the suitability of his or her craft and experience of in tidal waters. Anyone attending does so at their own risk.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Old London

 There’s a bags of history at the Prospect of Whitby in Wapping, one of London’s oldest riverside Inns built in the reign of Henry the V111 at circa 1520. The pub is sited on the edge of the River Thames and neighboured by cobbled streets and converted old wharves.
The low ceilings are heavily beamed and a seat in one of the quirky, cosy little spaces is just right for sipping on a cold, crisp beer, a smooth drop of red or a fruity glass of white and soaking up this old world atmosphere. There’s flagstone and wide-board wooden floors that have the wear of sailors from far-flung places, dockers and watermen’s boots and if the time is anywhere near high-tide and the breeze is up an intermittent and somewhat disconcerting thud is heard, for the tide runs fast in these parts and although we may be far inland we could well be at sea for a fair old popple - a choppy sea, slaps at the brickwork on the buildings outer walls.
Criminals used to be hanged on the foreshore just along from here and as a reminder there’s a gallows in place on the back of the pub, which is a restaurant. The sight of the noose is quite enough to convince any would-be non-payer that in this establishment the bill is definitely worth paying! Tony