Sunday, January 12, 2014
Thursday, January 09, 2014
For starts, out on what once were the London Docks was a couple of classic boats. Above is the fire boat the Massey Shaw all powered up and there was no takers in its water fight challenge. The Massey Shaw was build in 1935 and saw service in WW2 at both Dunkirk and also the blitz in London, most likely around these very docks.
Melissa (I so want to sail a Thames barge);
If I had a magic wish to go on any boat at the show then my choice would be this Extreme 40:
And it appears I'm not the only one as none other than Sir Ben Ainslie is including sailing Extreme 40s in his busy schedule.
Tuesday, January 07, 2014
First up there were the people met, such as Tom Cunliffe (above) giving a talk at the World Cruising Club stand on how you can sail away for less than you might think. We had a very brief chat about Greenland which we both had recently sailed to.
Immediately after him was Will Stirling (below) talking about the expedition to row to the magnetic north pole (among other things). At a previous boat show I met the expedition leader Jock Wishart. Will is currently aiming to sail around the offshore lighthouses of Britain in a dinghy.
Sam Llewellyn, writer of many a good sailing novel and editor of the Marine Quarterly, a subscription to which I received at Christmas.
And finally there was the chance to catch up with Stokey Woodall who I met last year and who gave a talk on celestial navigation including the star clock. I told him I'd worked out why the answer was 41.5 and promised to email him its derivation (which I did).
Those four chats were an excellent start - but what about the boats....?
Monday, January 06, 2014
1. Somerset House (above). The original and the best. Lovely size and location, often sold out for a good reason.
2. Hampton Court (below). Another great location and less crowded, plus you can visit Henry VIII's palace or go on the river (except when its flooded)
Sunday, January 05, 2014
Yea, verily it be twelfth night, and old London Town has been visited by the GREEN MAN!
He arrived by boat, the Thames Cutter, Trinity Tide (above), which was rowed by honourable men of great strength for the tide did flow most powerfully.
The ancient and legendary GREEN MAN brings fertility, a promise that SPRING will come again.
And he was welcomed by much crowds and the good and the great of SOUTHWARK:
The Globe Wassail
Blowe wind, Globe bear well
Spring well in playing
Every lath and timber
Bear the tongues of poets
Next New Year's summer!
And then with great cheer the good folk of London Town went their separate ways, some by foot and some by the mighty River Thames:
The Boat Wassail
Blowe wind boat bear well
Ride well on the tide
Every beam and every sail
Bear the crew bravely home
Each sailing day!
More from the Lions part here.
Saturday, January 04, 2014
I only go once or at most twice a year and each year there's a lot of wobbling before even more wobbling and hesitant steps. Ice skating isn't really my thing.
But back in 2012 when skating at the Tower I had this bad fall and damaged the ligaments around my lung, which I really don't recommend, and I was determined not to let it put me off.
So I went down to the highly impressive Hampton Court which was Henry VIII's pad and you could see why he'd want to invite his many girlfriends back to it:
But I didn't mind that: any skate you don't end up in A&E I'd call a good one.
Friday, January 03, 2014
There is a certain degree of the "what I did with my summer holidays" assignment that might people off, but there can be positives.
Sometimes its just the pleasure of going through a year, remembering the good times and places visited.
Sometimes there is real case for celebration, such as the amazing summer of 2012.
But there are also benefits: to spot trends and to help answer that key question for the New Year: what makes a good year?
I think that 2013 was a good year for me because of the travel. Lots of interesting places visited including Vienna, Australia, China, Iceland, Greenland (above) and Geneva.
There was also a lot of good books read during 2013, from the voyages of Mingming, Vikings, Robin Knox-Johnston and Tristan Jones all about sailing to Greenland and the north.
Another theme during the year was photography, with lessons from Rick Tomlinson and a reviews of three cameras.
Of course there was Buff, Sassi and their adventures in show-biz and the America's Cup.
The plans for 2014 are still foggy, but if last year is a guide I should try to include some good travel, sailing to interesting places, good books and a spot of fiction writing too.
What do you think?
Wednesday, January 01, 2014
I must have been distracted by a certain major event soon after.
Anyhow I found this image as thought for the New Year.
More humbling than uplifting - and if its the latter you want head over to Windtraveller here.