Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Curry Row

Went up the Hamble in the Solent galley Avery A again last night, with Philip Meakin (on left) coxing from the bow seat. This time, however, we had no paddles so over the narrow, winding last stretch to Botley we had to unship the oars and use them. Very unwieldy.
Nice curry, and returned with a cox (luxury) to get the boat out just as the light was going. It's so lovely being able to get out in the evening.

Monday, 21 April 2014

First and Last Selfie

I've been betrayed by the BBC again. Yesterday, the Beeb weather forecast for this afternoon was a possibility of light rain. Today, it showed sunny spells so out I went in Kittiwake.
About 20min in it started to rain. Not very heavily but enough to allow a therapeutic round of cursing.
The upside, however, was that I was able to test my new wind/showerproof jacket. It has no lining, apart from a mesh, so it should be reasonably cool while keeping the wind and water at bay. And, joy of joys, it cost just SIXTEEN SOVS at Tesco. It worked perfectly hooray hooray.
So here's a selfie of me wearing the jacket and a strange grimace.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Gloriana Returns

The Queen's Row Barge Gloriana is back on the water after her winter hibernation. Today she took HM King George I to his palace at Hampton Court, as part of a season of events about the Hanoverians.
Can't get enough of this. What a great sight.
Also can never resist a snigger at the words 'Hampton Court'. Will I never grow up?

Monday, 14 April 2014

Cornish Skiff

I've been meaning to blog about this for so long I can no longer remember what tipped me off to Steve McColl's Cornish Skiff.
It was designed by Steve's dad Philip 'Murphy' McColl as a boat light enough to be launched and recovered single handed but tough enough to take anything the Cornish coast can dish out (within reason, natch).
She is 12ft long, grp with hardwood trims. The lines look familiar from the local flashboats. More info here.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014


Hoorah for daylight saving! Suddenly evening rowing is feasible. Today I went out with the Hamble River Rowers in the Solent galley Avery A, and there was enough light to go all the way up to the Horse and Jockey, have a quick pint of London Pride and get back just as the light was finally going.
As we left, we spotted the Hands' family's new boat, bought to enable them to row double now the children are gradually flying the nest and a full crew for their Bursledon gig Mistress can't be found so often. She was rowed up from Hamble. Chris yelled from his comfortable position on the pub pontoon that she is built to the Mole design by Iain Oughtred. Very pretty and smart.
When we reached the H&J we found barely enough water to reach the top of the brook to their jetty, so neap was the tide. We had to take the rudder off to get the last few yards, and getting on and off the jetty was a perilous operation. I'm surprised no one had to row back sopping wet.

Monday, 7 April 2014

The Boat Race

The Oxbridge Waterman's Challenge was held on the River Thames yesterday.
Boats in the colours of our ancient university towns raced as they used to, in lovely wooden boats with fixed seats. They were accompanied by Thames Waterman's Cutters dressed up as they used to, many with canopies for the passengers and flying flags. For more pics, see the Thames Traditional Rowing Association's Facebook page.
So much more fun than the rather dreary procession that occured later that day.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Every Home Should Have One

This is how Cameron Burton stores his Whitehall Spirit skiff. Neatly out of the way when not needed, but ready to be lowered onto her launching trolley at a moment's notice for walking to the nearby waterway. And very stylish to boot.
Cameron lives in the US but the house would not look out of place on the Thames. After the floods this winter, I would not be surprised to see boats slung on the sides of riverside homes from Lechlade to Teddington soon.