Sunday, 16 May 2010

And this is one of the ships I help with ..

1978. Great Yarmouth. Lydia Eva steams out of harbour leading The Tall Ships Race out onto their next leg. 15th May 2010; 32 years later, she finally steams back into Great Yarmouth. It has taken many thousands of volunteer hours, dedication spanning decades and lots of help from local businesses to achieve.
I hope the visitors to Great Yarmouth come aboard in their droves to appreciate the last surviving and sea-worthy example of her type.
For more details please visit Lydia Eva's website

Friday, 7 May 2010

Reversing Moonfleet - much better with practice

Today DW and I took our DS out for a Wedding Anniversary cruise. We pottered down the river to St Olaves, found moorings at The Bell but could not moor 'stern to' as the pub requests because we cannot disembark round the outboard. This was not a problem as there were only 2 boats on the whole mooring and Moonfleet is so small it takes up little more space 'side-on' than a holiday cruisers stern. Having climbed up and pottered to the pub we discovered it was not open yet so wandered over to Bridge Stores where a lovely lady told us some of the history of our home boatyard and offered us a new horn for Moonfleet.
Wandering back to the pub we enjoyed an early lunch then a quick trip back up the river and a much better effort at reversing into our mooring had us all tied up, tidied up and heading home via Morlings to collect her re-strung Mandola.

Friday, 16 April 2010

The perils of reversing with an outboard engine

I spent a pleasant hour on Moonfleet pottering along the Broads. Then I tried to reverse it back into it's mooring: Much sweating later the little beast is tied up safely again but I definitely need more practice!
Plus points .. I didn't hit anything, no-one got wet and I think I amused the wife.
Oh well, not too bad for my 1st solo effort.
Remember the experienced skipper who was going to teach me? He's off at sea again so it was try on my own or wait months.
I'm glad I tried but next time I will not take the whole family along to watch.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Butterfly Marketing

I've been dreaming about making money via cyberspace for a few years. Over the years i've looked at hundreds of schemes and even paid for a few which seemed like good ideas.
Today I was sent an email about Butterfly Marketing which is a genuine Open Source product ( most of it is written in PHP ) but otherwise I know very little about it.
I thought this nugget was worth sharing so it's here now for anyone to use.
You do have to walk through a minefield of 'paid for' add-on's to get the free stuff but I
Has anyone used the Butterfly Marketing system to make money except it's author?

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Waiting for Cloudstreet CD The Circus of Desires

My favourite duo Cloudstreet have written another brilliant CD The Circus of Desires and are sending me a signed copy around the world. I had hoped it would be here in time for an Easter gift but I guess the 'roo's don't hop fast enough.
Still, having heard them several times during their UK tours they are definitely worth a listen.
== Update: The CD arrived safely and is brilliant ==
My wife's band The Strimmers has expanded into a trio including Rebecca ( vocal and wind instruments ) alongside Mike and herself.
You can see them most weeks round Lowestoft and every other Friday running The Waveney Folk Sing-a-round. See the diary on The Strimmers site for their current locations.
== Update: The band is now back to a duo and called Suke ==

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Yesterday I got by Marine Radio Short Range Certificate

Having got Moonfleet I thought it was time to get myself better qualified. I chose a 1 day RYA Marine Radio Short Range Certificate at our local International Boatbuilding Training College, hosted by Nick Tottie from Lowestoft Cruising Club. The day was informative and the diversity of people on the course outstanding: From young novice skippers through grey-haired sea-dogs who just needed to upgrade their old VHF certification.
Nick was an excellent tutor who bought everyone up to the required standard with a mix of real radio's and computer simulations. The simulations were useful when someone needed to play the role of coastguard.
His closed training rig using real radio's was brilliant because it allowed us to transmit real distress calls. This meant the receivers could get used to the alarms and planning their responses, especially useful for the dreaded Mayday Relay scenarios.
I was very pleased to finish the final test 1st and with a perfect score; This may have been because I bought and read the pre-course material Nick originally suggested Reeds VHF/DSC Handbook 2nd Edition. On the day he suggested another smaller and cheaper book from the RYA.
Nick also mentioned his favourite local supplier for VHF equipment Yachtbits who are based just over the lake.
It was a great day. Well done to Nick for running it so well and to everyone who passed.
One day soon Kevin, the proprieter, will see me in Yachtbits. Then, maybe, i'll work out a way to get my RYA Dayskipper.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Source of e-Books

Has anyone else been tempted to fill up their hard drive with loads of e-books? I have! This link Ebooks!

will hopefully let me download a few, some of which may be interesting :-)

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Welcome to Moonfleet

Moonfleet is a lovely old cruiser, guarded by a large owl. Moonfleet is also the completion of an ambition I've held since I was 5: To own a boat. Having lived within 3 miles of Oulton Broads for the last 4 years it seemed time to finally indulge my ambition.
The owl is an effective goose deterrent, explained by my co-owner, allowing Moonfleet to avoid the fate of other boats in our sleepy little mooring which are covered in goose droppings.
I really did buy a boat in January: Hardly the best time as my subsequent visits have been thwarted by snow and ice but we have enjoyed 1 short potter towards St Olaves.
My co-owner is an experienced seaman and has promised to train me to a sufficient standard that I do not bend our lovely little boat. I am competent but not confident with our dinky outboard-driven craft: My previous experience includes yachts and larger cruisers.
So .. if you see our little cruiser and it's owl .. give us a cheery hail. If we're moored we'll probably have the kettle on.
I want to get a 'cruiser mast' so we can fly my NSBA flag, as well as hold up the top navigation light.Despite Moonfleet being a fibreglass bathtub I have also joined the Vintage Wooden Boat Association because some of the most beautiful boats on the broads are wooden.
I have already got a number of further ambitions .. to get a VHF licence and a VHF radio: Not much call for it on the broads but a bit more reliable than mobile coverage and if I ever do accidentally go to sea or break something it'll be good to know how to call for help.
I already hold my RYA Competent Crew and am considering working on my Day Skipper.
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