A Thames lock keeper’s punt

Lock keeper's punt

This Thames lock-keeper’s punt was a featured of Chris Partridge’s childhood and having come down to him through his family, he’s sorting it out ready to put back on the water.

I must say I’m intrigued, as it’s a boat type I haven’t been aware of up to now. Read about it here – and no doubt in later Rowing  for Pleasure weblog posts as Chris’s project makes progress.

 

Ben Crawshaw’s book Catalan Castaway gets a splendid review from the Dinghy Cruising Association newsletter

Product-Shot-Castaway-768x1024

Light Trow sailor Ben Crawshaw’s book Catalan Castaway published by the excellent Lodestar Books has just received splendid reviews from not one but two writers in the latest edition of the Dinghy Cruising Association’s quarterly journal.

I must say I’m delighted – recognition for Ben and his book has been slow, so it’s great to see this glowing endorsement of his book.

Paul Constantine sums up Ben’s story like this:

‘Ben, with no previous building experience, builds the first 15ft 4ins Light Trow, Onawind Blue, from free online plans drawn by Gavin Atkin.

‘He sails it from an open beach on the Costa Brava and learns from experience. His love of his boat, the sea and solitude is dripping from every page… there are few dinghy cruisers more deserving of recognition than Ben.’

I don’t know Paul that I can remember, but I have had dealings with Keith Muscott over the years, and he’s a knowledgeable, experienced chap, who is unlikely to be won over without reason. Here, then, is a quotation from his review:

‘… I am sure that this book will find its way into the sailing canon eventually, where this young man’s love of life and his enthusiasm for recording his ideas, his experience and his practical achievements will always mark him out as a true individual – whether they be photographs of his beautifully presented meals, or well crafted boat parts, or written records of wonderful days spend at sea.’

See the review here. Read a sample of Ben’s book here.

PS – This may be the right moment to link to a charming illustrated article published by Duckworks Magazine about another of my designs, the easy and simple MicroMouse paddler. It was written by Mouseboat enthusiast Josh Withe, and, fittingly for a little paddler designed for small people, it’s in the style of a children’s story: Seagull the Mouseboat.

 

Thames skiff rowers journey the length of the Mississippi

Mississippi Millions

The Mississippi Million rowers led by John  Pritchard arrived at New Orleans on the 25th October after rowing two Thames skiffs for 2,320 miles down the mighty river. It has been a huge achievement and I hope they get the recognition they deserve – and that John  raises a good sum for the charity Right to Play, which promotes the right of all children to be able to play.

The rowers describe it as a mix of toil, pain, laughter, wonderment, hospitality, friendship, kindness, headwinds, rain, thunder, lightning, tornados, blood, sores and Sam Adams beer, though no doubt Chris Partridge would call it pleasure. Read John’s weblog account here, and Patrick Broughton’s here.

I particularly like his last entry, which simply reads: ‘Begining of the day End of the day. Job done. And yes there were tears.’