The Invisible Workshop’s Ben Crawshaw has been taking striking photographs of the beach outside his Tarragona apartment
You may have noticed the Blogroll to the right of this post. It’s meant to be a list of friendly weblogs and websites relevant to intheboatshed.net readers. And that’s exactly what it is – some of them are very old friends indeed (aren’t they Chris?), and I find they’re well worth a look whenever I feel I’m missing the water.
So tonight I’d like to draw attention to some particular gems on the intheboatshed.net Blogroll .
Ben Crawshaw of The Invisible Workshop has been taking a series of strikingly beautiful photos of his local beach in winter. Even in Spain, it’s now too cold to use the water with any pleasure, so he’s now walking, watching the sea, photographing it and, no doubt, dreaming about the spring.
Albert Strange Association webmaster Dick Wynne has been busy putting up news items, drawings and photos relating to their hero and his very attractive designs. And some of the news has been very good indeed – it seems Blue Jay has new owners, who have become members of the ASA.
Chris Perkin’s weblog Bumble of Loch Dubh currently has just one very interesting post describing how he built his first two clinker ply dinghies. It’s long and interesting, particularly because his next boat, an award-winning Iain Oughtred Macgregor sailing canoe has become something of a legend. (For more on the Macgregor, follow this link.)
Rowing for Pleasure is Chris Partridge’s wide-ranging weblog. Check out his illuminating posts about the boats of Venice, his trip round the backside of Portsea Island, the important place of the name Snarley(y)ow, and a rather sweet photo of the young Chris at the oars of a Thames Skiff long ago.
He says ‘I’ve been looking through family photo albums and discovered this pic of me rowing stroke on the Upper Thames in 1960 with Dad at bow. The boat was a beautiful mahogany double skiff called Snarleyow. Somehow, I can’t remember a single day when it rained.’
Funny that – I too can confirm that it never rained when my dad took us out on the Thames. Dads were much cleverer in those days and I sometimes think it’s a shame my kids have to deal with someone much more Pooterish.
And now for something completely different. George in Michigan is building one of Matt Layden’s distinctive little sharpies and tells us all about it at Building an Enigma 460. Many of home boat builders are intrigued by Matt’s simple and inexpensive solo and two-person micro sailing cruisers, and by his amazing sailing feats, and I’m no exception. There are still precious few designs for boats of this kind.
I was lucky enough to have a boating father, and I learned early to love rowing on the Thames, picnicing under weeping willows and watching the world go by, as my dad did all the rowing work while the rest of the family lay around the boat watching the water ripple around our fingers. Great days, and beautiful, elegant boats. Those family outings were forty-odd years ago and many of the skiffs have now been replaced by plastic boats. However, there are still skiffs on the Thames, many are treasured by doting owners, and a few can even be hired (see below).
So as we face up to winter arriving here in the UK, I’d very much like to take this opportunity to take www.intheboatshed.net readers back to the river for a few minutes to the often sunny world of rowing skiffs.
Clubs devoted to racing skiffs:
Hire a skiff:
The traditional Swan Upping event, during which skiffs and other boats are used to mark swans to show who owns them:
Traditional boat rallies on the Thames: