Progress on Emerald

One of the reas­ons these blog posts are so infre­quent is I have a few dis­trac­tions, two of which are Albert Strange yachts. One, Leona (1906) awaits atten­tion when I finally retire from the day-job (or make me an offer). The other, Emer­ald (built 1937 to a...

An Essex girl through and through

I first met her in Tolles­bury and imme­di­ately fell for her. She was an ­Essex girl through and through but not like all the oth­ers, although she was shal­low. As far as I could see then there were only two prob­lems. There was a big age difference—fifty-five...

The romance of a proper dinghy

The light north-east­erly breeze con­tin­ued dur­ing my watch until mid­night, and Juan­ita sailed on through the dark­ness, her jib shim­mer­ing with the phos­phor­es­cence of the lee bow wave, and little Punch, the 8’ dinghy fol­low­ing in our glisten­ing wake, with...

No better test of character

Most people read­ing this have enjoyed lives markedly more com­fort­able than those of their par­ents or grand­par­ents. My own fath­er served at sea when a teen­ager dur­ing World War II, as a stoker and coal trim­mer on tramp steam­ers and later on deep-sea res­cue...

A legacy of riches

When barely six­teen I spent two months with my slightly young­er broth­er Dave hitch-hik­ing, and often rough sleep­ing, around Scot­land watch­ing birds. We went as far north as the Shet­land isle Fet­lar to see the snowy owls which bred there, and man­aged to cadge...

A serious kind of joy

Some­how, and to his incredu­lity, I had never read an Arthur Ran­some book when Peter Wil­lis approached me with Good Little Ship. Nancy Black­ett, the real-life ori­gin­al of the Gob­lin in We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea, was a famil­i­ar sight on the East Coast and...