New and Neglected Nautical Writing

In all weathers by a crew of two

Tom Cun­liffe writes:For fifty glor­i­ous years from the time of the 1861 Pilot­age Act until the Great War nailed down the coffin lid on com­mer­cial sail, the Bris­tol Chan­nel was a free-for-all for com­pet­it­ive pilot­ing. This great fun­nel of tide-swept water stood wide…

A mindful scrutiny

Glor­ia Wilson has been writ­ing about, pho­to­graph­ing and draw­ing the North Sea fish­ing industry for half a cen­tury. Of her draw­ings in par­tic­u­lar she writes:In mak­ing the draw­ings, with my own pho­to­graphs for ref­er­ence, I have enjoyed a mind­ful scru­tiny of the boats…

Ghost ship of Grytviken

The Albert Strange Asso­ci­ation (bear with me), in which I am heav­ily implic­ated, held its Annu­al Gen­er­al Meet­ing in Lin­coln a few years ago, and our very enga­ging guest speak­er was Dr Robb Robin­son, a mari­time his­tor­i­an at the Uni­ver­sity of Hull. His sub­ject was…

Cruising in Denmark

George Holmes’s illus­trated and often hand-writ­ten cruise accounts fre­quently appeared in the pages of the Hum­ber Yawl Club Year­book, and later in The Yacht­ing Monthly. Here is a cruise he made in Den­mark in 1894, and writ­ten up a few years later. He and his com­pan­ion…

New Tilman brochure

We’ve pro­duced a new 32-page bro­chure describ­ing the Col­lec­ted Edi­tion of H W Tilman we have co-pub­lished with Ver­teb­rate Pub­lish­ing. It’s almost a book in itself, with art­icles by Bob Com­lay and Tom Cun­liffe as well as cov­ers and brief notes for each of the six­teen…

Stranger goings on in Woodbridge

Read­ers may recall a year or so ago this post on the com­ings and goings of some beau­ti­ful Albert Strange canoe yachts at Wood­bridge in Suf­folk. Well the Strange pop­u­la­tion on the East Coast has increased again, by one. I don’t wish to upstage Tally Ho’s 600-mile…

Nancy Blackett meets Arthur Beale

For those in the Lon­don area with an interest in the world of Arthur Ran­some, a date for your diary is 6.30pm on Thursday 16 Novem­ber, when Peter Wil­lis, author of our upcom­ing Good Little Ship, will be speak­ing on Ran­some, his clas­sic tale We Didn’t Mean to Go to…

VIOLA appeal launched

VIOLA, the last sur­viv­ing pre-World War I Hull steam trawl­er, has edged a bit closer to home this week, with the launch of her offi­cial char­ity appeal and web­site. With local Hull West MP Alan John­son as pat­ron, the cam­paign seeks to raise the estim­ated £3 mil­lion…

Sauntress in Yachting World

When we pub­lished For the Love of Saunt­ress in 2014, Tom Cun­liffe was moved to email: “Dick, how do you keep find­ing these great writers?” Mar­tin O’Scannall’s beau­ti­fully writ­ten account of his res­tor­a­tion of, and forty-year love affair with, a lovely 1913-vin­tage…

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My last cruise in ‘Cherub II

Albert Strange had a gift for what might be styled ‘com­pan­ion­able writ­ing;’ the abil­ity to take the read­er with him, in ima­gin­a­tion, on his voy­aging remin­is­cences. One of these exper­i­ences is related here, a cruise in the Cher­ub II, “My most beloved boat” as Strange…

Handy with a toolbox

Mar­tin O’Scannall has enjoyed a love affair of more than forty years with his 1913 gaff cut­ter Saunt­ress, begin­ning with her rebuild and cul­min­at­ing in the glor­ies pic­tured here. Below is his account of her sojourn in a boat­yard at Brent­ford on the Thames in west…

Hole Haven

Des­pite its unpre­pos­sess­ing name Hole Haven, the creek to the west side of Can­vey Island on the lower Thames, is a wel­come bolt-hole for those bound up- or down­river need­ing to get some rest or wait out a tide. It has ful­filled this ser­vice since at least the 1890s…

Too fast for accurate navigation

The year was 1955 and H W Tilman was under­tak­ing his first ‘sail to climb’ exped­i­tion, aim­ing to cross the Patago­ni­an ice-cap in both directions—starting from the ‘other side’. This would neces­sit­ate a trans­it of the Magel­lan Strait; as Sir Robin Knox-John­ston puts it…