Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Visitor to See ‘Minnow’


As a result of advertising ‘Minnow’ for sale on Ebay, a number of people have shown an interest in the possibility of buying her. A person who had previously seen her came today for a second look. He liked her, but it seems she is not a practical proposition for his particular situation, one of disability, and he has reluctantly decided not to buy her.

I was pleased he came a second time, because he could check out a few things – nothing to do with the condition or construction of the boat, but more to do with practical issues on account of his disability. He said she was one of the boats he thought may be suitable for a disabled sailor, but getting in and out of her from a dinghy would not be the easiest or safest manoeuvre, and because of his disability he discovered he could not access the fore cabin.

It was a disappointment for him, but he wisely came to the conclusion that these restrictions would force him to abandon his initial hopes of sailing and owning ‘Minnow’. That of course means she is still available for sale, not that I am making great efforts to sell her. If she has not been sold by early spring of 2015, I may find that I have a renewed desire to sail her, but if not, I shall make a concerted effort to sell her.

‘Minnow’ for Sale

Monday, December 15, 2014

Social Gathering Invitation

This has absolutely nothing to do with boats, and I make no apology, but it has to do with being sociable. I am a member of Providence Baptist Church, East Street, Southend-on-Sea, SS2 6LH, and once a month, usually on the last Friday of a month, a few of us gather together for a social afternoon, starting at 2.00pm. This month, our meeting will take place on Friday, 19th, earlier than usual, on account of the build-up to Christmas – it’s a matter of fitting things in.

To people who may live within the Borough of Southend, or a short distance from it, we extend a warm invitation for you to join us. We’ll be meeting in the Church Hall at the rear of the main building. Parking space should be available at the church, but if it is not, there’s a car park at nearby Prittlewell Railway Station.

More details of what we plan to do can be found by looking at the images above. The event is entirely free, but you’ll go away with a rather nice Christmas decoration that could be used as a central piece on a dining table or perhaps on a mantelshelf.

Why not invite a friend to come with you?


If you discover the December Calendar on our website, ignore the entry saying Friends on Friday will be on 26th December. This is an error. We are hardly likely to meet on Boxing Day!


Providence Baptist Church, Southend-on-Sea (The Website will be updated in the near future.)

Prittlewell Station Car Park

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Golden Star of Christmas

Think back to the time of your youth. What ‘happening’ most symbolized the experience of Christmas? Was it waking up in the morning and seeing a nylon stocking bulging with goodies, hanging at the bottom of the bed? Or was it the excitement of withdrawing the contents to discover what they were? Or was it when you were with Mum and Dad, and the rest of the family sat around the table eating roast dinner and pulling crackers?

Now, here’s a different question. What ‘thing’ most stands out in your memory? Is it the Christmas pudding? Is it the decorations? For me, it is the Christmas tree!

The tree would miraculously appear on Christmas Day morning. It was real, roots and all. It stood in a galvanized bucket wrapped in decorative paper. Clipped to the branches were small metal candle holders complete with red candles. Hanging from the branches were colourful baubles, and at the base of the tree there were parcels. We eagerly examined them to discover whose names were written on them.

I couldn’t wait for dinner to be over, so that the candles could be lit, and for us kids to get our hands on the presents. The lighting of the candles was a magical event that transformed the tree by changing its appearance, making it vibrant. Right at the very top, there was a golden star that glistened in the shimmering light.

I knew of Father Christmas or Santa Claus, as some called him, and when I was very young I really believed in him, but there came a time when I knew it was all lies.  He did not exist! My trust in adults was somewhat dented, and belief had to be founded on facts. Fairy tales did not wash.

Much later when the question of believing in Jesus was put to me, I had to get hold of the facts to see if I did, or could believe in Him.

When I was a kid I attended Sunday school, I went to church, and I even sang in a choir. In early adulthood I thought I believed in Him because I was very active in church affairs - even taking part in meetings, attending bible study  and prayer groups, ringing the church bells, making posters, cutting the churchyard grass, ferrying people to and fro, and being nice etc., etc..

But it wasn’t until much later I was able to understand the symbolism of the Christmas tree, and to know and believe the truth of what it symbolizes. The evergreen tree is reckoned by some Christians to be a symbol of eternal lifeeternal because of being evergreen, and life because many living plants are green. The tree points upwards. There, in Heaven above, is a Star - a Star brighter and stronger than any other.  This is a Star that was before the beginning of time.  Understanding the significance of this Star and knowing Him is the work of the Holy Spirit. Through the reading and preaching of God’s Word, His shimmering, golden light enters into peoples’ hearts, and imparts new spiritual life by His grace. They know Him and they put their trust in the Son of God who died and rose again for their salvation. He is the Bright and Morning Star spoken of in the Book of Revelation, Chapter 22, and verse 16:

“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”

Thursday, December 11, 2014

CCM Christmas Greetings


Wishing you all a Very Happy Christmas.


Christian Compassion Ministries

Cubao Reformed Baptist Church

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Is this a One-off Yacht?

This wooden yacht is laid up near the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club at Burnham-on-Crouch. Before I bought ‘Ladybird’* I considered buying her because I was attracted to her, and she was for sale at the time. I can’t remember details regarding her designer and builder; nor can I remember if she was a one-off, or if she was one of a particular class of yacht. What I do know, is that she is very similar to my old Wessex One Design, ‘Shyauk’, but a little larger all-round.

Unlike ‘Shyauk’ she has a doghouse which gives more room just where it is needed at the point of entry into the cabin and where the galley is most likely to be situated, or perhaps a navigation station with a table and drawers for charts, pilotage books etc. Again, my memory is hazy about the internal layout, but I do remember the large windows of her doghouse that allow her crew to see what is going on outside.

I was put off buying her because quite a few jobs had to be done that I was unable to do well and believed I would have had to employ a shipwright to put them right. Furthermore, I realized she would be more expensive to upkeep than a smaller fibreglass boat, and although I liked the look of all the varnish, I didn’t relish maintaining it.

I am attracted to this type of yacht incorporating a moderate fin keel, a skeg-hung rudder and short counter. She has less wetted surface than one with a long keel, hence she’s faster because of less frictional drag, and yet she has good directional stability. These characteristics make for excellent manoeuvrability, sensitive steering and above average windward ability.

It looks as though her owner is in the process of stripping the hull of paint below the waterline to thoroughly inspect the planking and seams before making the surface good again. This sort of thing when done well can bring great satisfaction. There’s comfort in knowing the boat is sound and that she will perform as she should. She’s a nice yacht, suitable for coastal sailing and handicap club racing.


Round Britain and Ireland Race

‘Shyauk’ Around Britain and Ireland Race 1974 – Small Fry – Part 1

*’Ladybird’ in Hibernation

Sunday, December 07, 2014

‘Ladybird’ in Hibernation

In hibernation

At Exmouth 2010

At Torquay 2010

Of the boats I have owned, ‘Ladybird’, a Seawych 19, was perhaps the most endearing. On checking my blog I note that I have written many things about her and of our ‘relationship’. Only a few days ago I bumped into her again. She was not talking to me because she was in a deep sleep of hibernation. Since she is no longer mine I respected her privacy and left her alone to sit out the dark, cold months of winter. Hopefully she will be awakened in spring by her current ‘master’, dusted off and made Bristol Fashion for launching at the beginning of another season.

By clicking links below which are set out in chronological order, you will learn of ‘our’ wholesome relationship which sadly came to end, but then all my relationships with vessels of fancy have been short-lived. I am still in a relationship with ‘Minnow’, but a parting may not be far away.*


‘Just Right’ for Sailing


Regular Subscribers - Thank You

Antifouling ‘Ladybird’, My Seawych Sloop

‘Ladybird’s’ Cruise – Day 1 on 3rd June, 2010 (Follow date links to right for rest of cruise)

‘Ladybird’ for Sale

‘Ladybirds’ Summer Cruise Review

Selling ‘Ladybird’

End of an Extraordinarily Brilliant Sailing Season

Check on ‘Ladybird’

Crewing on ‘Ladybird’

Checking ‘Ladybird’

‘Ladybird’s’ 2010 Cruise Photo Selection – Part 1

‘Ladybird’s’ Cruise – 2010

Ladybird has been sold – My tribute to her

My Old Mistress ‘Ladybird’

  ‘Ladybird’ on the Crouch

Photos of Boats I Have Owned – Part 6

Sailing Again Aboard ‘Ladybird’

Rekindling the Fire of Passion for Small Sailing Boats

Day Sail with ‘Ladybird’

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Melonseed Sailing Video

If you like dinghy sailing you’ll enjoy this 8 minute video* ‘starring’ Midwest Melonheads at Crystal Lake, Michigan. It was put together by Doc Musekamp with background music ‘Prayer’ by Michael Jones.

This comes as a postscript to Melonseed Skiff, 2014**and thanks to Roger Rodibaugh for the link.


*MSMR 2013 by Doc Musekamp

**Melonseed Skiff, 2014