Follow by Email

Sunday, 16 April 2017

The end of an era - and of a Blog

Friday 14th April

This is copied from Bonify's blog which I hijacked briefly for Victoria.

Our lovely 21ft wooden gaff cutter, built in 1897 for the Colne River Police, passed into new hands today. Very worthy and capable hands we have to say. Tony Winter has restored and maintained old wooden sailing boats for many more years than I have been sailing, in particular Bristol Channel Pilot Cutters Mascot and Cornubia (aka Hirta) and his dynasty of East Coast Winters (if I can call it that) has an impeccable record for looking after old sailing boats. He has a host of grandchildren of varying ages who we hope will cut their gaffering teeth on Victoria in years to come.

So yesterday we took her winter cover off for the last time and today she is rigged with the help of her new owner.

Cover's off Thursday

Mast rigged as ridge pole for cover - bow

Mast rigged as ridge pole for cover - stern

Mast back in its proper place - tabernacle

Bowsprit going on

Juggleing bowsprit

Coffee time - mast ready to raise
 Photographer then left them all to it and went back to apply some thinned varnish to Bonify.

All done, rigged and ready to sail

She will be staying in the Walton Yacht Basin for now so all her East Coast gaffer friends will be able to keep an eye on her. For us, the end of a happy era - and the end of this blog.

Bonify's blog contines:

Monday, 22 August 2016

Photo Gallery 5 - Sailing at Douarnenez

Last photo gallery is back to the sailing. 
For the record we are long since back in the UK but I am just catching up on some of the best images of our trip to Brittany.

Breton flag

Red ensigns in Brittany

Here are views of boats sailing out whilst attending the Festival "Temps Fete" at Douarnenez.  Before we concentrate on specific gaffers, some general shots:

We enjoyed sailing out on Victoria and keep the camera handy...

Lowestoft trawler a long way from home

Contrast of rigs

Square riggers here too

Passing close...

The Russian ship

Typical French lugger

This Swiss gaffer was having its mast stepped in the Marina at Brest as we were launched - not sure whether they too had come by road. Huge rig!

Now for a selection OGA boats - I'm sorry I didn't catch everyone.



Witch flying her smart new "ghoster"

Colin and Alistair

Eva Kristina:

Big Dutch gaffer Eva Kristina (with Gwenili chasing)

Catching us here


Team Gwenili


Playing with the new spinnaker sock - will it work?

Looks good!

Pilot cutters race:

Is it a parade or a race? Who cares?

Luke Powell at the helm of Agnes with lots of extra crew from his other  pilot cutters represented here

Cancalaise coming towards us with OGA modern pilot cutter High Barbaree sailing out on the right



Grainvillaise, another replica lugger built for her town (Grainville) in the north of Brittany

Time to head for home:

Farewell to Witch , starting her voyage home

East Breeze is also on her way

Bye Marion!


The grand finale is some kind of sea battle enacted in the harbour

We watch from Windbreker and can''t really tell what's going on - but the fireworks are good afterwards.

That's all folks - best camera shots beginning to end. Well done for getting this far!

Friday, 19 August 2016

Photo Gallery 4 - Douarnenez, in harbour

Douarnenez was more photogenic and more convivial than Brest and I managed to take more close-up photos of people with their boats (and their dogs) than before. This gallery contains photos taken in the harbour where there was always lots going on and then Gallery 5 will be back to boats out there sailing about:

View of the town as we approached - Dz

We were moored up on buoys here in Rosmur Harbour - tented village along the quay

There were free water taxis run by local volunteers but they were in some demand so we sometimes used our own tenders. I'm not sure why I find it quirky but the French word for tender is 'annexe'. Here are some examples:

The skippers (yes, plural) and crew of High Barbaree going ashore. One of the skippers had to paddle.

No gaffers blog is complete without at least one cloggie doggie

Team Eva Kristiana heading off for walkies

Koshe is our best known and loved cloggie doggie, heading ashore from Windbreker with Else

Calling by to say hello en route

Chopping oar: a poor photo of Martin and Jean-Loup in  Gwenili's tender but included here because of the ingenious repair to the oar

A significant proportion of the Pen Duick fleet were here - nearest one is the gaffer I photographed sailing

'Sail and oar' in the harbour:

From the SW Area of the OGA David (right) built Aberrare himself


...and later sailing

That tan sail in among the moorings is OGA trailer section boat "Faith"

Faith beyond and Witch in the foreground

Better view of Faith sailing 
Someone's caught a crab - not sure how they say that in French

Pretty sail with paddling escort

Even the larger boats sailed right into the harbour - this is Grayhound

Nice tight turn and back out again

Repairs in harbour:

Marion lost a block up her mast on East Breeze so to fix it she is going up the mast of Passager. East Breeze will be leant over so she can reach to make the repair
Looks tricky with one hand
Holding East Breeze at an angle

Here's the second attempt - Janet having a go and she does finally manage get the new block attached

Musical Entertainment in the harbour:

Evening in the harbour:

Late night visitors by tender

Last drinks with our neighbours - when you are sharing a mooring it's churlish not to...

Still rocking on the quay but bedtime on Victoria

 One last "gallery" to follow with pictures of boats sailing around here including our OGA chums.