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So far Don has created 357 blog entries.

Blue Mermaid’s New Leeboards Take Shape

Work continues apace on Blue Mermaid at Downs Road Boatyard.

Here, Dan waits for a decision on Blue Mermaid’s port leeboard. The boards are a steel framework with a wooden insertion to stand the rigours of operation without the tribulations of leaking and rusting steel boards. The main concern is how heavy they will be!

More photos.

By | 2018-06-15T10:36:40+00:00 June 15th, 2018|

Cambria Enjoys Stretching Her Legs

Cambria on the blocks at Pin Mill Tuesday 12th June taken from the bar of the Butt and Oyster. She has come “home” to Pin Mill where she was based in the late 1960s and where Bob Roberts lived, for some painting and maintenance while under charter to Sea-Change. There is no sight finer to stir the soul of traditional sailors – a fine ship viewed with a fine pint of Adnams in hand.

This comes after a busy start to her season with Sea-Change having successfully discharged nine¬†residential youth and adult charters. The passage from the Blackwater was with Richard, Hilary and Stretch and was to windward every inch of the way from Heybridge to Collimer Spit just below Pin Mill. It was a glorious sail which showed the fine coaster at her best. We made low water at Holland Haven after which each mile had to be worked for against the flood. Bowsprit jib and topsail were carried throughout but there was a little too much wind in the sunny NE 5 for the mizzen with its whippy boom. The barge was in her element, comfortable, balanced and with a spoke or two each way on the wheel. In the offing the Hydrogen rucked her topsail for a gybe. From the Medusa a fetch at last developed and as we approached the Harbour Cambria seemed to smell her old haunts and accelerated – 5.5 knots became 6.5 and finally peaked at 7.2 over the ground against the tide and to windward. (more…)

By | 2018-06-15T10:39:46+00:00 June 15th, 2018|

Trading Mates On Cambria

Taken after an excellent three days on Cambria with honoured guests Phil Latham (mate 1964 to 1968) and Dick Durham (mate 1969 to 1970).

Left to right: Dick Durham, Hilary Halajko (mate 2018), Richard Robinson (mate 2018), Janet Hales, Bernard Hales, Phil Latham, Nelly from France, John Pollard, Martin Riches, Mark Wakelin, Richard Titchener (skipper), Sally Littlejohn, Elizabeth Wood.

More photos here.


By | 2018-05-28T23:09:40+00:00 May 28th, 2018|

Benefiting From The Recovery Of Ill Gotten Gains

Yesterday we featured in the BBC’s Ill Gotten Gains programme as an example of how recovered criminal assets can be redistributed and subsequently put to good use.

Start watching this episode at 33.40 mins. It is available on the iPlayer until 21st June.

By | 2018-06-19T09:24:49+00:00 May 22nd, 2018|

Traditional Seamanship Training Opportunity

The Shipshape Network, part of National Historic Ships UK is offering the following opportunity, please contact them direct:

Fixed Term Traineeships for 12 Months

We are looking for people who are passionate about a career working on historic boats to take part in this unique programme. This traineeship is offering a once in a lifetime opportunity to develop the traditional skills for maintaining, conserving and operating historic boats. Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and in partnership with eight host organisations, this programme is ideal for someone seeking a career as a professional seafarer.


By | 2018-05-15T15:24:59+00:00 May 15th, 2018|