Old Ships Company Films Aboard Cambria

Richard Writes: Over 4 days last weekend a team from Tasmanian film makers Old Ships Company came alongside Cambria and met key people in her history and restoration. Phil Latham, mate 1964 to 68 sailed with us on Friday and Dick Durham was interviewed at home in Leigh, in the house from which he glimpsed Cambria’s riding light as a teenager.

Chair of the Cambria Trust Robert Simper was interviewed on Saturday as was local historian Stephen Nunn, together with Tim Goldsack who undertook the impressive restoration. There was plenty of footage aboard when we were not dodging squalls on the Friday and again on Monday, when Jim Dines provided a following boat to shadow Cambria leaving Hythe Quay with her last charter this year for Sea-Change, including two sail trainers from British Columbia on an ASTO exchange.

It has truly been a few days that spanned the globe. Pictured are the film crew with Phil Latham on the wheel and again in the following boat.

By | 2018-08-24T08:24:07+00:00 August 15th, 2018|

Chasing Niagara In The Thames Match

Cambria chasing Niagara at the top of Sea Reach in the Thames Match on 21st July

Richard Writes: It was a long hot day with light airs or less most of the time making for a challenging match. The late start was at 1000 with low water at Sheerness at 1400 and a published time limit of 1700 later extended to 1800.The crew of Cambria were pleased to be joined by a hard-working team put together by Chris Livett.

At high water there was an air from the west turning the wind turbines at Tilbury, their indication of wind speed and direction to sailormen being in itself ample reason for the generous public subsidy we all provide. But this air was failing all the time and was (more…)

By | 2018-08-16T15:01:57+00:00 July 31st, 2018|

Are You Up To Speed?

Preparing to measure for sails

July is rolling along at a rate of knots and we are already halfway though another full sailing season afloat.

Simultaneously work continues fitting out Blue Mermaid, which has just been measured for her sails.

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By | 2018-07-30T09:47:55+00:00 July 17th, 2018|

Blackwater Barge Match Raced With Skill In Light Airs

Richard Writes: A crew from Maldon Little Ship Club spent their Friday practising and their Saturday coaxing Cambria into third place overall and second in the bowsprit class.

The day started almost calm with many craft exhibiting complex and innovative methods of keeping above the start line with anchors over the stern. Others used seamanlike techniques as with Reminder which dropped her main anchor to avoid going between the limit mark and the committee boat. (more…)

By | 2018-08-16T15:03:29+00:00 July 11th, 2018|

Trials And Tribulations

Richard Writes: I had called into the yard to collect a toilet part for Cambria – yes, this last of the sailormen has complex electric toilets and the paint store now resides in the wheel box where her loo once was – and was delighted to see Tom Cook aloft on Blue Mermaid having just fitted high tensile steel crosstrees. Meanwhile apprentice Jasmine Klimcke was aft measuring the mizzen shrouds. Nearby and barely visible was the superb sliding scuttle hatch made by Shaun White who reportedly said he would have taken more trouble if he had realised Jim Dines was going to varnish it. We were intent on a low maintenance high-build semi-gloss finish on the woodwork but Jim has insisted on making up the difference and using two-pack epoxy varnish. 

Jim caught me and we looked at positions for chainplates for runners. Every attempt is being made to copy the positions on Resourceful, sister ship to the original Blue Mermaid subject only to the position of the webs strengthening the rails. Most barges have backstays further aft now to support the rig generally and for racing whereas they look to have been further forward in the past. The originals had an extra chainplate ahead of the vang for topmast backstays to go when carrying big headsails. You can still find the old rivet holes for these in Reminder and they are still there on Resourceful. It is not clear if they had a second pair of stays for these or a means of extending the one set. More thought is needed but if anyone knows how the geometry worked to extend topmast backstays aft in this way please let us know.

By | 2018-08-16T15:05:20+00:00 July 6th, 2018|

London Nautical School Back Again For More

Nine Year Nine Nautical Studies Students from the London Nautical School at the end of their three days with Sea-Change aboard SB Cambria, with their teacher James Bullar MBE and crew Dave Cooper, Capt Richard Gavin and Hilary Halajko.

Monday and Tuesday were sunny but windy and quite a challenge beating down the Blackwater against an easterly force 6, though shelter was found inside Colne Point for a visit to the beach and a swim.

Wednesday produced more normal conditions and by the time we picked up the mooring, the students were working well as a team and appreciated the kind of attention to detail and sticking at their jobs required by engineless sailing.

Thanks to Chris Livett who has supported this and another LNS trip this year. More photos here.

By | 2018-07-06T11:43:28+00:00 July 5th, 2018|