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This page will be a collection of snippets and information, gleaned from owners and friends, newspapers, magazines and scurrilous here sayas well no doubt,  hopefully all factual, as far as can be ascertained, and maybe humorous, we all need a giggle some times!  Have you found a snippet we could add?







EOG Mission Control!

This photo, taken by John Stevens in my office shows me chasing the mouse round the new EOG database! 

Like all good control rooms, you will note it comes complete with charts of the area and fluffy toys!

I could have edited out the suit hanging on the door and the coffee cup on the desk, but this is a reality website WYSIWYG!


For those who did not know, we live in an upside down wooden boat!  Here you see me, complete with walking stick, hobbling round outside, whilst John Stevens manoeuvres his car and my trailer out of the entrance.  In the foreground is our pond, though you cannot see it for plants, but the Seagull you can see is actually attached to the pond.....  In reality it is a 16ft dinghy filled with water!  Bit different.


16th Century Wreck in Thames

This Spring there was a brief snippet in the national press about a wreck found during dredging in the Princes channel, Thames Estuary.  You may have noticed a mention in the previous Newsletter.  I promised to follow it up, and here it is.....   I have contacted the PLA and with the help of Martin Garside, found this website for you with pictures and the story so far.  I'm told the wreck is to be used for training underwater archaeologists at their training establishment on the south coast, what a good idea! 

The PLA have sent me a Media Release and a link to the Wessex Archaeology site.  My thanks to them.




17 November 2004

Remains of Elizabethan wreck found in Thames Estuary

The remains of a late 16th century ship have been successfully recovered from the Thames Estuary. Working closely with experts from Wessex Archaeology, the Port of London Authority (PLA) raised the bow and part of the side of a vessel from Tudor times.

Other items raised include iron bars, an anchor, lead ingots, four cannons and more personal items such as candlesticks and leather shoes. Despite the presence of cannons, it is thought this was a merchant vessel rather than a warship. No human remains have been found.

The wreckage was discovered during operations to deepen a shipping channel in the Thames Estuary. The PLA’s own fleet of survey and recovery vessels have been actively involved in the underwater excavation and recovery work. Scientific analysis has dated the timbers to 1574. The bow section is believed to be a unique find in the UK.

Nicola Clay, PLA environmental scientist said:

"We have worked very closely with experts from Wessex Archaeology at every stage to ensure the wreck site was properly investigated and the remains safely recovered and brought ashore."

Dr Antony Firth, who has been heading up the archaeological team from Wessex Archaeology said:

"This is a very exciting discovery. Although it is early days in unravelling the ship’s story, it is clearly an important discovery in increasing understanding of late 16th century English shipbuilding and also maritime trade and transport on the Thames."

Further information: Martin Garside, Port of London Authority (Tel: 020 7743 7915. Mobile 07736 362385). Email:


Note to Editors:

The Port of London Authority is the port authority for 150 km (95 miles) of the tidal Thames from Teddington to the sea. It provides navigational, pilotage and other services for ships using the Port of London. Amongst its responsibilities is the safety of navigation in the Thames Estuary and the maintenance of shipping channels.


Click below to go to Wessex Archaeology's site. 

Wessex Archaeology




PLA Guide to the River


Many Years ago there was a little booklet published by the PLA about the Thames.  It was the first attempt to try and help the visiting yachtsmen on the tideway.  In my little way I helped with subsequent editions by offering snippets to various  PLA officials over the years.  I'm pleased to say quite a few of the suggestions found their way into the book, well now there is a new edition, hot off the press.





New Thames safety guide

A new guide for recreational users of the tidal Thames is now available. The booklet is written for anyone who uses a yacht, motorboat, speedboat, RIB, sailing craft, dinghy, rowing boat, canoe, narrow boat or other private leisure vessel on the River.

‘The tidal Thames – a guide for users of recreational craft’ is available free from the Port of London Authority (PLA). The 30-page booklet explains the key rules that apply on the tidal Thames and outlines basic safety procedures. The guide covers the entire tidal Thames from the estuary all the way to Teddington in west London, some 150 km (93 miles) in all.

Amongst the contents featured are:

safety advice

navigation rules

radio and emergency communications

water sports regulation

Richard Everitt, PLA chief executive said:

"The Thames is popular with users of different types of leisure and recreational craft. The tidal Thames is also one of the UK’s busiest commercial ports, with a wide variety of commercial ships coming and going. With such a mix of traffic, it is vital that all recreational users understand the safety rules that apply on the River."

For a free copy of ‘The tidal Thames – a guide for users of recreational craft’, contact Martin Garside, PLA, 7 Harp Lane, EC3R 6LB. Tel: 020 7743 7915. Email:

Note to Editors:

The Port of London Authority is responsible for safety on 150km (95 miles) of the tidal Thames from the sea to Teddington.



More snippets for the Scran Bag when I get them!



November 18th 2005.  I have at last managed to get back into the Newsletter.

I have just heard that we are to have our own Angel of the North, in Essex!

The proposal is for a giant sculpture to stand in the sea off Walton on Naze!  It is supposed to show the lost buildings of Essex, lost due to coastal erosion.  Another landmark as we head up the coast, that's handy!


With the windmills sprouting out of the sands as well we shall have a plethora of navigation aids in the Thames Estuary, good job too if the compasses go crazy!


Another new landmark!  Announced today a 6 metre high statue of the famous Essex loser, Brythnoth, is to be erected at the end of the Maldon Prom extension!  This has caused a storm locally, not because the chap lost, (lost his head as well!) no because it will block the view!  Well today the announced it will go there, as it has to go somewhere and the funding deadline does not give them time to resubmit an alternative location??!   If it were a 6 ft statue it might be reasonable, but 6 metres, to the loser?  What was the winners name I wonder! 

If you haven't figured out what it is all about it is the Battle of Maldon 991. A band of Vikings were supposed to have landed on Northey Island and before they could set off to rape and pillage Brythnoth and his fellow Saxons arrived at the causeway to block it.  Now anyone with any noddle would have blocked them and fought them as they tried to cross, but no not old Brythnoth, he backs off, saying 'OK you chaps, come on over and we will have a little set to, but only if you have had tea!'  Got slaughtered for his trouble! 

The rest is called the poem of Beowulf!  



In Practical Boat Owner in November was a little snippet about one of our 'Friends', it's Ashley Butler.  He is building smacks in Faversham on the Swale.  His latest, 'Lucie B' a 32 ft smack sailed to the Southampton boat show where she was on sale.  Ashley had a Senior years ago, from the age of 10! , after it was lost at sea, we were instrumental in getting him a Goosander 23.  Part built, he finished it off and learnt to do all the tricky bits, then went off to Falmouth boatbuilding college for 4 years, then sailed the Atlantic, in a replica Thames Bawley, found a charming wife, to return to the UK and back to Faversham.  Welcome back Ashley!  See Ashley is in this months P.B.O. as well....  A little mention of the Goosander too!


Dec 05. This week I heard one of the bits of news I had been rather dreading, something I have said to so many, but has fallen on deaf ears.  The gulf Stream is failing, official.  The Labrador Current, that is the result of the cold water flow from  the Artic regions has slowed, due to temperature rise at the N. pole.  That is one half of a great ocean system, the bit we enjoy being the Gulf Stream.. The Scillies where we love to holiday, rarely gets a frost and any snow, due to the Gulf Stream.  If it fails, as is now likely, Great Britain will not benefit from warmer climes, as some people will tell you will be great,  as they oppose concern over the global warming theories,  but instead great extremes.  We are on the same latitude as Newfoundland and land north of it, much is Tundra for half the year under ice...  That will bring the tears to the eyes during refit time!  Perma frost  when we want to lay under the boat and antifoul.....  What price now, a windmill on the horizon or a  fuel efficient vehicle?  Turn up the heating dear....

Many years ago I read a scientific paper on the discovery of a hole in the Ozone layer over Northern Europe.  Strangely no other paper picked it up...  A gov 'D' notice maybe? Funny how the next year the Met office brought out sun factor warnings and the like.  we forget they are a relatively recent addition to the forecast.  Having studied and taught Meteorology, I find the whole interwoven, weather system of this fragile planet of ours a constant source of interest.  Reminds me of the ancient Chinese saying about the flutter of a butterfly's wing causing the air current that eventually results in the cyclone...  Makes you think, every action has a consequence and a reaction.....   Getting deep and meaningful here, time for tea!  How many Kilowatts is that kettle?

Now I wonder how long till the compass goes crazy too...




Below are a couple of pics of Mistress II.  Rather like Fiddler's Green, she did not get a lot of use this year and as a result collected this coat of slime. I was able to simply wipe off mine or sail it off when I did get out for a sail later in the year.  Just like Fiddler's Green, it washed off easily.  No weed and not a barnacle.  Others were not so lucky, should have used Marclear!




Global Warming?

The University of East Anglia yesterday revealed that 2005 had been the hottest year on record.  Chose a good year to be flat on my back!  The scientists are saying that the trend is increasing.  Maybe 2006 will be 'nice' too.

I wonder how warm it has to get before some take their heads out of the sand?

Apparently the predictions are for more extremes of weather...  Remember my comment about the Gulf Stream.....

This morning I heard a Radio Four interview with a 'Storm Chaser'  He maintained there were 33 Tornadoes in the UK last Summer!  See the earlier part of this 'Scran Bag', you heard it here first!  And with extreme events becoming more common the numbers will only rise...   Watch those clouds next summer!


 Dec 20th 2005.


I have just had to give up doing this as I now have to pop a blood pressure pill..  After 25 plus pints I'm proud to say. 

What better gift idea for anyone!




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Might be worth a look if your anodes are disappearing fast! thanks to John Stevens for this one.