Wednesday, February 05, 2014


Foul weather, and a dose of flu, conspire against our continuing adventure.

More when things improve...

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Tank Museum

Above is a picture of the front of the tank museum at Bovington, which I visited last week. Strangely, Patch did not seem inclined to join me in this particular adventure. I'm not sure why!

Anyway, I've seen signs for the tank museum many times when travelling down towards the south west, for various reasons, over the years, but I've not really made the time to go visit before. The museum was on our list of things to see and do while we were in the Poole area - because I could.

I was expecting a decrepit collection of rusty old tanks huddled in and around WWII era nissan huts, or similar, but no, the building you see is it - the Tank Museum. A really pleasant surprise.

There are a few tanks on display dotted about outside, but all the good stuff is inside, in warm, modern accommodation, with a great restaurant for that all important cuppa when the need arises.

Things only got better once I had paid for my ticket (which is valid for an entire year) and got inside.

As it happened, I had the extreme good fortune to start my visit at almost exactly the time a guided tour of 'the story of the tank' was supposed to start - and I was the only person there for the tour...

The entire history of tanks from the very first creation, all the way up to the modern day battle tanks is particularly fascinating, brought to life by a particularly well informed tour guide.

After a few hours I was pretty much tanked out, but will definitely be back for more before too long.

An amazing day, and well worth the visit.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Pottering around in Poole

We were pottering around Poole harbour a bit more on the weekend, this time up towards Wareham way.

We had worked Arctic Rose some way up the Wareham channel, but a falling tide, depths shoaling and a keen desire to avoid going aground meant we did not make it all the way into Wareham.

Did I mention that the tides in Poole are really weird? Look here, for a graph of the tides, to see what I mean.

We still have several things to check off on our list of things to do in and around Poole, including exploring even more of this vast harbour, both in Arctic Rose and by kayak.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Fun in the wind

Of course, now we are in Poole we have the chance to explore while the weather is not conducive to sailing.

Here are some folks who relish strong winds, taking maximum advantage of the conditions.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Christmas/New years

Twin sails bridge

It's been a somewhat busy time, what with one thing or another, since my last post. So I'd like to take this opportunity to say happy new year to everyone.

On the boating front, we have not had the time or weather to do much.

With glorious weather on the Saturday just gone, we took the opportunity to take Arctic Rose out of Poole harbour and spent a glorious day in the sunshine anchored in Studland bay.

We also took the opportunity to move Arctic Rose to a marina right by the old town.

We are now alongside at a marina which is literally just across the road from a Tesco's express, just visible in the picture, which, somewhat conveniently, has a deli which does the most wonderful coffee and cakes just next door to it.

There is nothing like being anchored up overnight in a tranquil stretch of water someplace, but being alongside with a convenience store and a deli immediately to hand is not to be sneezed at.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


Twin sails bridge

We have now moved on from Lymington to Poole.

The marina we are currently at is nestled behind two bridges which open on the half hour, if needs be.

Another first for us - getting in position in time for a bridge to open, which needed a little harder of a push on the throttle than we usually use for that last twenty minute 'sprint' to the bridges.

In the event, the bridges were lifted solely for us, with the first bridge looking pretty normal for a lifting bridge. The second bridge lifting, which you can see in the picture, turned out to be an unexpectedly magnificent performance, perfectly highlighted by the late afternoon sun.

If we had missed this bridge opening, we would have been fumbling our way into a strange berth in the dark, again. Turns out this was a good thing, as the marina berth numbers were all but impossible to spot, even in the daylight.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Hurst Castle

Hurst Castle

Last weekend we walked out to Hurst Castle.

It was a somewhat strange feeling sitting on Hurst Castle, sheltered from the wind in a warm sunny spot, watching the water from the Solent rushing out through the narrows there.

I've been backwards and forwards through these narrows by boat several times now, but not really appreciated just how powerful those currents are, until sitting there watching them from the shore.

The picture shows the waters near Keyhaven, looking along the narrow spit towards Hurst Castle. The white tower is the lighthouse, with IOW in the background.