Thursday, 27 May 2010

Pilot Cutters in Barry Harbour

I had an interesting email from a boat building buddy of mine, Seb Evans.  Seb works the Pilot boat out of Barry in Wales and he emailed me these photos taken last week of pilot cutters in Barry Harbour.  The pilot cutters are:  Pet; Mascotte; Cornubia; Maguerite and Cariad the punts belong to Mascotte and Cornubia. 

Monday, 17 May 2010

The Building of Defiant of Lyme Regis Podcast

When we installed Defiant in the National Maritime Museum Dan Matthews interviewed me and this was recorded and is now available to listen to along with their other wonderful podcasts. Here is the link if you would like to have a listen.


Sunday, 16 May 2010

Would you like to sail in the Arctic this summer?

Yesterday I spoke with Roger Capp's who owns the 100 year old Pilot Cutter Dolphin. During our chat Roger told me that someone has dropped out of the second part of this summer's Arctic voyage due to illness.  If you would like to be a crew member for this part of the trip please will you email your sailing CV to Emma Metcalf,

The crew member must be able to sail and the cost of the voyage including flights will be about £1,000.00. The proposed itinerary is listed below.

July 17th – July 26th: Sail to Sjuoyane,  Nordaustlandet, via Prins Karls Forland, Ny Alesund, Fairhaven and Moffen.
July 26th – August 4th:  Exploring Nordaustlandet. with the aim of exploring further East, and South to go walking in the area of Rijpfjorden and Prins Oscars land,  should ice conditions allow. 
August 4th – August 12th: Hinlopen Straits via Freemansundet to Storfiorden.
August 12th – August 18th: Storfjorden to Tromso
August 18th – August 22nd: Tromso to Ornes
August 22 – August 26/27th: Pack up.

Dolphin is 38ft and does not have much room.  Cockpit leads to companionway steps , galley to starboard. Navigation table to port, pilot berth behind. Saloon with two berths and the stove. Beyond the cabin with a double berth to starboard and a single to port, always full of sails. Heads in the bows.  She is a good sea boat, gaff rigged with a yard and square sail. Lots of ropes, no winches.
Expect to be cold, and cramped and amazed by the trip.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Our boat goes to the National Maritime Museum

Yesterday we towed Defiant of Lyme Regis to the National Maritime Museum where she was installed as the central exhibit in the Boats that Built Britain Exhibition. Dan Matthews the exhibition organiser met us at the gate and the installation team were on hand to safely  and efficiently get Defiant through the staggered entrance and into the micro gallery. Before we new it, Defiant was proudly sitting on her cradle.

Hannah Cunliffe was also there and both she and Dan really made Rae and I feel welcome. After a cup of coffee with Dan and Hannah. Rae and I went for a wander around the museum and the Royal Observatory. The last time I had visited the museum I was about 10. This visit as a child was a seminal experience for me and probably went some way to fueling my obsession with all things boats.

The museum is really well designed and is expanding with a new wing being built. We are going to be frequent visitors to the museum this year and we are really looking forward to hearing Tom Cunliffe's talk on the Boats that Built Britain which is being held at the museum on 20th May.

The Boats that Built Britain Exhibition opens on 8th May and runs until November. Tom's TV series began last night and is on twice weekly for the next three weeks. The second episode is on this evening at 20.30 on BBC 4 and of course there is catch-up on BBC iplayer.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Press Release from the National Maritime Museum: Boats that Built Britain

Rae and I have been working very hard for the last couple of weeks getting 'Defiant of Lyme Regis' ready for display in the Boats that Built Britain exhibition at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.  We are taking the boat to the museum on Tuesday and I am very nervous about having her on public display. Its such a privilege to have been asked to exhibit my boat and I just hope she lives up to the museum's expectations.

Please follow this link for the press release:

Sailing to Svalbard

It is now confirmed that Rae and I are going to be sailing onboard Dolphin, an original Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter. This beautiful vessel is owned by Roger Capps and we are very pleased to be part of his crew. We have booked our flights and are very excited by this new adventure. Dolphin is moored in Ornes, Norway and we will be joining the vessel in mid June.

Svalbard is an archipelago that is located in the Arctic Ocean, halfway between Norway and the North Pole,  for more information see the official Norway tourism website: