Then on to Bosham where we turned at the jetty just before the village.
For an alternative account of this event, see Max's Bursledon Blog.
"I have two prototypes in the water, and I will still make a few changes in the building plans but only very small adjustments. The ends of the bow will undoubtedly catch a bit of wind, but possibly because both ends are almost identical they seem a bit more balanced than previous versions. I think most of the people who have rowed the boats just like the look of that sweeping sheer, and quite possibly they are willing to sacrifice a bit of windage for style. I'm not really sure, but I've no particular problem with the boat in moderate open water wind chop. I'm an advocate for skegs in open water rowing boats rather than longer keel structures, as I feel they are safer in preventing the boat "tripping" if caught sideways on a wave. My second prototype also has a different interior layout with port and starboard compartments to support adjustable seating for one or two people."
"My last week on the project was spent cleaning up the inwales, building a temporary cox perch and generally helping fit the furniture and titivating. Each time this stage is reached in a build I am amazed at how much time is absorbed removing material. Work that will never be appreciated by anyone who has not got that particular T shirt but is immediately apparent if it is neglected. The route to a respectable finish always lies in the preparation - a truism that can never be said often enough in my view. The snaps include a couple of high level shots showing the almost structurally completed boat, just the breasthooks to fit at that stage (now done), obtained by some precarious ladder work by Alec in the upper reaches of his workshop. The cox's seat is a temporary affair until the positioning of feet and seats are proven on the water after which the buoyancy compartments will be retrofitted - space is pretty tight and it would be easy to get positioning wrong in a static environment, we really need to see the dynamics of the interaction of the various bodies to establish best position. The week passed all too quickly and my time on the build was over - altogether a fascinating few weeks which has transformed my view of kit boats - I am extremely grateful for Alec's invitation to join in the build which I hugely enjoyed. So much so that I have put my name down for the Ullapool group aiming to build the first West Coast St Ayles Skiff, not sure I have the spine to be an oarsman though. Alec has now started applying the finish, varnished gunnels and thwarts with the rest of the hull painted so it shouldn't be too long before I head down to the other end of Scotland to see how she looks on the water."Chris - you can do it! The only downside to rowing is that it is as addictive as crack cocaine. There is nothing like being part of a crew on song, and you don't even have to be particularly strong or athletic. And there is the joy of getting fit out on the water, without having to endure the prison ship conditions in the average gym or do your knees in running.
"Pull, pull, my fine hearts-alive; pull, my children; pull, my little ones," drawlingly and soothingly sighed Stubb to his crew..... "So, so; there you are now; that's the stroke for a thousand pounds; that's the stroke to sweep the stakes! Hurrah for the gold cup of sperm oil, my heroes! Three cheers, men--all hearts alive! Easy, easy; don't be in a hurry - don't be in a hurry. Why don't you snap your oars, you rascals? Bite something, you dogs! So, so, so, then: - softly, softly! That's it - that's it! long and strong. Give way there, give way! The devil fetch ye, ye ragamuffin rapscallions; ye are all asleep. Stop snoring, ye sleepers, and pull. Pull, will ye? pull, can't ye? pull, won't ye? Why in the name of gudgeons and ginger-cakes don't ye pull? - pull and break something! pull, and start your eyes out! Here," whipping out the sharp knife from his girdle; "every mother's son of ye draw his knife, and pull with the blade between his teeth. That's it - that's it. Now ye do something; that looks like it, my steel-bits. Start her - start her, my silverspoons! Start her, marling-spikes!"
Stubb's exordium to his crew is given here at large, because he had rather a peculiar way of talking to them in general, and especially in inculcating the religion of rowing. But you must not suppose from this specimen of his sermonizings that he ever flew into downright passions with his congregation. Not at all; and therein consisted his chief peculiarity. He would say the most terrific things to his crew, in a tone so strangely compounded of fun and fury, and the fury seemed so calculated merely as a spice to the fun, that no oarsman could hear such queer invocations without pulling for dear life, and yet pulling for the mere joke of the thing. Besides he all the time looked so easy and indolent himself, so loungingly managed his steering-oar, and so broadly gaped - open-mouthed at times - that the mere sight of such a yawning commander, by sheer force of contrast, acted like a charm upon the crew. Then again, Stubb was one of those odd sort of humorists, whose jollity is sometimes so curiously ambiguous, as to put all inferiors on their guard in the matter of obeying them.