Thursday, 31 July 2014

Ok bilge keels are good

But we are getting good at putting the legs on chuckle. Here in aberdour its lovely and quite sleepy harbour with a soft bottom which chuckle has just settled on to no bother, well some degree of preparation but now well practiced the crew almost do it alone (not at all)! We anchored at inchcolm island on the way rowed ashore visited the abby had a picknick swam and sailed giggle at speed back to chuckle for a cold solar shower. Loving it but now very tiered again. Quite day tomorrow planned. Sowing in the rain in morning followed by after noon on beach and quick sail to granton for dinner out (i must have been good).

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

The value of comfortable moorings

At port edgar the swell came in all the time the last two days and not until we are sat here at granton do we realise how exhausting it was yawling (rolling) about all the time. The waves were up and wind blow hard force 5-6 today so jen and f and f went for day out in edinburgh and i had great fun sailing the 6.5 Nm down hear in an hour goose winged most of it, the fastest i have seen chuckle go. Thankfully we can relax at calm mooring tonight.

Bad seamanship

We have been in port edgar to long jenny is fed up with it and would prefer to be anywhere including granton. So she and kids have gone for a day out in edinburgh and i am to deliver the boat to granton. Its blowing sw in direction of travel force 5 gusting 6, for me to get there in time to have tea cooked for our weary city folk i must leave to get in before the tide starts to flow full speed against the wind. Small jib on two reefs and i hope to cover the 6+Nm at hull speed in just over an hour. Should be interesting. Would have left sooner but have to wait for enough water to enter granton. All very convenient for city hoping fed up sailers but bad planning on seamanship front. Daddy will just have to put on his water proof shorts and grin and bear it!

Sunday, 27 July 2014

What happened.

We arrived two nights ago now in port edgar marina and i suppose we feel the contrast between us and them. We being those that make do and mend and have fun with what we have and the industry of sailing as a leisure sport. Every thing here has been great the service and warm and friendly reception i guess its expensive and easy. Dad thought he would have some fun in a modern racing dingy and it might help jen freyja and fergus how to fine tune sails. We hire a wee boat fer fergus which he capsized and came in after half hour and jen and freyja did not like it so they came in. I should have put a rief in our sail and as it turned out a bung in the back. I had a whale of a time racing about trying to get the hang of a flighty boat in confined space and gusty winds disappointed i could not get it to plain but all the water in her would not have helped should have taken my by standing mums advice and got the girl in the office to run over the boat before we left. I was a bit surprised after being given all the gear no one was close to hand to answer or guild us to how it went together, rightly i suppose we should have paid for a lesson to know that.
Well we found a few things out i love chuckle and giggle and crusing in them and the fact that here we are something quite different in the sea of plastic boats and racers. And jenny does not like tippy boat keel boats is jen, fergus is keen and freyja is still ready for anything.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Camping in the cockpit

When you tired and you have a dog and two children mud bottomed drying harbours, windy anchorages, dirty dingies, ladderless walls and everything else that goes with mooring not on pontoons makes pontoons so attractive. We are here now at port edger the home of leisure sailing sail training and pontoon land its so easy to arrive check in and hopefully hire a racey dingy tomorrow to have a spash about with kids and consolidate some of there sailing skills. Saying that we have done some pritty impressive sailing to day well the kids have. Mum and dad were not allowed on the fore deck and before we reached for the spinnaker sheets it was flying all done by f and f.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Not all plain sailing

Its no good thinking its all plain sailing and having fun an old wooden boat needs care and attention. The bilge stoped working and then on investigating a smell of diesel we found a leak and lots of mess. What a carry on it was to fashion a temporary fix and find the problems super knackard now. Mooring was not easy either with everything else.

Largo bay

Our beautiful anchorage at largo bay was amazing except the wind got up and we were all awake through parts of the night complaining out loud that it was like sleeping in a washing machine with noise of the water rattling the clinkers and the swell rolling in side ways to make it only possible to lay stillish on your back.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014


Well its like a dream come true. After the initial excitement of having made the decision then getting here to find the wind was not as expected (on shore) and the hand bilge broke amd plan b harbour master un contactable we had some thinking to do. The wind was getting pull of to land by the effect of hot air rising off the land and drawing the wind in after it soon to come right in to the evening as is happening. We decided no contact with harbour mast would not stop us coming in requesting shelter and we fixed the electric bilge pump and relized we had dour buckets so nonproblem. Oh and i dived down with mask and flippers to hand berry the anchor myself, this has given me a great deal of over night sense of security seeing the great length of chain laying along the bottom and the anchor dug in. So here is hoping we have a lovely al be it bobbing up amd down a bit nights sleep. Woow we have finally made it to largo bay after studying the charts for many winter nights it hardly seems real.

Anckored first time for the night

Monday, 21 July 2014

Perfect day

After a good nights sleep we had a great day. West wind provented us getting to dunbar so we stay tonight and sail with sw wind tomorrow. So we took time out and wow it feels good at last. Friends joined us for evening drink on board in middle of harbour ferried on and of via giggle, paradise it feels. The photo is of yestarday to day has been blue sky al day more or less here is to good weather.

Bed time

Thanks go to the swimming lads at anstruther to take there water play the other side of the pier and let us settle down the children for bed. Our biggest day yet tomorrow possibly a nine hour passage mooring to anchor at inchkeith 18 Nmiles down the fith.
The swimmers requester a tour of the boat but so close to bed time not such a good idea. So here are some pictures of bed time and the cosy confines of family life living afloat 26 foot folkboat. It still feels a squeeze after a week but i feel we are getting used to and better at it every day. How many families can live this close? Can we do it for a month?

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Longest passage yet

Dunbar to anstruther our longest passage yet jen loving being on the helm. 7 hours 14.5 Nm. Well we stop to make lunch and happened on a mackerel.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Swell bounce

Early evening bit of of a rush so not to keep the kids from bed time routine we re moored chuckle at dunbar. Swell working in to harbour did not offer chuckle a comfy bed for the the night the old girl deserves a soft bottom and no bouncing off hard sand so with permission from harbour master a mew birth was found on a muddy bottom away from the swell. The members from the DSC were a great help in opening the bridge and line management, many thanks to them in keeping us right.

Fab pizza at dunbar

Well life afloat is settling down we r all finding our own space and a routine that suits us. Dunbar is proving a lovely stop and hope it remains so as the wind blows hard from east the swell is up and we are stuck until it blows from south again. I think we might be here some time thankfully our local friends here have offered to make our weekend fun. And the pizza from the wood fired oven in a van on the harbour side is fab.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Sea vagabonds

Children fast asleep. Finally the excitement of the first few days is turning too life as normal as it can be with children to bed on time, but aboard chuckle. Jen and i enjoy two quite hours to wined down for bed. Both of us are also exhausted making the adjustment, bed at 930 hoping to have an undisturbed sleep. Last night i was getting up though the night to make sure we were on the bottom ok and the dingy is not putting holes in us or hanging on its lines, fergus also woke us to keep bringing our attention to the funny noises, which there are a lot to get use to, especially with the rain and forgetting to bring the signal flags down which played music on the mast and wire stays until fergus pulled them down at 5 am.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Rough and smooth

Well after a bit of steep chop rounding st abbs (poor freyja was sea sick), we arrived only 10 mins after our eta to be met outside cove by our host harbour master ben tindell in his boat Amore, who escorted us in through the tricky narrow curved channel between the rocks. What a great welcome and much relief.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Good night

First night

Finally 920 pm the children are both asleep. Our first night of our one month cruise. After epic packing effort we had lovely tea round our new cockpit table. The table allowed for a great sense of order and civility and all enjoyed a table top card game after dinner. The glint of evening light of our beautiful interia coach built mahogany cabin is warming. the crazy nature of the tiny space stuffed full of us and our belongings is more than cozy. Its a family cacoon head to toe dog in the middle, gear shelved netted hung and stowed every other space but the one we lay down in. We are warm dry and very happy.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Preperation full time

Getting up to all sorts preparing for our month cruising. Fixing stuff. Making gimbals and much more

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

am i mad

Perhaps i have got a little carried away but i am enjoying myself. Just printed off 20 copies of the signal flag posters and below letters to post of to all clubs, pilots, harbour authorities, life boat stations and coast gaurd of the firth of the forth. Well at least i have warned them of the imminent norse invasion.

TEL/FAX: 01835 869931 Mobile: 07801 653830
30 June 2014 

Regarding: Chuckle’s Signal Flags, Film and Art Project

Dear Sir or Madam

Please find enclosed a small poster of Chuckle’s signal flags, for your future reference and amusement.

Info in Brief

From\To:          12 July to 12 August 2014
Chuckle:           Is a Nordic Folkboat, Sailing Sloop, Blue, Built 1954 wood hull, Main Sail no. 328.
Art and Film:   This family cruise is also an art project for Dad.
Signals:            Chuckle’s signal flags are a bit of fun, please signal with us if you have the means, we will do are best to respond.

Further information

As well as using signal flags the children will be assisting the skipper to navigate using a lead
line and chip log. These navigation aids and the signal flags will, it is hoped, inspire the children to engage in the navigation of Chuckle and understand better the marine environment. Fergus will be keeping a log of all the wildlife he sees, Freyja is drawing and painting ‘things’ and Mum is keeping the log and diary. Dad is going to make a film of the trip, in an effort to inspire others in coastal exploration aided by the simple pleasure of navigation with direct sensory connections, touch, sight and sound. These things seem obvious to the sailor but to a child or the uninitiated they are not. Dad’s film and related craftsman made navigation aids and signal flags, aim to expose the contrast of these simple direct sensory connections to those electronically aided. The film and navigation aids will become part of his open studio event at Hundalee Mill Farm on the 26 – 28 September and they will be entered into open film festivals and open art shows.

Just to make it clear and before you pick up the phone to child protection. Chuckle is equipped with safety gear, electronic sounder, GPS and VHF.

This is a self-funded art project and no public money is or will be applied for.

Yours sincerely

Thomas Hawson