Wednesday, 26 March 2008

We're loosing it . . .

. . . an hour that is, one less in the morning, groan, but more light to go out on the sea after work, yipee!
This weekend sees the start of our daylight saving.
It gives my soul a boost and marks the start of sunny days to come . . . ?

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

A second chance

Wreck of the Tanker BP Driver off Nash Point
I recently came across a pile of aerial photographs I bought as a job lot years ago, all taken around our locality. One that stuck out was the picture above, of a wrecked tanker. It was marked "Tanker at Nash - 1956".

Curious to find out what had happened, I eventually found information regarding wrecks in the Bristol Channel. There were none in '56. But I found a small amount of information regarding the BP Explorer.
"In Feb. 1961 she capsized and was lost with all hands while on passage from Swansea to Sharpness, she was discovered the next day by the old Severn Railway Bridge. The BP Explorer was salvaged and rebuilt as the BP Driver and in Jan 1962, in severe weather she too was wrecked on Nash Point, this time, thankfully, no lives were lost."

So this could be the BP Driver, there is no other mention of a tanker wreck off Nash Point that I can find. She didn't have much luck.

BP Driver off Nash Point
Click on the smaller picture above to see some detail, and you will see a lifeboat remaining on the deck. I assume that there was a second lifeboat used to save the crew. The open wooden boat isn't the sort of thing I'd like to be climbing into in a storm, but then again if your mothership is on the way down you make your choice.

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Waiter! There's neoprene in my soup!

Not exactly a good day for surfing, but surfing was a good way to end the day.

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Dydd Gŵyl Dewi (St Davids Day) and the Pirates of Penzance

March the first is St David's day in Wales, the day on which our patron saint died in 589AD.
One of the ways we celebrate him is to wear one of our national emblems. Traditionally a leek (being St David's own symbol) being worn by men, and the daffodil by women. The Welsh name for both plants are similar Cenin Bedr (Peter's leek - daffodil) and Cenin (leek).

Ready for school

Historically the Welsh and English have not been the best of mates, the invading Saxons in 633 met the Welsh at a battle in Heathfield. The fields here were filled with leeks, we put them in our hats to distinguish ourselves from the Saxons, and we won the battle.
I remember wearing a leek to school and we generally chomped our way through the raw veg all day. Maybe the smell of raw leek was enough to drive the Sasanachs away!
It was rather fitting therefore to arrive in Cornwall and be greeted by fields amass with commercial daffodils.

I digress. I am down in Penzance being a guinea pig for Richard Uren, a change from being a surfing hamster, (check these surfing rodents out). He is running a level 3 assessment and had put out a request for some student volunteers for his candidates to work on. Jim and I did not want to pass on the opportunity to get out on the water somewhere new, and perhaps we might learn something in the bargain.

St Michael's Mount

The first day we play around in general purpose boats in the safety of the harbour going over some personal skills. A visit later to the Dolphin pub for some ale and the search for smugglers passages.

The second day saw us on a short trip along the coast to Mousehole, via Newlyn Harbour.

Tidal Observatory on the south pier at Newlyn

You could pass the above building and not know it's significance. It is the site of Ordnance Datum the datum height for all our Ordnance Survey maps. I was looking for a shiny plaque, but there is nothing here, not even a description of the important work that was carried out here. A tide gauge was sited inside the observatory, where hourly readings of the sea level were recorded from 1 May 1915 to 30 April 1921.

At the foot of the old Penlee Lifeboat slipway. A tragic tale.

Penlee Severn Class Lifeboat, moored at Newlyn Harbour

Jim is generally not an Isolated Danger Buoy!

Jim looks for sunken treasure

We didn't get to see any pirates.