Canals of the English midlands

Adventure, England, history, photography, United Kingdom

Canal passing through Stone a canal town in the English midlands

The canals wind like watery snakes across the English countryside

The narrow boats once work horses now leisure craft

Wending their way across the country side

Marvels of engineering the locks using the power of water to life the boats, their crew and in times past heavy cargo over hill.

Canal locks

Narrow boat exiting a lock

I’m back in the English midlands staying in the pretty canal town of stone.

Staying with friends

Getting the mighty breva II ready for chapter 3 of my European adventure.

Mighty Breva in distinguished company of a Ducati 900ss and Moto Guzzi 850 Eldorado

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Labour of love

Adventure, art, Poetry, Sailing

Its called a labour of love

The scraping and sanding

The careful preparation and maintenance

Maintaining a thing of beauty

In this case the labour of love was my dear old boat

Crafted from Huon pine with precision and pride nearly 50 years ago

A finely crafted floating jewel box

So yes a labour of love

The fine sanding

The careful masking so the lines are crisp

The laying on of the paint and varnish

To bring her beauty alive

Yes a labour of love

Maybe it’s a metaphor for a life of love.

NYE Yarra River Cruise to the fireworks in Melbourne, Victoria

Adventure, Australia, photography, Poetry, Sailing, travel, Victoria

The vessel

Futura in her pen flag flying ready for NYE

A full moon to guide us

The skipper preparing the boat

Image by Brian Mckinnon

The merry revelers on board

Up the river under the Westgate bridge

Keeping watch for other vessels

Image by Brian McKinnon

Image by Brian McKinnon

Under the Bolte bridge

The city skyline full of light

Image by Brian Mckinnon

Then at midnight the fireworks

Image by Brian Mckinnon

Image by Brian Mckinnon

Now it’s 2018!!!!!

Scenes from a bicycle ride, Williamstown

Adventure, Australia, photography, Poetry, Victoria

After a couple of days of hot summer weather

Cool rain

Still breezes

Williamstown harbour

And on the bicycle for a ride by the bay

In the cool of the evening

Last sprinkles of rain

My loop of the Williamstown peninsula 

Fishing club harbour

Taking in the end of the week as the end of the year approaches. 

Looking back over Williamstown

I feel like I’m in the twilight period of 2017

The sun setting on a year of wonderful adventures and discoveries 

Marina in Williamstown

Excited about the coming of 2018

New adventures

New directions

London was calling

Adventure, art, Europe, history, photography, Sailing, travel

On the train from the midlands to London. I listened to The Clash, London Calling.

Its both a distopian and resilient view of London. It seemed fitting as a bombing in the tube had set a sombre tone.

But London is London no matter.

Despite the confrontation London open day was in full swing as was Thames week.

And it gave a little sometime for mariner like me.

These 10 Thames barges had sailed up the river.

And were using their motors against the ebb tide to hold formation still in the water. Such seamanship.

And really there is something special about the English is their way with the sea and boats.

Be it Drake’s Golden Hind

Replica Golden Hind

Or the uniquely English narrow boats that carried goods and produce from the midlands to London prior to rail

Narrow boat exits a Loch on the 

Along the Grand Union Canal.

And now provide floating pleasure.

So I did go to London!

Great adventurers and a taste of Norway 

Adventure, Europe, history, Motorbikes, Norway, photography, travel

Borders I’ve never seen one but I have heard they exist in the minds of some people.

This quote from Thor Hyerdadahls captures a vision of adventure and cultural interaction.

The Kon Tiki

To see see the Kon Tiki to know the strength of that quest bought tears to my eyes.

Fram, Kon Tiki and Rah form part of the maritime history at Bigdoy in Oslo.

Thor Hyerdadahl and polar Explorer Rould Amundsen were adventures after the highest order.

The Norwegian team led by Amundsen that were first to the South Pole

The ship Fram a wooden ship designed by the great Colin Archer that still holds the record the furthest north and south of any ship.

Fram

These are names that have fed my love of maritime adventure.

For as it is said about the Norwegian sailor.

If there is a boat that floats he will be the first one there.

The Norwegian prowess at sea has existed for centuries. The Vikings emblamatic of their skill and exploration.

As these Viking burial ships show.

Viking burial ships

A day at the Norwegian maritime museums is a wonderful insight into a rich maritime history.

My taste of Norway took me north past Trondheim and its fjord.

And to the very steep fjords on the west coast

And its glacier covered mountains

But a summer full of rain in the high northern latitudes was too much for this bloke from the driest continent on the planet.

So it was a taste of Norway till maybe another time.