An Unfortunate Anniversary

So, the 26th of July 2023 marks one year since Hejira was craned out and ‘blocked off’ ashore for her planned refit. The extent of the work is/was substantial, but it would all have been completed in time for this sailing season, had it not been for a six-month delay in being lifted back onto... Continue Reading →


Reunited, yes, but it was not a seamless or satisfactory ‘coming together’… The keenly awaited, programmed date was initially postponed because of rain on the basis that the mastic to be used on the joint would not adhere properly in wet conditions. This I understood and accepted but, due to the vagaries of the British... Continue Reading →


As the lack of progress continued and my frustration mounted, I began visiting the Marina, trying to induce some positive action by cornering those in authority, face to face, to try to unlock the impasse. The abiding excuse was that my ‘lift’, to reunite the hull with the keel/grounding plate, apparently required very experienced operators... Continue Reading →


I write this in March, with Hejira ashore undergoing a major refit. Having carried out the remedial work and with the keel refurbished at the original foundry in Cornwall, I have been waiting since last December for the first lift of a probable total of at least four to complete the exercise. The awaited ‘lift’... Continue Reading →

22/23 New Year update

August the 22nd this year marked the ten-year anniversary of the purchase of my then, 8-year-old Southerly 135 in Holland. Since then, she has been progressively updated and refurbished, building on what was perceived to be, a good solid hull. Unfortunately, my experiences have exposed a good deal of shoddy workmanship carried out by Northshore,... Continue Reading →

Prepare the tar

The first I knew of this 'letter' was a phone call saying "where shall we send the bottle of rum" ! Yachting World must have been struggling for content as they have cut and pasted from my blog 'No Balls!', reconfigured it as a letter and essentially, lost most of the thrust of my piece.... Continue Reading →

Sailing Therapy

I am aware that I may be encroaching on an area that is sensitive, and I am certainly stepping outside of the subject areas and tone normally associated with my blog postings. I apologise for this in advance but please read on as I believe this to be important. By way of background, my support... Continue Reading →

Modifications and Improvements

Improvement schedule since purchase 22nd August 2012 Northshore (the original constructor) upgrades Winter 2012/13 Replaced Stainless Steel Water tanks (x2) and Stainless Steel Diesel tanks (x2) with polyethylene TEK tanks. Installed a central third rudder. Fitted a new transom portlight to provide light and ventilation to master bed head. Installed a deck-wash pump. Installed Katadyn... Continue Reading →

Southerly 135 Compared

This article featured in the July 2022 Yachting Monthly. It was comparing the Southerly 42RST with the 135. Interesting if superficial. In my humble opinion, the 42 is not a patch on the 135, pandering as it does to the modern fashions in design at the expense of sea keeping and practicality.

Three Men in a Boat (mostly)

During the depths of the Covid crisis when I was denied access to 'Hejira' while she was inaccessible on the Cote D’Azure, I looked to get my ‘water fix’ with a small dinghy on the British waterways. This was explained in the blog ‘Wind in the Willows’  (which also explains the nomenclature of the 'Dramatis... Continue Reading →

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