For love of a boat – Castle Bay, Barra 1976

‘Island Monarch’, Castle Bay, Barra 1976

We had sailed from Oban, via Tobermory and Col, to Barra in the Outer Hebrides – (back via Canna)

I was a guest crew on a yacht chartered by friends.

It seems I was taking photos of inshore boats even then – (this one copied from the newly found original slide).


What was there not to like about ‘Island Monarch’?

Island Monarch – an appropriate name for these waters.

So what was she?

No fluorescent orange buoys, no plastic nets, no synthetic ropes – (wrong generation).

An interesting ‘pair’ of oars, a simple cuddy, a broadish beam.

Are these seats (or lockers) – and the upturned box a step? Is the inflatable in the box in front of the cuddy a safety feature?

Perhaps it’s the ferry to a nearby island?  The scuffed paint on the port bow seat from the shoes of people boarding?

All clues, of course. The sad thing is it was 33 years ago. I knew then, and now I can’t remember.

Canna, early morning September 1976

For the origins and full set of images in this series, here

For love of a boat – Dungeness 2009

We walked along the shingle at Dungeness from the Britannia Inn to the Pilot Inn keeping close to the surf.

The sun shone and a heavy north easterly breeze made for a bracing walk.


RX  is the code for Rye and Hastings on this south coast.

At Hastings and here at Dungeness the boats are not moored in port, but hauled up the shingle beaches – either by heavy winches or by caterpillar tractors.

The distinctive sterns are designed to take the surf at launch and haul-up.

What surprised me – (perhaps it shouldn’t have), was the identical fishing boat fifty yards along the beach.

The design is timeless – only the materials have changed.

For the origins and full set of images in this series, here