Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tony Smith (Creeksailor) and his Beloved Blackwater

'Shoal Water's', previously owned by the venerable Charles Stock, now the valued possession of Tony, who is an honourable custodian of this fine vessel.

Take a God’s eye view via Google Earth of the River Blackwater and surrounding countryside; then you’ll be utterly amazed at what you see. It is indeed a sailors’ paradise. One who knows of the riches of this watery kingdom is Creeksailor. In his book, ‘Ready About on The River Blackwater’ he tells of his experiences exploring this sparkling diadem, studded with colourful jewels. Yes, you need a discerning eye to see and appreciate them, but they are there for the initiated. Others only can see mud, decay and signs of a life long-gone, no longer applicable to the cybernetic age in which we live.

Like me, you may have sailed on the Blackwater, but never really explored the crown jewels which are the myriad of creeks where only shallow draught vessels can gain entrance for sojourn overnight; to be mesmerised by the call of wading birds, take in the fragrance of wetland flowers, hear the wind whistling in the rigging while your vessel slumbers in oozing mud, and next morning sample the yellow glow of the rising sun through a veil of wispy mist.

My Copy of Tony's book

Tony describes these things so very well in his little book which is full of fine photos illustrating the haunts of his delight. For those who want to have a greater knowledge of the Blackwater, including the history and heritage, I would recommend you put your hand in your pocket and part with £11.99. You won’t regret it, and into the bargain, you may ditch your deep draught yacht for a ditch-slider explorer for gaining access to the crown jewels.


Tony’s book is sold out, but more are on the way. To obtain your copy when they become available email him at: or visit this page for up-to-date details:

Text for the Day

Psalm 14:2 ‘The LORD looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any that understand, who seek God.’


Ready About on The River Blackwater (Perhaps shortly to be available at Amazon)

Tony’s Blog

Creeksailor Awl Creek

Gavin Atkin’s Review of Tony’s Book

Charles Stock and ‘Shoal Waters’

Nice Photos of ‘Shoal Waters’

1 comment:

Paul Mullings said...

Hi Bill, I agree with your review in every respect, Tony sent a copy out to me and the memories of my youth were stirred to the extent I could almost smell the salt air and mud - happy days. How about you doing something similar for the Crouch and Roach? It would be great to think others would pick up the baton and share the love of their rivers and estuaries as Tony has with the Blackwater.