Sunday, June 29, 2014

Richard Guziewicz's Wood Duck Kayak

Richard Guziewicz, in addition to building ‘Brina’,* a Paul Fisher 50/50 decked paddling and sailing canoe has also built an Eric Schade Wood Duck kayak to which he has added a Michael Storer sailing rig. He says he enjoys sailing both of them, but he finds the 50/50 is more suitable for fishing on account of her larger cockpit, and better for sailing because of being more stable.

He has deliberately capsized the Wood Duck ‘Fabio’ for practising re-entry, at which he was successful, and he plans to take ‘Brina’ to a shallow lake for practising re-entry too. Richard is based in France and sails on his local river, the Tarn.

When you see photos of his 50/50 and his Wood Duck, you can appreciate the attention he gives to detail. He has started building a Matt Layden Paradox, which undoubtedly will be an excellent example, and I hope he will derive great pleasure from doing it, just as I did when I builtEric ‘Faith’. I also hope he will have fantastic times sailing her.


*Richard Guziewicz’s 50/50

Richard Guziewicz’s 50/50 – Part 2

Richard Guziewicz’s 50/50 – Part 3

Build your own Wood Duck Kayak Class

Small Kayak Plans

Nick Schade – Linkedin Profile

Mike Storer drop-in Canoe Sailing Rig

River Tarn

Tarn River

Saturday, June 28, 2014


Sport is a huge topic of which a great deal has been written and spoken. At this time of mid summer in the UK, much sport is taking place and more will commence shortly. There’s tennis at Wimbledon, the Indian Cricket team is on tour, the Tour de France is due to start on 5th July, and the Commonwealth Games on 23rd July.

Over the years since the founder of the International Olympic Committee, Baron Pierre de Coubertin summed up the spirit of the Games, with these words, “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering, but fighting well,” there has been a vast change of attitudes brought about by the commercialization of sport.

Pope Francis has said, “When sport is considered only in economic terms and consequently for victory at every cost, it risks reducing athletes to mere trading material from whom profits are extracted.”

The essential nature of any physical sport is competition, either between individuals or teams, the members of which cooperate in order to gain victory. When it comes to this year’s FIFA World Cup, astronomical sums of money have been spent on building stadiums, associated facilities and infrastructure. Many Brazilians believe the perceived benefits cannot be justified, and that money could have been better spent on job creations schemes, building schools, training teachers, and on health care. As a result, discontents have expressed their anger by staging riots in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Brasilia, Belem, Belo Horizonte and Salvador.

The health benefits of sport cannot be denied, and many useful lessons can be learned by those who participate in them. ‘Sport for sports sake - not for monetary gain’ is the mantra to teach our children.

1 Corinthians 9:24 ‘Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.’


UK Sport

XX Commonwealth Games

Pope Francis warns against commercializing sport

Which football team does the new Pope support?

Ethics of Sport

Ethics and Sport

The Tour de France

PGA Tour

Pierre de Coubertin

FIFA World Cup

Riot Force Created for World Cup

Brazil Riot Protests against World Cup 2014

Friday, June 27, 2014

Millennium 2000 Resolutions and Aspirations

Photos of the Millennium Beacon at Burnham-on-Crouch

Fourteen-and-a-half years ago there was a great celebration marking the end of the second millennium AD and the beginning of the third. Strictly speaking the anniversary should have been celebrated on the first day of January, 2001, because there was no year naught.

So what was the point of celebrating the passing of two millennia and the beginning of a third? An examination of Internet archives would suggest that it was a celebration for the sake of making a global celebration - a unified expression of thankfulness for the past, and of good tidings and hope for the future.

There was relief all round when the Millennium Bug did not cause a meltdown of computers throughout the world. Tony Blaire, UK Prime Minister at the time, said that there was ‘confidence and optimism’ for the future. The United Nations declared that the year 2000 would be the International Year for the Culture of Peace, and to that end, strategic initiatives were set up, including a collection of 75 million signatures endorsing a culture of peace, a Manifesto 2000 Project, organised by UNESCO, and a Culture of Peace News Network, (CPNN), i.e., a network of websites promoting peace.

Pope John Paul 11 at an unprecedented address on New Year’s Eve to an estimated 120,000 people in St Peter’s Square wished them a year, ‘filled with serenity and happiness’ and ‘a new millennium filled with joy’.

Since the time of the Millennium 2000 celebrations, there have been ten major conflicts between peoples that continue to this day, resulting in at least 2,316,000 deaths, plus thousands of injured, and in Afghanistan alone there have been a minimum of 1,405,000 deaths.*
*List of ongoing conflicts

Romans 3:10, 12 ‘There is no one righteous, no, not one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is no one who does good, no, not one.’


2000: World Celebrates New Millennium


The difference between the Millennium and the Year 2000

Gregorian calendar

International Year for the Culture of Peace

Peace is in Our Hands

Culture of Peace News Network

Culture of Peace News Network

Biography of Tony Blair

Pope’s Plea for 2000 Peace

Beacons blaze across UK

What is the Millennium Bug?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Sloths and Sluggards


Unless you are a sloth, you are unlikely to want to associate with one, because there is nothing attractive or endearing about the animal or a human who is slothful. Who would want to have a reputation for being a sloth or a sluggard?

A sloth is a slow moving mammal that lives in the tropical forests of Central and South America. They spend most of their time sleeping while sprawled on a branch of a tree.

Laziness is equated with slothfulness and indolence. A sluggard is a habitually lazy person; one who is sluggish. Who would want to resemble a slug?

Slowthful - Proverbs 18:9

Sluggard – Proverbs 6:6,9

Lazy – Proverbs 10:26; 12:24,27; 13:4; 15:19; 19:24; 20:4; 21:25; 22:13; 24:30; 26:13,14,15,16






Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Wisdom – Part 2

A grandson of mine, in his mid-twenties, was in conversation at last Sunday’s barbecue, and he quite proudly stated that he was a lot wiser than he was in his youth. No doubt this is true, and if he continues to grow in wisdom, he and others will reap the benefits.

In the New King James Version of the Bible’s Exhaustive Concordance*, wisdom has 227 occurrences, which underscores the importance of the subject within the context of God’s word. God’s word is far more than an encyclopaedia; it is His instruction book for those who want to know the meaning and purpose of life. So often, we try things without first consulting the manual, and in the end, we have to accept that we should have read it first.

Within the Book of Job, Chapter 28, Job has a discourse on the nature of wisdom, and the conclusion he comes to is that ONLY God is truly wise. Man can search for wisdom in the deepest recesses of the earth; he can apply great energy in his quest to obtain it, and he can even try to purchase it, but in the end his endeavours are to no avail.

 Job asks the question, “From where then does wisdom come?” He concludes that only God understands its way and it place. In His wisdom and sovereignty He established, ‘a weight for the wind’, apportioned ‘the waters by measure’; ‘made a law for the rain, and a path for the thunderbolt’; ‘He saw wisdom and declared it’; ‘and to man He said, “Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding.”’ (Verse 28)

*NKJV Exhaustive Concordance, published by Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville. ISBN 0-8407-4261-4 (HC)



Vanity of the Sailor

Monday, June 23, 2014

Barbecue Again

Yesterday afternoon the sun was shining for our first barbecue of the year. We were invited to my daughter’s place for a get-together. Everything went well for the children and for the adults. The youngsters loved playing in the paddling pool. We polished off the food so as to leave no waste. We had a super time, a day to remember.


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Round the Island Race 2014 – Part 2

‘Team Richard Mille’ and ‘Spax Solution’, both GC 32 catamarans, were first and second to cross the finish line of the Round the Island Race, yesterday, 21st June, 2014. ‘Team Richard Mille’ completed the 50 nautical mile course in 8 hrs 51 min 37 sec, and ‘Spax Solution’ finished 13 min 32 sec behind her.

These 12 metre catamarans have two L shaped foil daggerboards and two T foil rudders capable of lifting the boats clear of the water, enabling them to reach speeds in excess of 30 knots. Weighing only 750 kilograms and having a maximum sail area of 150 square metres they must be tremendously exciting to sail.

Paul Campbell at the helm of ‘Team Richard Mille’ had hoped he and his team would be able to break Ben Ainslie’s record of 2 hrs 52 min 15 sec, but conditions were not favourable, presumably on account of low wind speeds. 


GC 32

The Great Cup

Exciting GC 32 catamarans to race at Cowes Week

GC 32 Catamarans

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Round the Island Race 2014

Today, midsummer’s day, hundreds of sailing yachts are participating in a race around the Isle of Wight. This annual ‘Round the Island Race’ is hosted by the Island Sailing Club at Cowes and it is sponsored by J. P. Morgan who specialize in asset management for things like ISAs, Pensions, personal Investments, plus the promotion of professional wealth management.

There are multiple class entries for the yachts, starting as early as 06.30 a.m. with IRC Division 0 kicking off first, and the last of the ISCRS racers at 08.10. (ISCRS stands for Island Sailing Club Rating System, which is a handicap system applied to yachts.)

The Round the Island Race website is an excellent window for viewing the Race, because it includes useful features such live tracking, live blogging and photos of participating yachts.

By 17.00, 296 entrants out of 1,584 had retired, and 9 yachts had finished, leaving 1,279 following behind. How the organizers manage the event is a mystery to me. At least, today, the weather has been in their favour, and I’m sure the emergency services are relieved.

There’s something for everyone who wants to give it a go, including those who race Folkboats, Gaffers, Nicholson 32s, Extreme 40s and Multihulls. The Race can attract big names such as Ben Ainslie, Francis Joyon and Rodney Pattison. In 2013 Ben Ainslie, skippering the J. P. Morgan AC 45 catamaran, finished the 50 nautical mile circuit in a record time of 2 hrs 52 min 15 sec!

This year Ben expected to helm the 30 metre yacht ‘Leopard’. Last year she broke the record for a monohull, but due to a fault with her rigging, she has been withdrawn from this year's race; instead, Ben is expected to race ‘Rebel’, a Farr 45.

Round the Island Race

Round the Island Race – Live Tracking

Island Sailing Club

J. P. Morgan Asset Management

IRC Sailing

Round the Island Race

Round the Island Final Countdown

Cowes News – Round the Island Race

Boats on TV for video of start of Round the Island Race

Friday, June 20, 2014

Richard Guziewicz’s 50/50 – Part 3

Richard has kindly sent me two more photos of his Paul Fisher 50/50 decked canoe with her batwing rig.

The links provide more information and photos.


Richard Guziewicz’s 50/50

Richard Guziewicz’s 50/50 – Part 2

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Merits of a Paradox

Brian made a recent comment suggesting I should do an article about why I was attracted to Matt Layden’s Paradox, and would I explain, ‘why not having a keel really does work’.

I have already written a few articles* describing the remarkable features of Matt’s unique micro-sailboat. I suppose the most original feature of this shoal draft, 13’ 10” boat is her chine runners. These triangular section protuberances, integral with the chines, improve the lateral resistance of the boat when she is heeled while on the wind. A vortex is created as the boat moves forward, and at the same time, the natural sine wave is prevented from forming - instead, it is replaced by a series of smaller waves through which the boat can move more easily on account of there being less resistance – that’s my theory.

All I can say is that chine runners work on Paradox. I guess they might be OK on other sharpie hulls, particularly ones with a similar profile to Paradox having a pronounced rocker fore and aft. For them to be most effective, the boat should be heeled at about 14 degrees, and she should be suitably ballasted so as to have the windward chine just breaking the surface of the water. At that angle of heel the transom, apart from a smidgen, is clear of the water.

I also believe the chine runners help reduce rolling when the boat is on the run and at anchor.

Well, Brian, I hope this is helpful.


*Appraisal of ‘Faith’ My Paradox Sailboat

*Why Build a Paradox?

*Paradox ‘Enuf’, now ‘Minnow’


Al’s article about our first failed attempt to reach the Scilly Isles

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Magna Carta

Crown of The Defender of the Faith

David Cameron wrote a letter to the Mail on Sunday* promoting what he calls British values: ‘a belief in freedom, tolerance of others, accepting personal and social responsibility, respecting and upholding the rule of law’, and he went on to say, these ‘are the things we should try to live by every day’.

These values are not specifically British or exclusively British, and however noble, fine or meritorious they are, they do not represent what is essentially British.

If you are coming from my generation, i.e., those born in the 1930s, we have a perspective that young ‘Britons’ today know little about. Our society has vastly changed. When I was a boy, war was raging, but there was a united spirit that bound everybody together; young and old, toffs and paupers, those in uniform and those in work togs. Our cause was survival and a fight for freedom from tyranny - for worldwide freedom for peoples of all races and cultures; rich and poor, even our enemies! This was not specifically or exclusively freedom for Brits. Class, creed and nationality were irrelevant.

What has changed so dramatically is the globalization of the Planet. We have freedom to travel, freedom to emigrate, freedom of expression through the Internet, availability of education for many - not just the rich and the privileged who may have access to Eton or Harrow and the hallows of Cambridge and Oxford. The consequence of this new freedom is that this Island ‘Race’ is no longer an identifiable people; we are linked to France and Europe by the Channel tunnel; we are linked to all continents by air and sea, and we share membership of the United Nations. Multinational conglomerates build their empires wherever trade and business favours them, so that their brands and commodities can be found worldwide. Financial institutions are global enterprises that invest and speculate on a massive scale.

Our multicultural, multiethnic, plural society, bring divisions, enclaves and sometimes ghettos of discontent. There are places in the UK where people of my generation would believe they were in a foreign land, and there are even no-go areas where it is not safe to be out at night. If I dared to mention colour of skin or ethnicity, I would be branded as racist. Even to mention such things is to be guilty of breaking a taboo. Total freedom of speech has been lost. One has to be politically correct; one cannot call a spade a spade. It is a day of public apologies and excommunication for rebels who speak the plain truth.

Despite these things, a few vestiges of Britishness remain, such as a fractured, dysfunctional Church of England that has been overcome by liberals interested in promoting so-called equality, rather than the teachings of Jesus who created both men and women in His own image with their distinctive and complementary roles. Women used to be treated with respect as the more graceful and gentler sex. Men would stand to allow them to sit; they would open doors for them to be first and they would never expect them to work for a crust of bread. At one time females dressed in feminine clothes and they were modest in their behaviour. We had roast dinner on Sunday, fish on Friday, and washday on Monday. Children generally obeyed and respected their parents and the elderly. These behaviours and social graces are virtually things of the past. Now behaviours and codes of conduct are learned from mobile phones.

Today, honour and loyalty are archaic words that hold no meaning. Honesty and integrity have lost their place in modern Britain as shown by the failings of certain Members of Parliament, corrupt police and even members of the judiciary. Loss of respect for the privacy of individuals, purely for monetary gain, has been rife within the reporting of certain tabloid newspapers and scandal mongering magazines. The recent revelation of widespread child abuse and the covering up of this disgrace reveals the depraved nature of those who have used their positions to carry out their despicable acts.

 Today, a stiff upper lip is foolishness. Working as a vocation rather than for money is outmoded, and nurses who care with compassion are denied time and opportunity to do it.

 Qualities and values that once defined Britishness have little account today. I suggest that Christian-based principles were the foundation stones of Britishness. Our laws and morality came about through the will and teachings of those who revered and valued them. Sadly many of these qualities and values have all but gone, and have been replaced by different ones based on the teachings of false religions, philosophies and the schemes of men.

Britishness is now defined as a heterogeneous miscellany of disunited people who no longer strive for a higher cause - a lost people who have lost their sense of identity. Misguided, fractious Scots are doing their best to withdraw the St Andrew’s cross from the Union Jack, and to dissemble the Union.

David Cameron speaks of Magna Carta as being the Holy Grail upon which Britishness was founded and he vows to herald a new Magna Carta for his Big Society. I wonder what new qualities of Britishness will be enshrined within its covers.

We need a leader and leaders with vision who can muster the forces of good in this British Nation with great potential to work for and be an example to the world - a unified people - a people not defined by their multicultural and multiethnic characteristics, but by being a nation of brothers and sisters of all races who cherish one another, a nation within nations united in a bond of friendship and love committed to one another and to the planet’s wellbeing; since we were created to look after it. We all pulse with the same blood and are bound together by it. We are the offspring of Adam and Eve, creatures of God, created in God’s image.

Genesis 1:26, 27 ‘Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over  every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.’

Genesis 2:15 ‘Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.’


*British values aren’t optional, they’re vital. That’s why I will promote them in EVERY school: As row rages over ‘Trojan Horse’ takeover of our classrooms, the Prime Minister delivers this uncompromising pledge...

The Magna Carta

Magna Carta Translation

Magna Carta

Does being British make us racist?

Not very British #British Values: How David Cameron is Silencing Minorities

David Cameron: It’s time to stop being ‘bashful’ about our Britishness

British Values, Multiculturalism and Magna Carta

No wonder Cameron wants to celebrate the Magna Carta - back then plebs had the same human rights as a parsnip

How glorious, after years of our national identity being denigrated, to see patriotism rekindled

David Cameron MP: Proud to be British

Cameron tells Muslims: Be more British

Defender of the Faith - Fidei defensor

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Pomp and Splendour and Trooping the Colour

I doubt you could have failed to notice that the Trooping of the Colour took place last Saturday, 14th June, 2014. It marked the Queen’s official birthday; her actual 88th birthday was on 21st April.

The colour saluted was that of the Nijmegen Company Grenadier Guards; the Queen presented the colour to the Guards at Buckingham Palace, last June.

The King’s Troop of the Royal Horse Artillery fired a 41 gun-salute in Green Park, and the Headquarter Squadron of the Honourable Artillery Company fired a 62-gun salute at the Tower of London.

Pageantry of that quality and splendour would be hard to find elsewhere in the world; indeed, I doubt it could be found. Opinion as to whether all the pomp and concomitant expense can be justified in this day and age is divided. Much depends on how people view the monarchy; whether they support or disapprove of the institution and associated traditions.

In truth, the Queen is the Head of State, a nominal sovereign with little real power over her subjects who are governed by a democratically elected Parliament and members of the House of Lords. She is the spokesperson for her government of the day. At the opening of Parliament she sits in splendour at the House of Lords and reads ‘her’ speech which outlines the government’s agenda for proposed legislation relating to specific bills, such as in this session: the facilitation of fracking, limiting redundancy payments to public sector workers, free school meals for infants, and £2,000 childcare vouchers for working parents.


Trooping the Colour

Time-lapse Video: Trooping the Colour 2014-06-16

Trooping the Colour Celebrates Queen’s Official Birthday

Trooping the Colour Salutes the Queen and all Those who Died Serving their Nation

Gun Salutes to Mark the Queen’s 88th Birthday

Royal Fashion Round-up Chloe: Trooping the Colour 2014

The British Monarchy - Trooping the Colour

Project Britain, British Life and Culture, Trooping the Colour

The British Monarchy – the Queen’s Birthdays

Why does the British Army have more Horses than Tanks?

The British Monarchy – Royal Finances

HM Treasury – Sovereign Grant Act

HM Treasury – Sovereign Grant Act: frequently asked questions relating to the Act, and on general issues

Role and Work of the House of Lords

Mystery lifted on Queen’s Powers

What are the true powers of Queen Elizabeth and what can she really do?

Queen’s Speech: Government’s Agenda set out

What is the Queen’s Speech? What does the Ceremony mean?

The Queen Presides over the State Opening of Parliament

Monday, June 16, 2014

Facing Facts

Over the past few months I’ve been struggling with the fact that I no longer have the will or desire to get out on the water. This is for real. I believe that a combination of factors, both physical and mental, have brought this about. Distressing as it may be, I have to accept what has happened.

I’ve been giving time for a true assessment, hoping that my will and desire would return, but the truth is, neither has returned, and I can’t see the physical aspect improving or returning to what it was a year ago. I accept that by stopping sailing, I shall give up an activity that helps maintain fitness, but I also know that I am not able to continue without difficulty because of my limitations.

On the mental front, I have lost confidence for solo sailing and I can’t face up to the challenges of managing the boat safely. More amazingly I have no yearning for getting out on the water - even as a crew aboard another boat.

I recently spoke of putting my foot in the stirrup as the first step of remounting a metaphorical horse, off which I fell, but I’ve not been able to hook my leg over the saddle to be in a position to canter off.

This is reality, which begs the question, ‘What next?’

Could reality change? Could I somehow regain my confidence? Could I regain my fitness? Would my will and desire be restored?

I am reluctant to accept the present reality, and that it will extend into the future.

Meanwhile, the question has to be asked, ‘Should I hold on to ‘Minnow’, in the hope that all will be restored, or should I put her up for sale?’

The only boat I’ve regretted selling was, ‘Faith’, and yet, if she were mine now, I believe I would be, asking the same question.


Getting Back on the Horse – Part 1

Getting Back on the Horse – Part 2

Saturday, June 14, 2014

More Fun at the Park

Out with the grandchildren and their cousins we went to a church fete and to a nearby play park. The youngsters had fun at both venues, but seemed to enjoy themselves more at the park where they could expend their energy.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Our England

Twenty two million homes have been given a special edition of the Sun newspaper with the headline, ‘This is Our England.’ On page 2, under the heading, The Sun says, the author explains that the reason for the free paper is to ‘celebrate Englishness and English football’, and to mark the start of the World Cup.

The front page, taking the form of a photographic digital collage, features 118 people, chosen to ‘capture the essence of England today’. Queen Elizabeth is at the centre of the collage, and being the monarch, she is represented larger than any other. Incidentally, Bruce Forsyth is the next largest. Ed Miliband, David Cameron, and Nick Clegg, have fairly average size heads, but in that order, they are represented by images of decreasing size, Clegg’s being the smallest. The very smallest of all is Rowan Atkinson’s, which is attached to the body of Mr Bean who is depicted carrying the chancellor’s oversize budget briefcase. Big Ben has stopped at eight thirty two, and cute Peppa Pig and a smiling Laura Mvula are pleased to be included in the celebration.

Of course, the whole thing is a joke, except for relatives of victims and survivors of the Hillsborough disaster who bear the scars of the tragedy. They are incensed that Ed Miliband posed with a copy of the newspaper. He has made an apology for unwittingly promoting the Sun, because the paper had erroneously reported disgusting incidents done by Liverpool fans at Hillsborough. The newspaper, in 2012, published a profound apology for their inaccurate and offensive coverage.

The prime agenda of the Sun is not to celebrate Englishness and English football, but to promote itself and make money. Of the 24 pages of the free edition, 8 are full page advertisements. Page 12 guarantees cash prizes for every participant in Sun Bingo, and offers a unique code to encourage registration. The small print states that entrants must register to become members of Sun Bingo and they must supply their credit card/debit card details. Before prizes can be withdrawn, a minimum deposit of £10 must be made, which itself can be withdrawn.

On the plus side, if you are a football fan, there’s something for you - a two page spread featuring ‘England’s Greatest’ football players.

Is this really 'Our England'?


Ed Milliband apologises for offence over Sun picture