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Odd and Sods photos Nov 2017

Just a few photos taken during the 2017 season. If you are a member and have any photos to share on the site, please send them in to “fallbarn@gmail.com” with a short narrative.

Tom in the bow of Malcolm’s dinghy. Taken shortly after successfully retrieving an anchor that had been buoyed in the main channel. It was cut loose due to some serious anchor dragging/snagging when Jamila was caught out in a half gale coming back from Piel. The anchor was finally deposited on the main jetty in Knott End and shortly after put in the back of a car. The photo was taken a hour or so after high water at the point when the motor-boaters were packing up and going home.


Tom securing Malcolm’s dinghy after the successful execution of Operation ‘Retrieve Jamila’s Anchor’. Propulsion was supplied by a  circa 1972 British Seagull Forty Plus. Fresh fuel was correctly mixed at 25:1. The ancient Villiers carburettor was well tickled.  This famous piece of British Maritime folk-law started on the third pull. Its unique musical note carried to the port of Fleetwood  bringing smiles from the retired fisherman.
Off loading the anchor on the Knott End slipway. This is where the Knott End ferry operates a service across the river mouth to Fleetwood. But beware when launching on this slipway. The eagle eye of the ferry skipper will lock-on and before you can slip your moorings, you’ll find your self  £7  lighter – receipt provided.  Still, once off and away you’ll find tidal steams that  surge in and out up to five knots. Use them correctly and there won’t be a lot of paddling to do! Get it wrong on the other hand, … !
A more modern dinghy. A bit small in this configuration to rescue a heavy buoyed anchor like described above. However, with its optional inflatable tubes that attach around the gunwale it turns into a quasi RIB for all intents and purposes. Thus safe and pretty much unsinkable.
William’s ‘Otter’, stood awaiting the next tide. This Wardley’s yacht that has spent more time on the river in recent years than any other. She’s a good little boat for the Wyre estuary and Morecambe Bay. She takes the ground well as can be seen. She also has a trailer on which the skipper can take her home for winter maintenance.


John G’s ‘Westerley 25′ family cruiser. A triple keeler tailor-made, one could argue, for Morecambe Bay. In many way’s you could consider it a 23’ boat with a two foot extension designed to house a decent sized outboard motor. It had a diesel inboard when John first bought it, though not any more! The engine room is now a useful place to stow the extra kit that once invaded the main cabin. Instead of the once oily inboard there is a clean and quiet ten horse Yamaha securely fastened to the original  transom bracket put there by the builders.


On a cruise across to Piel this little critter landed on the boom. I guess its tired little wings needed a rest. Surprisingly it didn’t seem at all concerned about the Skipper sat only a few feet away. It simply sat there and enjoyed the ride. Eventually it flew up and away and continued on its journey.
When sailing to Piel, ever thought about forgoing the Ship Inn’s excellent hospitality and just sail on up to Barrow? Or perhaps you just want to, out of curiosity, see just how far you can go?  Well this is it – the bridge over to Walney Island! Here you are out of the dredged sections used by the commercial boats , and where your depth sounder’s low alarm will begin to trigger. Time to crank up the plate if your are a lifting-keeler! On the other side, if you can get your mast down, you’ll be off on your way to Haverig and other delightful South West Lakeland destinations.


One of the outer lateral markers coming into the Barrow channel. Captured on the last day in September. Visibility had been poor, bordering on fog for most the the way over. At around 16:30h the sun suddenly made a spectacular appearance as you can see above. Normally, the whole background would be awash with wind generators. Not today though. Only these few falling within the sun’s globe could be seen. An eerie but unforgettable sight.


Yes, you’re right, no where near Morecambe Bay. However needs-must and work took this Wardley’s member over to the great city of Leeds. Lucky me ,I stayed in a hotel situated on ‘Leeds Dock’. Here was my ride into the city centre. Mixing work with pleasure one could say!
Pic 1. Low water ———— (see caption below)
Pic 2. High water. ——- Not many Yachtsmen in the world need to cope with 10 meter (33′) tides. At Wardleys we flip between the two scenes twice a day. The transformation is quite amazing, and  goodness knows we are amazing for putting up with them.


Wind over tide on Morecambe Bay. The disturbed waters can create an intriguing effect when the sun is low in the sky. Tacking into such seas with the wind on the nose is tiring in a small yacht. In the other direction, however, with wind on the beam it can be quite thrilling.


Darren on Wardleys Yacht ‘Thunderball’, sailing off on another adventure.

Crane Out, October 2017 Photos


A big crane came to Wardleys Marina Yacht Club on the 9th October 2017. There was a detailed action plan and everyone was ready at their stations.
Wardleys take health and safety very seriously. All members operating within the lift zone were issued day-glow jackets. On some members they are close fitting. On others, they flapped around a bit, which wasn’t a bad thing for a crane driver since they give a good indication of wind speed and direction.
The BANKS man! Mike was Wardley’s crane out day “Chef d’Orchestre”. He wore an orange coloured day-glow to differentiate him from the other workmen. The crane driver takes instructions from the BANKS man and no other! He doesn’t use a baton, but uses a god given hand to emit an intriguing form of semaphore that invokes cranes into action. He might not be able to make pigs fly but he can sure make boats fly.
Tom preparing for the next lift. Each boat has a line attached at each corner. Four men, one on each, ensure that boats are positioned correctly when lowered back to the ground. A detailed map is drawn-up in advance showing the location and orientation of each boat.
Placed by the crane on her custom cradle. The graceful lines of yacht Brendan clearly demonstrate that classic yacht shapes reigns supreme in the beauty stakes. This is not hard when surrounded by bilge keelers, but this last type of boat certainly reigns supreme on Morecambe Bay for wholly other reasons.
The BANKS man helped by ACE Wardley’s sailor Norman ensuring that the chains are man enough and up to the job. Veteran club member and ex Commodore Vic Mathews with years of experience is in the background casting an extra pair of eyes over matters.
As mentioned previously, each boat is assigned a gang of four, who pile aboard each boat, who ensure that the strops are safely positioned, who attach the chains and ensure that there are no impediments or things likely to be damaged, and who then hop off and using the mentioned “quartet of ropes” guide the boat to its final resting place.
Six boats were made ready for the lift the day before. They were all positioned in the mud berths closest to the crane. The idea was to lift all six out before high water. Strops were already in place and ready to be attached. As it happened, only four got hauled out. The boats at the extremities were just too stuck hard in the mud for our poor crane to manage. Still, soon the incoming tide eased the keels from the glue and then all was sound. The two remaining boats were quickly shifted – job done!
A lovely modern British built Hunter awaiting the crane. This boat has a self tacking jib and an amazingly roomy open plan interior with accommodation going right the stern. Nice piece of kit.
Wardley’s members also take drinking tea and coffee very seriously. Tom, one of our ACE sailors (ACE=has sailed out into the cauldron of Morecambe Bay more than four times this season) is particular good at striking that classic English tea drinking pose, as this photo well demonstrates.
Lynden Haliwell’s boat is next. It is the biggest of them all and it was left to last so that the crane could be optimally repositioned for maximum heave. Needless to say she came out as sweat as pie.
We’ve talked about the ‘Gangs of Four’, about our amazing BANKS man, (and even about our tea drinking club stalwarts), but let us give a big hand to the crane driver. He’s the man in the orange jacket beside the crane. This is the man whose safe pair of hands we most relied on. With his play station joy-stick, and using less energy than your average teenage gamester shooting up virtual zombies, all our thirtysomething combined tons of shipping were positioned within millimetres of plan. Well done that man!



Messing about in the River Wyre. Sunday 20 August 2017

At Wardleys Marine Yacht Club, not everyday is a Piel Island or an IOM day.

That is, sometimes, Wardleys Marina Yacht Club sailors stay closer to home.

Sailors John and Simon thought it might be nice to have a ‘Wind in the Willows’ river jaunt, visiting the delightful and quite magical sailing environs of Skippool. Big skies, pastoral English countryside, and a squadron of very capable racing dinghies.

This is how it goes.  Drop the mooring, tack up to Skippool and don’t go aground, enjoy the spectacle of racing yachties employing their clever tactics, head down to Stannar to check out the Jet Ski excitement, eat sandwiches, drink hot thermos coffee,  sail along side other club members swapping banter, and finally ferry glide back to the mooring. By now of course, the tide is ebbing fast.

Ready steady lets go! ‘Matrona Maris’ kindly loaned us her tender.

Jamila on the mud

Mustn’t go aground tacking up to Skipool!

Click on this. At Skipool, see clever tactics and a clever yachtsmen in action. And I believe his plan did work!

Jet Skier at Stanner

River Wyre Jet Skier in action

John crewing on ‘Jamila’ with William skippering ‘Otter’ in the background.

Swapping banter.

‘Jamila’ beating on the starboard tack towards Skippool.

The young John Gorse rushing around hauling-up and setting sails.

John and Simon on ‘Jamila’ on a coffee break.

Doing coffee and Split Selfies. Old and new technology functioning well on Jamila!

‘Jamila’  goose-winging with John at the helm near the Stanner chemical refinery

The helm in John’s safe hands. Wires ropes galore, which still baffle the skipper somewhat. In the back ground the River Wyre luxury apartment complexes, beloved by twitchers, over looking the lush River Wyre bird habitat (wink).

A movie when Mike and Erika buzzed by in their fast motor boat.

Odds and sods, mid season July 2017

Odds and sods, mid season July 2017

Ship Inn, watching a boat sailing by.  In the distance: Morecambe, Lancashire.

Brendan at Piel
Brendan at Piel
Malcolm's dinghy and Simon's seagull at Knott End.
Malcolm’s dinghy and Simon’s seagull at Knott End.

Tom and Simon heading to the slipway to off-load Jamila’s CQR anchor

The Swellies. Taken shortly before running though on a Sparkman & Stephens 47
The Swellies. Taken shortly before running though on a Sparkman & Stephens 47


Meal time on a Sparkman & Steven’s 47 during a RYA Skipper exam. Candidates getting some hard earned grub.
Spacious Mirage 2700 ‘Jamila’. Now doing the regular milk run to Piel.
Coastal freighter doing a U-Turn at Salford Quays.