Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Today I have been mostly.........

Flying one of these:




Actually its a microlite although it flies like a 'real' aeroplane.  I'm trying to recover my old civilian flying licence as I was amazed to find that although I got it in 1974 - they are issued for life and all I need is a refresher to reactivate it.  A certain chum (Bernfeld) mentioned these and so I trotted down to the airfield at Dunkeswell today and had a quick half hour in one.  I haven't flown a fixed wing aircraft since 1979 although I have just a few helicopter hours since then.  The instructor told me I could land it  - and I 'm still alive.  Spooky. 
So for the cost of a second hand car and the maintenance of a second hand car - I can buy a second hand aeroplane.  Hmmmmmmmmmm.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Nautilus is now availble - - ta dah!!

Last time it was dancing girls and a marching band and before that it was fireworks, so for this launch its this lot:

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Thursday, 21 May 2015

More progress

Nautilus is in its last lap which is a good thing as I am really ramping up my efforts on the book about the Lynx now.  Hopefully I will finish it before I get swamped with work for the new one.  In addition to agreed input from nearly all interested parties I now have an old naval colleague, Steve George, on board for the project - he is a very gifted cartoonist, it was Steve who did the cartoon of my Lynx helicopter.  He has agreed to illustrate elements of the book which will add another dimension to the product.


Guess wot I are doing? 

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

A good day

Two successes today. Firstly, I finally got the draft contract from my publishers, only a week after I was promised it - just have to read all the small print now. But this means that I am definitely going ahead with the book about the Lynx helicopter. Second success is that I now have agreement from all the Lynx flights that participated in the Falklands War. I have at least one willing contact from each. I also have the current front line squadron (815) champing at the bit to provide input as well as one of the original test crew who flew the first ever prototype. Going to be a busy year. For those who haven't seen it - here is my aircraft from 1982:


Sunday, 10 May 2015

The most heavily armed ship in the world

Nautilus is now nearing completion - we are heading home from our narrow boat next week and my aim will be to have the book ready for publication in about six weeks from now.  If anyone wants an advance copy then I'm more than happy to oblige (as long as you take the time to let me know all the typos).  The climax to the book takes place around a certain battle in October 1805 off the coast of Spain (bit of a clue there then).  One of the stars will be this ship below, not HMS Victory - she's small by comparison.  This is the four deck, 140 gun Santisima Trinidad, the Spanish Flag Ship.  Mind you her size and firepower didn't help the Spanish much.  The battle was fought in light airs and she had serious trouble manoeuvring as she was so big which meant the good old Royal Navy gave her a pounding and she eventually surrendered.  Sadly she sank in the subsequent storm, although they think they might now have found her remains on the bottom near Cadiz.  There is also a full size replica of her in Alicante although it is built over the hull of a modern merchant ship.

Change of plan

For the last few weeks we've been in a bit of a quandary (and there was me thinking it was a canal).  Looking at the year ahead it seems there is going to be very little chance of using Amelie May very much as I need to get on with serious writing and there is a good chance I need a new hip/knee or something.  I've always subscribed to the principle that its wrong to pay good money not to use something, in this case marina fees to store a boat that's not only not going to be used but also will deteriorate in the process.  So its with great reluctance that Fi and I have decided to put the boat up for sale in Venetian Marina - where we bought her from several years ago.  We've had tremendous fun.  I estimate we've covered about 1600 miles - all at 2.5 miles and hour, done over 1000 locks and emptied the loo well over a hundred times.  We've had an excellent sampling of Sunday Lunches and beers from around all sorts of out of the way places, I caught two (tiny) fish and neither of us has fallen in the canal - although Tigger did twice.  We've even managed to be nice to charter boats - most of the time.  So give it a year or so and we'll be looking for the next adventure. - Anyone want to buy a narrow boat?????