Friday 28 June 2013

Oh my word, they did it!

The Islanders (two Mersea-ites, a Guernseyer and an Irishman) are back. If you are wondering what they're back from, read on or have a look here, and yes, I know Guernseyer isn't a real word but you know what I mean.

THREE ENORMOUS CHEERS FOR THEM; they have broken the world record for rowing unaided and nonstop around the coast of Britain in the fastest time yet. 

Living on freeze dried food and barely any sleep they battled terrible weather, treacherous tides, deadly shipping lanes and military firing ranges to round Britain in just 26 days, 9 hours and 9 minutes. Tower Bridge to Tower Bridge, clockwise. 

Here they are, exhausted, elated, and with tears in their eyes,  just after their finish yesterday afternoon.
photo by GB Row 2013

photo by GB Row 2013

For a closer look at their happy faces click on the BBC news article here.

Keep thinking keep strong thoughts for Savoir Faire, the two man team still in the race and currently facing horrible headwinds as they battle their way down the east coast. See them on the tracker here.
picture from the log of Savoir Faire

If you fancy rowing round Britain in two years time, come on and contact race director Chris Usborne!

Monday 10 June 2013

New Work

Some things are never as straightforward as I first imagine.

Last week I planned to finish off three boatdog pictures, pop them in my shop and Bob's your uncle!  Easy peasy.

The thing is, despite much drawing and re-drawing I still only have one boatdog picture which I am happy with.  Here is that one illustration.

Two more are almost okay but not quite (grrr) which is annoying because I want to send them all to the printers together (now) but I must also get back to the Council boards which are grinding on.  It's high time they were over and done with.  It's high time it was all over and done with.  It's high time I hurried up!

My salty seagirl spent her weekend out on the ocean battling with high winds and huge waves.  She was very brave but her poor boat didn't like the gusts one bit and with a creak and a crack has started to split.  This means I've been glueing (instead of working).

It's only 12 degrees C and I am plagued with the perennial worry that my epoxy may not go off.   I might have to get the hairdryer out.

little footnote on the GB Row.
After 36 hours rest off the Cornish coast (Gavin had hurt his back and the weather was against them) the Islanders are now back on form and powering up the Irish Sea.  If you look at their track (the white boat) you can see the loop-the-loops where they stopped for a while.

Thursday 6 June 2013

On Wednesdays we wear Waders

Waiting for the next fleet to come in...
photo by Rusty Marshall

but they're following the Pied Piper over the edge of the world...

This lot remind me of the squirrels sailing across the lake in Beatrix Potter's Squirrel Nutkin.

"They made little rafts out of twigs, and they paddled away over the water to Owl Island to gather nuts.
Each squirrel had a little sack and a large oar, and spread out his tail for a sail."
illustration by Beatrix Potter

Monday 3 June 2013

The Islanders

I've been having a bit of a bumbly time lately,  it's been halfterm.  Here's the garden- this bit's looking fab (don't look round the corner).

Here's some spar rubbing down -I'm onto the next coat now.

But most importantly I have been (and am) glued to the Yellowbrick Tracker.  Have a look (click here), it's live!  The GB row started three days ago.  Two boys from down the road have entered with a couple of their chums from college.  Check out The Islanders,  they're fighting to beat the world record and have been in the lead from the start but have Hallin Marine hot on their heels who are keeping up a cracking pace.

Hailed as the world's toughest rowing race, battling brutal weather, treacherous tides and deadly shipping lanes the crews must row over 2000 miles around Britain totally unaided - no tying up alongside a nice pontoon somewhere, and no coming ashore.  They have to carry everything they need with them.

I know they are superhuman (Alan and Josh swam around Mersea last summer, 22km just for fun) but I am still a little bit worried about how they are going to cope with endless rowing and next-to-no sleep.  I had a lovely chat with Alan's mum, shopping for buckets before they left.  She said they were planning three hours rowing followed by three hours sleeping and eating then back to rowing and on and on for as long as it takes... probably a month (sounds fairly deathly to me, and not totally unlike having a new baby). *

They are doing so well.... from Tower Bridge in London to just off the Isle of Wight in two and a half days.  Read about them here, Wish them luck and spur them on here,  help the Evelina Children's Hospital here....  Follow them on the tracker here...
Go boys!

picture via

Back to work and my little world of colouring in, the logo to go on the info boards I am illustrating is to be a different size than expected.  There have been rumblings and a flurry of comms between the lovely folk at Natural England and the Town Council,  no great brouhaha, just a bit of re-designing to fit it in.

I've also been working on my boat-dog drawings  (spurred on by your lovely positive feedback way back here). Three of them, hopefully off to the printers at the end of the week, and cards and prints for sale shortly after.  I'll show you next time.

* little footnote added 5th June 2013
Hot news on the race;  the Islanders have apologised for lack of blogs and photos (!) having spent all their time either rowing, sleeping or eating.  Now nearing Lands End, still in the lead and ahead of the 2005 world record pace, the crew of four row for two hours and sleep for a further two hours.  One of the rowers is replaced at the rowing seat every hour.