Added to that, the Mrs surprised me with a holiday for my Birthday. Yep, she'd gone to the trouble of booking it, paying for and AND phoning work to book the time off. Apparently she'd been saving up all year to get one over on me.
I did get to look at boats:
That's the Marina at Salou in Spain. Apart from a day we had in Barcelona where it rained, we had a lovely time. Most days it was like this:
Needless to say we didn't use the beach, instead overlooking the beach while drinking coffee and retiring to the Hotel to stay by the pool most days.
We had a nice meal in a square off Las Ramblas in Barcelona:
Parakeets and Palm trees, very nice. Apart from the guy playing Desposito (my least favourite song of the moment) in front of us. The wife even paid him so he'd stay and sing the bloody song...
Apparently all the family knew and chipped in for my birthday. Bit of a novel present eh?
So, back in blighty last weekend, but the days were spent washing and generally getting ready to go back to work. Then in the middle of the week we get a big blow. It was quite windy, with a bit of damage on a few unprepared boats. There was a small keelboat up on the shore at the top end of Portsmouth harbour (you could see it from the M275) and next to Sprite 2, Charlita had shredded her jib:
The unseasonal gale seemed to catch folk out. Which is a salient reminder to always square things away no matter what, because nature has a way of biting you.
The Mrs had one final surprise last week, with a ticket to the Southampton Boat Show. So that's where I was yesterday:
No wonder I'm smiling!
Quite a few interesting boats. This one caught my eye, it seems to have a split personality, not knowing if it wants to be a speedboat or a yacht:
Looks nice, but the price....... ouch!
This little Bay Cruiser 26 looked to hark back to small cruisers of old. Not sure about the rear entry door cum swimming platform(s), but I suppose it make entry from a tender easier. The dual rudders just seem to add unnecessary complexity:
Grey motorboats seemed to be a theme this year. This monster had 700 horsepower, plenty you would think:
But I found one with even more:
I bet it goes! Not sure you could get the conditions to run it flat out in the UK though.
Led lighting seems to have well and truly become mainstream this year. There were a number of stalls selling all manner of LED lighting. The Skint Sailor did it years ago. :-)
Finally for those who like the smell of hemp rope, the boat show always have something old along with the new. This year it was the Kaskelot:
Very nice but not really floating my boat.
This year as last year nothing really grabbed me. All I bought was a coffee and Blueberry muffin like last year.
It's interesting seeing the new trends. Electric drive seems to be up and coming, but I still remain to be convinced as to it's uses on the sea. Even Hybrid drive has it's limitations. It's not like you can get the advantages of regeneration braking like you can with road cars. Quite how you recharge a battery pack from a propeller I'm not sure. There isn't the same sort of grip you get from road wheels on tarmac. Maybe you put up with a reduced efficiency. Unless you only have the facility on a sail boat so that the prop recharges the battery while sailing. But then you have increased drag and therefore reduced speed while sailing. Hmmm....
Thinking about it there's no benefit to stand-alone hybrid technology, because there is no way to put kinetic energy back into the battery bank. A battery recharged from shore power allows cheaper energy to be used alongside the engine, but then you're putting energy in from somewhere else, albeit cheaper energy. You could use wind and solar to recharge and get free energy, but would it repay the installation and maintenace costs of the more complex installation?
Anyway, that's enough for now. I've caught up with what I've been doing the past few weeks. I'll be in a new house at the end of the month, thanks to the landlady selling the one we're in at the moment.