It was with a slightly heavy heart on a drizzly Thursday (the only sun free day in the whole of October) that we motored our boat “Le Ketchup” to Beale Park for winter storage. Believe me it was the brightest object on the river that day. She always makes us smile and has now been duly tucked up for winter hibernation.

How much do we love our boats?

I was reading a letter recently, written in 1934 by Ernest Hemingway to F. Scott Fitzgerald, he of the great Gatsby. In this letter Ernest is filling in his friend Scotty on family news and he specifically says amid the chitchat: “We have a fine boat.”. I feel that many of you have fine boats and that we are very fortunate at HSC to be able to enjoy looking after them for you.

A proud owner with his prized possessions.

A proud owner with his prized possessions.

Sometimes a change is due to family circumstances, some sad, some happy, or simply to our western desire for bigger and better. So whether you are upscaling or downsizing, or looking for an additional boat for your ‘fleet’, do keep an eye on our ever evolving website as it is particularly active at this time of the year, when people re-evaluate their boating needs for the following season.

A few fresh faces on our site today:

Pebbles

Pebbles

Doreen

Doreen

Jayfor

Jayfor

Snapdragon

Snapdragon

Knave of Hearts

Knave of Hearts

Lysbeth

Lysbeth

Ranoni

Ranoni

Nautical treasures in Cyprus

Fishing boat in the local marina

Fishing boat in the local marina

Prior to my drizzly day on the river I was in fact enjoying 27°C in Cyprus. I have always loved the Greek Islands and in fact started my love affair with boats in Corfu at the tender age of 13. One day I will tell you the story.

Beautiful wooden boats entering the local marina.

Beautiful wooden boats entering the local marina.

Cyprus would not have been my number one choice of holiday destination. However we went for a friend’s birthday in Nicosia and spent time exploring the coastline both north and south.

Somebody clearly let their creativity loose on this vessel.

Somebody clearly let their creativity loose on this vessel.

On this divided island where a random green line has been separating Turkish from Greek Cypriots since 1974, we in fact found more of nautical interest on the Turkish side: From ancient relic to modern piratical fantasy, with a smattering of lovely wooden gulets which never fail to please the eye.

Wreck of a 4th century BC Greek merchant ship and the collection of amphorae preserved inside

Wreck of a 4th century BC Greek merchant ship and the collection of amphorae preserved inside

This 4th century BC Greek merchant shipwreck is displayed at the Ancient Shipwreck Museum in Kyrenia. When it was discovered and salvaged in 1967 there was still a stash of almonds in the hold and a collection of amphorae. The hull’s near complete preservation adds considerably to our knowledge of shipbuilding in antiquity. If you are in the area I would strongly urge you to take a day out and visit it.

Kyrenia Liberty Ship on the shores of Lemesos, Cyprus (Oct 2012)

Kyrenia Liberty Ship on the shores of Lemesos, Cyprus (Oct 2012)

*Photo credit: By Marios Zittis – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=44690963

Several replicas have been built with Kyrenia Liberty being the 3rd attempt. The ship was ready for the 2004 Olympic games and sailed to Athens with a symbolic cargo of copper to be used in the Olympic bronze medals. The wealth of Cyprus in ancient times was based on the abundant copper which was mined there.

Reopening of the Thames Lido in Reading

Talking of reconstruction, just gaze in admiration at the reconstructed Edwardian baths adjacent to Caversham lock. As I cruised passed last Thursday I had absolutely no idea that lurking behind the bushes near the Tesco riverside emporium was the Thames Lido.

Thames Lido

Thames Lido

The original pool was designed and built in 1902 for the Ladies of Reading by John Bowen at a cost of £4,890. It is believed to be the oldest surviving outdoor municipal pool of the early Edwardian era. It was built to allow Edwardian women to bathe in privacy and was originally fed from the Thames. Sadly the pool was closed in 1974.

Thames Lido

Thames Lido

In 2004 the building was awarded Grade II listed building status. Almost a decade later building began, and today the pool is reopened to people of all shapes, sizes and gender.

This 20th century female boat broker is heading for a dip on Monday and will report back in the next newsletter.

There have been rumours circulating that the HSC website and business are run by some elderly white haired fellow with a beard! This misconception came to light in a recent conversation with one of our Austrian clients. I hope to have opened his eyes to the fact that in the 21st century, women are now not only allowed to bathe in the company of men, but may also run businesses and fly to the international space station!