A Respite

Nothing momentous, just a brief respite from the normal news. I know I’ve talked about these West Mersea duck punts before and even shared a video. Just sit back and enjoy the simplicity of the design and the serenity of the waters twixt sea and shore.

If this video isn’t enough to sooth the nerves, may I suggest getting off our fat, spreading asses and take a walk in whatever nature we have at hand.


This entry was posted in Messing about in boats, Nature, TTG. Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to A Respite

  1. Fred says:

    No respite here this afternoon. Using a modern version of Egyptian hieroglyphs (amazing how after 3,000 years we return to the ancients for directions) to assemble an interior pyramid-lite storage system. i.e. Ikea crap. Though in a procrastination “best practice” I waited until this afternoon to start. The morning hike and discovery of a new coffee shop with both a good cappuccino and decent sandwiches made waiting worth while. Nice sunset over Longboat Key was a great finishing touch.

    • TTG says:


      Nice. I remember how much I enjoyed the sunrises over the Potomac while riding the commuter train to DIA. There’s something about a sunrise/sunset over the water that can add years to your life.

      I can’t knock the Ikea crap. I built an entire kitchen in Germany with Ikea. Disassembled it and took it with me back to the States. Reassembled it in SWMBO’s childhood home a few years ago before we sold the place. Between that and two boys in college, I became pretty damned handy with an Ikea Schlüssel.

      • English Outsider says:

        There must have been a time a couple of decades ago when America had plenty of good quality but cheap English furniture.

        An auctioneer told me about it. In the early 00’s I’d bought a dresser that just fitted a space we wanted for kitchen storage. Edwardian or maybe ’20’s.

        Factory furniture but good quality – figured oak – and very well made. I visualise a production line cutting and jointing and then handworkers assembling the finished product. Pretty brass fittings, solid too, and the drawers still in good working order after nearly a century of use.

        So not “antique”, none of the prestige of that. Just good quality and looked good, if old fashioned for many. My bid of £50 pounds was the top bid – though a still suspect for the last £10 I was bidding against the wall – and I took it home very happily. The auctioneer helped me get it on the trailer. Or stood by supervising while I and one of the men did, can’t remember.

        He called it “container furniture”. From the fact that until recently all that type of furniture, old and solid but not so old that it was heirloom stuff, got loaded into containers and shipped off to the States, where it found an eager market. It had been a regular and substantial trade.

        Then there was a terrorist incident and furniture in bulk – all those compartments and difficult to inspect cavities – was no longer accepted by US customs. All the “container furniture” got thrown on to the local market.

        So the auctioneer told me and a few people like me were lucky enough to be looking for just that sort of furniture at the time. Most go for those awful plasticy sliding drawers that run like silk for decade or two and then fail and are the very devil to put right. Or furniture made out of wood so thin that the shelves start to droop if there’s more than a cup or two stored on them. That’s if they’re made of wood at all. But that “container furniture” filled the gap between antique and modern rubbish very well.

        So you rebels not only ran off with some of our best real estate, and that without so much as a by your leave. You’ve got some of our most useful furniture to go with it as well.

        • Stefan says:

          When I was at Mildenhall for some years in the 1990s and early 2000s there was good English furniture to be had, old heavy wood pieces. I had a co worker, both him and his wife were military and had a rather large house between them with a shop that he used to refurbish these pieces and sell them.

          Back in the states the same pieces would have sold for a fortune but my co-worker made some good money selling these pieces to USAF types that were later taken to the US. I kind of regret not picking up some pieces for myself, but all of my coin went to visiting Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

    • F&L says:

      Dear Fred,
      Please translate into Egyptian Hieroglyphics and forward to Count Dracula on 1600 Transylvania Ave, Washington DC this brief message. Thank you.

      Dear Most Respected and Venerable Viscount and Generalissimo of Pure Evil,

      Your only known competitor for war criminal of the year award, PM Netanyahu of Israel, has been carrying on in the media quite apocalyptically, especially referencing hoary old testament chronicles which call for the full eradication and extirpation of Amalek, an ancient mythical enemy tribe of the biblical Israelites. By this he means to invoke magical powers to completely wipe out the Palestinian people and clear himself and his nation of any sense of shame or guilt.
      Now hear this, oh great vampire chieftain!

      Your own Vice President’s first name – Kamala – is “Amalek” with only a slight rearrangment of the letters and the e rotated 180 degrees counterclockwise whence it becomes a.

      Sincerely, An Admirer

  2. Al says:

    Sailing a small Sunfish during my college yrs was my favorite source of relaxation. Regret I did not proce ed further into sailing. Canoe trips into and through lakes in northern Ontario became my favorite pastime. The sound of water on the hull of a motorless boat … magical!

    • Laura Wilson says:

      We are kayaking fans and I totally agree. Being down at water level and bird viewing level is a bonus!

  3. mcohen says:

    I wrote one…for the timrs

    It’s a Sunday morning
    There is quiet in forest groves
    Shadows are whispering
    Under autumn leaves

    If you quiet to listen
    Hear the birds stop singing
    You should hasten
    There is a storm coming

    Winter’s blanket in white

  4. Keith Harbaugh says:

    Belarus and Lithuania are evidently finding something to disagree on:

    “Putin Ally Belarus Warns It Has ‘Every Reason’ to Attack NATO Country”


    Can’t these countries get along?
    I certainly don’t know the underlying issues here, but see this:

    As laid out in a Sunday report from Ukrainska Pravda,
    Lithuania has recently begun imposing travel sanctions against Belarus.
    This has included the closure of certain border crossings and ceasing to issue tourist visas to Belarusian travelers.
    This, Muraveiko claimed on Tuesday,
    has resulted in a stifling of transit between the two nations. While not mentioned in his speech, Ukrainska Pravda’s report noted that
    Lithuania provides the most direct path from Belarus to Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian territory on the Baltic Sea, situated between Poland and Lithuania.


    • Peter Williams says:

      You should remember that the source is Ukrainska Pravda and then remember that «Ргавда не правда!»

      • F&L says:

        “In the beginning was the word. But the word was unprintable.”

      • Lea says:

        «Ргавда не правда!»
        True. But what does pгавда mean?

        • F&L says:

          In this country our variant of “truth is not truth” is simpler, having no negations.

          “The NY Times is The New York Times.”

          Don’t worry if you don’t get it.

          • Lea says:

            Танкс, Ф&Л. (Wonder if there will be a font shift again?)

            There used to be experts concerning the truth and nothing but the truth around. Come to think of it. KH may have been one of them at times?

            … РГАВДА puzzled me …

          • F&L says:

            Looks like someone either new to Cyrillic or distracted and in a rush, mistook Р (rho or R) for П, since Р (rho) looks like P latin P as in pea and also thought Г gamma was an r since it looks similar to r but taller and wrote РГ thinking it was ПР , but then unglitched his or her brain and finished in standard form with ..АВДА to finish spelling PRAVDA, Not knowing it was PGAVDA as typed.

            But you would have had to be on point “regarding the truth?” No, sorry “concerning the truth, or taken time to think a bit.

            Ok. Back to the flag, mom and apple pie. 🇸🇩 🐫 🥧

  5. Whitewall says:

    So right about sunrise over water. Yesterday was the time to hit a quiet lake in search of the elusive large mouth bass. Only noise was an occasional crane flying over head searching for bait fish. It was quiet enough that we automatically felt compelled to speak only in low voice.

    • English Outsider says:

      Last year there was a fuss about that corridor or transit route. There’s a treaty obligation to allow transit to Kaliningrad. The Euros were havering about whether to cut traffic.

      Had they done so Kaliningrad could only have been supplied by sea. It came to nothing, as far as I heard, but General Kujat was most concerned about it at the time. He pointed out that if the Russians chose to enforce the treaty obligations NATO had nothing much up that way to stop them,

      Kujat isn’t any old General. He knows his stuff. It was a sharp reminder, especially for me who’d grown up when European NATO was a force to be reckoned with, of how that force has become more of a paper tiger.

      Also a reminder of how the Trump/Grenell project to cut Germany off from trade with Russia has extended over the European continent. From Finland down Russia is now enemy territory and trade and communication increasingly restricted. Be interesting to see whether those Kaliningrad treaty obligations hold under the new dispensation.


      Note. Kujat is damned in Germany as a “Putinversteher” but still gets put on TV from time to time. He expressed unease about the Merkel admission on Minsk 2 that I submitted a comment on recently.


      He’s also spoken out elsewhere about the extent to which the information war has inhibited press freedom in Germany. I think he’s expressing similar unease in this passage:-

      General Harald Kujat : The war in Ukraine is not only a military conflict; it is also an economic and information war. In this information war, one can become part of the war by adopting information and arguments that one cannot verify or judge on the basis of one’s own competence. In part, motives understood as moral or ideological also play a role.

      This is particularly problematic in Germany because the media is dominated by ‘experts’ who have no knowledge or experience of security policy and strategy and therefore express opinions that they derive from the publications of other ‘experts’. with comparable knowledge. Of course, this also increases political pressure on the German government. The debate over the delivery of certain weapon systems clearly shows the intention of many media to play politics themselves.

      My unease with this development is perhaps the consequence of my many years of service in NATO, notably as Chairman of the NATO-Russia Council and the NATO-Ukraine Commission of Joint Chiefs of Staff . It particularly annoys me that so little attention is paid to German security interests and the dangers posed to our country by an extension and escalation of the war. It shows a lack of sense of responsibility or, to use an old-fashioned term, a very unpatriotic attitude.

      He carries conviction for me because he was very much his own man when speaking of the earlier war in the Donbass. At a time when Breedlove was talking of Russian forces massing at the frontier Kujat was asserting that the evidence showed no such thing. I think that though he is now long retired he still has access to intelligence, that access, and his record, giving him credibility.

      • TTG says:


        The question was never to completely cut ground transit to Kaliningrad. It was to apply approved EU sanctions. Lithuania first applied them to both road and rail transit allowing only food, medicine and passenger transit on the road and rail links. The EU modified the restrictions to refer to only road transit and Lithuania eased the restrictions accordingly. Air transit remains fully restricted. There was never any talk of a sea blockade.

        The Vilnius-Moscow transit agreement of 1993 gives Lithuania full control over road transit through permits, inspections and restrictions. The 2002 EU statement on transit to Kaliningrad also acknowledges Lithuania’s sovereignty over her borders, but encouraged her to continue to allow transit of goods for economic development of the Kaliningrad enclave.

    • d74 says:

      Why Kalinigrad etc… ?
      Much too close to the NATO border.

      It’s not unlike the problems facing the Indians in 1750-1890: they settled closer and closer to the waves of settlers from Europe. Get off my back.

    • Keith Harbaugh says:

      There is an extensive discussion of the geographical, political, and historical situation of
      the Suwałki Gap, between Poland, Lithuania, Kaliningrad, and Belarus, here:


  6. d74 says:

    It seems that the IDF (ground) has adopted a plan of small steps or gradual nibbling.
    Advantage: every day a little more forward, fewer deaths to announce (compared with a massive assault), and above all a gradual desensitization in the press.
    Sooner or later, Hamas will run out of supplies, unless there is a new international initiative. In this respect, the Arab-Muslim world seems to be at minimum service.
    And the tunnel war would never happen, nor Monte-Cassino fights or Stalingrad.

  7. leith says:

    Apparently resupply by small boats over the Dnipro River to Ukrainian forces on the left bank is a bit dangerous. So they are reportedly being resupplied by aerial drones with beans, bullets, batteries for their comms, and even small amounts of fuel.


    That TRV-150 shown in the above link can move 150 pounds for eight kilometers, which can get you across the river but not much further. Or 50 pounds for 30 kilometers, per manufacturer specs anyway. That works for an infantry squad or SF team. But they’d need more for a platoon, a sizable swarm for a battalion; and there is no way they would suffice to resupply artillery units or mechanized forces. So bridging is still needed for a major offensive across the river.

    • English Outsider says:

      The lodgements are supported by artillery and tank fire from across the river. The ground there is higher which even these days apparently still gives an advantage. The numbers of men thus supported is uncertain; one sees figures ranging from a few dozen to a few hundred. A doomed enterprise in itself, its value is said to lie in drawing Russian troops away from other areas.

      It also shows that although the Kiev forces are overall falling apart, there are still plenty of courageous and determined men to carry on the fight. That shattered army still has teeth. Presumably, given that Washington’s at a loss, and Kiev unable to do more than play out the last days in the bunker, the carnage will continue until those teeth are drawn.

  8. ked says:

    easy solo sail on quiet water. a very nice respite, thanks.

  9. Mark Logan says:

    Messing around in a small boat like that is how I was introduced to sailing, and with all I’ve done nothing really matches the peace and adventure of that time.

    In the summer between my soph and jr years of high school, my uncle got a gig building a summer cabin in Stehekin WA, perhaps the only community in the US that did not have phones at the time, in fact they didn’t get phone service until 2007. Stuck waaaaayyyy up in the north end of Lake Chelan like it is there still isn’t cell service outside of satellite, today. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stehekin,_Washington

    The first order of business was to clear the blackberrys on the lot, and buried in the mess I found a Laser, upturned with the sails, mast, rudder and center board in good condition underneath. It was then my private “yacht” which I used to explore the shore.

    • TTG says:

      Mark Logan,

      Finding a Laser in the brambles. What a find. Even if a little weather worn, that’s a boat to be proud of. My first boat of my own was a small wood and canvas kayak built from a Popular Mechanics article with plans. Used all scrounged lumber and canvas from machine shop I worked in. Sealed it with a couple of coats of oil-based paint from whatever was in the barn. Had a ball with it. A friend of mine built one at the same time.

Comments are closed.