A Boat For My Potplants

My nautical project took me to glorious places, metaphorically speaking. There were parties on board. There was The World's Smallest Pirate Radio Station. Of course there were plants. And one day even a gorilla.
The boat also became my 'Writer's Retreat'. I decided to become an author, writing my debut novel aboard the boat. The book, called MUDDY WATER, was naturally set in Wivenhoe. Amazingly, several local people paid good money to have their names appearing in the book, and a lot of cash was raised for worthy charities - the RNLI, MIND, The Samaritans, and The Royal British Legion.
Now, my next multi-singular selling novel, FLORIDA KEY, is in 'production', due for publication in October 2017.
I'm sure to be visiting writers' block along the way, as well as euphoria, self-doubt and inspiration.
See how my book goes through all the stages - from initial concept to final print. I'll take you with me on my personal journey as I work on the words, on the cover, on the marketing, and on the publishing.
Maybe it will inspire you too to have a go at bringing out THE BOOK IN YOU. Everyone has a story in them, just waiting to be told, and after all, if I can do it, anyone can.
(Click on the tabs below to see more about the Writer's Retreat In France, the old Boat For My Potplants, Tallulah the Motorhome, Alfonso the Car, and Jane the Woman. And to find out more about MUDDY WATER the novel, click the cover to be transported to its Facebook page)

Sunday, 30 September 2012

If I'm Honest...

I glanced up and saw Nautical Neighbour John sail past in his magnificent 100-year-old vessel, and I guessed he was going away for the weekend like he sometimes does.

'Ah', I thought. 'Here's an opportunity to take my boat out'. You see, I'm a tad nervous about bashing into John's boat on my return to berth, so if he wasn't't there, no harm could come.

And so I eagerly invited Paul to come out with me. He was up for it so we arranged to meet the following day at noon.

But soon after meeting up with Paul I spotted John making an unexpected early return. My heart sank and I nearly chickened out - until John offered to join us as well.

So the three of us went out on the river. We chugged along upriver but the motor cut out a few times while I was practicing reversing. I don't know why. And when we came back the wind and tide were strong and I had to abort my first attempt. Then on the second try we (or more truthfully, I) nearly hit the one boat I didn't want to - John's - just as the motor cut out again.

Thankfully Paul managed to fend us off just in time, and all ended well, except for my nerves, which were a little shot to say the least.

I need more practice, and I need to know how to handle the motor better. If I'm honest about today's trip, I didn't really enjoy it.

But there's always tomorrow.


  1. Hi Neil it's Salty Rob from Brixham.
    With regard to your engine stalling. If it is only doing it on slow ahead or tick-over it could be that your engine is sitting too low in the water as I can see from your pics. This causes too much back pressure (prop too deep in the water) and a build up of exhaust gasses not being able to escape at low revs.This is just a suggestion my friend that is worth a look into. If the engine gives a little splutter / caugh or a muffled backfire every now and then My diagnosis is prob correct.
    Solution is to raise the hight of the engine about three inches or so the prop is just below your keel but not higher as this will cause extreme cavitation.You might have to add a bit more hight to your transom to achieve this.
    Any way have you been able to put a line over the side and catch some of those flounder, plaice, Bass,Rays,whiting, codling,Mackerel ect in the estuary yet. Had a few Bass down here up to 8lbs being the largest.Plenty of Mackerel which end up being home smoked in my garden and some of which gets made into pate very popular with my customers.
    I can imagine it going down very well in the Wivenhoe pub or on a little stall by your boat as a fund raiser. fresh smoked mackerel is mouth watering with a bit of mayonnaise and salad glass of wine inc of course.About time you fed yourself some fish caught on your very own boat
    Love to all the family and my Mermaid friend.

  2. Hi Rob
    Thanks for the great advice, and also the idea about the fishing. Brilliant!