Bunkside

With Colston, as with Captain Cook, we Need to See all of History’s Shades of Grey

Watching the news about the Black Lives Matter protest in Bristol and seeing the statue of philanthropist and slave trader Edward Colston hauled down and thrown into the river set us thinking about another controversial historical figure – Captain James Cook – and about how in general we might learn the lessons of the past to construct a new, harmonious future.

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Lockdown Library: Free Books about Sailing and the Sea

It’s not easy being confined to home (and dry land) just as another sailing season begins. So we’ve been exploring the excellent Project Gutenberg website to find books that provide virtual transport to the sea – and which can be downloaded or read online, free and legally, in a variety of formats. Here are 10 of our favourites, representing a mix of real classics and new discoveries.

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No Priests, No Women, and Absolutely no Bananas: Strange Sailing Superstitions for Survival at Sea

Sailors can be a superstitious bunch. It’s hardly surprising, given the dangers of life at sea in years gone by – but even now, there are some who look out for portents that might please or displease Neptune, and none of them are taught on the RYA Dayskipper courses. So what should we be looking for to forecast what fate has in store?

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Poland on the Water. Tales from a Nation Whose Limited Access to the Sea Hasn’t Quenched the Thirst for Adventure One Bit.

If Poland isn’t thought of as one of the great sailing nations, it’s understandable. After all, the country has historically had relatively limited access to the sea (at times, it’s had no land either), and for half a century after the Second World War the activities of would-be skippers and crew were severely limited by the  Communist authorities. But there are still great achievers among Poles who have taken to the water; as SailHo.blog is a Polish-English team, we decided it was time to celebrate them…

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Polynesia and Polyamory: Marking 60th Anniversary of Epic Voyage by Catamaran King James Wharram

Sixty years ago, in the autumn of 1959, Brit James Wharram and Germans Jutta Schultze-Rohnhof and Ruth Merseburger (pictured below) sailed into the Conwy river on Wharram’s self-designed catamaran Rongo. The trio had just made history, with the first west to east North Atlantic crossing in a multi-hull.

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The RNLI saving lives? How dare they!

You don’t have to be British to drown, and your boat doesn’t have to be British to sink. For some, though, you do have to be British to benefit from the life-saving expertise of the RNLI…

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Whatever the forecast, be weather aware when sailing

Sailors would get into an awful lot of trouble without weather forecasts. In fact, they can still encounter challenging situations even with them – as we have learned from experience. With this in mind, we looked back at our sailing adventures so far, and have come up with some lessons learned that we think are worth sharing.

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Lessons learned from our sailing adventures

As we prepare for a few weeks summer sailing wherever the wind will take us around the UK, we look back at some of the lessons learned from our sailing adventures so far.

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Best chart plotter app combination in the world

We’ve discovered what we think is the best tablet/app/chart combination in the world for navigation…

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Best books for the RYA Yachtmaster theory course

Any training provider delivering a shorebased course for the RYA, whether online or in a classroom, with give you access to all the materials you need. There’s a lot to be said for reading around a subject, though, so here are our recommendations for books supporting the Yachtmaster theory programme.

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When you’re shopping for boat parts, nothing beats the local chandlery.

There’s a certain truth to the notion that owning a boat is like standing fully clothed under a cold shower, tearing up banknotes. These days, the internet has given us more options than ever to edge closer to bankruptcy. There’s no helping it – but is it best to get a damp and empty wallet online, or go to the chandlery in person? The answer rather depends on what you’re buying.

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Catch up with some of our favourite sailing YouTubers

The marina is just around the corner but it’s cheaper to anchor. You all get the same view, whatever you pay, and if you’re lucky you’ll be in internet range too. If that’s the case, while away an evening bobbing around on the water by getting to know some of our favourite YouTube sailing channels…

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