Thursday, 26 April 2012

Dibden Purlieu.

On Tuesday afternoon I found myself in Dibden Purlieu, sitting in a parked car, with twenty minutes to spare and no desire to investigate the local shops, or indeed to leave the car.  I had my camera with me and set myself the challenge of taking an interesting picture of whatever I could see through the windscreen, the side and rear windows, or the sun roof; just for fun, to pass the time.  And it worked; the twenty minutes seemed like seconds, I had a lovely time, it was a really interesting project, and I rather like the look of the photos.

The picture shows one of the views taken in Beaulieu Road, Dibden Purlieu, Hampshire, on Tuesday 23rd April 2012, through the windscreen of my parked car.  It was a showery day, cloudy, sunny, and wet in turns.  To see the rest of my Twenty Minutes in Dibden Purlieu photos, click on the link to my tumblr blog, below.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Solent Seal.

As I looked out across Southampton Water last Friday morning, I was thrilled to catch sight of a harbour seal.  The water was choppy and it was quite difficult to spot, but when its sleek head popped up through the waves it was unmistakable.  I grabbed my camera and watched for a good half hour, willing it to come closer; each time it disappeared I wondered if it would vanish for good, but my perseverance paid off, nearer it came and I rattled off a few shots before it slipped beneath the surface and was gone.

I've since discovered that the Solent area has a population of 15 to 20 harbour seals, or common seals, and a few of them were tagged in 2009 as part of the Solent Seal Project.  To find out more, click on the link to the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, below.

For general information about UK seals, click on the Marine Conservation link below.

The picture shows a harbour seal in Southampton Water, off Hythe foreshore, Hampshire, on Friday 20th April 2012 at 11:11.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012


What with the Easter Holidays, general comings and goings, and the Titanic Centenary, time has flown and I'm astonished to discover that it's been over two weeks since my last blog! I've written quite a few in my head, and taken lots of photos of ships, sunsets and stormy skies.

I've seen a dozen or more cruise ships pass by; watched MS Balmoral sail off on her Titanic Memorial Cruise, packed to the gunnels and looking lovely in the afternoon sun.

I've seen Saga Sapphire stranded in the docks for days on end while her strike-hit re-fit overshot its deadline, delaying her inaugural cruise and causing her to slide quietly out of port, no bells or whistles, under a plume of thick black smoke.

Then came the thunder storms, rolling in from the west and unleashing torrents of rain, hailstones the size of marrowfat peas and tremendous flashes of lightning.

And, of course, I've seen the Titanic Centenary tribute; the flotilla of ships, large and small, congregating alongside Ocean Terminal, blowing their whistles, forming a procession and easing away down Southampton Water to the Solent, led by the steamship Shieldhall to mark the day and the hour that RMS Titanic set sail from Southampton 100 years ago.

I saw it all and watched and wondered, and when I looked back at the photos, I expected to be drawn to the Titanic Centenary tribute and SS Shieldhall, but no, it was Saga Sapphire and the plume of black smoke! There are all sorts of ecological and environmental reasons for me not to like it, but it makes such a good picture - I just love it.

The photo shows MS Saga Sapphire leaving the Port of Southampton, Hampshire, on Tuesday 3rd April 2012 at 17:45.

Stop Press: Saga Sapphire now has engine problems! She's had to cut short her inaugural cruise, due back in Southampton today (Wednesday 18th April 2012), and fly everyone back to the UK from Valencia, Spain, where she's awaiting repairs. Click on the link to read more about it.

To see my gallery of photos from the last two weeks, click on the link to my tumblr blog below.

To read more about the MS Balmoral Titanic Memorial Cruise, click on the link below.

To read more about SS Shieldhall, click on the link below.

To read about Southampton Titanic Events 2012, click on the link below.