Jeune St Charles lost in the Sound 8th April 1858

On the 8th April 1858 the schooner Jeune St Charles was wrecked on Kitterland, this account has been put together by my Dad, Michael Kneale…

The story wreck of the schooner “Jeune St Charles” on Thousla Rock, 8th April 1858 and subsequent rescue of some of the crew has been set down in earlier accounts. These are based on records and observations made at the time, in particular the skipper’s report, written the day after the shipwreck while recovering at one of the two lighthouses then operating on the Calf of Man. Other details are patchy and the rescue by brave locals in small boats has long interested me as a Port St Mary man, small-boat sailor and local lifeboat man.

The following is an attempt to piece together the likely turn of events.

These two reports from the time contain some clues and with a bit of local knowledge applied, I believe a better picture can be drawn.

Local newspaper report at the time

On Thursday last, a schooner was observed riding at anchor in a very dangerous position off the Sound. Towards 9am she slipped her anchor and ran for the Sound but either through ignorance of the passage or baffling wind, she struck on Thousla Rock, where the lives of the crew were in imminent danger. The report of the wreck no sooner reached Port St Mary than preparations were made for attempting a rescue. Here is an account of the gallant affair, as publicly rendered by the poor shipwrecked mariners themselves and kindly furnished us for publication by an esteemed friend at Castletown.

“This is to certify that we, the undersigned, being part of the crew of he schooner “Jeune St Charles” of Pontrieux, from that port to Londonderry, wrecked in the Sound of the Calf of Man on the 8th instant, were saved from a most perilous situation, off a half-tide rock known as Thousla, in a very exhausted condition, having been exposed to all the fury of a SE gale, the sea for the most part of the time making a clear reach over our heads, (two lads, brothers of the Captain and Mate had previously been swept from the rock), by a boat’s crew consisting of the following men: Thomas Harrison, Joseph Harrison, John Watterson, Daniel Lace and John Karran, who bravely put off to out assistance after having witnessed the ineffectual attempt by five other men who had attempted our deliverance but were obliged themselves to seek shelter on the Calf until the sea would subside and they could obtain more assistance. This crew consisted of Henry Qualtrough, Thomas Taubman, Edward Fargher, Thomas Kegg and John Maddrell – to whom, aw well as the crew who actually saved our lives, we tender our most grateful thanks.
Signed: Capt Jegou
Signed at Castletown, Isle of Man, in the presence of Henri van Laun, Professor of Foreign Literature at King William’s College and J McMeiken, Honorary Agent, Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners’ Royal Benevolent Society, this 10th April 1858.

The poor fellows were seriously injured and almost in a state of nudity, their boots and clothing were scarcely hanging together and their bodies, especially their hands, arms, legs and feet were scratched, bruised and swollen, and the very nails on their finers worn to the stump with the desperate efforts to hold on to the rock as every wave broke over their devoted heads. They were landed on the Calf, when the most prompt and praiseworthy attention was paid to their wants by the light-keepers and Captain Cary’s steward. Medical assistance, together with clothing, wine and other necessaries were supplied from the main land as soon as possible.

The crew has been removed to Castletown and are now under the care of the medical attendant, Dr Underwood. As soon as they are capable of being removed, they will be forwarded to the care of the French Consul at Liverpool by the Agent of the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society.

An eyewitness of the rescue says – I must say I was never prouder of my countrymen than on this trying occasion. I have witnessed many wrecks and assisted at saving some lives but never did I see a crew of daring men more determined to risk all in order to save human life, especially when I take into account the frail and tiny boat – the bad oars – not a spare one in the boat – the raging sea – the fearful tide rushing through the narrow channel – the rock only appearing at intervals, threatening destruction to their feeble bark at fall of every breaking surge. I sincerely hope that bravery may be rewarded, as a stimulus to others.

Translation of Captain Jegou’s report of 9th April 1858

I left Pontrieux at 6pm on 29th March 1858 with a cargo of flour for Londonderry. The ship was fully equipped and had been given its certificate of seaworthiness after inspection. She carried a crew of six.

I stayed in the River Trieux until 2nd April when I got out to sea in a stiff SE breeze. We had variable winds up to 4th April, when by 10pm we were caught in a E-SE gale. We were then 40 miles N of Longships. I wa forced to heave to being unable to hold course because of the wind and heavy swell, which badly worked the ship.

At 10am on the 5th, we took a big sea which stove in the hatch over the accommodation and flooded it. At noon on the 6th, as the weather had moderated, I resumed course, reefed down. At 2am on the 7th, the strop of the mainsheet block parted and the mizzen boom broke. I ran before the wind under staysail, hoping to repair the damage. At 4am I resumed course in a full E-SE gale and blinding rain. We had no sight of land, only of three ships at the latitude of Anglesey.

At 10pm I was sailing under mainsail, staysail and small jib when, the weather clearing briefly, I saw the lights of the Calf of Man, but to the westward. Judging my position too close to the Isle (of Man) to luff up and weather it, as I could not put on more canvas, I dropped anchor.

We immediately sighted land at a distance of about one cable. I dropped the two bow anchors and we held at just one ship’s length from the land. The sea was washing over the ship from stem to stern. I furled the sails and we pumped all night to try and keep the ship afloat but she was working badly.

At 8am on the 8th the anchor chains parted and the ship began to drift along the coast. I had time to hoist the small jib as we drifted along about 3 fathoms from the cliffs. As I could not get her head out sea, I dropped my one remaining anchor in the channel that separates the Isle of Man from the Calf. It held just long enough for us to launch the longboat and immediately after we had done so the anchor hawser parted.

We could see that the ship would go through the channel and break up on the rocks, so we abandoned it, taking a few personal belongings and the ship’s papers. The wind and current were so strong that before we had time to ship the oars, both the Jeune St Charles and the longboat went aground on a rock awash in mid-channel.

The first wave took away our oars, the second wave capsized the longboat and all six of us clung to the rocks. One minute later, Yves-Marie Jegou and Francois Ave (the first from Lezardrieux and the other from Ploezal) could no longer hold on and disappeared in the waves. The four of us were left cleaving to the rocks, every wave breaking over us, our clothes and flesh being torn from us.

A rowing boat came to our rescue but after a first attempt it had to give up, leaving us in a state of mortal fear. Half an hour later, another boat, with a crew of five skippered by John Watterson appeared, risking their lives to save ours. They managed to take us aboard their open boat, the four of us being more dead than alive.

The bow of the ship remained intact on the tide she went aground but the wind carried the wreckage out to sea. Nothing has been salvaged, she disappeared completely on the next fold, according to the English – as of course, none of us has been able to go and have a look.

This is the story of our shipwreck as far as I can recollect at present.
This report is addressed to Consul of France in Liverpool by the undersigned, to be consigned by post-mail on the 9th April.

Written on the Calf of Man this 9th April 1858.

Capt. Jegou

The Captain’s cool, concise report was written while still bedridden at the Calf lighthouses, his hands in tatters, by all accounts. It was written in flawless French – his second language, as he was a Breton (like all the crew). He had just lost his little brother and another lad – the son of the Mate, his ship and probably his Skipper’s Ticket, all at just 28 years of age. It is clear he was still in command, so I believe his report is accurate.

The schooner, of 69 tons, was a single deck boat, probably only about 20 metres long but even so, a crew of four men and two boys would be barely enough for normal conditions, never mind in endless gales, big seas, the boat leaking like a sieve and the rigging falling apart. The cargo of flour would also have to be kept dry – another constant worry.

From the skipper’s report we know the broad sequence of events from his leaving the River Trieux for Londonderry on 2nd April.

At 10pm on the 4th he was 40 miles North of Longships (Land’s End) where he had to heave to, as the ship was uncontrollable in an ESE gale.

At 10am on the 5th a big sea stove in the accommodation hatch and flooded it. This would have meant emergency repairs and endless pumping as the hull was already working in heavy seas.

At 12 noon on the 6th the weather had moderated and they had resumed course, reefed down.

At 2am on the 7th the strop of mainsheet block parted and the mizzen boom broke. Sounds to me like a big sea had come over the starboard quarter, smashed into the mainsail and mizzen, the extra weight on top of the stress from the wind was too much for both.

The skipper says he ran before the wind under staysail to effect repairs and 2 hours later (4am) he was back on course in an E-SE gale and blinding rain under mainsail, staysail and small jib. The mainsheet block was evidently repaired but there was probably no way to replace the mizzen boom in the conditions, assuming they even carried a suitable spare spar. Without the mizzen, the schooner would be almost impossible to get to windward – critical at the next stage.

They had seen no land for days and will have been uncertain of their position – especially longitude. The crew will have been exhausted, cold and wet after endless gales, pumping day and night, repairing damage and probably getting nothing hot to eat or drink.

After having to run downwind (ie: to the WNW) to fix the mainsheet block, the skipper will have been concerned at his westing in the zero visibility. He wouldn’t want to find himself embayed off Dundalk, so will have luffed the schooner on a course slightly East of North, allowing for leeway, to maintain sea room on the Irish side. Avoiding a lee-shore was imprinted in all sailors at this time. His preferred course will also have been on the Welsh side of the South Irish Sea, keeping well to weather of the shallow banks off Arklow and Wicklow.

At 10pm on the 7th, in a brief clearance, he saw the Calf lights to his “westward”. By this I believe he meant that he found himself on the wrong side of them as the lights were actually obscured from the East, behind the highest point of the Calf. He will have planned to leave the Calf clear to the East heading for the North Channel. I think he had probably over-corrected for the time spent sailing downwind and now found himself up against the unexpected lee-shore of the Calf and Isle of Man.

Without the mizzen, the schooner would not be weatherly enough to sail out of this trap – they were only a cable off the land (one-tenth of a nautical mile or 600 feet) – so dropped both bow anchors. The Skipper said they held with the ship’s one length off the land – just 60 feet or so. With the seas breaking over the schooner from stem to stern they pumped all night in a desperate effort to keep it afloat.

I reckon the schooner was just South of the Burroo when the Calf lights were momentarily spotted (they were obscured anywhere east of SE) and that the schooner luffed up (turning to starboard in a wide arc) and managed to anchor just off Spanish Head. No wonder the waves were breaking over it – anchored off here in an E-SE gale!

Low water was at midnight, so the tide will have been fairly slack while all this was going on. These were very small neap tides. The next HW was 0620 with less than 2 metres range between LW and HW

4th March 1824: The beginnings of the RNLI

Following the sad loss of life during the attempted rescue of the HMS Racehorse at Langness during the winter of 1822 Sir William Hillary gave shape to the idea of a more formal rescue service for those in peril on the sea. In February 1823 his idea had become a document of historic importance and the fore runner of the notion of a National Lifeboat Service. The document was ‘An Appeal to the British Nation on the Humanity and Policy of forming a National Institution for the preservation of Lives and Property from Shipwreck’ and it was sent to the Admiralty.

The months pasted by and nothing was heard. A minute of the Admiralty Digest of that year revealed the official attitude. Someone had written on the original letter “I Have wrung over this and I think what it advocates is worthy at least of consideration and should not be at once negatived….” and also “I should not deem it at all necessary for the Admiralty to take any immediate lead with respect to it.”

Sir William made a second Appeal during November 1823, his perseverance paid off and on 12 February 1824, at the City of London Tavern a preliminary meeting was held under the chair of the liberal M P for Southwark, London, Thomas Wilson into the formation of a national lifeboat institute.

Wilson had convinced Sir William that such an institution stood a greater chance of being formed by a direct appeal for funding to the general public, rather than through the Admiralty. Later, perhaps the Government would be approached when it had been shown that such an institution was invaluable.

At a third meeting on 4th March 1824 at the Tavern in Bishopgate Street, the founders confirmed their patronage’s and tabled resolutions dealing with the formation and future operation of the institution under the chairmanship of the then Archbishop of Canterbury. The association was called “The National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck”; King George IV was the first patron, the then Prime Minister its first president and the Dukes of Sussex, York, Clarence, Cambridge and Gloucester, vice-presidents. Among those who attended the meeting were the Archbishop of York , the bishops of London, Durham, Bath and Wells, William Wilberforce, the campaigner against the slave trade and several parliamentarians.

So, funded by public donations The National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck began. Sir William being resident of the Isle of Man was not elected as chair given the distance he lived from London, but his idea had come to fruition, the National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck would not become the RNLI until the 1850s and continues today, still funded by public donations.

28th December 1852 Brig ‘Lily’ disaster in Calf Sound

The brig Lily had foundered on Kitterland on Monday 27th December 1852 and the wreck had been under police guard ever since.
The strong winds had eased throughout the night and the morning of Tuesday 28th was calm and clear. A team went aboard the vessel and try to salvage as much of the cargo as could be saved. There were 30 men altogether, all from the parish of Rushen, carpenters, shipwrights, fishermen, all went aboard the brig.

At six o’clock on Tuesday morning the men set about getting onboard. There was concern about a smell of smoke coming from the vessel, the vessel was known to be carrying gunpowder.

At five to eight on Tuesday morning the whole of the south of the Isle of Man was shook by a fearful explosion. Houses were shaken as if by an earthquake, even 18 miles away in Douglas. The explosion was heard across the whole of the south of the Isle of Man. The men on the brig Lily had cut a hole in the deck to try and locate the source of the smoke, this intake of air into the hold spread the fire to the gunpowder and the whole ship exploded.

The shattered casing of a watch belonging to one of the men was found three miles away and miners at Ballacorkish were thrown over and their candles went out at the violence of the shock.

The destruction was complete and appalling, the whole vessel was rent into small fragments. Scarcely any remains of the men on board were found. An ear was found five miles away at Scarlet and the shattered casing of a watch, belonging to one of the men who perished, was discovered at Ballacorkish three miles away.

It seems most likely that plunderers had been onboard during the night a carelessly left a lamp burning on board the vessel, which smoldered through the night and caused the explosion when the men cut the deck open.

There was one man survived James Kelly. He awoke on a rock at the Sound, totally deafened by the blast, his clothes blown off him, lying in a pool of blood. His descendants still live in Port St Mary today and I went to school with his great great grandchildren James and Michael Kelly.

The 29 men left twenty-two widows and seventy-two children in the village of Port St Mary. Their memorial is to be found in Rushen Churchyard, there is headstone listing all the names of those who lost their lives in this tragic accident. The is also a stone placed at the Sound remembering the disaster.

27th December 1852 brig Lily ran aground on Kitterland

27th December 1852 brig ‘Lily’ was wrecked on Kitterland. The master and four others were washed away and drowned, the eight remaining crew clinging to the rocks and badly maimed were rescued by a boat belonging to a local farmer.

The Island had been experiencing violent gales from the south west since Christmas eve causing great damage at sea and on land. A ship’s lifeboat bearing the name British Queen came ashore in Castletown on Monday 27th. At about midday on Monday the brig ‘Lily’ ran into difficulties in the Calf Sound. She was a vessel of 160 registered tons, travelling from Liverpool to the African port of Ambrazo with a cargo of cloth bales, cottons, rum, cannon, firearms and more than forty tons of gunpowder. She had been driven back from Cork in a crippled condition and was carried by the tide in to the Sound. The tide can run through the Sound at up to 8 knots, the Lily struck the northern shore of Kitterland.

The master, his son and three of the crew were carried away by the surf and drowned, nine of the crew managed to scramble onto Kitterland, two of them were seriously injured.

During that Monday afternoon the vessel was handed over to the care of Lloyd’s agent at Port St. Mary and he subsequently took possession of her. In order to guard the wreck and to land the stores when weather and tide would permit, the chief constable of Castletown, the constable of Port St Mary and other officers were stationed on the vessel, Kitterland and the main island. It appears that during Monday night some shots were fired to deter people from venturing near after some parties had made attempts at plunder.

Fire on Chicken Rock 23rd December 1960

At about 11am on 23rd December 1960 the lifeboat maroons were fired over Port St Mary to summon a crew to the boat. A call from the coastguard had reported that Chickens Rock Lighthouse was on fire and the three lighthouse keepers needed rescue. It took the lifeboat about 45 minutes to travel the 5 nautical mile distance to the Chickens, the wind from the SW about force 5 made for a rough trip. The tide was rising and the keepers had been forced to take shelter on the bottom deck of the lighthouse, the rock itself was already awash when the lifeboat arrived, making it impossible to effect a landing and get the keepers off.

Port St Mary lifeboat crew attempted rescue using a breeches buoy, they could not fire a light rocket line onto the rock so instructed the keepers to stream a line with a board on it down tide from the rock. The lifeboat crew fired the rocket line to the board, the rocket line was caught and pulled in to the rock, the breeches buoy block and pulley could then be hauled fromt the boat to the rock and made fast.

The lifeboat had to constantly manoeuvre into the tide to keep the lines tight as the first man was hauled toward the boat. It wasn’t long before a large wave broke over him and turned him over which caused the gear foul. With huge effort the crew were able to haul him on board. Coxswain Gawne realised the dangerous predicament with the breeches buoy, as the two remaining keepers were relatively safe inside the doorway he decided no further attempts would be made to transfer them by breeches buoy. Incidentally that was the last time to date that Port St Mary lifeboat have used the breeches buoy in anger.

The keeper was suffering from shock, exposure and some burns, he needed medical attention. Port Erin Lifeboat was launched to stand-by the rock while Port St Mary Lifeboat transferred the keeper to an ambulance at Port Erin, she then returned to the Chickens. Both lifeboats stood by until 6.45pm when the tide had dropped enough for Port St Mary Lifeboat the ‘Colby Cubbin’ to get their bow into the Chickens Rock and pick up the two keepers, who were, by now also suffering from exposure and some mild burns. The boat was back in Port St Mary at 7.10pm.

The crew of Port St Mary Lifeboat the Colby Cubbin that day were J. Gawne cox, N. Quillin mechanic, J. Hudson, W. Cubbon, H. Halsall, W. Clugston, R. Hudson, B. Johnstone and W. Kneen.

The Chickens Rock Lighthouse was not manned again after this incident, the light was fully automated by 1962.

Back to work

And so it began, we went to open the shop as usual and Breeshey and Baggie are there, next thing Jon, Baggie and me are off in the jeep, taking the cover off the RIB, putting the new engine on the Pig and then launching them both. Onto the beach and I’m in the back of the jeep, here we go, backwards into the sea. I’ll stay in here, the water is nearly up to the door, there is no way I’m getting out, I’ll get wet. This is it,the season has started, there will be lots of people waiting at the shop when I get back!

Jon pulls up and lets me out, the excitment is too much, I’m running toward the shop, can’t control my tail, who will be here? Seven children all together, three instructors and Jon. Numbers duly noted in case I need to round them up. And there is Nell, Jon’s niece, I know her, ah, I’ll give her a cuddle. There’s Georgie and Duilleann I’ve met them before and five new friends for me to make. All dressed ready to go, I’ll count them out as they go to the beach. And they’re gone, I’m still here. At least now it’s warmer and the door is open I can lie outside and watch the other dogs go in and out of the dog doctors across the road.

They are back, all ready for lunch. Great they are eating in the classroom, a chance for me to hoover the bits that fall. Hmmmm, a ham sandwich corner, wow, I never get meat from Jon and Jen, they don’t seem to eat meat…. I can’t work it out??

A sunny afternoon and back on the water. Jen picks up my lifejacket, I know what this means, I’m going too! Oh no, there goes my tail again, no control, wagging away and making the rest of me waggle with it….. Lifejacket, concentrate, lifejacket, sit still, just for long enough. First over my head, next under my tummy one strap, two straps, that’s it, argh, tail’s going again. Come on, come on, let’s go. Across the beach, running, running, running to the harbour. The boats are down a ladder, no way for a dog to get down. No problem, Jen get’s the boat, she knows the drill, I’ll meet her at the steps where she can pick me up and gently push the bow of the boat out as I jump in. We are good at this, I can proudly say I have never missed the boat (I might have missed the slipway once though, what a horrible, embarassing wet moment that was!).

And off to sea we go. And this is great I’m up on the bow, wind blowing through my fur, ears flapping away. Summer is here. We go to the beach and I count all the boats as they leave the beach, I have seven to worry about plus one RIB and us in the Pig. The afternoon is calm and fairly uneventful, plenty of time to snooze in the sunshine, curled up in a space which clearly had me in mind when they designed this boat, my own fore-cabin.

Oo, we’re moving kinda quick, I’d best wake up and see what’s the rush. Oh dear, someone seems a wee bit upset, ah, a gust caught him and he got worried. Stand back everyone, this is my job. I look at Jen, she is looking back at me with that ‘you know what you have to do’ look about her. She taps the boat with my new friend it. I jump into the boat. I sit down and look at my friend with all the comfort and softness I can find and my friend is no longer frightened, he has a dog in is boat, this makes him happy and brave and he carries on sailing. My job done and I’m back to some serious relaxing in my bunk.

Home we go now, I’m helping Baggie and Jon put the boats away…. until they get the hose pipe out, I’d forgotten about this bit. Run away, run away, please put me back in the jeep, I don’t like this. Phew, that bit’s over, covers on, back to the shop we go. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven sailors have said goodbye everyone is happy. I hope for more of this tomorrow and every day.

My latest (and almost secret) adventure!

Well there we all were on Wednesday evening Jon & Jenni had had taken me to see my little friend Tash round at Rebecca’s house, when they went out and left us!!!

Me, Tash & Cobweb the cat hadn’t been left on our own here before and it was lovely there, the fire was roaring and we were all cosy and warm.  Then the front door opened – all on it’s own!!  And we sat and looked at the night outside…….. and I started to wonder where Jon & Jenni had gone, they don’t often leave me at least not for long anyway, maybe they had forgotten me?

Tash could see what I was thinking……”don’t go out there” she said “we’ll be in trouble”.  “But they’ve left me” I explained “they don’t normally leave me and they’ve been gone a long time!”  “We can’t go out there” said Tash again.  Cobweb didn’t seem to mind if I went, funny things cats, I just can’t work them out.  “No, Jon & Jenni have left me too long now, I’m going to make sure they’re alright, I should be with them”.  Well Tash refused to move “I’m too small and it’s too cold and I’m not allowed out there without a person, I’m staying here by the fire”.  “Women! Such wimps” I thought to myself as I slipped out the door.

And it was great! Just me and the dark night, the wind was blowing all about my fur as I began my search for Jon & Jenni.  I kept “off the road” as I’d been told sooooo many times when I’ve been out with Jon & Jen, I looked out for cars whenever I came to road I had to cross and I looked and looked everywhere for signs of my friends.  I made my way to the flat, maybe they’d gone home without me?  Maybe Smeg would be home and he would let me in?  But the flat was dark, I scratched on the door but no-one came.  Where could they be on this cold night?

I started along the route me & Jen walk when we go to the shop.  I love this walk, I get to tease the sheep all stuck in their fields, following each other round with no real idea of why they are here! Silly sheep.  I remember the days I used to chase em round (when I was allowed to).  I trotted along the back road, teasing the sheep & not teasing the big scarey cows!  I got to Port Erin and headed down the hill toward the shop, “they MUST be here” I thought to myself.  I rounded the corner and cut across the path to Martin’s house and there was the shop.  “Oh NO!” There were no lights on, the doors were shut, no car, no sign of them, nothing…… “Oh dear, what has happened? Where could they be? Now I’m all alone, cold, lonely and quite possibly lost?”  I didn’t know what to do.  I wasn’t sure if I could get back to Tash’s from here, I wasn’t sure of anything and I didn’t know where else to look for Jon & Jenni.  So I sat & I waited and waited and waited.  “Silly me, maybe I should have listened to the little dog, should have stayed by the fire with my little friend, now here I am, cold, lonely and a bit frightened. What if they don’t come here until tomorrow, what if I am out here all night??????”

Not knowing what else to do I waited.  I had been waiting ages and I was very cold, even with my warm winter coat on.  Then I heard it! Yep I heard it, the thump thump thump of the diesel engine…..the headlights, the Frontera, Jon, Jenni – Whoopeee they came for me!  I was so happy, I put my tail right up in the air & gave a big smile…….

Until I got shouted at…….. I didn’t know, I didn’t understand that they would be worried & I would be in trouble – although the little dog has said so.  “Women! Why are they always right!?”  Still, they weren’t cross with me for long, they were relieved to see me, just as I was pleased to see them…….

And so we set off, back to the nice warm fire at Tash’s house, lots of fuss and eventually a nice warm bed!  I don’t think I’ll be running out and about on my own again, especially not in the winter.  I must learn to stay by the fire…………

Jon & Jen, I’m really sorry for worrying and upsetting you – I’ll try not to do it again.  Please forgive me, I only wanted to be with you.  Woof!

Today I’m in trouble……

I couldn’t help it, I went for a little wander while no-one was looking, but they saw me coming back. So that was it, a smack round legs for me and a big telling off.  If only they hadn’t seen me sneaking back……

It’s not my fault really, but I’m getting a little bored.  The summer was great, there was loads of activity, loads of people and I got to spend all my days blasting about in rescue boats, or lazing in the sun on the sail boats.  I must say I’m happy that I don’t have to go kayaking any more, that was a bit too wobbly for me!  But now there’s nothing really going on for me.  I get to sit at the shop door and watch the world go by, including all the pretty girl dogs going in and out of the vets across the road.  It’s just not fair, I only wanted a bit of doggy company and some excitement……..

I guess next summer is a long way off.  Maybe I should look for a girlfriend to keep me company over the winter?

Living with Jon, Smeg & Jen is great but I doooooo miss my friends from the farm. Even if they did pick on me and even though I wasn’t allowed to play with them often, they said they had to work & I was no good at working.  Work? What’s that all about? All I wanted to do was play.  But now I just sit…… sit and watch the world go by.

Roll on summer, I need some entertainment…….. people or doggy visitors always welcome at any time………

Regatta? Woof?


Good Sniffings upon you, my salty sea-friends.

I be currently biding my time down here in Port Erin, where my fleet is moored while we wait for news from my fellow sea-dogs, but I also be lookin for crew – I need strong willed fellows and lasses to try out my fleet. I don’t want my boats getting shy of the water, they have to be kept on their toes y’see. Can’t be havin em get afraid o’ it can we.

So, if yas think you could help me out on this, there’s a lass in the shop down here who’ll show ya the ropes for the passing of a few good pieces of the ole silver.
I be hearing too that today is Regatta Day in Port Erin, so there’s lots of folk on the beach today, all playing and having a grand old time, al be having to go out there for a skeet soon, but for now I’m just going to be watching the shop, make sure my Skipper doesn’t run off again like she did last night. I don’t want to be loosing a fine crew member to another boat.

Anyway M’ Hartys, I’m off for a tankard of my best grog (though to let yas into a secret – I’m more convinced that The Skipper filled it with water last time I asked her to get some from the holds)

Happy Woof!

Cap’n BlackJack