I am an old, middle class man from middle England. I have been a sailor since I was 8 years old yet I have never been right around the island I have lived on all my life.
I decided to make a start before I got too old to tolerate a small boat. I am not a rich man, so I can’t afford to do the trip all in one go – I am doing it in stages between my real job as a cameraman and video journalist.
The boat had to be cheap and tough – so I bought a 19 foot Mirror Offshore. She is nearly 50 years old and was designed by Van De Stadt for a competition being run by the Daily Mirror newspaper where the brief was to create a “yacht for the working man”. I have always been a working man – and as a jobbing hack then I consider myself to be a working man too.
This was at a time when Harold Wilson was promising energy would be too cheap to measure and that the main problem facing Britain’s labour force would be an excess of leisure time – what happened?
The Mirror Offshore has a separate heads, an inboard Volvo diesel with a flywheel that would do justice to a tractor, a triple keel so she sits upright on the mud and a 17 foot mast which is short enough for me to raise and lower myself. She was built of fibreglass at a time before they had managed to cut so many corners that they invented osmosis. She draws just over a welly – so I can usually get by without using the $40 ebay inflatable that I keep in the stern locker.
I used to race Eboats and Sonatas so I know how well a small yacht should sail. The Mirror sails like a pig.
After 5 years the Beast (Volvo MD1) went bonkers so I sold the Mirror and Bought a Hunter Minstrel
with an outboard in a well, . I sailed her up to Scotland and realised that I would need a bigger boat for Shetland so I acquired a Westerly Centaur on a partial loan.
She got us safely around Shetland and Orkney and is now for sale in Gralsgow.
So click on some one of the seasons to see some of the wonderful rivers, estuaries, boats and birds I have encountered along the way. If you have the bandwidth or the patience for a big download click on a HD video and join me on my journey around our 20,000 mile coastline – it will be a long relationship. We can grow grey together.
All the films are available for free viewing at good quality – as good as your bandwidth and computer will allow. Please feel free to watch the films at high definition – the bandwidth costs me nothing.
If you have a decent monitor or TV then you really should try downloading the films.
I have watched the films from a memory stick shoved into my neighbours HD TV and they look really good.
now for the dull stuff – the law says this has to be here
(2) What information do we collect?
We may collect, store and use the following kinds of personal information:
[(a) information about your computer and about your visits to and use of this website (including [your IP address, geographical location, browser type and version, operating system, referral source, length of visit, page views, website navigation and [details]]);]
[(b) information relating to any transactions carried out between you and us on or in relation to this website, including information relating to any purchases you make of our goods or services (including [details]);]
[(c) information that you provide to us for the purpose of registering with us (including [details]);]
[(d) information that you provide to us for the purpose of subscribing to our website services, email notifications and/or newsletters (including [details]);]
[(e) any other information that you choose to send to us; and]
A cookie consists of information sent by a web server to a web browser, and stored by the browser. The information is then sent back to the server each time the browser requests a page from the server. This enables the web server to identify and track the web browser.
We [may] use [both] [“session” cookies] [and “persistent” cookies] on the website. [We will use the session cookies to: keep track of you whilst you navigate the website; and [other uses].] [We will use the persistent cookies to: enable our website to recognise you when you visit; and [other uses].]
[Session cookies will be deleted from your computer when you close your browser.] [Persistent cookies will remain stored on your computer until deleted, or until they reach a specified expiry date.]
[Our [advertisers/payment services providers] may also send you cookies.]
[We publish Google Adsense interest-based advertisements on our website. These are tailored by Google to reflect your interests. To determine your interests, Google will track your behaviour across the web using cookies. You can view, delete or add interest categories associated with your browser using Google’s Ads Preference Manager, available at: http://www.google.com/ads/preferences/. You can opt-out of the Adsense partner network cookie at: http://www.google.com/privacy_ads.html. However, this opt-out mechanism uses a cookie, and if you clear the cookies from your browser your opt-out will not be maintained. To ensure that an opt-out is maintained in respect of a particular browser, you should use the Google browser plug-in available at: http://www.google.com/ads/preferences/plugin.]
Most browsers allow you to reject all cookies, whilst some browsers allow you to reject just third party cookies. For example, in Internet Explorer you can refuse all cookies by clicking “Tools”, “Internet Options”, “Privacy”, and selecting “Block all cookies” using the sliding selector. Blocking all cookies will, however, have a negative impact upon the usability of many websites[, including this one].]
(4) Using your personal information
We may use your personal information to:
[(a) administer the website;]
[(b) improve your browsing experience by personalising the website;]
[(c) enable your use of the services available on the website;]
[(d) send to you goods purchased via the website, and supply to you services purchased via the website;]
[(e) send statements and invoices to you, and collect payments from you;]
[(f) send you general (non-marketing) commercial communications;]
[(g) send you email notifications which you have specifically requested;]
[(h) send to you [our newsletter and other] marketing communications relating to our business [or the businesses of carefully-selected third parties] which we think may be of interest to you by post or, where you have specifically agreed to this, by email or similar technology (you can inform us at any time if you no longer require marketing communications);]
[(i) provide third parties with statistical information about our users – but this information will not be used to identify any individual user;]
[(j) deal with enquiries and complaints made by or about you relating to the website; and]
[(k) other uses.]
[Where you submit personal information for publication on our website, we will publish and otherwise use that information in accordance with the license you grant to us.]
[We will not without your express consent provide your personal information to any third parties for the purpose of direct marketing.]
In addition, we may disclose your personal information:
(a) to the extent that we are required to do so by law;
(b) in connection with any legal proceedings or prospective legal proceedings;
(c) in order to establish, exercise or defend our legal rights (including providing information to others for the purposes of fraud prevention and reducing credit risk);
[(d) to the purchaser (or prospective purchaser) of any business or asset which we are (or are contemplating) selling; and]
[(e) to any person who we reasonably believe may apply to a court or other competent authority for disclosure of that personal information where, in our reasonable opinion, such court or authority would be reasonably likely to order disclosure of that personal information.]
[(6) International data transfers
Information which you provide may be transferred to countries [(including [the United States], [Japan], [other countries])] which do not have data protection laws equivalent to those in force in the European Economic Area.
[In addition, [personal information that you submit for publication on the website] will be published on the internet and may be available, via the internet, around the world. We cannot prevent the use or misuse of such information by others.]
You expressly agree to such transfers of personal information.]
(7) Security of your personal information
We will take reasonable technical and organisational precautions to prevent the loss, misuse or alteration of your personal information.
[We will store all the personal information you provide on our secure (password- and firewall- protected) servers. All electronic transactions you make to or receive from us will be encrypted [using SSL technology].] 
Of course, data transmission over the internet is inherently insecure, and we cannot guarantee the security of data sent over the internet.
[You are responsible for keeping your password and user details confidential. We will not ask you for your password (except when you log in to the website).]
(8) Policy amendments
(9) Your rights
You may instruct us to provide you with any personal information we hold about you. Provision of such information will be subject to:
(a) the payment of a fee (currently fixed at £10.00); and
(b) the supply of appropriate evidence of your identity [(for this purpose, we will usually accept a photocopy of your passport certified by a solicitor or bank plus an original copy of a utility bill showing your current address)].
We may withhold such personal information to the extent permitted by law.
You may instruct us not to process your personal information for marketing purposes by email at any time. In practice, you will usually either expressly agree in advance to our use of your personal information for marketing purposes, or we will provide you with an opportunity to opt-out of the use of your personal information for marketing purposes.
(10) Third party websites
The website contains links to other websites. We are not responsible for the privacy policies or practices of third party websites.
(11) Updating information
Please let us know if the personal information which we hold about you needs to be corrected or updated.
(13) Data controller
The data controller responsible in respect of the information collected on this website is me