Cornwall for Christmas

An account of journey from King’s Lynn to Cornwall for the festive period.

INTRODUCTION

After a very quiet day yesterday, following a day of travelling the day before I am settled at my parents place in Cornwall, where I shall be spending Christmas and the New Year. This post details the journey down, before ending with some photographs.

KINGS LYNN TO CORNWALL

On Friday night it was the sensory friendly Panto performance at the Corn Exchange, King’s Lynn, which was excellent fun. On Saturday morning, with my packing accomplished I got the 9:20AM bus from just opposite my bungalow to the town centre (my baggage was heavy, so walking would have been very tough), arriving in good time to board the 10:13 train to London. Almost precisely two hours later I arrived at King’s Cross, with 45 minutes to get from there to my pre-booked seat from Paddington to Plymouth. The Hammersmith & City line (the district/circle line station is Paddington in name only) played ball for once, and I was at Paddington in good time. There was a warning that all was not necessarily well on the GWR when the platform information for my train did not come up on the departures screen until 10 minutes before it was due to leave. Ensconced in my seat I poured a cup of coffee from my cheapo travelling flask (it proved up the job) and waited for departure…and waited some more, until an announcement came through that our driver had been delayed on an inbound service and that we would be at least 20 minutes late getting underway. At this point I phoned my mother because even with no further delays that was likely to prove enough to prevent me making my connection at Plymouth for an onward journey to St Germans. I therefore arranged to be collected from Plymouth instead. In the event, it was fully 40 minutes after our scheduled departure time that the train finally got moving. We lost no further time on the journey, although the last section between Totnes and Plymouth felt like it was taking a long time. It would have been about eight and a half hours after I had left my bungalow in North Lynn that I finally got to my parents place.

CORNWALL

A combination of tiredness from the previous day’s travelling and some fierce Cornish weather ruled out doing anything much yesterday. However today we will be going to Looe. In the bad old days of rotten boroughs the two villages of East Looe and West Looe were both recognized as parliamentary constituencies, and each returned two MPs. These days it is well known as a seaside resort.

PHOTOGRAPHS

My usual sign off…

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A present from Karan – a London Undeground themed storage box.

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Now Assembled (three pictures)

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Pictures from the James & Sons christmas lunch – which took place at a Thai restaurant near HQ in Fakenham.

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Christmas lights in King’s Lynn

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Waiting for the panto to start (three pics)

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A display at Paddington.
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Shots from the living room at Fort Picklecombe, showing some fairly dramatic weather.

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Waves crashing around the lighthouse.

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Sailing in these conditions is either very brave or very foolish.

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Heritage Open Day 2018 1: Setting the Scene

Starting my account of Heritage Open Day 2018.

INTRODUCTION

This year’s Heritage Open Day (Sunday 16th September) came in the middle of a very busy period for me. I was scheduled to cover the Bank House for two hours, and imagined spending a bit of time both before and after that taking in the rest of the event. As it happened I was laid up for the whole of the Saturday with a bug, and still not completely recovered by the Sunday morning. 

THE DAY ITSELF

Eventually, at just after 10:30AM, I set off to visit Hampton Court, reassure my aunt that I was well on the way to recovering and then make a fairly leisurely trip round to the Bank House. I took in an arts exhibition and made myself known to the photographers there. I also visited a solicitor’s office which is set in a Norman house. I arrived at the Bank House a bit early, and after reminding myself what the cellars looked like I spent a few minutes watching my predecessor handle things before I relieved him a little early because he was doing another session immediately afterwards. After two hours of what was basically a crowd control job (right in the slot for an autistic person – natch) I was quite tired, so after a brief visit to a club on Ferry Lane where I could consume some lqiuid refreshment while looking out over the river I went home to chill for a while before having supper with my aunt. 

PHOTOGRAPHS

I will be giving the solicitor’s office a post to itself, and will also be giving the Bank House extended coverage, so this pictures are from elsewhere:

SMP1SMP2Town Hall

Special Bus
This is an old red bus, made by Leyland who manufactured the iconic old London buses, but it is not a genuine London bus.
HC Plans
The passgeway leading in to the Secret Garden featured a historical display put together by the indefatigable Hendrina Ellis.

Wall mounted displayAmflesWilliam AmflesAtte Lathe to AmflesShip PicsAtte Lathe Picture

The secret garden
The series of arches at the rear of this shot were a warehouse frontage which in those days looked directly out on the river (now almost 100m distant from them)

Arches close upPlansWilliam Amfles IIFamiliesShipsPorttraitSecret GardenArchesbuilding plansEntrance to secret garden

rowing race
A rowing regatta was happening on the river.

leading row boatchasing row boat

Militia unit, Custom House
A militia company were stationed near the Custom House (the rifles were loaded with blanks btw)

militia menEntrance to CH

Art Exhibition 1
The first of a number of pictures from the art exhibition.

WNAA

Modern day mosaics
Creatures made using tessarae
Butterfly set in mosaic frame
This butterfly set into a mosaic frame particularly impressed me.

Nature based artObjects of inspiration

TMP
A glimpse of the Tuesday Market Place
Guildhall of St George
The Guildhall of St George

Guarding Custom House

Walking boat
A walking boat – and no this is not the West Stand at Headingley on a Saturday!
Kings Lynn views
Two riverside views on display at Ferry Lane.

river viewSwimming gullboatsBaden Powell in action

Travelling by Lynx Bus 1 Week In

Thoughts onthe new bus service between King’s Lynn and Fakenham one week in.

INTRODUCTION

I have now done one work week using the new Lynx Bus 49 for the journeys, the withdrawal of Stagecoach from King’s Lynn now being an accomplished fact (apart from the 505 to Spalding, most of which route is in Lincolnshire). This post covers my week at work as well as detailing my thoughts about the new services.

TUESDAY

Setting off from my flat at 6:45AM I was at the bus station in good time for the bus that I needed to catch at 7:00. The bus arrived and departed in good time, and arrived in Fakenham at 7:49, as indicated by the timetable (unlike the unlamented Stagecoach their schedules include some slack, so that a traffic jam does not always mean running behind schedule). As it was warm enough that my workplace would definitely be bearable, and I had a lot of imaging to do and little time in which to do it I decided to go straight there and get stuck in early. I commenced proceedings by finishing off the badges on boards as images of these were needed for the catalogue, and then got to work on the cigarette cards, and managed to image the first 50 lots of those as well, before closing time, and my departure for the library, to do stuff there until I could catch the bus home (the service is very infrequent at present). I have already shown some images from this day’s work in a previous postThe bus back duly arrived and set off exactly as it should (a double decker for the evening run btw), and there were no significant delays en route. 

THURSDAY

Again no issue with the journey out. Tony’s Deli stall was still being set up when I headed to work, so I got ready to start the day, and then popped back out to make my purchases there, before returning to get stuck into work. I did the loose badges (imaging them in batches of six to save time) for the first of the two days of badge sales, before once again focussing my attention of the cigarette cards, the last lot of the day being lot 166. Another visit to Fakenham library to fill in time at the end of the day, and once again home on a  bus that ran to time.

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88
Lot 88, uncut cigarette cards – very unusual (until we got this consignment our expert on such cards, with nearly half a century of experience had not seen any.

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100
Lot 100, famous cathedrals
100-a
Close-ups of the two local examples (even if you cavil at Ely being described as local to a Norfolk auctioneer, the octagonal tower was designed a mid-14th century prior named Alan of Norwich).

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133
Lot 133, famous castles
133-a
A close up shot of two among the castles that I have visited.
134
Lot 134 – famous cathedrals

134-a166

FRIDAY

After another uneventful journey in I imaged some militaria for the first day of that sale, reverted to cigarette cards until I had imaged the last album to have been numbered up (ending at lot 294), at which point I started imaging badges on boards for the second day of that sale. 

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837
These backpacks (three items, there are two images of this one and one of each of the other two) are quite heavy even when empty, but that metal framework probably gives them gfreat stability.

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A close up of the local building.

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Both local and arguably the most iconic of all the buildings in this set.

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279
Lot 279 – the cigarette card equivalent of a 50-piece jigsaw.

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It was warm and sunny when I locked up at work, and also of course a Friday, so I headed for The Limes and some liquid refreshment taken in the outside seating area. I had entertained hopes of finding a locally brewed craft ale, but given the actual options settled for Hobgoblin (still a very decent drink). The bus back was significantly late, but the still left Lynx with a score of 5 out of 6 for punctuality on the week – something that Stagecoach had not approached in a very long time.

THE LYNX BUS 49

The buses themselves are clean and comfortable, the drivers are friendly, such services as there are by and large run punctually. The trouble is that there are so few services on the new route. I might, particularly in winter, see if I can use my tickets on the route via Wells, which ultimately gets to King’s Lynn by way of Hunstanton. The prime disadvantage of this route is its length (doing the journey by that route would take about two hours on the bus. However, Lynx have stepped up to the plate in difficult circumstances, and their service standards are much better than Stagecoach. The cost of tickets is greater than on Stagecoach as well. I believe there remains a possibility of the 48 route, which currently terminates at Pott Row being extended to join the A148 and then on to Fakenham. 

Blue Tit and Butterfly

A blue tit and a butterfly from yesterday.

INTRODUCTION

Yesterday was a Musical Keys day, and on the way there I got a few photographs which I think warrant a post of their own, before I move on to the main meat of today’s blogging.

THE BLUE TIT

This was a picture I took more in hope than expectation, since small birds nearly always fly out fo shot before the camera has picked them up, but on this occasion fortune smiled…

Blue tit
blue tit in tree branches, on the path than runs betwee the King Edward the Seventh Academy and The King’s Lynn Academy.
Blue Tit - close up
The blue tit, extracted from the foregoing picture.

Blue tit - bird book

THE BUTTERFLY

As I approached the Scout Hut where Musical Keys sessions take place, walking along the bank of the Gaywood River I spotted a Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly. I investigated further and finished with six splendid pictures.

Tortoiseshell ButterflyTortoiseshell Butterfly IITortoiseshell Butterfly IIITortoiseshell Butterfly IVTortoiseshell Butterfly VTortoiseshell Butterfly VI

Different Bird Species – Same Pose

Two birds of different species exhibiting similar behaviour (which I have previously only ever observed in cormorants).

INTRODUCTION

This is whimsical little post inspired by an odd coincidence I observed while out walking yesterday.

DIFFERENT BIRDS, SIMILAR POSES

While I was out walking yesterday afternoon I saw a Muscovy duck in the stretch of the Gaywood River that is currently serving as home to a small colony of these unusual visitors to our shores posing in the fashion that cormorants sometimes so (for an amusing take on this see Anna’s recent cormorant drawing). Here is a composite picture featuring both posing birds:

juxtaposition

Ashes Composite XI

My composite Ashes XI with reasoning and justification. Also some photographs.

INTRODUCTION

A common feature of final days of series is the selection of a composite XI based on performances in said series. This is my effort for the current Ashes series. I am going to name my team in batting order first and then explain/amplify/justify these selections.

THE TEAM

My team in batting order (England player names in dark blue, Aus in green):

  1. Alastair Cook
  2. David Warner
  3. Dawid Malan
  4. Steven Smith (Captain)
  5. Shaun Marsh
  6. Jonny Bairstow (Wicketkeeper)
  7. Mitchell Marsh
  8. Mitchell Starc
  9. Pat Cummins
  10. Nathan Lyon
  11. Jimmy Anderson

MY REASONING

The openers need no justification – the only major contribution from an opener not named Warner in the series was Cook’s monumental innings at the MCG. Number three is a thorny one. James Vince has demonstrated clearly that he does not belong there, and his huge score here at the SCG notwithstanding I remain skeptical about Usman Khawaja, hence my decision to promote England’s leading run scorer in the series to a position he occupies for his county. Number four, and with it the captaincy was the easiest selection of the whole lot. Shaun Marsh has not put a foot wrong since being called up to replace the inadequate Handscomb at number 5, and I regarded him as a must pick. Jonny Bairstow and Tim Paine have both had good series with the gloves, but I have opted for Bairstow as definitely the superior batsman. Mitchell Marsh has had a magnificent series, and was an absolute shoe-in at number 7, especially as Moeen Ali has had a terrible series – he has batted poorly in every match and his bowling average reads like a Bradman batting average. Of the specialist bowlers I have picked those at number 8,9 and 10 in the batting order are absolute stand outs. Number 11 was tricky, since Anderson with virtually no support has had a good series, and the better supported Hazlewood as also had a fine series. Accepting that even were it possible vivisection is not permissible (though ‘Anderwood’ is only one letter removed from a former test great!) I have opted for Anderson as I rate his the greater achievement. 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Looking at the makeup of the team (and accepting that Hazlewood for Anderson and Khawaja for Malan would both be valid changes), Australian picks predominate in both batting and bowling, though it is especially the bowling, which in my team comes out at 4-1 (including all-rounder Mitchell Marsh) to Australia and is reality more like 4.3-0.7 (rating my selection of Anderson over Hazlewood as a 70:30 pick) which has split the sides. England have collected barely more than half of the 100 wickets that were available to them at the start of the series, whereas Australia assuming that they take the six England wickets that remain in this match will have managed 90, failing to take 20 opposition wickets only on the MCG pitch. 

PHOTOGRAPHS

I always like to include a few photographs in my blog posts, so I end with these recently taken pictures:

FW
The first five pictures were taken while walking to the Scout Hut on Beulah Street for Musical Keys yesterday.

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PW1
These last four pictures were taken in Fakenham on Thursday.

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NAS West Norfolk at the Panto And A Petition

An account of the autism friendly panto night at the Corn Exchange and a petition on behalf of small cetaceans.

INTRODUCTION

Originally I was only going to post about the Panto, but I felt that the petition that forms the second half of this post deserved extra publicity, so this is very much a two part post.

NAS WEST NORFOLK 

Those of you who have been following this blog a for a while will recall that last year NAS West Norfolk had block booked seats for the autism friendly showing of Cinderella. We repeated the trick this year for Jack and the BeanstalkWe booked 120 seats for our group, and only a handful went unused. As with last year’s Panto the venue was the magnificent King’s Lynn Corn Exchange:

 

CEII
This was taken after the performance on Wednesday night, as I headed home.

The performance was excellent – hugely entertaining. One of the youngsters attending as part of our block booking got so into the performance that he did some impromptu dancing of his own!

The villain of Jack and the Beanstalk is of course the giant, but as any fule kno it is the little weed who tags along with the bully urging them to throw another punch who is most hated of all, so the pantomime villain of Jack and the Beanstalk is the giant’s henchman. The actor playing that role was a most satisfactory villain, his every appearance attracting a veritable storm of boos.

I am delighted to report that all of the feedback about that evening has been positive. Here are some pictures from inside the auditorium (not from the performance of course – there are limits!).

PantoJ&B

Plant stand
This stand played a major role in the performance – Simple Simon placed a pot of flowers on top of it at the start, and every time anyone else went near it a warning shout of “Simon” went up from the audience.
The roof
A look up at the roof

Road signVillage sign

Packed house
A view over the crowd.
Decor
Decoration around the balcony area -these two shots were taken during the interval.

Decor 2

THE PETITION

This has been put together by the Dolphin Project and calls for Broome to end its sister relatuionship with Taiji over the hunting of dolphins.  I urge you to follow the links I have provided, and sign and share the petition. Below is the picture and opening few paragraphs of accompanying text:

Pilot Whales, Taiji, Japan, Nov 2015

In 2009, Ric O’Barry visited Broome in Australia to lobby the council to suspend its sister relationship with Taiji, Japan over the dolphin drives hunts. Following a special screening of the film, ‘The Cove’, the Broome Shire Council agreed. Just two months later, the council reversed its decision. Choosing to capitulate to its large, local, Japanese community, Broome retracted its pledge and issued a full apology to Taiji town.

Once again, the Dolphin Project is urging Broome to stop condoning the slaughter and to take a stance against this cruel and unnecessary assault on wildlife.

In 13 years (2000-2013), a total of 19,092 small cetaceans were victims of the dolphin drives in Taiji, Japan. This included 17,686 slaughtered dolphins and 1,406 live-captures. Last season alone, 902 dolphins were driven into the cove. More than two-thirds were slaughtered and 117 were earmarked for the captive display industry — [Source: Ceta-Base.org].

This brought back memories for me of my first visit to Australia, a long time ago, and before I developed an interest in photography. Broome was one of the places we visited and stayed a few days. I did not actually see any dolphins there, but had done a few days earlier at Monkey Mia (this is near Hamelin Pool, where on can – and I did – see living stromatolites).

I end this post with: C’mon Broome – you can do better than this!

Can You Identify These Birds?

Can you identify these large water birds that I saw near Kettlewell Lane, King’s Lynn, today?

INTRODUCTION

I was out walking this afternoon, and one of the places I walked was a section of river that runs parallel to Kettlewell Lane in King’s Lynn. It was there that I saw some birds I have never seen before…

BIG NEW AVIAN FIND

These are large birds, similar in size and build to a goose, but with colouring unlike any goose I have ever seen, and not matching any of the goose species listed in my bird book. They were probably about half as big again in each direction as the mallards that I also saw (and due to being overfed King’s Lynn mallards are bigger than average mallards!). I have lots of photos for you…

Geese 1Geese 2Piebald birdWhite birdMixed plumagesVariegated birdsMixed birdsSplendid birdshiny birdMainly white birdMainly white bird IIBlack bodied birdPink billed birdBrown birdDark birdMainly Brown BirdSwimming Bird ISwimming Bird IISwimming Bird IIITwo birdstwinsFront ongrey and blackDouble actHeadBeakFront on shot

Based on the size of the birds and all the features that my camera managed to pick up can you identify them? If you can please let me know by commenting.

Birds

A bird post provoked in part by the Angling Trust seeking permission to double the rate at which they cull cormorants.

INTRODUCTION

This post has two elements: first, I saw on twitter something about the Angling Trust calling for cormorants to be shot “to protect stocks of coarse and game fish”, and following the link located the details which you can see here, and second while out looking for cormorants to photograph for this post I saw something else that I had not previously captured.

CORMORANTS

I would take a lot persuading that increasing the number of cormorants licensed to be shot copuld be justified in any case, but the grounds given, which amount to a statement that “our sport counts for more than cormorants” fail to come even remotely close. There is a cormorant colony within walking distance of central King’s Lynn, and although they were not about in big numbers when I went looking, there were four of them in evidence. Here are the pictures:

Posing Cormoranttwo cormorantsCormorant sandwichFour cormorantssingle cormorant close up

AN ASPI.BLOG FIRST

While observing the cormorants I also a got a couple of pictures of this:

LapwingLapwing 2

Going through my bird book I could find only two birds with black wings and a white bar across their tail. The first, the Storm Petrel was an unlikely option given how far King’s Lynn is from the nearest ocean (it is an ocean going bird). That left me with the second, the Lapwing, a medium sized wader that likes marshy or muddy conditions (not a problem in the vicinity of the Great Ouse!). Here to conclude this post is what my bird book has to say about Lapwings:

Lapwing - book

Kernow!

Setting the scene for my Cornish holiday.

INTRODUCTION

To explain the title of this post, Kernow is the Cornish name for Cornwall, and that is where I am at the moment, staying for a few days in my parents new home. Here is a map to start things off:

Kernow map

My parents new place is near Kingsand, towards the bottom centre of the map. 

In this post I will tell you about the stage I left the November auction in, describe my journey down from King’s Lynn and finish with a few pictures from the new house.

JAMES & SONS NOVEMBER CATALOGUE

I had booked Thursday and Friday as leave, and in order to be as up to date as possible before going on leave I agreed to work Monday as well as Tuesday. By the end of Tuesday the imaging was as complete as possible, and I had given my colleague Andrew a start towards the printed catalogue, with a front cover image selected and placed appropriately on the page and the back cover completed. I offer links to the files and also screenshots:

CatalogueCatalogue – coin book versionBC screenshotFC screenshotFC Screenshot 2

Why two versions of the front cover? Well my employer did not like my initial choice of front cover image, requesting the coin book in its place, and being me I kept both versions.

KING’S LYNN TO CORNWALL

The first part of my journey was on the 9:54 train from King’s Lynn to London, which mirabile dictu ran to time. As far as Cambridge I had the company of Jo Rust, Labour candidate at the last two general elections in my constituency. Ely Cathedral was, as often, a target for my photographic attentions:

Ely Cathedral 2Ely Cathedral

On arrival at King’s Cross I headed down to the Circle/ Hammersmith & City/ Metropolitan lines to get a train across to Paddington. The first train was heading for Uxbridge, therefore not one for me to take, but the second was bound for Hammersmith, and hence going by way of the right Paddington, the one that is structurally part of the mainline station, as opposed to the Circle/ District line station that should revert to it’s original name of Praed Street. 

Giant Roundel, Kings CrossVic, Met, H&C, CN&PAll KC linesLU mapWestbound, KCPlatform roundel, KCUxbridge departureDistrict lineMapsH&CPaddington

Paddington H&C
Looking across Paddington from the H&C platforms (these are platforms 15 and 16 of the main station).

Paddington all lines

Having a had a decent but not stellar connection at King’s Cross I arrived at Paddington with just under an hour to go before my train for the long-haul section of the journey was due to depart. Although careful to stay close to the information screens that I would not miss the platform number for my train when it came up I did get some photos while I waited for this information.

Paddington InfoSnack Van, PaddingtonPlansStation plan, paddingtonPaddington arched roof 1Paddington, Heathrow ExpressPaddington clockPaddington latticeworkHeathrow Expressironwork, PaddingtonDetail, Paddington

I did not get as many pictures as I would have liked during the train journey to Plymouth, as my camera’s battery ran out of charge just beyond Exeter (so no pics from Newton Abbot, Totnes or the approach to Plymouth). The train arrived in Plymouth exactly on schedule, making it a jackpot-like two train journeys in Britain on one day that had run to time!

Reading
The first stop out of Paddington – from here there was a long fast run to Taunton, then Tiverton Parkway, Exeter St Davids, Newton Abbot, Totnes and Plymouth.
Doom Bar
Some Cornish refreshment from the on-train bar, although at prices that would have made the proprietor of a plush central London pub blush (£4.50 for a half-litre bottle!)

Tiverton Parkway 2Exeter St Davids

Sea View from Train
A first glimpse of the sea on this journey.

Picklecombe Fort, wherein my parents have their new apartment is about 2.5 miles from Plymouth as the crow flies, but the road journey is so roundabout that this portion of the journey took almost the same amount of time as King’s Lynn – London had at the start of the day!

THE FIRST CORNISH PICTURES

This morning, with my camera battery fully charged I took some pictures here at Picklecombe Fort.

En suite
The guest bedroom has an ensuite bathroom cunningly disguised as a set of cupboards.
light fitting
Mean spiritedness from the previous owners.
Book display
My parents library.
View from bedroom window
Three views from my bedroom window…

View from bedroom window 2View from bedroom window 3

View from balcony
The rest of these pictures were taken from the balcony, and show the apartment’s #1 selling point – the sea views.

Lighthouse and boatsLighthouse closer focusHarbourAcross the waterboatsBig ship

Lighthouse special
The third picture I took featuring the lighthouse.