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Saturday, 13 April 2013

Dartmouth and Books!

Jilly shows off Simba
We're in Falmouth after a night-long journey avoiding gale-force winds now molesting England's SW coast.

Captain Jilly Hampton
 I spent time on watch reading "Just Sea and Sky" by epic voyager Ben Pester. It's a chronicle about his England-New Zealand 1953 2-man sailing trip in an 1899 wooden yawl Tern II. He argues that much has been lost by the mod-cons of modern sailing vessels and our reliance on technology.

Upon arrival here and the discovery that our installed GPS had failed (meaning purchase of a compatible new instrument with consequent wiring and carpentry troubles), I had sympathy with his argument. It seems that every day now we have a new failure - yesterday it was the printer which declined to publish reasonable-looking photos. Our instruments (like the owners) are ageing.

A lack of installed lifelines lead to Pester's nearly losing his life when he committed that sin of male sailors - trying to pee off the bow. Chastened by that, he still argues that having safety gear leads people to a false sense of security rather than good judgement. He includes the sailor's maxim: Keep a hand for yourself and one hand for the boat! I've had 2 terrible boat experiences - in one of which I fell off the boat (and yes- it was the female-type sin of hanging out the wash!). Keeping 1 hand for myself would have saved Larry a lot of trouble in rescuing me. In the second instance (going up the mast at sea to disentangle a mess of ropes up at the Spreader) I was most hesitant to use the 2nd hand for the boat, but it had to be done.

Dartmouth City Centre
Why oh why didn't Nature provide sailors and pianists with 3 hands!!

'Hercules' - the steam train
Rowers on the River Dart
Seen on the River Dart
 Jilly has worked at Dart Marina for some years. We met her when she was a guest aboard while mutual friend Raydene was staying with us. She's preparing her lovely well-preserved boat Simba (an Excalibur 37) for her future cruising days. It turns out that we share a birthday. In addition, her father (like Larry's father) was a Spitfire pilot (in our exchange she's borrowed our book "Spitfire Pilot").

While in Dartmouth we took a relaxing Dart River cruise to Totnes, went to a wonderful Museum in that town, ate gorgeous seafood (courtesy of Jilly) at 'Rockfish' Restaurant, and took the steam train up to Paignton.

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