3 – Bideford Bar
I have never crossed Bideford Bar but it seems that I have known it all my life. I thought I would check it out. Who knows? I may yet get the chance.
Many sailors have crossed this Bar, and many still do. To them I say, please bear with me. I am doing what I should do – looking at the water, reading the entries in the pilot book, looking at the chart. Also, I am looking at it from two different viewpoints – what it’s like now and what it might have been like in the nineteenth century. I have always had problems envisaging what it would have been like to live in a castle that now stands in ruins, but envisaging being at sea in a wooden sailing ship is different altogether – the sea is the same sea, the wind the same wind.
That there was a gale blowing and rain was in the air last week just made it more interesting. The outside bar was hidden in the murk . . .
2 – Richmond Dry Dock
From my grandfather, via my mother, we had inherited a box of flood-affected old photographs of sailing vessels, including a large number of my grandfather’s trading ketch Ceres. Among these were several of Ceres in dry dock.
1- The Maritime Museum
Over the years I have mentioned the trading ketch, Ceres, which belonged in turn to my great-great-grandfather, my great-grandfather and finally my grandfather. I promised myself that, when I finished the day-job and had more time, I would further explore her history.
Last week, I visited Appledore in North Devon – three reasons: to visit the small and excellent Maritime Museum , to find Richmond Dry-dock – (in the photograph of Ceres below), and to look at Bideford Bar across the entrance to the Taw/Torridge estuary.
When I arrived, a gale was blowing and there was rain in the air.