‘Bessie Ellen’ 2/10 – a purpose

At breakfast the next morning I watch ‘Bessie Ellen’ glide quietly across the Sound into Oban. She looks grand – every bit as fine as I have imagined. This is why I am here.

Elsewhere on this site there are photographs of another Westcountry trading ketch, ‘Ceres’. Although this vessel has lived with me all my life, she has inevitably been a figure in my imagination. Yes, I have seen photographs – imag(in)es, read what others have written about her, listened while members of my family have told me about her, I have even spoken about her myself. But I never stood on her deck, never handed a rope, set a sail, steered a course, never felt the lift of that first wave on leaving harbour.

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