A visit to Appledore

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.

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A day-sail – 6 hours

I foolishly left the camera my smaller Lumix camera in Farnham at the weekend, so yesterday I took the heavier Nikon 3200 SLR instead. The problem is where to put it down in a hurry when I need to attend to the boat. It sits in one of the canvas line bags at a stretch otherwise in a bag hung just inside the companionway.

There were a number of people enjoying the water. It was one of those days when the wind was steady (F3), the sun shone, the sailing, as they say, was easy. I left the mooring about 1100 and was back at 1700. No pressure.

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A simple pleasure – looking

Having watched the yacht leave – (and totally failed to note her name), I indulged in the simple pleasure of looking at boats.

A film crew has been in Teignmouth for the past week or so filming the Donald Crowhurst story – Colin Firth, Rachel Weisz etc have been here, 1960’s fashions have been in evidence – (the reporting in this link seems to be all about Rachel Weisz).

I have a deep sympathy for Donald Crowhurst and his family. A lot has been written and spoken about him, the story sensationalised for public consumption; like the previous film (Deep Water), this film will bring it all out again. I hope they treat him with respect. Whatever the mistakes, and there were many from the very beginning, (each one stacked on the previous one), he put himself forward for a huge enterprise that had no precedent. That alone took a particular mind-set. Only Knox-Johnson completed the course. In terms of seamanship, there would have been no disgrace in turning back – or even in not starting at all. One can only imagine what he must have gone through once at sea. Retrospect is easy, Therein lies the fascination – the question is asked of each one of us, “Having got into the tangle, what would you have done?” Think carefully.

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