(subtitle) Helen, after your comment on the last posting, this one is for you, and me, of course!
Last post, when talking about the experiences of revisiting old boating haunts, I mentioned the pleasure of finding our old Eventide yacht, Cosmic Wind, lying in a mud berth near one of our favorite pubs at Hollow Shore near Faversham. My pleasure was somewhat tempered by the rather, in my opinion, shabby paint-job.
YM Eventide ‘Cosmic Wind‘
‘What business is it of yours?’ you might well ask. ‘This was my boat! How can you not understand!’ Boats, you see, are never viewed in an unemotional way. When we saw Cosmic we already owned a small 22′ cruiser and we certainly couldn’t afford the asking price for this Eventide, even if we managed to sell our existing boat quickly. And so we sighed as we stroked the beautiful varnish-work and gazed through the brass ports at the warm, glowing interior with its oil lamps, gleaming wood, solid-fuel stove, four berths and a very snazzy ‘Sailor’ vhf radio. Lordy, how I wanted that boat! So, we bought it!
It was a decision that I never regretted for one moment and J only on those occasions when she was lying below in the grip of mal de mer and longing for death to take her! Designed by Maurice Griffiths, the Eventide is the perfect east-coast cruising boat – long-keeled with two massive bilge keels; they are comfortable at sea and able to take the bottom when the tide goes out. Especially as one of our favourite things was wandering up coastal creeks, chucking out the hook, usually near a pub, lazing away with a book or music, the fire warming a winter’s evening, sheltered by the creek embankments. Such wonderful times and memories that seem, now, like half a life-time away.
So many adventures and each one would fill a post so here’s peek at what was really a bit of a love-in! OK, I know this is being ‘geeky’ and has nothing whatever to do with ‘living, loving and travelling Turkey’, but let’s indulge in a bit of glowing nostalgia, just for Helen and me.
layout and sail plan
I had Cosmic set up for single-handing, everything was made as easy as possible and J and I would nearly always choose to sail on and off moorings without using the engine and handling everything from the cockpit. In the photos that follow you’ll notice un-yachty things like a ladder (useful when returning from the pub and the tide was out), and a huge oar that could double as a sweep or an emergency rudder. We regarded ourselves as ‘sea gypsies’, rough and ready with all sorts of paraphernalia hanging from our gleaming mobile home. Those with their ‘plastic-fantastics’ might look askance but we knew we were usually better sailors and in light airs, with our massive sail area, we could out-ghost a J-class!
Here are a few old photos we’ve rediscovered and copied from a scanner, enjoy – I know Helen will!
off Shipwright’s Arms, Hollow Shore waiting for opening time
not ghosting – trying to outrun the Townsend Thorenson ferry
Mac – the very best old sea-dog, ever!
the magic of the swatchways
le Crotoy, River Somme
emergency prop clearing mid-channel
stopping road and rail traffic – Kingsferry Bridge, Sheppey
Cap Griz Nez
These are the fruits of the hours of labour – the rubbing, sanding, painting, varnishing, fixing. I especially recall the days spent lying underneath the boat with a ‘dolly’ as the shipwright and I painstakingly fastened every single plank with copper rivets – no doubt the reason Cosmic is still afloat to this day. It is said that a boat is ‘a hole in the water that you throw money into!’ Was it worth it? Oh, yes!
hoarder that I am, I still have books, charts and navigation tools
Finally, a photo of the most self-contained dog ever to go to sea – he could and did hold it all in but when the hook dropped then a dog’s got to do what a dog’s got to do – and he did!!
Alan Fenn, somewhere down Memory Lane