Tuesday, 7 October 2014

There was already a gale

blowing when we left yesterday. We had wind gusts of between 80 and 110km an hour in our relatively sheltered spot just below the foothills. I had even wondered whether the trip might be off. No, tough descendants of Scots get going when the going gets tough. We were off to visit her.
Her? Yes, boats are definitely female. This one may be elderly but she is, after a fashion, still with us.
We were going to visit "The City of Adelaide". It is a clipper - or rather, what is left of a clipper.
Clipper? Think "Cutty Sark". Right? Enough said.  I know very little about boats and boat building.
The Senior Cat knows more. He has, in his time, built canoes and boats. Even he would say his knowledge is not extensive.
But the Senior Cat and Cousin Cat wanted to see the elderly vessel so Cousin Cat and Cousin Cat's wife picked us up and we prowled off to her home in a dry dock in the port.
Oh...and then oh again. She is still, in her way, beautiful. There really is something about old wooden sailing vessels that cannot be matched by their modern counterparts. I don't know whether it is the way each carefully cut piece of timber fits into the next or the way the prow curves "just so". Perhaps it is the way... no, I won't start trying to describe it.
Our family has associations with the clipper - and the entire port area. My paternal great-grandfather was first a "lighter man", then a ship's pilot and a maritime cartographer. We have no idea how he came to qualify to do these things. Quite possibly he was self-taught. However he came to do them he did them well. There were no accidents recorded under his watch. The maps he made of the area were still being used a century later and formed the basis for the first computer based maps.
I wonder what he thought of the City of Adelaide? Cousin Cat's wife thinks the elderly lady looks big. Yes, close up she is imposing.
Then I thought of her out at sea and she is, compared with many modern vessels, tiny. She rode out here for the last time on the back of another vessel. Oh how she must have hated that! She had once sailed proudly back and forth by herself.
The wind was blasting her with rain but of course she is used to that. Nevertheless I was glad to see the pile of tins there. They are going to give the old lady a new, protective wood preserving coat. I hope she feels comfortable in it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Had you thought about domino knitting for the leaf shawl?