Home' Afloat : AFLOAT July 2014 Contents Take monthly with water July 2014 47
*John Quirk has been writing about
and illustrating the joys of messing
about in boats for over half a century.
He is the author / illustrator of Foul
Bottoms, published by Adlard Coles
and available from Boat Books in
Crows Nest and from Amazon.
Ph: (02) 9957 5123
Unit 4/1 Bradly Ave, Kirribilli, NSW 2061
Commercial & Domestic
Design & repair in ALL
Welding in ALL metals
All racing and cruising
sails and repairs
Unit 14/1 Bradly Ave, Kirribilli
Sydney, NSW 2061
Ph: 9925 0722 Fax: 9925 0082
Locally made for sailing yachts
Next summer, as it turned out.
My wife and I joined them and glided
through the languid waterways of the heart
of England in pre-war comfort that had
so captivated me in a previous life. She
trusted my judgment to go cruising with
people who I had met over a cup of tea, but
über sensible No1 son was convinced we
would be in the hands of axe murderers.
He need not have worried. We have since
enjoyed three delightful holidays aboard
Ryegate with N & M.
We even rode the tide down the Bristol
Channel again to run up the River Avon to
Bath. You need a pilot for these dangerous
waters and a cloth capped pre-war
teenager stepped aboard at midnight, an
hour or so before high tide. Nigel showed
him all the nav aids and electronics which
had been installed since our day.
“Has this ship got a kettle? ” cut in the
pilot, “’c ause that’s all you’m going to need.
One milk, two sugars.”
In 1961 it had been a brutal bash down
channel against a Force 5 on 8 knot ebb.
At the aptly named ‘The Shoots’ a Bristol
Channel uppercut punched the anchor
from its chocks, breaking the lashings and
tossing it into the mast. Forty years later,
this night passage was millpond smooth.
I felt cheated. Two new bridges have been
built across since our voyage and it was
about 3.00am when a motorist hooned
above us, tossing out a food wrapper which
floated casually down onto our foredeck. I
felt this was like finding a fast food golden
arch sign on Cape Horn.
The second cruise with strangers was
with someone I had never nor even spoken
to on the telephone.
Tim Davison owned Fernhurst
Publishing in UK which will be known to
many of you for its wide range of books
about sailing and sailing rules. Retiring
after selling the business, Tim wrote a
very funny book Skipper v crew / Crew v
Skipper which another publisher picked
up and asked me to illustrate. I really
enjoyed this and I recommend the book
to Afloat readers – even if you don’t look
at the pictures.
When Tim found out the pay rates for
nautical cartoonists, even in this great
magazine, are less than for a dishwasher
in Bangladesh, [and it’s all you are worth
Ed] Tim said he felt he had to make it
up to me somehow. He offered a double
cabin on his 40-foot sloop for a cruise off
And a more delightful cruise is
hard to imagine. Tim is an expert and
experienced sailor from racing round the
cans to crossing oceans. And a patient
instructor. Under his guidance, we set
and gibed spinnakers ... we sailed over a
wine dark sea from one delightful cove to
the next ... swam in warm crystal waters
... drank and dined beneath the stars or
in the shadow of mediaeval walls in film
set harbours ...
But most importantly, what we got
from ignoring my mother and going off
with strangers are friendships that you
think have been lifelong.
The confines of a small boat, they say,
are just like prison but with the added
risk of drowning. We have been privileged
to share close quarters with Maureen
and Nigel, Tim and his delightful crew
and they are among the most delightful,
witty and easy going people you will ever
meet. So if you ever get a similar offer
Mind you, I suppose even axe
murderers could have boats ...
EXPERIENCE HISTORY IN ACTION!
THE MUSEUM THAT GOES TO SEA
www.shf.org.au or (02) 9298 3888
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A unique tour visiting James Craig,
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Sydney Harbour Secrets - Enjoy a three-hour
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$43 / $39 concession.
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steam ‘twins’ Waratah or Lady Hopetoun,
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