Monday, 14 October 2013

Fifty Shades of White

Still sanding the boat – currently using P800 – to be followed by P1000, P1500 and P2000 wet and dry and then P3000 before I apply sealant and wax - this is a boring job so a good music sound system really helps. I’ve just about exhausted my collection of blues music by well known artists and so I’m moving into more obscure stuff. How did Robert Johnson get to be so good? Did he really sell his soul at the crossroads or did he just put in a bit of practice? Or is there a third possibility? Could he have met someone called Scrapper Blackwell? One certainly seems to have influenced the other. Such are my musings as I sand and sand and sand and sand to a twelve bar 12/8 shuffle.  Anyway, there is only so much a person can say about sanding – Did you know there are 50 shades of white as well as 50 Shades of Grey?

So here are a couple of recent happenings from the Rance estuary where I live.  First, a neighbour of mine has managed to purchase a Cornish Shrimper at a really good price. She seems to be seaworthy but needs a lot of cosmetic work so now there are two of us sanding and polishing. Andrew and partner (Stephie) came to dinner the other evening and both Susan and Stephie were amazed at the amount of time two guys could spend talking GRP and Gel-coat.  When I say ‘amazed’ please don’t assume they were also ‘impressed’, - they weren’t.

Second, I had to go to St Malo this week to purchase those fine sanding discs, the shop was on the quayside, so I took some time to wander round the boats. I recognized one immediately ‘Giselle’ a Cornish Crabber from St Helier Jersey. Although I recognized the boat the owner was new to me. It turns out he had purchased her very recently and this was her maiden voyage under his command. The crew comprised his wife and a friend. As I write this I am hoping his luck has changed because when I met him, the trip to date had been quite eventful. On the upper reaches of the estuary he’d left his friend in charge of the tiller while he undertook some chores below. The friend is a musician who thought he could handle the tiller and play a bit of acoustic blues at the same time. Bad idea - he couldn’t. So he ran aground on the steep sides of a well marked channel A good deal of weight and equipment had to be shifted and lots of cushions deployed in an attempt to keep the boat upright on the falling tide.

Apparently, there was another grounding later in the week further north in more open waters. If all is going to plan, he will be at sea now cruising along the northern coast of Brittany. There are fewer sandbanks here – but lots of rocks – hope he’s OK.

Finally, here's a picture I took recently of Le Foc – that’s French for a seal. This particular chic lives alone on the Estuary outside the village of Mordreuc. She seems to love being around people and often comes to join the sunbathers on the beach. Last year, some caring soul tried to provide her with a male companion. Was she pleased? Certainly not! She wasn’t up for sharing the estuary’s supply of bass and mackerel with any other seal no matter how good looking he may have been. There was a brief skirmish and he was last seen heading for open water as far away from Mordreuc as he could get.