We took the train to St Ives . . .

. . . a birthday treat. The train meandered through Devon – Newton Abbot, Totnes, Plymouth, and on to Cornwall, threading it’s way down the county, stopping everywhere – Saltash, Liskeard, Bodmin Parkway, Lostwithiel, Truro, Par, St Austell, Redruth, Camborne and Hayle, before we changed at St Erth, with time for a coffee in the tiny station cafe. And then Lelant Saltings, Carbis Bay and finally St Ives, to step from the platform into a world discovered by artists long before the holidaying public came to stand and stare, to eat pasties and ice creams and tempt hungry seagulls that know no better.

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Paihia to Opua- a walk

A post from Webb Chiles in Opua brought memories of a walk we made from Paihia to Opua in April last year.

The walk follows the bays, first across rocks and along a beach, on through mangroves and then along a sometimes wider, sometimes narrower, sometimes rough, sometimes smooth path. We walked comfortably through bush or along the water’s edge beneath the low and somewhat fragile cliffs.

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‘Ethel May’ – a great grand-daughter remembers

The following arrived during the week:

“I was thrilled to find, by chance in your collection, a photo of my Great Grandfather’s boat. The Ethel May was built at Rhyl, North Wales, in 1878 (65 tons) owned by John Kearney of Co. Down.  I am assuming it was a schooner?  My Great Grandfather, Richard Coppack was her captain.  My Aunt was named after the boat, although she always felt it should have been the other way around. 

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Brush strokes – good enough – sometimes

Blue Mistress is slowly coming together.

Because we won’t be back in the water before Easter, I have had time to tackle the planned jobs and some unplanned ones as well – like painting the floors of the quarter berths.

I now know why I avoided this for so long. It meant forcing my 42 inch chest five feet down two 38 inch holes – cleaning, sanding and then one, two, three coats – shoulders hunched, arms outstretched, pushing an open paint-pot before me, having to work out how to use my right hand accurately and then how to worm my way backwards without touching the fresh paint.

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Vanuatu – Cyclone Pam

The New Zealand Herald has a report from one of their reporters in Vanuatu this morning – here. The video clip shows the destruction in Port Vila. Sadly, there has been loss of life. I understand wind speeds were in the 300km/h mark.

Yesterday, Webb Chiles carried a photograph of the damage in the harbour and a first hand description of the harbour itself – here

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Speak up for the horses

You carefully pilot your ship into harbour at the top of the tide. You wait until the tide goes out and there is clear ground around the ship. Then you bring the horse and a cart to offload into. The cargo is heavy – coal, or slag, so you harness two horses in tandem to haul the load across the beach and up to the stores.

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