Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Two Pearls

Two Pearls was my first boat with accommodation. She had a small galley and two bunks in a cosy dark varnished wooden cabin in which there were four square red curtained cabin windows and a forward porthole. In the foc'sle there was a chemical loo. My head rose through the forward hatch when using it. A 2.5 ton Hillyard, she cost £250 in 1963 and was given to me for my 21st birthday, Based at Lymington, she was a wooden carvel sloop built at Littlehampton; 20 foot overall, 7 foot beam, with a keel drawing about 4 feet and a Stuart Turner auxiliary petrol engine, which invariably started with only one turn of the handle, behind the companionway. I owned her for a year while at University and sailed, over the long vacation, to many ports in North Brittany crossing the English Channel from Poole to St.Peter Port in Guernsey and back from Roscoff to Dartmouth. The town of Roscoff we visited in June 2007 was changed beyond recollection. Two Pearls carried a deep red canvas mainsail and a terylene Wickham Martin furling jib of the same colour. I cannot recall sailing a sweeter boat or one in which I felt safer, much as I loved her glass fibre successor, 'Young Tiger' and my first boat Hoppy

Remembering her snug cabin and her way in the water is pleasant, especially when there's a picture like this and a log of the voyage to re-read. 'Two Pearls' had oil lamps inside a reliably dry cabin and oil for her navigation lights. I recall the reassuring red glow on the waves as we sailed south from England with a fair west wind for France. I wonder where she is now and if she is still being sailed.

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