Entre Nous has been SOLD…………………………..It is with mixed feelings I write this new post. Entre Nous has proven to be a fabulous partner and has taken me to some wonderful locations without missing a beat. We have had solitude, got soaked in tropical storms, buddy boated with some great people and generally taken care of each other. There have been a few scrapes, a couple of mishaps and a fair bit of blood spilt. I guess my blood spilling is only fair as the Perkins spewed a drop of oil now and again. I was often told what a great boat Entre Nous was. I can certainly agree with that as she had my trust and I was always confident in her abilities, especially when the weather turned against us. Good luck to the new owners who intend to cross the Pacific next year. So my sailing days are possibly over………I leave behind a vast community of friends, most I am sure will prove to be lifelong. The cruising community I believe is unique, a group of people not burdoned by every day pressures. From all walks of life and experiences they exude the best of human nature, each and everyone willing to advise, help or just be there if required. People say sailing and boats are the common bond, actually I think it is simpler than that…………its just the willingness to be friendly and to take on new friendships. Today I look back and I still dont’t know some peoples surnames, have no clue what they did for living and yet I spent years in their company. Cruisers are taken at face value, there is no need to ask “what did you do”, it doesn’t matter. So thank you my friends for your time, your trust, your company and for sharing fantastic experiences, we certainly laughed a lot, drank too much, definately ate too much and motored far more than we sailed !!!! For those hardy folks who spent the summer in the northern sea with me…….it was a blast ! Thankfully free of any severe Chubasco’s or Hurricanes. Although Ken on Drifter and I had a strenous time reaching Santa Rosalia. Thank god for street lights I can hear Ken say. After the sale of Entre Nous it was time to plan the trip to the UK and then onward to NZ. As John was staying with his brother in LA, I decided it would be a good idea to drag him along on a road trip to “Vegas”, which we did for a few days. No big wins I’m afraid but Vegas certainly left an impression on us. Actually it left a bigger impression on John, a blister on his right hand…………… I should explain here, John was on crutches and had only managed a walk around the block with his brother Jim prior to our roadtrip. John did the equivilent of a marathon along “The Strip”.
Perhaps when John gets his new leg he may well do an actual marathon.
Now I am back in Appledore, the fishing village I was brought up in, spending time with my family. Its been a long while since I have seen them. Appledore appears to have shrunk and filled up with parked cars. Maybe its because I was smaller when I walked around the village in my youth !! Not much has really changed, other than the people and some of the landscape. Today Appledore homes are filled with 2nd home owners. In my childhood I could have virtually named the occupants of each and every house. Coastal corrosion has changed the estuary a lot. Areas I played in as a kid are simply no longer there, islands have appeared where the sea has broken through and the entrance to the bar has completely changed.
Appledore is an RNLI lifeboat station, crewed by volunteers. Over the years the lifeboat has been upgraded and now includes an inshore boat in addtion to the traditional offshore boat. Unfortunately as a result of the renovations of the lifeboat house my grandfathers bravery award is no longer on display on the wall of the station, which is a shame. Walking the tiny, once cobbled, streets of Appledore brings back a lot of memories. It was funny seeing the kids of today on Appledore quay “crabbing”. Mostly visitors these days using a crabbing ( fishing ) kit purchased from a local shop. A single line is dropped over the edge of the quay with some bait attached, bits of bacon, limpets or pices of fish. The knack is to bring up the dangling crab the 30 feet to reach the top. Most times the crab or crabs fall off. We used a slightly different method in my day. A whole wire coat hanger attached to a line with fish heads, limpets and anything else we could get ourt hands on attached along the entire length, it weighed about a pound in weight but when brought up it normally had 5-10 crabs dangling from it. No way were the crabs going to let go of a smelly fish heads so we always managed to haul up most of them. Needless to say locals always won the yearly summer crabbing contests.