I have to admit to this one sneaking by me, maybe in all the confusion of moving houses and possibly because, unusually, I was not involved in writing any of it, but the other day I spotted that the latest newsletter (Jan 2012) is up on the website. It makes quite a good read, especially the bit by former Mate and good friend of the Trust, Phil (“Ginger”) Latham. I love his style!
He is describing a sail on which he was guest. He refers to it as the “Old F…..s Cruise”. He describes finding his ”old bunk” (I’ve slept in that one, Phil – I loved the fact you are surrounded by bargey bits – hanks of rope hanging up between bow frames, life jackets and safety gear, crates of tools and rigging bits) and then his amusement at discovering all the modern stuff like electric flush toilets. He laughs too at being really impressed by the speed that Stretch could raise the topsail – only slightly tarnished when he worked out that our new synthetic sails are much lighter than Cambria’s real canvas in his day (2 tonnes for the mainsail even when dry alone).
He describes way how they “make their way slowly out of Gravesend Reach into the Lower Hope and so into Sea Reach, long and short boards always in light airs but making decent progress under the conditions. This was my first barge passage since 1968, the barge was familiar in her form but different in that everything was new, and not battered in places after a hard life in trade.” Soon he can’t stand the doing nothing, and starts moving about the deck tending backstays etc. Till Tim G has a rush of blood to the head and lets him steer. Excellent stuff, Phil, and thanks for that.
It’s available as a down-load from the Cambria website as
If you’re even less efficient than me and you’ve still not read it at the end of March, then o youself a favour.