Kinsale, like many beautiful places, is home to that non indigenous human species, the “perambulating grockle”. Almost all have a greater water line length and thus potential top speed than this skipper, and yet they manoeuvre slower than Pippin bashing a spring tide round Land’s End. Even solo, with autopilot off they fill the pavement, and my legs aren’t happy operating below 3,000 rpm. This means for me bustling along at 5 knots, a dangerous overtaking manoeuvre being a swerve into the road with backward glance, a touch of throttle and a return swerve, neatly done.
Destination achieved, I spotted a battered Lambretta propped by the Information Point, festooned with baggage and an espresso pot. Its skipper, notebook in hand was busy, the whole ensemble – from upmarket pig skin luggage to languid lounging skipper – oozed style. Kindred spirit, apart from the style I thought, returning to Pippin in cut off varnish stained (I think) jeans and straining T shirt.
Pippin attracts much attention and I conducted 4 on board tours yesterday, which don’t take long as she is a compact lady. Eddy the cabinet maker made himself comfortable below and declared that Pippin’s woodwork was European cherry and he had rarely seen finer cabinet work aboard a boat. This was praise indeed from a cabinet maker and owner of a Scandanavian yacht, renowned for their woodwork.
For some reason posh neighbours rarely stay, lingering long enough alongside to cadge assistance of one kind or another, such as a winch up the mast to release a trapped halyard, before heading off for more upmarket cousins. I suspect this is much more to do with this skipper than any fault of Pippin. Anyway, I dined on gherkins and a glass of hair restorer with Pascal and his delightful family aboard their lovely old Homan & Pye yacht. From Paris, they were modest, competent and welcoming, not posh.
Ferry gliding; this is something you hear about during RYA winter evening classes, but rarely if ever practice. I briefed Ben, my young, enthusiastic borrowed crew at his post on the poop deck, that we would return alongside the pontoon stern first given the stiff off pontoon breeze, once Pascal had left. Treading water, engine gently countering the tide Pippin began to glide gently diagonally towards the pontoon on the dying ebb of the tide, leaning into the stiff breeze.
Taking Pippin’s advice and nudging the throttle we continued the motion to land alongside as sweet as a rifle bolt slid home, barely a metre to spare either end. Conversely, get it wrong, and it happens big time as the elderly skipper of a big one discovered this morning. “You f…..g eejit!!!!!” shouted the skipper whose boat he smacked.
I told Ben that plans are nothing but intentions …. but come the time…. I guess that’s the trick; have an outline plan then go with the flow, don’t be too rigid, stay flexible.
Kinsale is of course famous for a battle in 1601. The Spanish had been persuaded to play and 28 ships anchored here’s, driven by bad weather. They should have landed at Cork with 6,000 men, but it was Kinsale with less than 5,000. Anyway, they and the Irish got beaten by the English thus establishing English dominance at that time.
Looking out into the bay, it must have been tight with that number of tubby little ships at anchor and the troops would not have been feeling too good. Nigel, due to arrive shortly from Glandore, should be in rather than better condition.
Tomorrow I turn Pippin’s bows East and South in the direction of Plymouth, so we’ll be in the oggin awhile.