ROSA of FALMOUTHThe wooden boat I had seen in Deshaies came sailing in to the main Saintes harbour at sunset.
No engine was heard just the creak of old fashioned spars and rigging as they beat up wind in the evening breese to find a spot to anchor.
Just lovely to watch.
I had suspected a bit of French influence in her design and despite being registered out of Falmouth England it turns out she was originally built in Belgium as a fishing boat in the 30s. I had to ask of course, my 'satiable curiosity at work.
SAINTES CLASS BOATS
The local boy racers were polishing their steeds and preparing to race on Sunday. No souped up Evos here though. Some fifty years ago, every inhabitant of Les Saintes had his own fishing sail boat. On holidays, regattas and races were organized for fun in the splendid Saintes bay.
In 2000, the Comité Guadeloupéen de Voile Traditionnele (Guadeloupean Committee of Traditional Sailing) had been created to encourage building and racing such boats.
In 2005, the class of boats and the races have been made official by an affiliation to the French Sailing Organization.
Spécification as for the boat construction and the material used have been defined in order to be in conformity with the traditional shipbuilding:
Hull of natural wood with ribs, 5,35m max. length and 1,80m max. beam, keel max. 33cm and 5cm thick.
Mast of natural plain local wood, max. 7,25m, collars of creepers for the main sail, wooden cleats, pulleys without winch.
Sails (main sail and jib) without laths of cotton or woven polyester
It has been a successfull endeavour as todays racing shows, the boy racers out on the water doing their stuff and the greybeards sitting under the shade with beer in hand saying how their grandfathers would have beaten them all.
Mind you I wonder if the originals were as tricky to sail as the modern boats seem to be, lots of capsizes today in fairly benign conditions.
OH YES The b*******s towing out the buoys stopped off got me out of bed and said I had to move as I was on the start line. Haven't they heard of a Sunday lie in?
CONFIRMATION OF WHAT I HAD FEARED.
Tony Blair's famous EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION drive was all smoke and mirrors.
Exam grades have been artificially inflated and billions of pounds in increased spending on education wasted, according to a damning international report.
Those relentlessly improving GCSE and A-level results have hidden a true picture of failure in UK schools.
It is REALLY GOOD to be retired and out of it.
TODAY'S ONLY IN AMERICA MOMENT
UTAH has a state gun!
Until this week, Utah had 24 state symbols, from tree (the blue spruce) to insect (the honeybee) to even cooking pot (the Dutch oven).
Now it's added an official state firearm -- the John M. Browning-designed M1911 pistol, becoming the first state in the nation to have one, according to the state legislator who sponsored the law.