Monday, January 16, 2012

Fryderyk Chopin Ali Foil and a Wild Weekend

I saw an old friend motor into the bay and anchor, The Fryderyk Chopin, a Polish sail training ship operated by a private university in Poland.

“On 29 October 2010 the vessel is reported as in distress 100 miles off the Scilly Isles having lost both masts in gale force winds and heavy seas. It was on a three and a half month cruise from the Netherlands to the Caribbean with 47 crew aboard including 36 trainees aged 14 years. Although there was an engine the ship's master was unwilling to use it for fear of trailing debris snagging on the propeller. There were no reported injuries. The ship was towed into the sheltered waters of Falmouth Bay after 100 miles and three days on tow by a small fishing trawler the Nova Spero; whose Captain, Shaun Edwards answered the Mayday call”

I had been invited aboard when I saw her in the 90s and remembered how neat and tidy if functional she was and clearly needed a big crew to work the sails as she was set up in the same manner as the clippers in days gone by with crews climbing the mast then working their way out the yards with one hand for themselves and one for the ship.

She looks as if times might be hard now and cosmetic maintenance such as cleaning the rust off the anchor plates well down the agenda although she must have had her masts and sails renewed. But she is still working hard I guess, unlike me.

We were relaxing in the cockpit when someone swam over and asked to borrow some cooking foil for the barbecue.. Here she is swimming back with her prize in hand. The cruisers version of popping next door for a cup of sugar.

It has been a squally weekend with rainbows and colourful sunsets and the numbers of weekends crowding into the anchorage were down a little.

Still it is quiet here on Monday morning with the huge Privilege 745 catamaran dominating the scene. Judy and I disagree over the multitude of lights bordering the decks and ports she displays at night , I think they are 'naf' but she likes them. I suppose they might be OK at least they don't flash or change colour. I have seen boats with displays that do both.

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