Friday, July 6, 2012

Iron Duke

Last night at anchor
I was just thinking how special this corner of the world is, the reefs are full of color and lobsters, who KNOW it is the close season as they wave their feelers at me, where armored tanks from the age of the dinosaurs visit the beaches to repeat a cycle that has gone on for millions of years and where sunsets are like this.

I am back in the main harbor in Bequia to re provision and catch up with lost sleep. Gone are the days when I could shrug off a late night with an extra 20 minute power nap next day. So I was snoozing in the afternoon when I heard sails rattling and the sound of a hull at speed VERY close to Elephants Child. Well that woke me up! I was surprised to see the "Iron Duke". She was restored in 2006 after many years of quiet retirement under a shade tree on the Beech. 130-year-old Bequia whaleboat. "Iron Duke" was one of the very first whaleboats on the island, brought from New England by whaling legend "Old Bill" Wallace in the late 19th century. It was on her sleek lines that all future Bequia whaleboats were based, and as such she forms a unique link to Bequia's whaling and boatbuilding heritage. She competes in the local regattas but it seems that the local sailing school is also getting access to her. There were young hands on the tiller and mainsheet as she howled past me. Old she maybe but she was flying.

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