Wednesday, 28 May 2014

A Boat called Alice

Dearest Emily,

Off on a tangent today as we get ready for the Yarmouth Gaffers Festival. In recent years it's been a favourite festival whether working at the Bookroom, or trawling around the foodie stalls with Uncle Joe's sudden passion for Wild Boar sausages, drooling over the vintage cars and loving the happy family vibe. I've got so many photos of the beautiful rigs, bunting flying in the spectacular Yarmouth sunset over the harbour- happy days!

Looking at pictures of Gaffer rigs on the internet this morning- I came across this fabulous painting by Paul Hewson...

Oooh, look Em, how gorgeous is this Old Gaffer? Her name- it appears- is 'Alice'. On initial searches- and reading an excerpt from The Gaff Rig Handbook  b y John Leather- there was a sloop of the same name that was designed to demonstrate the practical comfort and seaworthiness of American yachts to English yachtsmen- built for Thomas Appleton of Boston. She sailed over Mastered by Captain Arthur Clark with three hands and a steward- accompanied by one of Longfellow's sons in 1866. Taking three weeks to get from Nahant to the Needles, she was then laid up in England-with her namesake still about- as this beautiful painting and other photographs indicate.
I'll keep an eye out for her at the weekend Emily and see if Grumpa can get some more pictures for you!

Your ever-loving Grand-mother,
GiGi xxx

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