Tuesday 29 March 2016

R.R.S. Feed

The British public can be relied upon to take the mickey – it runs in our blood like queueing and drizzle. When the Environmental Research Council asked us to name its new ship the top suggestion was "RRS. Boaty McBoatface". I hope they stick with it. If I'd put a name forwards it would have had to have been something you'd see written on a skip.

Boats are expensive so it can be lucrative as well as rewarding to build your own. In the 90's My father and I built a replica of a Grand Banks dory. I was using it on the Plym when I went to rescue a man who had been set adrift in a rubbish skip. When I got close enough to talk to him I realised that he wasn't actually in a skip, it was wooden, it had thwarts and rowlocks, it didn't quite have a skip's distinctive sheerline, and the "castaway" was sitting happily fishing. I complimented him on his handsome vessel and confirmed my suspicion that he'd designed and built it himself.

When I told the story one of my brothers was very taken with the idea of setting out to sea in a hired skip. He picked up an imaginary VHF and transmitted "Brixham Coastguard Brixham Coastguard this is the pleasure vessel 'Light No Fires' departing Plymouth harbour for St. Peter Port."

Richard "RRS. P. E. C. T." B

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