FROM 2-10. Falmouth-Crosshaven-Fastnet

The taste and the smell…

Smell – to me the most evocative of the senses, able to lift me from the mundane here and now to the ghostly thrill of experience long past and – at the time – unrecognisably  formative. Parked alongside Berri on the pontoons for a couple of days has been a big (big!) three masted lugger from St. Malo with a crew of 8 or so pipe smoking French speaking men and women – the women without pipes but doing yer ordinary Gauloise or whatever passes as such in 2009. They ate on deck – wine,  onions, snags and other much more sophisticated fare but the smell! I was instantly beamed back in time to 1961 and the St Malo race from Plymouth in Leopard – we'd sailed across the Minquiers at high tide into St Malo and there I was yesterday, an old geezer in Falmouth in 2009 teleported into the nearly 50 years younger kid just soaking in delight in my first French port. And  my olfactory bits replayed Ambre Solaire – it was really hot and still and we went down to the beach under the fortress walls and all the truly gorgeous French girls were greasing themselves with the stuff – a primitive version of SP150 – and the air was honeyed with the perfume and about as viscous. A  naive and inexperienced repressed just out of school 19 year old in heaven.

Ambre Solaire still use the same perfume and it inevitably wafts me back to those days of delightful sand in the toes expectation.

The photos just for fun. Sorry none of the lugger – would have been intrusive.  Berri just visible on the right of the Chain Locker.

And – glooom – the gearbox we put in with so much sweat and contortion in Dutch Harbour has died.  Girding the loins to go through it all again.

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