First Sail of 2020

At long last, after a long and nasty winter and the lockdown back-to-back, I had my first sail of this year in my little Tabur 320. I made a series of short videos and they are joined together. Veules les Roses has a special place in my sailing history.

Veules les Roses is on the Normandy coast between Dieppe and Fécamp. It is very similar to the Sussex and Kent coast the other side of the Channel. There was very little wind, but I was at last sailing, in Σοφία, on account of the ease of launching from a beach. I sailed against the tide in order to be sure of being able to get back, so I sailed east towards Sotteville sur Mer, Varengeville and Dieppe. After a time there was too little wind to sail upwind, so I returned to Veules – very slowly downwind.

I mentioned the Clos Moutiers, a beautiful house designed by Edward Lutyens in the Arts & Crafts style.

Following my comments on bits of a ship which are still visible at low tide, I referred to the events of June 1940 when Veules les Roses was called “The Other Dunkerque“.

We are living in very odd times, but nothing as compared to the Spanish Flu and the two World Wars. I felt lightness and relief in the air to find people with their families and dogs enjoying the beach, the sunshine, the sea and nature. As I have said elsewhere, if we have a sense of gratitude and wonder, then we can find happiness even in adversity. This was certainly the case for me in my little boat.

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2 Responses to First Sail of 2020

  1. David Llewellyn Dodds says:

    Hurrah! And, thanks! A jolly – and fascinating – film! (With remarkably good audio! Some of what I suppose were wood-on-wood sounds reminded me of muted trumpets, and got me – perhaps inaccurately – thinking of Darius Milhaud. And, how did you deploy your camera?) I suppose ‘dynamic activity’ still allows for a lot of vitamin D production, and those winds must decisively disperse viruses.

    Thanks, too, for the links – lovely Clos Moutiers, and WW II details new to me, though I am constantly reading one thing after another about the War. (Last year I translated a little Dutch book about the Operation Berlin evacuation at the end of Market Garden.)

    Do ‘we’ know if Veules les Roses was one of the places of smuggling or secret contact during the Revolution or ‘Blocus continental’ – or of maritime Masses as in that fascinating painting you once posted?

    Do the fishers sell locally? And/or, are things organized to disperse their catch farther quickly and efficiently?

    Wishing you many another such day, soon – and the hoped-for river sailing!

    • Nice to hear from you again. I used my (waterproof) mobile phone, hand-held, and took short videos. I then joined them all together with special software.

      Yes, each place has its history, all along the Côte d’Albâtre on account of World War II and the many wealthy and artistic people who built houses as coastal refuges to have the advantage of the quality of light the Impressionists loved and the fresh sea air. Many of those coastal towns must have other tales to tell about French aristocrats being smuggled to England to escape the guillotine as related in the story of the Scarlet Pimpernel.

      The fisherman mostly sell locally, but perhaps they have some supermarket outlets depending on how much they catch. On some days, there are fishmongers’ stalls near the beach where people can pay a reasonable price for the day’s catch.

      We have a bit of unsettled weather this weekend, which should settle by early next week. Then I will again push off from the beach, and perhaps go westwards depending on the tidal current and wind speed and direction.

      Best wishes…

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