Monday, 9 May 2011

Robert Hastie ~ Pilot Boat

The painting above is of The Robert Hastie a Milford Haven Pilot Boat in the lee of a Tanker. I don’t very often exhibit my paintings of work boats but I was asked last year if I could show them so I will probably bring one or two to Aberglasney in June.

Some years ago my daughter and her then fiancée came to stop on our small sloop for a few days sailing in the Haven. The yacht was a Golden Hind with a lot of varnished wood and brass. It was a very pretty little boat and very seaworthy. It was a bit mischievous in that it had a tendency to broach. That is when the wind was behind the boat or moving around that area the mainsail could suddenly force the boat to turn at right angles. This could be very disconcerting or downright dangerous with a heavy boom swinging across the cockpit at head height. Generally we trimmed our sails to take account of this although it really needed a little bowsprit to sort it out.

Anyway the boat had 4 berths. Two of then were pipe cots. That is they were canvas sewn on to pipes like a stretcher and then hung on brackets in the bulkheads. When we bought the boat the brackets were missing so I made a set from some tough mahogany. My daughter and her boyfriend arrived and we had a great days sailing and anchored for the night. After a hearty meal and a bottle of wine we went to bed. My daughter was in a pipe cot above her boyfriend. In the middle of the night we were rudely awakened by a crash followed by a moaning sound. I was none to pleased to be woken but on lighting a lantern saw the cause of the moaning. The brackets holding my daughters pipe cot had broken across the grain and she had fallen on top of her fiancée. He had been struck by the one end of the metal pipe on his forehead.

He had a large lump and a gash above his right eye, which we dealt with. It looked quite nasty but to be fair he is a very tough cookie and made pretty light of it. He has a scar there to this day which I can’t help looking at and feeling a little guilty. Still as he married my daughter I suppose the bang on the head was small beer.

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