We had a bit of messing about before we departed Newlyn. A bolt was required for the sail ‘car’. I walked around trying to find one, of course it was an unusual size and eventually ended up at JT Fabrications. A cautious eye looked me over, prodded my Navigators of Faith logo, with the words ‘none of that rubbish around here’.
‘I reckon you guys have more faith than I will ever have,’ then a quick explanation of what we were doing. In the ensuing conversation I was told about how the PTSD forces charity had a major problem resolved, no charge, last year. A cut down adapted bolt appeared, no charge. I was right!
Thanking the guys, Annie and I managed to manoeuvre the boat out, but not before she had a talk with our neighbour about mission. He was adamant it was dead in today’s church, I felt resurrected. Then we were off. I knew it was going to be a bit lumpy, the forecast was NorthWest 5 or 6, so a beam reach but around a difficult bit of our coast. I always add two to the forecast as my worst expectation and today, sadly, that worked. We slowly hit squall after squall. Major veils of rain crossed us, dark curtains lashing our decks. We entered valleys and rode mountains and the Wild Goose surged with expectation and delight. The wind was a steady 30 knots with gusts of over 45 and sadly we had to accept reducing sail. We hit nearly 12 knots over the ground with 2 knots of tide under us, the fastest piece of passage making in the voyage! Annie stoically leaned into the wheel, learning how to traverse the waves at an angle. Like downhill skiers the lengthy 45 degree route prevents us riding up and crashing down or rolling badly. She mastered this surprisingly quickly and it seemed like no time at all that we were off Padstow and then nearing Hartland point.
We entered Ilfracombe harbour around 06:00, gazing at the statue that now dominates the entrance. Obviously a Damien Hurst, it struck me as a powerful piece of paganism, the pragmatic domination of a town by an old dark force masquerading as something else. It is labelled as Verity and claims to represent Truth and Justice. I asked a few people what Truth it represented or could be acknowledged and there were no answers. In some respects ‘Verity’ is a monument to modern society. A society so sucked into its consumption that it doesn’t think to question anymore what it symbolises or how it symbolises itself. The local people are prospering from its presence because it is by a famous artist. The fact that it doesn’t represent Truth and cannot symbolise Justice is lost in the gratefulness for the prosperity on offer. A town’s soul purchased on the cheap.