Soggy tents and the genius of Fitzroy
I went to an inspirational lecture today by maritime art expert and historian James Taylor on the voyage of the Beagle, full of the small detail and human story that bring history to life. It’s a fascinating tale of unsung seamanship – imagine manoeuvring square rigged engineless ships for months on end in the Patagonian channels with inaccurate charts – and history in the making (some guy called Charles Darwin happened to tag along….). In those days all sailors were taught to draw and paint, not for fun but because there were no cameras, and they needed an accurate record of landfalls and pilotage information. For much of the trip Beagle had not one but two artists, which shows how important the job was in a boat only 90′ long…. enough for now, but thanks, James – the best stories are true ones!
Meanwhile, back in the real world we 21st century wimps found a weekend camping in the rain at Beale Park Boat Show a bit of a trial. Losing money and getting wet – two of my least favourite things all at once! The rain kept visitors away until sunday when the sun finally shone and I got to play with my coracle on the lake. Ah well, it could have been worse. I could have been a 19th century sailor on a surveying trip on the Beagle in Tierra del Fuego.