11 July 2014

Hello Agnes

Goodbye Fiona. Hello Agnes!

Sailing on Fiona was never part of a plan. She just showed up and we jumped on board. Twice we hastily packed everything we thought we might need, dropped all commitments, canceled scheduled obligations, and sailed off on an adventure to the unknown aboard Fiona.

Not so with Agnes. No, with Agnes it will all be different.

Back in September, after getting off Fiona, I remarked, "I'd like to do that again!" That was all John needed to hear. Next thing I knew, we had a plan and that rarity of rarities (in our life anyway), a real, budgeted vacation. A voyage aboard Agnes.

Agnes rounding St. Anthony's Head
Agnes is a wooden sailing ship/boat (I can never tell the difference). Her owner is the famous boatbuilder, Luke Powell who builds big, traditional Pilot Cutters. He and his wife Joanna own one of the biggest of these ships, and in the summer, they take folks on sailing trips. Folks like John: adventurers, looking to extreme sailing experiences --- climbing up masts that are 50ft high just for the fun of it, and things like that. ('Extreme chill-out experience' would be more accurate. This is France, after all. -- Ed.)

So here we are, scheduled to sail on Agnes from Cornwall in south England to Brittany in France. Agnes is a "working boat", i.e., we all get to work on the boat if we feel like it (thank you). The trip will take about 8 days... well not just the here to there, but once we are across the English Channel to Britanny ("the passage" should take a day and a night), we will go up north from port to port.

There are only other 4 passengers on board besides us, besides Luke and Johanna. We are going to be fed at least two scrumptious meals a day, sleep on bunks (private maybe?), do lots of sailing, knot tying, and other sailing duties, and -- most important -- tour the harbors and islands of Brittany.

I am sure there is more to this trip than what I just mentioned, but I've left all the planning to John, so most of this trip is going to be a surprise. Reminiscent of Fiona, perhaps?

Tomorrow, three days before we leave, we will start to pack. You know what that means... yes, more drama of what to take and what to leave behind.

Oh, and we started to practice our French... well, better late than ever.

Next Episode:  Packing


  1. "wooden sailing ship/boat (I can never tell the difference). "
    I don' think there is any definitive boundary here. In my mind, if the vessel is big enough to carry a boat, it is a ship. If it's small enough to be carried on a ship, it's a boat. I think the fairest definition is that; if it will normally travel anywhere on it's own keel, it's a ship, otherwise a boat that might travel another way. Most ships are called 'the boat' as a familiar expression.
    If you are coming to the UK and sailing the Brittany coast, bring sweaters and wet weather gear, it's NOT the Caribbean!

  2. Good way to think about the line between ships and boats.

    Been watching the weather VERY carefully. Personally, I like cool weather, so for me it will be a nice change not roasting in the sun.

    -- John


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