THE lovely photograph on the Gazette letters page three weeks ago, of the red-rigged wooden boat coming into the harbour under full sail, prompted me to write this week’s column.
The boat is actually The Three Brothers, a 28ft Cornish crabber, owned and beautifully maintained by the Rockall brothers, David, Alan and Brian. She is permanently moored at Fisherman’s Quay and is a great visual attraction to visitors, no more so than when riding up river under full sail.
Such a sight also serves as a reminder of what the River Arun was and always should be about, and featured heavily in much of the publicity, photographs and drawings when the East Bank development was proposed and, no doubt, was part of the ambiance that helped sway many into buying property there.
Alan tells me she began life in the early 1930s as The Lady Betty. She is gaff rigged and is pretty basic below decks. The brothers bought her as a wreck in the mid-1960s. In 2003, they sailed her around the east coast and on up to Scotland, and then back through the Caledonian Canal, down the west coast and home to her safe, LA berth.
A hairy trip, with a close encounter with a minke whale and, I am told by big sister Josie, they were frequently huddled in prayer as the sea threatened to punish their effrontery for attempting such a voyage.
However, the boat has never let them down and for some reason their brave little adventure went unsung and unnoticed.
The Three Brothers frequently voyages to the Isle of Wight, has been to France and served them well in the Solent Gaffers’ Race and although coming home last earned much admiration from mariners in sleeker and more luxurious plastic craft.
I suspect, maintained to the current standard, she will serve the brothers well for some time yet and will remain an iconic and visual joy for both locals and visitors to LA.
Shuttle scuttle... While on a watery theme, I note that this is the season for crustaceans! As netting draws to a close, hundreds of lobster and crab traps will be laid off LA by our commercial fishermen.
The cuttlefish are also running. Cuttlefish? Yes they are much more than a chalky white bone for budgie beaking! These odd-looking critters come thick and fast at this time and are eagerly harvested by the fishermen.
The pots are baited with a female cuttle – but how can the fishermen or the cuttlefish tell male from female? I guess the latter can, or why else would they go into the trap?
Car Sparking... Following my mini rant on parking, I note with interest councillor Paul Dendle’s lame excuse for the rush to issue parking tickets at dawn on April 1 as “the council are required to enforce. . .”
Required? Oh, do come on, it was simply a brazen exercise in fund-raising, if ever there was! However, I am pleased he is so keen to see that Arun fulfils its required civic duties, though, and I only wish the council was as keen to fulfil said duties in other areas!
I also note that he, like the majority of this tired cabinet, does not live in LA. I suspect that if he did, he might well take a different point of view on parking during the summer.