Wednesday, May 20, 2009
The call came late in the evening from an unfamiliar number; a voice I had never heard before told me that Briongloid (Irish for "dream") was hard aground the rocks outside her home cove. Several hurried phone calls later, I was on the road to the coast, racing through the darkness in convoy with a hastily press-ganged brother-in-law, trying beat the water to our precious boat, and take the salvage opportunity presented by the approaching high tide.
A few miles down the road, the dash was ended by another call; a crew from a local boatyard had got her off. Too late to do any good now, we turned for home.
The next day, I saw her. Back on the trailer she had left so recently, her bottom paint still brush-fresh, but her hull now sadly battered, the smooth swell of her hull now sadly gouged and scraped, with cracks that penetrated the hull below the waterline. The rudder, refurbished mere weeks ago, smashed to matchwood, only fragments remaining attached to the gudgeons and the tiller. Inside, the flexing of her hull had cracked the interior. Below, a sinister crack ran right around the keel.