Along Row From Home

A Memory of Gunnislake.

I n 1965 my parents retired to Saltash and my father built himself a small boat. As it was moored off the end of the garden. He looked around for a dingy to get to and fro and eventually found one in Gunnislake. Guess who got the task of rowing it down to Saltash. What a journey for a towney that had hardly been in a boat before. Fortunately the dingy was small and light [fibre glass] and the weather good also the tide was falling so I had it and the flow of the Tamar in my favour. Unfortunately the wind was against me as I reach the junction with the River Tavey and the tide so far out that there was half a mile of mud between me and the end of the garden by the time I got there. Dad gaily said just carry on to the ferry quay under the bridge --- another half mile ! --- and he'd fetch it from there. After 10 or so miles of winding river I was not happy but had no choice. Eventually we got the dingy home only for my brother to visit a week or so later, take it out and capsize it just off the garden and it was never seen again.
At the time I was not amused but now after all these years the memory of that trip down the Tamar, the views the sounds of the seabirds and the struggles to hold the dingy against the wind as it drifted nearer and nearer the Tamar Bridge and home are just as clear as 56 years ago. Thanks Dad.

Added 14 October 2021


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