My boat back then was a Mk1 Hirondelle catamaran, named Reepicheep of
Beruna. The name comes from the Chronicles of Narnia: Reepicheep,
the Head Mouse, was the smallest talking Narnian, and one of the
bravest. He won everlasting glory at the battle of the Fords of
Beruna and finally sailed off into the Uttermost East in search of
Aslan’s Country. At 21 feet, the Hirondelle is the smallest
bridgedeck catamaran made, and coped with seas which frightened much
bigger boats! I think she was the smallest boat in the fleet, and I
was actually living on board full time. She was a brave little ship.
The lasting memories of the Benodet cruise are the fact that everyone
set off a good while before our arranged rendezvous in Plymouth
Sound. We arrived there on time, and there was no sign of our escort
– until we spotted some tiny dots on the horizon, out by the Eddystone.
We did our best to catch up on this, our first ever channel crossing,
but during the night they drew away from us and we lost contact with
them at about midnight. We were all alone and felt very isolated. I
later wrote a story about it, which I called “the
attached), which was inspired by an old fishing boat drawn up on the
beach at Benodet. The story is largely true, except that we actually
arrived at about 1:30pm, rather than in the wee small hours. Tell me
whether you like it.