gypsy on the thames
page71 page72

Kerplunk! The mast comes tumbling down
The forestay snapped and help’s required

But Ian’s in Eaton Hastings’s church
He’s left his shipmate in the lurch


But then the welcome phone bell rings
To Kelmscott she runs - despite the stings

A monstrous willow tree looks down
As Ian ties a new rope on

much fun. The rig was flopping about, and I didn’t dare tighten anything up. Nor could I contact Ian, who was out of signal admiring the pre-Raphaelite windows in Eaton Hastings church. At last he called and we met at the Plough in Kelmscott, which I reached with much swearing along a thickly nettled footpath (not good in shorts). Though it was 3.15, they rustled up a fine fat ham sandwich. We walked back to Eaton Hastings along a lane and the

Thames path with several usefully strong bits of rope. A reassuringly fat piece was put into place and the rig shaken to test it for wobble (none). I was on my way again by about 5. Ihe wind was still right on the nose, but feeling confident in your rig makes all the difference, and at last I found I was really relaxing into the boat, looking at the river itself rather than nervously up at my sail. I admired fat yellow water lily buds, tall yellow irises, cloudy