Cruising a small boat in the western Med is the name Ben Crawshaw has given to a series of YouTube videos he has put together about his expedition to Ibiza and Formontera from the Spanish mainland.
So far there are only two of the series to watch, but already it’s clear the adventure was a real roller-coaster ride. Part two finds him on an exhilarating run to Formontera to meet friends for a dinner date aboard a restored 1929 British lifeboat; however the contrast with his honest account of the fear he felt in part 1 when sailing overnight to Ibiza could not be more stark. It’s not for nothing that he’s called the first episode Fear is a giant octopus.
See the videos at his weblog The Invisible Workshop here and here. Ben Crawshaw fans – and there are many – will be pleased to know there will be more to come…
I thought of Ben’s first video last night as I dipped into my book collection during a bout of insomnia. The volume in question was Old Jack by W H G Kingston. It’s a romantic story of derring-do on the high seas, and I have to say after just two chapters the adventuring has already been immense and the body count is mounting.
I was particularly taken with the advice an experienced sailor gave the young protagonist when he said that he would never be frightened so long as he was with his companion and the ship’s captain:
‘Peter laughed. “We may be very well in our way,” said he; “but Jack my advice is Trust in God and hold on to the weather rigging.”‘
For more on Ben and his Light Trow named Onawind Blue, click here.
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Cooking on board Ben Crawshaw’s Onawind Blue
I don’t know about you, but I find just looking at this photo of Ben’s dinner cooking on board his Light Trow named Onawind Blue sets my senses off. I’m sure I can smell this dish as it cooks.
To quote Ben:
‘According to the great Catalan writer Josep Pla (1897-1981) fish stew as cooked and eaten by fishermen is the most ancient of Mediterranean dishes. Regardless of the religion, the rulers or the nationality of the neighbouring shores fish stew has been a constant.
‘A simple dish with a long history that, marrying fish, onion, garlic, tomato and potato in the pot, produces sustaining, sumptuous yet delicate fare. From this fundamental marriage the Provencal bouillabaisse was born and also the less elaborate suquet of Catalonia, a dish that has attained an almost legendary status (at least on its home shores) and one that usually carries a price tag to match.’
Find out how to cook it – the recipe is simple and you’ll find it at Ben’s excellent weblog The Invisible Workshop.
For more on trows in general and the Light Trow in particular, including boatbuilding plans etc, click here.
One of the best Christmas presents for me this year has been the news that Ben Crawshaw’s very nice project Onawind Blue built to my Light Trow design has made the launchings section of the superb US magazine Wooden Boat! Well done Ben – that’s quite an achievement with a first boat, and a plywood one at that.
I originally drew the Light Trow to be built on a strongback, but Ben built his using conventional stitch and glue at my suggestion, and we were both please when it worked perfectly. Some time I’ll revise the plans to eliminate the strongback, but in the meantime you can build the boat the same way using the plans Ben used. The free plans download is here.
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