To Brighton Marina today to walk beside those lush yachts and for the first time since Spirit of Pentax – my eccentric Captain Fantastic – sailed off to circumnavigate the world back in … well back almost 37 years ago! Yes, in the summer of 1980.
I hoped to meet that talented artist Bob Abrahams who gave that homemade yacht such an impressive look. Unfortunately, though, Bob couldn’t get there.
|Yachts ahoy! ... Boats aplenty but not much boggling.|
However, much of the rest of the world could, and the marina seemed filled with visitors. Not, I hasten to add, around the acres of yachts moored there. In the restaurants.
And it is in this eating and drinking area that the marina looks most different. I say different. I should say completely unrecognisable.
Sadly the train taking me there was involved in a fatality – we passengers weren’t told in what way – and we arrived very late. A brisk walk from the station, a little under an hour, brought me onto the jetties I thought I knew so well. Of course, nearly 40 years later, everything is bound to be different, although, quite remarkably, some cruising yachts from that era are still there.
Admittedly the visit was brief, but two features of the changed times stood out. The yachting gear – blazers, cravats, yacht club badges – of yesteryear were gone. I didn’t see any.
However, what an abundance of leggings. Back in the dark ages of the 1980s, women associated with sailing wore nothing like that.
Six billion leggings
The world possesses something in the region of three and a half billion women. Wherever I’ve travelled in recent years, nothing seems to have spread as quickly as leggings. If Brighton Marina is typical, it seems almost all the women of the world wear them.
They can’t have just one pair for they have to be washed, at least from time to time. And that means that at least six billion leggings have been made and sold around our globe.
On the walk to the marina, I had been trying to estimate the number of sea miles I sailed on that global trip from Brighton. Somehow the mileage seemed suddenly comparatively almost paltry.
I planned to touch a yacht at the marina before I left for the station. They are all locked away. People can't get up close to a sailing boat. Well, no wonder the eateries were doing well.
Oh, another change. Working my way through the crowds of those keen marina visitors, I didn't hear one reference to yachts, or any part of yachts. I gathered that the food and wine consumed was good, though.
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