Saturday, August 9, 2008

Harbour Arrangements

Descending from the customs house down to the waterfront in search of berths to Marseille, Cardinal Maximilian's valet de chambre took just under an hour to assess the situation. Whilst more than a dozen of the smaller feluccas in port could be hired to coast as far as Marseille, or even directly into Arles, the commanders of such vessels are notoriously weather-shy, preferring to row from headland to headland and only unfurling sail in the most favourable skies. While the persistent tramontane winds of late summer argued in favour of passage by oar, what could be merely a three or four day passage with favourable winds could easily stretch out over weeks if poor weather threatened.

The felucca--ubiquitous in the Ligurian Sea, but of marginal seaworthiness out of sight of shore.















The sloop Pharaon bound for Toulon, belonging to the Marseilles firm of Morrel & Son, and a chebec, the Indiscret, and a polacca-chebec, the Serpent, both bound for Marseille, also lay in harbour, all able to make good headway against contrary winds and large enough to be fairly safe in open water, but the passage was certain to be far dearer.

2 comments:

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tradgardmastare said...

I have just read the items you mentioned pertaining to painting and preparing plastics on your blog from 2007. Thanks for mentioning them - they are excellent . I had better go and buy plastic primer before I go any further...
many thanks
Alan
p.s I continue to enjoy Max's peregrenations very much...