The Eventider's News




Issue Nine, Autumn 2007.


Page No 3



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A few months ago we were contacted by Holly who had found our website and it rekindles all the memories she had as a lass.  Seemed she had quite a family trip! 

We are so pleased she then took the trouble to find all the old photos, scan them and send them in to us.  Here they are.


Hello John, here are my pictures of 'Pitterpat' She was built in 1979 in Plymouth by Terry Erskine Yachts.

Iím not really sure where the name Pitterpat came from, my mother's name is Pat, so maybe thereís a link there.  Iíll ask my father though!

We crossed the Atlantic in 28.5 days, from the Canaries to Barbados, having such sightings as one cargo ship, one other small yacht, one whale, 2 water spouts and plenty of flying fish!

Iíll also try to remember a few details. I do remember she had a bunk which went under the chart table, Iíve not seen this design on any of the pictures I found on the web last night, maybe it was a special?

Here she is being launched in Plymouth
Out on Sea Trials off Devon

As for more boat details, I think the photos will show more than I can remember. She was a home though, so I do remember lots of washing hanging on all the guard rails and a ladder living on the deck Ė good for impromptu gang planks, mast lowering and knowing my Dad, a many more useful jobs!

Tim up the top of the mast!

She had a small bowsprit, was a sloop rig and we had mast-steps, which again I havenít seen on the photos of current GHís.

We also had an on board echo sounder and radio of course and an old car stereo and tape player was installed as an after thought.

We had a spinning log which we trailed behind us which tried to tell us how fast (or slow!) we were going.

We had a Quarter Master called Captain Beaky, so we always had a real person on watch! Although the photos do show that mid Atlantic we simply tied the tiller in position!

For most of the journey, we travelled goose winged with our cruising shute, genoa, main and as many flags and tea towels as my brother could aero-dynamically hang out!

We had no sat nav on board (imagine that, even my car has one these days !!), but my father and I (aged 12) could both navigate by the sun and moon/stars. We had 2 sextants on board and took readings with both to compare and double check. Dadís was the more modern plastic one, and mine was an older wooden model. We landed exactly where we aimed for albeit at night time rather than day time!

A few more "old days" blips of info, we had no hot water and no fridge and certainly no other plug in type mod cons! The lack of fridge was no problem when we were in the south of France the year the sea froze, and the lack of hot water was no problem during the wonderful time we spend in the Caribbean!

In Plymouth, then again by chance while on our travels, we also met up with another GH31, called 'Charisma', registered in Stoney Point in USA. Iíll also attach a few photos of Charisma for you.

'Charisma' again
Here we are alongside them.

And most of all, I wish Iíd kept sailing when we returned to live on land. I recently had my first ever day sailing since being 13, and to say the least, given the opportunity Iíd be hooked. Even from one day, I can at long last understand the love affair my father had with the sea and appreciate his life long dream of selling up and sailing the world!

So, three years of my unusual childhood in a few lines and a few photos. I wish I could do it all over again in a more relaxed manner, with digital photography, with the hindsight of having been an adult, with more appreciation of the opportunity given to me, with a lot more appreciation of different walks of life, without having being plagued by sea-sickness, without my job being to constantly keep the brass winches gleaming!, without fear and with a sponge for a memory!

Iíve enjoyed finding the photos and writing this to you. Thank you!

Kind regards,

Holly Doole


Holly, what can we say, you are so very lucky to have had all these experiences.  hope you get out sailing one day, I bet there is many an Eventider who could find room for a trans-Atlantic sailor as crew! 

Thankyou for the article. 



Within a day this article has had this response from the skipper of GH 31

'Le Corbeau'

Hi John

You can tell Holly I have a quarter berth under the chart table. The table drops down. a good berth but at my age hell to get into, though at 13...........

regards Jim


Yes, I have seen others with quarter berth here too.  My own Eventide, Fiddler's Green,  has the same arrangement.  Our Eventide is stretched slightly on deck to 27'3".  Also the hull was raised slightly to compensate for the extra ballast, as the GH26.  The berth is a bit of a  squeeze, and normally reserved for the skipper, who has to admit to making the half bulkhead hinge now, for easier access!



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