We Launch From Porlock!

crashing sea

“James drove us to Porlock Weir, a snug harbor with tearoom and seaside hotel, about ten miles from Lynmouth.  A few tour buses stop next to the Old Ship Inn, for Porlock is a local attraction.  A famous sea rescue took place here in 1899 during a terrible storm.  When the Lynmouth lifeboat could not be launched in heavy waves to save a ship wallowing in Porlock Bay, the coxswain declared, in words now legendary, “We launch from Porlock!”  Through torrential rain and darkness, his men dragged the twelve-oar heavy boat up hills with a 1:3 gradient and across fifteen miles of difficult terrain–and saved the stricken crew.  Now, when something looks quite impossible to either James or me, one of us is apt to whisper encouragingly to the other:  “Never mind!  We launch from Porlock!”

Susan Allen Toth, My Love Affair with England

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