St Kea’s Boat by David Loveridge

A large block of granite, hollow on one side, lying on the banks of the River Fal for centuries was said to have been St. Kea’s boat, used by him for sailing from Ireland to Cornwall. If people went to sea in a vessel unsuited to service, it was said they might as well have gone to sea in St. Kea’s “moorstone trough” – and with St. Kea, since they would be needing his protection.

A moorstone trough, a hollow, granite “boat,
was stuck for centuries in mud and lay
abandoned on the River Fal: a note
of God-speak, many said, when Kea would ride
from Ireland on to Cornwall in a day,
and back again upon a Western tide.
It could not be! A stone to float? It plied,
the story goes. for Kea, until he died.

But if,” the locals add – a wink, a nod –
“You plan to sail in she. or am bred
the like, take Kea along. for ‘e. with God.
will give protection to your heedless soul.”
Now any sea-unworthy ship is said
to need his help. and though he reached his goal
in Heaven and long since died, if Fal folk
see a faulty ship. they’ll cross and call on Kea.

Late 19th Century Fishermen pulling in a catch.

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