The toilet isn’t the only thing that’s primitive on this 36 foot bath toy we’ve hired for the weekend. Before we left port yesterday, a bloke with a grey beard showed us the ropes.
His language was so archaic it was like watching a foreign film. Why call it a cleat when “thing you wind the rope around” would do? He kept trying to scare us with stories about people getting beached and having to be rescued. Silly old barnacle.
I didn’t much like the way he smiled when we waved him goodbye and motored away from the wharf without pulling the rope off the thingee he called a bollard. We weren’t trying to demolish the wharf.
Nautical door heights haven’t changed since the Battle of Trafalgar – which accounts for the huge lumps on my head. Not that I’m complaining. Nothing worse than a belligerent sailor.
I don’t mind being stuck down here really. I much prefer roosting in the woody womb of the vessel to being up there white knuckling the wheel and screaming.
But I only did that once yesterday. Sailing’s like war, I’ve decided – long periods of boredom interspersed with brief moments of life threatening terror.
I was steering through a stretch of perfectly empty water, when suddenly hundreds of little yachts started whirling around us like angry bees.
The famous camaraderie of the seas went right out the porthole. You’d think the Anglo Saxons had invented only one word.
I can still see the faces of the yachtsmen I nearly sliced in half – pale and open-mouthed like portraits of the damned in a medieval painting.
A miss is as good as a mile, I said. But they told me go downstairs and cook dinner. All they think about is their stomachs.
Soon after, my husband visited me in the galley saying he needed the radio. Well, the boat does have a nice cd player. No, he said, we’d run aground.
The man with the grey beard’s smile seemed to have widened an extra few centimentres when he turned up in a yellow rescue launch. He told us to sit on the far side of the boat while he tied a rope around the mast and hauled us out of the mud.
The yacht leaned on such a sharp angle as he roared off into the distance we were heaved into the air like acrobats from Cirque du Soleil.