Remember that whilst we’d like to believe boating should be for everyone it’s still a rich-man’s sport, so when a bunch of reprobates turn up in a home-made cement boat and moor up next to some bling bling million dollar yacht we’re not exactly greeted with open arms. At first this bothered me. It bothered me that we didn’t look the part and it bothered me that we didn’t have leather hand-stitched upholstery and a fridge that prevents the smell of ripe Camembert to fill the entire boat as soon as one opens the fridge door.
After tempers had dropped we all apologised to each other, including poor Lorraine who I think felt partly responsible for the incident, though it wasn’t her fault. It was no one’s fault, it was just a learning process but we very quickly learned that Sam’s temper can be short under stressful situations. Personally I kind of expected this and don’t have a problem with it, but I’m worried about Conny and Lorraine. Conny actually asked Sam to be more patient with us, and to Sam’s credit he apologised and said that he understood we wouldn’t learn anything with him shouting at us. Let’s hope it was a one-off incident.
Alderney is a Channel Island where it rains a lot. However the beer is good so we hit a couple of cosy snubs in St Annes and supped local ale. Back on the boat I cooked beans on toast, making it four days in a row that I’ve been chef.
5.30am: Woke up to Danny Boy this morning. NO!!!! Not the ******* shipping forecast again! Also Cherbourg smells of rotten fish and I’ve developed a cold. Went into town and acted French. Ate mussels, bought Camembert and French sticks. A trip to the booze shop ensured a library of drink to browse over in the next few weeks, and we … Read More
Woke up to Rule Britania at 5.30am this morning. Very loud. What the **** is going on? Is this Sam’s idea of a bloody joke? It was only after Rule Britannia had finished that I realised he was tuning into the shipping forecast on Radio 4. Obviously essential to our safe passage but please don’t let this happen every day – I can’t handle it! Just to make things more difficult I have decided to give up smoking.
Whilst the food went down well I think there was still a lot of first day nerves, at least for me. Had I made the right decision to leave the comfortable surroundings of home? What’s Sam really like when it’s blowing a force 7 in 20ft waves? Would I get on with Conny and Lorraine? Is sailing for me?
A qualified Royal Yachting Association (RYA) offshore yachtmaster, Sam has already crossed the Atlantic a number of times. His piece-de-resistance, however, must have been sailing the original Ramprasad (a traditional open Indian fishing boat made from teak) from India to Australia single handed. Check an Atlas to put into context just how mad this bloke is.
This introduction was written by my brother when the original FTB website was put together, preceding the Europe and Atlantic trip undertaken in 2003.
Tim helped communicate my adventures to family and friends by setting up a small site to contain these stories. This is the very original introduction that preceded the FTB web site.