Camaret is another little port town on the north west coast of France and due to favourable weather conditions it was to be our last port of call before the Bay of Biscay crossing. Because of this we needed to spend some time stocking up and refueling. In chronological order, in the space of half an hour, the following events happened as we were mooring up at the fueling depot:
1. As we pulled into the depot an old guy slipped up on the pontoon, grabbing a rope to break his fall but not catching it in time to avoid making a tit of himself.
2. Having just moored up at the depot, with Sam heading off to the office to pay in advance for some fuel, an old French tart with her lesbian friend and fluffy dog slips up on what is obviously a very slippery pontoon. Not wanting to break her manicured nails she avoids putting her hands forwards to break her fall and instead spins round in a kind of freestyle breakdance move. Now she is stumbling backwards and at this point she trips over a cleat and falls backwards towards the water. By an amazing coincidence our dinghy, which we had been towing behind us, was right in her path and she was lucky enough to fall flat on her back not in the water but in the dingy. Obviously completely racked with embarrassment she makes a very quick exit, scrabbling ashore by grabbing Lorraine’s arm with her talons, scratching and bruising poor Lorraine. Meanwhile her French lesbian friend with home-styled perm (think Cameron Diaz’s orange flatmate in Something About Mary) starts having a go at Lorraine, accusing her of shoving her lover into the water! When I point out afterward that this mishap could have been fatal because she was wearing a rucksack (potentially dragging her backwards under the water) Lorraine said it would definitely have been fatal as she’d have not been able to get up with Lorraine’s foot firmly placed on her head.
3. After we’ve refueled Sam has to head back to the harbour master’s office to pay for the diesel before he’s allowed to move Ramprasad away from the pump. Stupid French rules but Sam’s an honest man and does things by the book, so off he goes. In the meantime a French couple has arrived and is hovering in the middle of the fueling bay, waiting for us to move out the way. Next thing I know this irate French tart, standing on the bow of her precious yacht, rope in hand, starts shouting at me to move my yacht. “I can’t”, I reply. “If I move the yacht without skipper on board he’d kill me. Besides, I’m in training” (I still can’t do that bowline in under ten seconds). Despite her excellent English this obviously didn’t wash with her. “Why can’t you pull the boat round with the ropes to this space here” she replies, pointing at a space just about big enough to house a tin bath. Once again I explain my situation and that if she could just wait for a few minutes the Skipper will be back to move the boat. Still she persists, this time raising her voice to attract the attention of all around us, with her husband now joining in.
“We want to refuel, why can’t you move the boat, get it out the way” and so on, now with some added comments regarding the English thrown in Now they’re starting to p!ss me off. “Look, it’s what the English call queuing”, I pipe up. “We had to wait, now you can wait. We’ll only be a few minutes, so what’s the rush?” After all, this is sailing, not the F1 pit-stop. Now they’re cursing obscenities at me, whilst some English sailors on the pontoon join in. “Aha”, I smile, “some support from some fellow English chaps”. Turns out they’re starting to have a go at me as well. “You should hear what they’re saying about the English” he remarks.
Like I give a sh!t, you pretentious bearded twat? You know what I was saying about the moneyed-up side of the sailing fraternity, the people who are more concerned about their appearance than they are of sailing? Well this bloke was the epitome of this cliché. At this point Sam comes back and the English twat, along with the French twats, starts shouting at Sam, who tries to explain in vain the stupid French rules he’s had to abide by. Because they’re not listening Sam eventually ends up just shouting at the English guy “Perhaps you’d like to stand here and discuss this further and waste some more time?” Perturbed, the bearded toff muttered some obscenities as we turned Ramprasad round and made our way out the depot. Seriously, what the **** was all that about? After a week of adjusting to my new surroundings I’d just got this sailing malarkey sussed, and then this happens. Some people just don’t know how to chill.
Off we head for what could be our last sailing trip ever – the dreaded Bay of Biscay! At this point I’d like to give a massive shout out to my bro, Tim, for spending a lot of blood, sweat and tears over the updating of this web site. I’m sure you’ll agree he’s done a wicked job on this very comprehensive site. Tim, if I don’t return you can have my turntables.
Editor’s note: you heard him folks!