… to come aboard skipper?
He might be regretting replying in the affirmative, though I had thought the lower ratings might just be piped aboard when the Captain was present. Maybe he saw how much luggage they brought and feared a voyage to some far and distant land, instead of a day’s jolly doon the watter.
Mind you he didn’t do too badly from the deal, with the decks being swabbed until near worn through, and, more importantly, his nearest and dearest not turned into a vomitarium. And he witnessed the first ever albatross on the Clyde Coast since Gene Saracen’s hole-in-one at The Postage Stamp back in 1973. Some of us are old enough to remember it well. It might have been an eagle, the Saracen one that is.
Oh yes, The Urchins have taken to the ocean waves, and dragged their parents with them. We survived. Sundry ferries plied their trade from shore to shore, and we managed to miss them all. Squalls chased their way up the estuary, on both shores, yet we stayed dry. Clouds hid the hills from view, yet the sun shone.
And when the sun shines on eryngium it thrives. And so it was with novices at the tiller of Sea Holly. From the north shore at Rhu we tacked our way (see, getting cocky and technical now), down to Kip, south and west, against the wind, through the lumpy bits, without even getting prickly.
The rain bounced through the night, wind was forecast, heaps of it. Stomachs churned at the thought. But again the day was kind, and the weather gave the lubbers a wide berth. And so back to Rhu, wind astern.
The pride of the Clyde, the old Waverley paddled by, blades churning, brave souls on deck waving. There might be a picture of that one to come.
That was great, will we still be in time for swimming club?
And we still had time for fishing, though Boy Urchin had his first experience of watching absolutely nothing take an interest in his hook. And Girl Urchin scrubbed again, finding a gene that must have skipped a generation. Maybe one day she’ll iron.
Anyway, that albatross. We all saw it. Swooping past, feathers ruffled, eyes on the waters below. Big bill, black-tipped feathers, yellowish head clear for all to see. Related to boobies, it says on the wiki-tin. Of course it was a gannet, and it wasn’t an Urchin who called it otherwise. More a howler than a booby, but my lips are sealed.
Twelve hours earlier I wasn’t even thinking of going along, after another day of fast following a night of, well you really don’t want to know. But the ante-dote for stomach gremlins and hernias, for reactions to medication, has been found, alive and well on the waters of the Clyde. Take one bouncy boat ride, then get yourself a haggis supper. It soaks up everything that rumbles down below. Might need another one tonight, for the remedy doesn’t seem to last long.
But huge thanks all round to Favourite Uncle, and to the star of the weekend, Sea Holly. Even managed to pinch the skipper’s picture. But there’s new crew in training, and they’re off school for at least another six weeks with little to tempt them away from their bad habits. What a blast. Maybe auntie will come along too…