Traumatised in Baggy Pants
24 April 2018 | Loch Longs pre-start. 63 owned my m'uncle Jimmy
"What the heck is that?", or indeed, ......Cluuunkk....."What the **** was that" is sometimes what I hear when, as in Triabunna our over size 66lb Spade protrudes over the marina pontoon, nutting (a Glaswegian expression) small children as they pass and near disembowelling pursuing adults.
Over sized? Well, actually is the right size. I bought 66lb and it is. By oversized I mean 45lb is what the Spade website says is correct for Time Bandit. However, the guys that wrote the Spade specs didn't have a traumatic upbringing like wot I did.
When I were a lad, you know, back when a bacon butty cost just a ha'penny, during the summer, usually the second weekend in July, for a special treat, my dear old dad used to take the family out on "the yacht" on a Sunday. The yacht was Whisper, his twenty one foot racing day boat, which in these days, and certainly to my young eyes, was a yacht.
I was probably about five or six at the time and as we sailed on our fantastic offshore voyage around the top of the island of Great Cumbrae, (as opposed to Wee Cumbrae), I used to tow my model boat behind 'the yacht". Unfortunately, for some inexplicable function of hydrodynamics, my wee boat would reach a critical hull speed, submerge and disappear underwater while the tow string cut into my baby soft wee palms reducing me to tears. Dad to the rescue. He would dump the main, slow the boat, haul in my toy, empty it out and we'd start again. I probably got a kiss on the palm from my mum to make it better.
Man, those were the days. Now it's just, "MAN UP!"
Anyway, after an hour or two we'd reach Nirvana, aka Fintry Bay where there was a fab beach, rocks, pools with crabs and other creepy crawlies and an ice cream shop. As we approached the beach, Dad would wriggle under the cuddy to retrieve the yacht's anchor and warp. Now, as we were on a racing yacht, the ground tackle was optimised to meet the rules, as opposed to achieving its primary goal.
We would pitch up at the sandy beach and dad would pitch the anchor off the bow, chuck us all in the dinghy and row us ashore.
Us nippers would immediately change into our fetching and rather fashionable seersucker knitted swimming trunks and plunge into the briny. Not far away, grown men, being transported to work offshore were being squeezed into neoprene survival suits in the remote chance they fell into the same water. We were well 'ard us nippers.
While fashionable, the knitted dookers were just fine on the way in. However, on the way out you looked like you had been out trawling and coming ashore with the net half out. On occasion, you might be lucky enough to find a mackerel in the crotch.
And so, as I lay awake the other night listening to the howling wind swish us around at anchor back in Jervis Bay, (probably named after a posh Englishman, as in, "I say Jervis, coming aboard for Tiffin?"), I was thinking, "Is the giant Spade going to hold or is this a Fred at Fintry night?
And that's the problem. As that impressionable child in the knitted knickers I was traumatised at the sight of "the yacht", our only way home, drifting off over the horizon and dad sprinting down the beach like Roger Bannister on yet another rescue mission. Consequently, despite the fact we have NEVER dragged, there's always that nagging image burned into the back of my mind, troubling me on dark windy nights of dad leaping to his feet with a curse - we were always learning new words from dad - and sprinting away, chasing down the beach after the boat, flailing his arms as if its going to say, "sorry" and turn around and re-anchor.
It's a memory almost as troubling as the knitted knickers. Why would you do that to a child?