Solent 99 Continued

Autumn 1999

Surprisingly, a rather upmarket marina in East Cowes finally took pity on us, inviting us to moor up in the exposed section of the dinghy park (which nobody else used because it dried out). We gratefully accepted. Once we were moored up, I happily bounced along the pontoons towards the office to thank them and pay our dues. I smiled at a lady emerging from a floating gin palace. She was wearing the standard gear for 'Lady Cowes' - smart tailor made trousers, brand new deck shoes, and a pristine white shirt with a blue anchor embroidered on the pocket and a navy and white neck scarf. She was further decorated by heavy gold jewellery, a large diamond ring and an inch of makeup. Her hair was beautifully coiffured and set solid in a short wavy style.

"Good morning" I greeted her cheerfully. She gave me the, by now familiar, 'look'. Studiously ignoring me, she averted her eyes, put her powder-puffed nose in the air, and trod delicately towards the neighbouring gin palace.

How can a person be so proud? Should I aspire to such pride? A friend said of a similar experience "I just thought of her sitting on the toilet and that put here firmly in her place". I tried it. My imagination is quite fertile, so I generated a 'rest room' as opposed to the traditional 'heads' in a boat. I had seen 'rest rooms' on gin-palaces at the London Boat Show. The 'lady Cowes' would step inside a room beautifully decorated in pastel colours, a bowl of fresh flowers giving a splash of colour and the air would be scented by the dozen bottles of expensive perfume ranged along a shelf. Soft fluffy towels would be freshly laid out and classical music would flow into the room to generate a convivial 'moving' experience.

1 Commodore's Bit
2 Annual Dinner
3 Working Party
4 Sunbury Regatta
5 Signet Championships
6 Topper Adventures
7 Solent '99
8 Solent 99 page 2
9 Children’s Activity Day
10 Bewl Visit
11 Sailing Report
12 Eclipse Cruise
13 Hampton Riverside
14 Hampton Riverside p 2
15 Cundy Race
16 The Internet
17 Raffle Donations
17 The Club Geny Missing
17 Hail & Farewell
18 AGM & Prize Giving
19 Dates For Your Diary

My mind flashed back to my 'rest room' facilities when at sea on Kwahu i.e. a bucket. The good old traditional seafarers method of "bucket and chuck-it". Much to the consternation of 'Lady Cowes', I started to giggle at the comparison. She nervously looked over her shoulder and scrambled to the safety of the gin-palace and her fellow cronies.

Perhaps on reflection I don't have the correct ‘facilities` to be proud. Perhaps it is something I need to work on.

MEMO: Look out for a new gold plastic Addis bucket - a bucket to be proud of (it would also have
camouflage potential when used for its proper purpose).