On arrival in Fowey I was pretty cold and my sailing suit was heavy following the good soaking on the trip from Plymouth. It’s at these times I am so grateful of the little diesel heater that I installed about a year ago. Without it I would never have been warm or got my stuff dry as there is no electric supply on the pontoon at Fowey. There was stuff everywhere as the boat always seems to get messy at sea. Once Fiesta was shipshape and when there was a break in the rain I got the dinghy ready and went across to Fowey so Max could uncross his legs! Max is far from stupid and although I’ve tried to teach him that he is allowed to have a p*ss on the deck, he just won’t do it. I’ve even tried leading by example but he just shakes it off and walks away……
At about 8pm I received notice that the pre conference conference was underway at the home of ‘The Awesome Mr Davis’ in Newbury and as usual there was plenty on the agenda so the pre conference itself was going to be no small affair (no offence Marky). I know from past experience that discussions continue into the small hours (again, no offence) and in the morning there is a lot of post conference hot air and plenty of data to be dowloaded and no one wants to be behind Mr Alexander in the queue to use the network as there is always some data left behind which makes it difficult and unpleasant to download your own. I have learnt this from my own bitter experience on many occasions over the last ten years so despite wishing I could have attended the first part of the conference I didn’t mind missing the first debrief.
After an Italian sat nav meltdown that resulted in an impromptu green laning session somewhere in Dartmoor, everyone arrived at the Carlyon Hotel in St Austell. I arrived by taxi about 5 minutes later having spent the ten minute journey thinking that this was the furthest I had been away from Fiesta for over six weeks. Sad I know but my world is very strange and very small (sorry Marky, I’ll stop it now) and it felt odd to leave it behind!
We had lunch and once everyone was checked in we headed into Fowey. Over the next few hours I was brought up to speed with everything EC3 related and was disappointed to hear that the world of insurance keeps turning without me….
After a couple of drinks we went for a curry. There was some foresight going on at this point about the potential for some data overload from Russ so Big Kev (they don’t call him Big Kev for nothing – nearly 250kg of prime aged beef) decided to boycott his hotel room with Russ in favour of a night onboard Fiesta. He’s a brave man – I’ve been on my own for a long time and I’m not sure which option would be worse for him.
Whilst the others headed back to the hotel, Kev and I got in my three man (or one man plus Kev) dinghy and were treated to a show of phosphorescence lighting up the now considerable bow wave of the dinghy on the way to the boat.
We decided to talk a bit of sh*t and drink some of Scotland’s finest and turned in at about half past two which was probably not before time as far as our French neighbours on the pontoon were concerned.
‘Sacré Bleu, who is this bruv and where are all the Cornish people? Where are we Claude’?
I woke up with a start wondering why on earth the engine was running but then remembered that Kev was asleep in the saloon. Whilst not exactly a quiet sleeper, he is a deep sleeper so we never had any embarrassing questions such as ‘F*ckinell bruv, what happened last night’? Great, we can all move on.
We got Fiesta across to the Town Quay where you are allowed to stay for a maximum of two hours so we could pick up the others. Kev and I went to get some pasties and fruit juice (!) for the trip and the others arrived at 11am. Despite a quick downpour which destroyed the nice breeze, the wind returned, the sun came out and we had a fantastic little sail out of Fowey, along the coast and back again in time for lunch.
I had a sore head and like skiing, sailing clears that away in no time. I hoped it did the same for Kev’s soreness but I was too afraid to ask and as he was no longer looking sheepish, I took that as a good sign.
I thoroughly enjoyed having everyone onboard and I also enjoyed not being welded to the helm and instead Tom sailed us out and back again perfectly. What with the steering and various bits of string pulling being done by the others, I started to wonder if I actually needed my expensive new auto pilot. After all, these ones installed themselves at no cost and were already working pretty well. However, whilst no initial outlay, they do take up a fair amount of room and the ongoing fuel cost would be prohibitive.
Thankfully Tom left his Italian sat nav in the car and he got us out and back again without any detours or bumps along the way. Excellent.
Unfortunately it’s not all fun fun fun and we had to be in the Ship in Fowey at 1pm for a working lunch after which we headed back to the hotel for a powerpoint presentation wrap up over dinner.
It was a Tribute to us all that no one got overly rattler’d and after some black stuff we were back in the red and everything turned out Rosé.
After a long but thoroughly excellent day, my taxi arrived and as quick as that the conference was over and I headed back to the boat….
Peace and quiet onboard Fiesta resumed and whilst I am honest when I tell people that I never tire of being alone on the boat, after such a great couple of days with a bunch of blokes that I spent over ten years working, laughing and socialising with, the silence onboard was deafening and ok, I admit it, I felt ever so slightly alone and downhearted.
‘Max, its just you and me. Sorry to dissapoint you but the walrus of love won’t be with us tonight’.
I needed to distract myself from this loneliness so while it was fresh in my mind and post Kev’s visit, I wrote a shopping list.
Chloroform, shoe horn, Marmite, WD40.
Gents, it was great to see you all and thank you very much for making the trip out to see me. I absolutely loved it.
Getting ready for sea
Ok Justin, I’ve spoken to everyone and we promise not to mention your chalk stripe suit again even though if anyone can carry it off, you can…Come on, please come outside and join us again……
‘Ok, but if that dwarf says one more thing, he’s going over the side’!
‘Ok, thats fine’.
Don’t worry Marky, come back to the cockpit. It should be fine…..
Thats better, all happy again.
Big ship for a little harbour.