Pathfinder Broads Cruise

Despair to victory


Definition 1: Something one writes while on the Cruise, in order to cause much mirth, merriment and general gaiety.

Definition 2: A piece of wood which floats on the water, not really going anywhere. Add a couple of sticks, a piece of ineffectual cloth and an inept crew, and you may as well have the 'yacht' Jade.

My morning was rather uneventful. After being woken at a fiendishly early hour by a scary bearded man who turned out to be my skipper, most of it was spent being towed by Eternal Hope (Eternal Comfort), since Leander's sweet little engine had finally revved its last the night before. As lunchtime approached, I formed a plan. Sneakily winning our squadron leader's favour, I engineered my transfer to Jade - a boat with a fearsome warp drive for an engine, a sailing heritage of legendary proportions and a crack amphibian crew of die-hard sailors which included no fewer than Two skippers. I couldn't lose!

Cut to two hours later. After being forced into the bank while in irons, by an overtaking boat (which had the impudence to shout "Starboard" and then bombard us with water balloons) we had resorted to sailing backwards, and were well on the way back to our morning's start point of Ludham, when a friendly cruiser driver gave us some sailing tips. Things seemed to pick up; at least forward movement was resumed. The improvement was not, however, and at 5pm we were overtaken by the start boat, where our illustrious Commodore 'Magic' Johnson told us that since we were at least an hour behind the entire fleet, we had special permission to engage warp drive. At last, I thought, I could relax, stop pretending to work the jib (while simultaneously doing my best lounging-around-looking-cool-in-sunglasses act), and settle down to write a log.

'Twas not to be. As we approached our moorings at Acle, a fearsome warship loomed on the horizon. Ramming the engine into re-heat, I desperately took evasive action. This wasn't enough, and our foe roared up alongside us. For the first time, I glimpsed the enemy warlord - the dreaded Captain Sebastian Latimer.

Barrage after barrage of deadly cockpit cutters were flung, our youngest and dearest was sent forward to man the guns, and we roared along at crazy speeds, almost ramming a half-decker in a last attempt to escape the watery death which surely awaited us if ever we fell into the hands of the Latimer. But no, a well-aimed cockpit cutter sent our foe reeling away, out of control. We had prevailed, and lived to fight another day.

We stepped ashore, drenched but victorious. As we surveyed the land that was now ours, hoards of women rushed up to the battered warriors. Their first words as they flocked around me; "Greeeeeg, can I be in your log tonight?"