This blog has had my friends reminding me of all sorts of funny happenings in my life, so while I am reminded of them, I will share, but this was never supposed to just be a funny blog, so lets see how it grows.
Picture this, white powdery sand, crystal clear water, gentle waves, beach towels, beach loungers, the sound of children playing, paddle skiers gliding through the water, snorkels protruding on the water surface with the odd flap of a flipper, fish darting in the shallows, the sound of island music in the background. Have you got any idea where? Mauritius it is and we are strolling down the beach, towards the left corner of the hotel beach nearing the boat house. The little kiosk is busy with people taking out water sport equipment and some returning into shore. Suddenly with a beam on his face he says (husband) “lets go sailing on one of those Cats!” Ummmmm, “do you know how to sail?” “Of course I do, I sailed all round Turkey, don’t you remember we even sailed in the Maldives?” “`Ummm,” but he’s gone, at a trot to secure a boat, his legs working hard in the beach sand, determination all over his face, in case we lose out on a boat to someone else. Before I know it I am having a life jacket zipped onto me and a beautiful little white boat is being pulled into the water by the very affable staff. They are grinning and clearly relieved that at least this guest says he knows how to sail. To the right of this little bay near the kiosk are rocks, on the left, nothing too onerous and then a large open bay that I take note of furtively, nothing much can go wrong. I have shoes on, my costume too, with shorts and a shirt over it. I take my shoes off and clutch them under my arm as I climb aboard. Now I know nothing much about sailing, bar the fact that you duck when you turn around to go in the opposite direction or get smacked on the head by the sail. Push, push, knee deep in water, onto the boat clambers my man and sits behind me on the same side, he jiggles something with his hand, rudder perhaps, and I immediately note that we are not heading out to the bay, we have turned sideways and we are heading towards the rocks. I’m not a panicky kind of person, so I don’t say a word, but now hear the staff on shore yelling at us……the rocks are coming closer. You got it, we rammed straight into them. Huge noise and three surprised looking islanders come to our rescue. Luckily we haven’t gone far out, they tug at the boat, turn it around to face the sea, and off we should go. No, we don’t, the boat turns around and the rock is right up against me, this time the entire boat flips up. So picture me please, my feet are now on the rocks, with the boat up behind me, my spouse is hanging onto the boat on the other side trying to get it to go down into the water. My quads, are now screaming with pain, the boat has me looking like a tortoise, spouse is now red faced, with veins popping with his efforts. Luckily our helpers are back, this time muttering and not too happy to be back in the water. Oh, by the way, my shoes have floated away. Our boat is taken of my back, and put back into the water, we are physically turned the right way and pushed out into the bay.
The wind whips through our sail and we are sailing! The feeling of freedom soon surpassing the embarrassment close to shore. We grin at each other, I stretch out my legs, the rudder seems to be working fine, I’m silently patting myself on the back for not overreacting and spoiling this now magnificent outing. Wow, the speed we reached was amazing, my skin revelling in the sun. The homes and hotels on the other side of the bay are now coming into view….fast, I furrow my brows and I’m just about to ask when we are going to turn, when I’m instructed that its about to happen, so duck your head. Immediately I go down into the crouch position, ready to swop sides, but we don’t turn at all, well not the way planned, the entire boat turns, flips, capsizes. Underwater now, I grasp at my sunglasses, and kick myself to the surface, yip there is the little devil, totally upside down. We reach the side of the boat and haul ourselves at it together, it obliges and rights itself on the second or third attempt. Nothing more unglamorous than trying to get into a boat from the sea, fully clothed. In the background we are aware that some speedboat is now circling us to assist. He is shouting instructions. Something to do with the rope and the rudder. Whatever the advice it works, the wind catches the sail and we are heading to the bay we came from. We fly along in a straight path, serious concentration on the Skippers face now, we miss the rocks this time and glide onto the sand like veritable professionals. The boatsman and fellow onlookers are having a little giggle but come and assist to get the boat onto the shore properly.
Out I clammer, legs wobbling with tension and cold, head held high, soaked. Husband is now explaining that the rope was caught on the rudder, and telling the staff to check the boats, this is all too much for them, they just laugh and laugh, and all we could do was join the hilarity.
We turned to walk back to the hotel, both saturated, when I heard, “Madame here are your rescued shoes.”
We did not sail again that week.