Regulars at my local pushed the boat out last weekend. They invited me to join their nautical adventure on Lancaster Canal but that would have brought disaster.
I’ve always been a Jonah for boats.
On canals I’ve twice been ‘marooned’ on narrow boats that broke down (fortunately near country pubs), as well as a barge on Norfolk Broads.
When living in Essex I joined a weekend trip on a Thames sailing barge.
We hit a river sandbank after leaving port at Maldon.
The vessel remained there months, while we crawled ashore across stinking mud flats.
At sea I brought mortal danger. A friend’s motor/sailor yacht was rescued by the Coastguard at Conway when I was with him.
“Never had trouble before,” the owner muttered.
Most spectacular was a catamaran sail while working in Hong Kong.
We raced across the South China Sea on my friend’s Hobie Cat.
“Best go about and return,” cautioned his wife, “we’re a long way out.”
As we did, one of the hulls split with a noise like a whip’s crack.
My pal at the helm went pale.
“Is it bad?” I asked.
“I’ll try to keep that hull out the water on a long tack,” he said, adding, “when it does touch down, we’ll sink like a stone.”
We did, but by then close to the shoreline where, seeing our plight, others came out in rescue.
His yacht was lost.
“How did your boat trip go?” I asked barmaid ‘Luscious’ Lou this week.
She organised it with ‘Big Tony’.
“Great!” said Lou, “though we got stuck for a while, something wrapped in the propeller.
“I sang the Titanic theme in the bow.”
“Lucky I wasn’t there,” I told her, “it would have been an iceberg – bigger even than Tony.”
* Visit www.royedmonds-blackpool.com for stories of the Fylde and elsewhere. Books also at Gazette reception, Saddle Inn, Blackpool Cricket Club and Plackitt & Booth, Lytham.