Written by Skoob1999

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Monday, 15 November 2010

image for Boats - By Martin Shuttlecock Oh Yes! Pure Bliss!


It's a bit hard to write about boats when you were brought up over a hundred miles away from the sea. At least it seemed that far. Even though it was probably less than that.

My favourite true boat related story is the time, as kids, we nicked a 40 foot cast iron coal barge and punted the bastard 2 1/2 miles down the Leeds Liverpool canal.

Using a clothes prop as a pole.

We punted it all the way home, and then the police showed up, and told us to heave to. So we did - to the opposite bank - and then we legged it. They never caught us for that one.

Next experience was a cross channel ferry to Le Havre in France, aged about 11. There was a swell. A swell? More like a frigging hurricane. It didn't bother me though - I just went to sleep. Next day everybody on the ship looked a bit green as we docked in France.

Could never get me head round that sea-sickness thing. Not on a cross channel ferry anyway. Sure, it gets choppy, but it ain't all that. Suppose I was stuck with a bunch of landlubbers.

I mean, it stands to reason that if you're out on the water, in waves and stuff, it's just inevitable that you're going to get tossed about a bit (but not in a gay way) it just happens.

Live with it people.

Boats are basically boring - they don't do much. They just get to the other side or they sink. No Titanic moments here.

One time, coming back from Ostend in Belgium to Dover, it really did get rough. This huge car ferry was bobbing up and down in the waves like a toy boat in a jacuzzi.

No problemo.

Stuck out at sea and in minor distress - no problem. Sit in the bar and be prepared to jump ship if necessary. Meet a bunch of truckers who buy your drinks all night because you sign a bunch of fake receipts.

Then one time, you sail back from France in a storm in the bowels of the ship. Right the way down at the bottom, so you can hear the chains creaking as they anchor the cars and trucks on the car deck. Wifey couldn't sleep at all. I did. I don't really care for all those Leonardo DiCaprio/Kate Winslett/Titanic shit connotations.

We survived. Mind you, Wifey slept all day.

Favourite boat experience though was aboard the old paddle steamers they used to have in the Clyde estuary in Scotland, Wemyys Bay to Rothesay, up Loch Long and Loch Goil to Loch Lomond, around Bute and Arran....

Never been on a cruise or anything, but I like what I like.

And those old Clyde paddle steamers were pure magic.

(With apologies to any Scottish readers if I misspelled a name - I haven't researched this - it's all off the top of my head and it was a while ago. But those paddle steamers were the dog's bollocks.)

Next up...planes...

I can't stand heights.

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