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This is a question Water, boats and all that floats

Scaryduck hasn't changed the question because he's away drinking on a boat. So.

Tell us your stories of drinking and sinking, in piddly little pedalos all the way up to that oil tanker you "borrowed" ...

(, Thu 1 Nov 2012, 19:34)
Pages: Popular, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

FUCKING SHARK!
I think pilots call it a ‘black hole illusion.’ A suitably ominous term for the feeling of disorientation caused by approaching a fixed light in darkness, with no other visual stimuli. I had something like that happen to me once. Unfortunately, it was at the bottom of the fucking ocean.

It was my first ever night dive, so I was already apprehensive. After a probably ill-advised beer, me and my two friends suited up, flicked our torches on, jumped off the back of the boat, grabbed the anchor rope, and began a slow 30-metre descent to the sea bed.

If you’ve ever been in the off-shore sea at night, you’ll know how completely black it is. Turn your torch off for a moment and you’re not even sure if your eyes are open. It’s eerie as fuck, and only slightly alleviated by knowing your friends are close by.
I reached the anchor in the sand first, and glanced over my shoulder to check their progress.

All looked ok. Two bright spots of light steadily approaching me. Then something odd happened. The rear light shot up rapidly. The front light spun round in a circle. Both shot forwards and backwards, up and down, round and fucking round, weird jerky movements like they were being attacked. With no frame of reference, my head couldn’t process this and basically shut down. It’s like being in limbo. Everything spatial that you take for granted every moment of the day – up is up, down is down, there’s the floor, there’s the sky – disintegrates completely. I started panicking, squeezed my eyes shut and tried to think about anything else other than where the fuck I was.

The nausea passed, I opened my eyes and looked at my own torch. Ok, at least that was working. But unfortunately I was completely lost now. I’d been spinning around and screaming bubbles and had no idea which way I was facing. I was just suspended in complete blackness. I rotated my head looking for my friends’ torches – no sign of them. I can’t overstate the terror I felt at that moment. It literally felt like a nightmare. Alone at the bottom of a black sea, confused and lost, with an inexplicable force taking your friends away. I still have vivid dreams about it, something I always thought was Hollywood bollocks.

Trying not to go mental, I very slowly began sweeping my outstretched torch hand in a circle. About halfway through I spotted some rocks – thank fuck, there’s the sea bed.

I was floating upright, completely upside down. But at least I knew that now.

After a minute of barely-suppressed hysteria, I managed to find the anchor and shot right back up to the surface, including an extremely impatient safety stop. I flopped onto the back of the boat. I can admit it, I was sobbing my fucking heart out.

“I lost me mates! Me head’s fucked! Where are me fucking mates? I think a fucking shark got them! A FUCKING SHARK! Oh FUCK! Me maaaaates! WAAAAAAAAHHHH!”

“Alright you idiot, calm down” said … my mates. Behind them a Japanese woman in full scuba kit was apologising profusely.
Eh?
When we jumped in, this lady – an instructor with a group of novices – thought my friends were part of her group who’d decided “Fuck it” and gone for an impromptu, unprepared night dive. So she dived in and wrestled them back to the surface, explaining the little light show I’d been treated to, and my brief underwater journey into madness.

Sometimes when people are late for appointments nowadays, these friends take great delight in asking “You don’t think a FUCKING SHARK got them do you?”
Twats.
(, Fri 2 Nov 2012, 15:48, 5 replies)
Grand Union Canal
Anyone who has been on a narrowboat holiday will know that at night and away from towns the canals are beautiful places. It's very peaceful, little or no noise and no artificial light so the stars look amazing. They will also know that narrow boats have doors at either end that are quite similar.

I was having a nice argument on the phone with my then girlfriend. To get some privacy I jumped off the boat and walked up to the nearest lock gate and sat and sorted things out. I then walked back to the narrowboat. A few minutes later my phone rang again so I got up, walked out of the double doors and jumped on to the bank. Except there was no bank. I had walked out of the wrong end of the boat and jumped feet first, fully clothed into an 8 foot deep, still and stagnant canal.
(, Mon 5 Nov 2012, 14:28, 7 replies)
Gone Fishing....
I used to be the proud owner of a wee cabin cruiser, the Tight-Alnwick. It sunk, but that's another story.

One night, me and my mates were in the pub having a few beers and talking about the fishing trip me and Andy were going on the next day. We'd be getting up at 5 so we could catch the tide so we were me and Andy said our goodbyes and prepared to go.

"Don't forget to make my sandwiches" I said to the ex who was staying behind in the pub.

"What?" hissed Andy's missus "You make him *sandwiches*?"

"Of course" said the ex - "It's what proper women do for their men"

Me and Andy left as steam leaked quietly from his missus ears......

Next day, I met Andy down by the boat and we loaded our gear in. Andy was grinning like a wanking Jap.

"Look at this" He smirked, pulling open his rucksack "Missus got up with me and made me all this stuff" pointing to sandwiches, a flask of coffee and a couple of kitkats.

"10 years we've been together and this is the first time she's ever made me bait.....Mind - it was made with venom. She was hacking to tomatoes to death muttering "I'll show them what a proper woman is.."".

So we set sail. An hour later we anchored offshore and started fishing. We had a pleasant morning. Caught a few, lost a few and had a few laughs. Around 8 we had a bite to eat and again at 11. About 12 Andy's mobile rang. It was his missus. He chatted for a few minutes then looked at me and said:

"She wants to know what you think of the sandwiches. Are they what a *proper* woman would do?"

I grabbed the phone from Andy.

"You didn't cut the crusts off" and pressed end.

We were 4 miles out in the bay. We could hear the banshee shriek from where we were.....

Cheers
(, Sat 3 Nov 2012, 0:43, Reply)
Supermodelz, lulz

(, Tue 6 Nov 2012, 14:35, 20 replies)
Never let me have the paddles

(, Thu 1 Nov 2012, 23:07, 1 reply)
Since you asked...
I was on a ferry a few weeks ago, enjoying the bracing sea air up on deck, when my wife said "I know what'd be fun, let's recreate that scene from 'Titanic'!"

As I sank to the bottom of the English Channel, hypothermia setting in, I couldn't help but wish we'd done the 'King of the World' one instead.
(, Thu 1 Nov 2012, 20:59, Reply)

[chthonic here posting on behalf of a poor b3tan cut off by the government]

The Ministry of Defence has taken exception to b3ta, and blocks access to the website (which ended my amateurish photoshop image challenge entries) - although the filters merrily let the newsletter through every week, even if 95% of the links are verboten. I did want to submit a tale to this QOTW though, as the salty liquid that runs through my veins is not Jimmy Saville juice, but instead is seawater. As I am a LONG way away right now, can you post on the forum on my behalf, pretty please?


You see, I am a serving seagoing officer in the Royal Navy (a job I fell into after university for temporary reasons of boredom relief, but which I have stuck out as it turns out I rather enjoy messing around in grey metal boats) and have spent most of the last 12 years at sea. During this time, I have served in the only ship named the same as rhyming slang for lady bits (HMS Berkeley, named after Berkeley Hunt, which - as I'm sure all b3tans know, is why calling someone a "berk" is actually rather ruder than they might think), I’ve been around the world (twice) “protecting British interests” (lots of which involved getting drunk with local VIPs, so they did the diplomatic equivalent of slurring “Britain - you’re my beshtest mate ever, you are ... hic”), I’ve seen there are a lot more nice Argentineans in the Falklands (4) than there are nice RAF officers (1), and I’ve been involved in some pretty hairy standoffs with ships from (unnamed but unfriendly) nations bordering hot sandy places, but which (almost) always ended without shots being fired. However, of the numerous examples of tales I could share with fellow b3tans, most do not pass the “Daily Mail” test*, so will have to wait until the Ginger Mayan cycle of QOTWs resets in 2021, by which time the Question will recur and I’ll be the bursar of a minor prep school in Wiltshire anyway...

So on this occasion, I’ll let you into one item of naval trivia, which involves the dull esoteric world of international radio callsigns. You see every ship in the world (warships, merchant ships, fishermen, etc) has a unique callsign, made up of 4 or 5 letters and numbers, which identifies it on the radio, or on the shore-based radar systems, in order to avoid confusion of the number of ships with similar names (ie there are a lot of yachts called “Saucy Sue” out there). Just like the registration of aircraft, all British ship callsigns begin with a “G”, and when the Navy finally agreed to register its ships in the 1980s, it started with GAAA, then GAAB, and so on. By the time the sequence reached the 25th ship on the list, HMS Ranger, the unstoppable majesty of naval administration carried on regardless. This means that, to this day, a sleek grey messenger of death drives around the oceans announcing itself as “British and GAAY” (and probably very proud). And where does this warship spend its time? Well, rather appropriately, although the official base port is Portsmouth, it is currently a training vessel attached to the Sussex University Royal Naval Unit, which means that – uniquely in the Navy – it is actually based in Brighton. It is, quite literally, the “Pride” of the Fleet... [cue Village People, “in the Navy”]

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Ranger_(P293)

Yours

“Beelzebob-a-job”
(, Wed 7 Nov 2012, 17:54, 12 replies)
Reefer Madness
A mate of mine had bought himself a little RIB and was keen to try it out, so we tripped off to a nearby bay where there was a little slipway and a set of pontoons. We got the RIB launched and tied it to the pontoon for loading up.

The pontoon was generally used for landing prawn catches and the like, so it was well used by proper sea-savvy types. One of the fishermen there wandered up and admired the boat for a bit, then said "When you're going out, don't go straight out, because there's a reef there".

"Okey doke" we say, "Thanks for the tip".

In due course, we get everything ready, climb aboard, start the big outboard, and my mate steers us out to sea by heading straight for the entrance to the bay; in the process sailing over the reef and knocking the propellor clean off. After a moment where we tried to work out what the hell had happened - accompanied by a mixture of disdain and hilarity from the fishermen on the pontoon - we shouted across and asked if someone could tow us back.

"Ye daft bastards" opined the guy who'd warned us about the reef.

But he climbed into his boat to go and tow us back, and started her up. We couldn't hear what he was saying to the other people there but there was plenty of shaking of heads and raucous laughter, and we sat drifting out to sea feeling really, really stupid.

Mind you, we felt an awful lot better when he untied from the pontoon and sailed straight over the reef, knocking *both* of his propellers off.
(, Wed 7 Nov 2012, 12:09, Reply)
Where does that rope go?
So there I am, on a nice little run down to the final marker at the end of a race when I capsized. Bugger, arse, shit. So have a quick glance at the ropes before righting, just to make sure nothing is tangled. "Red and white, main; fine. Yellow, vang; fine. Black and yellow...black and yellow? Which one is black and...Holy bejeebussweetmotheroffuck"

I do a rather good impression of a submarine launched ballistic missile as I exit the water vertically and cling for dear life to the top of the boat, as far aware from that bastard as possible.

Outside of breeding season I know they're fairly docile; but finding a sea snake next to you is never much fun.
(, Fri 2 Nov 2012, 14:24, 1 reply)
I once caught a ferry from aberdeen to bergen
there was storm in the north sea, before it got dark it looked like the waves were mountains. I spent my time happily bouncing off the corridor walls making my way between the bar and my luxury plastic seat, stepping over and in vomit, trying not to spill too much heineken
Around midnight I had the bright idea of opening the outside door to look at the storm. As soon as I undid the bolt the door flew open like a toilet door kicked by an incontinent rhinocerous, and horizontal rain, howling wind and seaspray knocked me backwards and soaked the everyone in the room, including some who'd abandoned their own designated luxury plastic seat and had taken to sleeping on the floor. It took four men to get the doors closed again. I swapped out my drenched clothes for my only backpack alternative, which was a pair of shorts and t-shirt. This was how I arrived in Norway at 4 am. In darkness. In the snow.
(, Mon 5 Nov 2012, 21:37, Reply)
SOS Save my Shorts
First B3ta post so go easy on me!

I used to work as a flotilla skipper in the Greek Islands. This is where you guide a bunch of novice to amateur sailors around the islands, briefing them in the morning and dealing with the chaos in the evening when you have to assist in the mooring of 12 Yachts in a small harbour.

Anyway, one evening I was helping in the last yacht. Drop the anchor, reverse in, tie up the lines.....sigh of relief then relax with a cold G&T. Well in this case not quite. Due to the tricky spot this yacht was moored, I had to lay out a second anchor using the RIB (Inflatable tender). This is something I have done many times without disaster. So I sit the anchor on top of the tender and give it large in reverse to pull the anchor and chain away from the yacht and drop it in the deeper water. When the chain ran out, everything went tight and the sharp part of the anchor punctured my tender causing one side to deflate rapidly with a large bang. Now I had the attention of everybody in the harbour....a sure sign sign that the situation is going to get worse. The anchor had not freed itself from the RIB and was slowly pulling it and the still running engine under water. So to stop this from happening I had to free the the anchor. The only way was to jump in the water lift anchor off the RIB then problem solved. As I did this the anchor got caught in my shorts, with one last breath I was rapidly being dragged down to the seabed 20 meters down. Saved my self by releasing the belt on my shorts and saying goodbye to my radio and wallet with it. As I came to the the surface my friend was there in her wee boat and launched my self into, very quickly realising I wasn't wearing very much.

Now to top it all off, the whole event was witnessed by a journalist from one of the uk's biggest selling yachting magazines, who happened to be writing an article on my mates yacht about chartering in the Greek Islands. She asked if she could tell the story in the mag, and I said yes....but please don't mention my name or the company I work for. Next months magazine had a picture of me wearing a company shirt and guess what, I was named and shamed.

Moral of the story, Always wear underpants and never trust a journalist. Argh time for a rum!
(, Fri 2 Nov 2012, 23:54, 1 reply)
THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED (May not have actually happened)
"Wir wollen ein Boot mieten."

"Beg pardon?"

"We'd like to hire a boat, please."

"Then why didn't you say so? Six quid."

Six of the Queen's Pounds - quite reasonable for an hour's paddling about Weymouth Bay.

"Name and address, if you please."

"What," I ask, my whiskers bristling as the sun reflects off the blade of my freshly-drawn sabre, "What the Devil do you need that for?"

"Insurance, guv. Rules is rules - I turn me back for five seconds and you could paddle round the headland and WOOMPH! You'd 'ave it away."

"WOOMPH?"

"Yes, sir. Woomph."

I kindly point out that the craft in question wouldn't go woomph if it were powered by the bastard lovechild of Lance Armstrong and Steve Redgrave, but he is adamant.

But I care little for the stripe painted across his nose and the dandy highwayman attire - and I tell the scruff the big mistake he's making - so I reluctantly comply with his request.

"So," I ask apropos of nothing but to show that I am able to write and move my lips at the same time, "What do you do with these names and addresses?"

"Oh, nothing much guv. I just stick them in this 'ere folder."

"Ah yes," I observe, "The one marked PEDALO FILES in red chisel-tip marker."

"Then I give it to the police."

"I tell you what, my good man. I think I'll just hire a sun lounger."
(, Fri 2 Nov 2012, 23:40, 4 replies)
On a catamaran in the Caribbean...
Sitting at the front, on the nets between the hulls, enjoying some fruity rum punch, the heat of the sun & the occasional refreshing spray of seawater; all is well with the world.

Hang on, I'm starting to feel a little sick. Maybe I should move to the side, just in case. Hmm, still not feeling great, perhaps ifBLEEEEEEEEUUUUUUURRRRRRGGGGHHHHHHH!

And so I was very very sick over the side of the boat. Then I heard words that will remember until the day I die:

"Sir if you're going to keep being sick you'll have to move to the back of the boat; you're spraying the other passengers"
(, Sun 4 Nov 2012, 13:25, 1 reply)
Which one to chose...
A combination of career and hobby choices means I spend lots of time on boats (little RIB's to full on patrol ships) so quite a few to choose from.

Once upon a time I had been given a generous budget to purchase a new dive boat and as a penniless student (at the time) being given a set of keys to a brand-spanking, little-plastic-covers-on-the-GPS-screen-new boat was quite exciting. So much so that myself and the gentleman who was with me decided it was going in the water for its maiden voyage.

So about an hour before dark we towed our (grey and well camouflaged) inflatable to Lymmington Slipway. It was low tide so a bit of a bugger to launch her, but we were determined.

After much phaffing we got her in the water. But by now it was late, low tide, and dark. Having parked the car and the trailer I jogged back to the boat, turned the key and the shiny new engine sprang into life.

"Did you grab the flares?" my faithful companion asked.
"Arse. Did you pick up the radio?" I replied.
"Arse."

No matter. We were going for a hoon and that was that. Nav lights on, plastic peeled from the screen and off we went.

"Weeee" we both shout as we speed across the pitch black water, wind in out hair. Until the engine coughs, slutters and refuses to start.

Bugger. And then the nav lights die. And that big bright white thing in the distance? That's the Lymmington Ferry. It's much, much bigger than us and we're directly in its path. Remember the grey and well camouflaged boat? Forgetting the flares and the radio? No method of contacting them or preventing its props from chewing us into food for really, really small fish? So did we. With bowl emptying terror we rowed, turned the key frantically and watched the ferry get closer and closer.

In the end nothing interesting happened. The engine kicked into life, we returned to the slip with great urgency and decided that that was enough of a maiden voyage, went to the pub and decided never to speak of it again*.


I've also been stoped by the Thames River Police, run aground more times than I care to remember, ramed a tender into it's ship and gotten very, very lost 10m from the ship I was attempting to board in thick fog. Not all of them my fault but all lots and lots of fun.



*Typing doesn't count.
(, Sat 3 Nov 2012, 15:44, Reply)
I sold my soul once and worked in the offshore oil industry,
mainly in the North Sea. Prior to working offshore, we had extensive safety training (how to get out of a ditched helicopter, how to right a capsized life raft etc.). We also did fire training and how to get out of a burning oil rig - this is that scariest thing I've ever experienced: the instructors send you into a mock up of a rig, with a fire somewhere. It's pitch black, full of smoke and you are given a breathing mask and about 15 minutes of air. It took about 5 minutes to 'escape' and I was on red - so real firemen have my full respect.

Anyway, it's pretty dangerous working in the North Sea - not least because the water is pretty nippy. If a disaster occurs in the winter, they reckon you'll survive about 3 minutes in the water before hypothermia gets you - as far as I was concerned, the safety aspects were pretty important.

So I had a bit of a shock on my first offshore job, on a vessel formally used by Jacque Cousteau. I was just about to finish a shift and the crew went through a safety drill - this one was the rapid rescue of a man overboard (i.e., get him out of the water fast). The ideal drill should get someone out within about a minute and the ships have a fast rescue boat to do this.

On this day they threw a dummy in a life-jacket out into the water, sounded the alarm and the rescuers went to do their thing. My workmates and I stopped to watch the well-drilled crew. What actually happened was they couldn't get the boat into the water - it took them 20 minutes - and once they did, the fast rescue boat went round the main boat's stern and broke down about 50 metres away from the dummy. We had to throw them a line to help them back. The dummy was lost.

The ship's cook was great though - fresh croissants every day.
(, Sat 3 Nov 2012, 12:22, 2 replies)
hms vodka
as some of you may be aware, i have a friend who i like to get drunk and play silly buggers with. a couple of months ago, we had the opportunity to do just that.
arriving at her house in the early evening, i found her and her sister already well into their second bottle of wine. all seven of their children had been palmed off on in-laws for the weekend, so there was some serious hair-letting-down to be done. realising i had a bit of catching up to do, i poured myself a vodka and we got down to the business of slagging off our boyfriends.
now, in the kitchen was a small plastic bath, the sort used for bathing babies. as i was pouring myself a drink, i thought it looked a bit like a boat. as the evening wore on and i became more and more pissed, the more i thought it'd make a great little boat.
this is why, at about 11.30, my friend heard me yell "debbie! where's the mop? i need it to row the boat!"
debbie and her sister, desperate to see what the fuck i was up to, came into the kitchen to find me sitting in the baby bath in my nightie, attempting to row it across the kitchen floor with a long-handled spatula.
(, Fri 2 Nov 2012, 13:44, 2 replies)
Chocky Goodness
After last weeks, QOTW, which was really a question for the marginally talented but, rather childish to post pictures of themselves in costume, which in my opinion was total crap and without doubt the WORST QUESTION OF THE WEEK EVER, as such it has given me inspiration for this post.

I am a fairly predictable type of a chap with very little creativity. I rarely come up with ideas on my own and much prefer to pinch them from other people but, give them little or no credit, a bit like Apple and, like Apple I am reasonably good at packaging them
An example of this, if you invite me to a party at your house, and you have a pool, pond, spa, fish tank or even in some cases, fill the bath full of ice to keep the grog cold and the ice melts a bit leaving a half ice half cold water set up, I will at some point slip a Chokito into the water.

For the uniformed, this is a Chokito:


Without fail, if I wait until the sun is setting or set and the pool lights are on, there will be at least 10 people at the party who over react to my prank. At one party, one slightly larger lady got so work up about it on the edge of the pool she slipped in right next to the Chokito which she imagined had floated up and attached its self to her resulting in screams from the pool along the lines of
“It’s on me, it’s on me, it’s on me, it’s on me............” repeat for a good few minutes and around 500 decibels.

Even when it was shown to be a chocolate bar she did not see the funny side of it at all.

This is another time it worked particularly well.


Should the Chokito float over to the edge of the pool you can for added effect, draw people’s attention to it, scoop it out with your hands and take a bite..................
(, Fri 2 Nov 2012, 2:42, 6 replies)
Apocalypse Now
One Sunday around 10am, two housemates appeared in my room. They'd been up all night on the disco biscuits and wanted me to get up and come to the boating lake. I considered briefly and agreed, but I came up with a useful item to take with us.

And so that is how we ended up in a rowing boat with smuggled-on booze blasting out Ride Of The Valkyries and charging at the other rowers.
(, Thu 1 Nov 2012, 19:56, 4 replies)
I love a boating holiday, me.
Where else is it encouraged, practically compulsory, to get sozzled on real ales and then take charge of a 60' long vehicle?

Also, you get to dress up.


(, Mon 5 Nov 2012, 17:59, 15 replies)

My boat misadventures are not serious or entertaining enough for there to be any worth relating here.

But there is a guy I know who (having purchased copious amounts of new camping equipment) found he had run out of space in his car and ended up loading his boat and trailer with the surplus equipment.

Anyway, between the two lakes we fish the most, there is a long, steep switchback laden road that makes its way up a pretty large mountain. It's bad enough as is, but extra slow and hard with an extra load like a boat trailer in tow.

But marvelously, as he drove up said steep mountain, he was astounded by just how well his car dragged this hideously overloaded boat trailer. You could hardly tell there was any kind of trailer there at all...

Hmmm...

Yep. No trailer. Gone. The overloaded trailer had given up and the trailer, boat and excess baggage had plunged off the steep mountain road into a deep rocky gully. Just to make sure nothing could be salvaged, the boat fuel burst into flame and incinerated the wreckage.
(, Mon 5 Nov 2012, 4:07, 6 replies)
We decided it would be an awesome idea to go out for a boat ride up the river one night,
The only problem we had was a lack of a boat.
Well, after a couple of drinks, some genius pipes up and says "well, there's a boat yard down by the meadow, It's got a pretty tall fence, but between the four of us I bet we could get s little row boat out if we're careful."
Excellent, so, a bit more dutch courage, and off we go. Find the yard fairly easy, me and another chap hop over the gate, and start a search for a suitably light vessel, with space for four.
"Fuck, they're all fucking chained up, that's bullshit"
"ssssshhh, there must be one without a chain, bring that torch here"
"hang on, look, under this tarpaulin"
"looks a bit battered, Fuck it, its all we've got"
Cue 30 mins or so of 4 of us trying to manouvre a fairly hefty wood hull rowing boat over a 5 foot fence, with a break to sit down after Joe took an oar to the face. Complete accident.
"brilliant, where do we launch it from?"
"looks like a slip way just up the path come on"
We get the boat down in to the water, everyone jumps in, except Joe, who in more bad luck gobs it, and gets a wet left leg, and we're off. We are gentleman now. Calmly rowing our boat out on to the black glass water of the Thames. It's everything we'd hoped it would be, we light a smoke, crack open a beer, and marvel at our genius. Then I notice my boots are wet. Then Joe notices his ankles ate wet, then James notices his bum is wet, and we all realise, there might have been a reason this boat wasn't locked up. We start frantically trying to bail out with our hands, Dan on the oars hits out for the bank with all the strength in his weedy vegetarian arms...but no. We sink. Beer gone. Phones dead, wet through stood in the boat, water just above our waists, and sadly wade back to the bank. Disheveled, cold, wet and defeated.
(, Sun 4 Nov 2012, 11:12, 1 reply)
Despite no nautical family background
I was born with a total immunity to seasickness. This is rarely useful since I live 50 miles from the sea.

Still, back in the 1980s as a teenager I found myself on a Townsend Thoresen ferry (it may well have been the Herald Of Free Enterprise) on the Zeebrugge-Dover run one stormy night. My father paid for a last-minute cabin and retired there to be ill in private. I wandered the decks, literally bouncing from one side of the corridor to the other as the ship rolled, marvelling at the sick people lying on the floor in the public areas, even on the stairs.

Most of the washbasins in the bogs were clingfilmed to stop people using those that had already been blocked by diced carrot. The whole ship had the sweet tang of vomit.

Outside, it was like something from a film set, with foam, spray and howling wind. A small group of men were engaged in a chundering contest over the rail.

I went into the canteen and ordered a large sausage and chips. I think they had to fire up the cooker specially.
(, Fri 2 Nov 2012, 19:55, 1 reply)
bail fail.
I went sailing in a plastic type yacht thingy. I trod on the automatic bailer and it fell out the bottom of the boat. The boat then filled with water so I started bailing with my shoe whilst trying to reach the shore. I dropped my shoe into the water and it sank, so I used the other one. the boat sank further and then capsized, so I abandoned the other shoe, fell into the water and swam to shore. I then walked four miles home, shoeless and soaked to the skin. Then I got a bollocking for sinking the next door neighbors boat. I dont sail any more.
(, Thu 1 Nov 2012, 21:56, Reply)
How to be rich, properly.


(To clarify, I am not advocating the right way is to ride Richard Branson.)
(, Tue 6 Nov 2012, 23:20, 5 replies)
We needed a bigger boat.
This was it...

Some RAF chaps (including yours truly) were detached to Royal Navy assault carrier HMS Intrepid for the journey from Aden to Sharjah in the Persian Gulf. The ship was loaded up but was not due to sail until the following day. While on deck "guarding" our choppers I noticed some off duty matelots sitting near the back of the ship with lines in their hands (no rods). The "lines", fairly thin rope,with a steel trace and a very large hook. Their bait was scrounged from leftover meat in the kitchen.
To be honest, with such crude tackle, I wasn't expecting much. Hours went by and nothing happened when suddenly one of the sailors felt something pulling. His mates let go of their lines, which were all tied to the rail. They all joined in and helped him pull on the rope.
Now came the surprise. Someone on the bridge must have seen the struggle and lowered the motorised boom at the back of the ship. The fish was pulled into the landing craft bay, which was empty of craft and the boom was then raised. For the first time we were able to see the fish. It was a medium sized shark, not a man eater by any means but scary enough for me to avoid.
The next bit made my day. The fishermen pulled knives from their belts , put them between their teeth and dived into the bay, pirate style. They all returned with various bits of shark, some of which was cooked for them by the Chinese kitchen staff, the other bits were used for bait. Later in the mess they told me this was a regular occurrence.
HMS Intrepid was scrapped some years ago, as was I.
(, Mon 5 Nov 2012, 18:11, Reply)
Fond childhood memories
As a lot of other poor sods did, I used to get dragged kicking and screaming to Bridlington in the summer holidays for a weeks sojourn of bad weather, bad food and bad guest house accomadation. One year my father decided that fishing might be fun, so a boat that offered said fishing trip was booked on and early one morning, i was dragged out of bed and press ganged onto something boat shaped that looked as seaworthy as it smelled.
2 hours in, I was horrifically seasick and managed to throw up over my sister, my dad and my cousin, although i was secretly pleased through the nausea that i had chucked up over my father for inflicting this nightmare upon me.
5 hours later we were back in the harbour and the only thing I caught was mumps from my germ ridden cousin. Henceforth an important childhood lesson was learned that boats are a totally loathesome form of transportation. Never had any other positive boat/ferry trip to challenge that belief since.
(, Mon 5 Nov 2012, 12:40, Reply)
Got about with this posh bird - well filthy.
I did the whole "sensitive artist" bit and she got her norks out. Good norks.

Anyway - it didn't last.
(, Fri 2 Nov 2012, 14:55, 4 replies)
Not a good time to remember
A couple of years ago I went on a whitewater rafting trip down the Rio Jacare in Brazil. It was the first time I had done it, and it turned out to be quite a thrill: bursts of adrenaline-pumping terror with nice calm drifts between them.

About half way down, the guide pulls the boat over to the side, in an area where the water flows shallowly over some flat rocks. He explains that we're now going to find out how to go down rapids without the aid of something I'd previously assumed to be essential equipment: a boat.

We line up at the edge of the rock shelf, and he explains the correct position for your legs - the key point being not to allow rocks to slam into your knackers as you go down. I made sure I had that down pat. One by one we dropped into the water, and drifted down to the next set of rapids. Ahead of me I saw the procession of people dropping over the edge, and then it was my turn.

A few seconds of swirling, roaring disorientation, a few minor bumps, and I was apparently over the rocks. But... something's wrong. I'm not coming up. Arse. I seem to be caught in a vortex, going round and round but staying under the surface. I remember two things very clearly: first, despite always having a mortal fear of drowning or suffocating, I am remarkably calm, simply hoping that I pop up before oxygen becomes too distant a memory. And secondly, that it was at precisely that moment that I finally remembered what "Rio Jacare" translates as: Crocodile River.

Then I was hauled out by one of the guides, who looked rather relieved that I was still breathing.
(, Fri 2 Nov 2012, 11:42, Reply)
Family adventures in boat owning
Now I don’t know boats all I know is I think it was a cruiser it had 2 small beds below deck and you could comfortable hold a dozen in the back.

First run out nearly the whole family (not me though) is on it. Go through all checks and realise they don’t have a depth finder with them and it doesn’t seem worth the trouble of driving 2 mins back up the road. So with a “sure we’ll be grand” off they went.

Now sorry but I must give a bit of info on our pier area, 2nd deepest port in Ireland (small town in Donegal, Ireland and a very very strong current which meant that it can go from 140ft deep to knee deep in about 10ft and a mix in currents due to the Atlantic meeting the river Swilly so there is constantly changing sandbanks and channels.

Anywho back to the story, they get a bit down the way and everything going grand when the boat comes to a shuddering stop throwing everyone forward in what I’m sure was a hilarious sight with cartoony sound effects.

They had managed to ram the boat not only into but also on top of a sandbank. Cue much dicking around trying to rock it off, reverse it off and no doubt praying to Poseidon himself. Eventually another boat came by and spotted them so a guy grabbed a rope and jumped off into the water and started walking towards them, yip walking, the water was that shallow where they were you were ankle deep despite being in the middle of the lough.

Long story short they eventually got off (fnar fnar) and the lad helping was only stung a few times by jellyfish and a snapped rope across the chest.

Fast-forward a few weeks and I’m home for a few days and my uncle want to take the boat out and test it out after the “incident” so grand lovely time to check and recheck we have everything. Depth finder yip, check again yeah depth finder and GPS yeah have everything and off we go.

Everything going grand all systems are working fine except the engine is sounding odd…. Then there was no sound from the engine. Balls. Open the cover and look in, can’t see anything special about it, no smoke no odd smell just a bit of water but that’s normal right? Hmmm seems to be more and more water, yip more water is coming in from somewhere. Engine was flooded and not going anywhere. So there I am able to see people on shore walking and looking out as our boat sat silent slowly filling with water.

There was only one thing to do and that was ring the coastguard to rescue us. It was quite a scene from the pier as we are dragged and nudged in to the slip and winched out. By the time it was done there was a crowd watching us. We were talk of the town that night. Turns out despite all checks for equipment we forgot 2 things. The 2 rubber bungs at the back that allows water to be drained were sitting on the windowsill of my Grannys kitchen.

We sold the boat soon after

TL:DR My family should never get a boat.
(, Fri 2 Nov 2012, 9:08, Reply)
"It's only a drill round!"
Background: MrsScars and I met in Malta in a bar. The following year we went back on honeymoon.

We went back to the bar with a wedding photo to say thanks. The owner, who also ran boat trips invited us out for a spin in his pride and joy, an inshore racer with twin 200hp engines.
Belting down the coast at around 70 there was a loud noise and everything stopped. Banis got on the radio and asked Valletta Boat Control to ring the bar and have us towed.
We were sitting about chatting when there was a splash 50 feet away.
"Fuck" says Banis "Thought they weren't practicing today".
"Practicing what?" says MrsScars.
"Oh, artillery. Only drill rounds though."
"How big?" says I.
"75 millimetre; we're a small country. Big enough for us; I'll call the Navy and tell'em to stop".

Shortly afterwards a gunboat hoys up and a lot of Maltese shouting occurs.

The really frightening bit was the tow: racing boats don't like being dragged at 40 knots and we had to bail like fuck.

And he's still going strong:www.okikokibanis.com
(, Thu 1 Nov 2012, 22:16, Reply)

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