Monday, 24 August 2009

Bangers in Chlorine Sauce

At sea again !

The photograph below shows the Jubilee Sailing Trust ship Tenacious at anchor off the Isle of Wight. She flys the signal flags RY which requests other vessels to minimise their wake.

Not surprising considering that the ship is equipped to carry a number of wheelchair users.  

I'm on another passenger ship, bound for Turkey.

Only this time, they made the serious mistake of letting me loose on 1800 fare-paying Brits.

That's like letting a fox loose in a chicken coop. Only chaos can ensue.

As we steam eastwards, 24 miles off the Algerian coast, the Brits play as only the Brits can.

It's still school holidays, so the normal geriatric complement of passengers and walking wounded is generously sprinkled with younger people and families.

Midlands and Black Country accents seem to be the most prevalent. 

I don't know if that's because they are numerically superior or just the most noticeable.

Looking down on the outdoor pool, out on the sun deck, the water is sloshing from end to end as the ships pitches into the easterly force 5.

Any stationary swimmer is moved two feet one way and then, two feet the other, just by the surface effect on the mass of water.

I've always wondered; are swimmers still swimmers when they stand stationary in the pool ?

Isn't floater a more accurate description ?

Probably, this is where the verb "to bathe" comes from.

Notices request that people shower before entering the pool.

In countries like Germany and Scandinavia, this is a way of life.

In the UK, Brits take no notice and just get in, after sweating it out in the noonday sun and liberally anointing themselves in factor 30.

A coconut oil slick adorns the surface of the pool.

The passengers stand, frying and sizzling, like bangers in a 30ft chlorine-filled frying pan, as the Mediterranean sun barbecues them golden brown.

Their ship-induced sloshing movement reminds me of the movement of the empty coke can, assorted bladderwrack seaweed and ripped Tesco's carrier bag that you always seem to see bobbing around the corner of any tidal harbour, the length and breadth of the U.K.  

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