So what’s our first task? What?!? Dismantle a Topper, carry all the parts along the prom, up the steps and down the cliff slope, then back along the prom and re-rig the whole thing. That sounds like hard work, whilst those lazy Captains lounge around on the balcony – that’s rich! Oh look, Team Captain Charlie has handed over the balcony role to Will – how’d you wangle that one Will? Right, we’re off; tell you what – you young girls carry the hull and I’ll struggle with the burgee...tee-hee-hee. Half a mo, Brogan’s Team are carrying the mast sideways down the slope to stop us all passing – the cheeky chaps, we’ll show them. Now we have to rig the boat again – I’m sure the pointy bit of the sail should be at the top and not the bottom of the mast – oh, I see, there’s more wind up there so we can go faster...makes sense to me. Now, what’s next, what are you doing with that rope? Here, you’ve tied our Team together, what’s all this about? We’ve what? Got to run along the prom all roped to each other...and back...well that’s nice isn’t it. Yeah, and you can stop laughing on the balcony, ‘cause I’ve just found out what you are going to be doing later. Well, the run’s nearly over – who’s that puffing and wheezing next to me, here mate, you want to pack up them 60 a day. Talking of time to get my breath back, there isn’t any (time not breath or I would be dead, stupid). They want us to fill those buckets with sea water – no probs, just give us the bucket. What!?! We have to use these little drinks cups and run up and down the ramp – get out of it. No, it’s true, and we can only carry one cup at a time. Ah-ha I’ve got a plan, put three cups inside each other, they won’t notice and I can carry three times as much water – oh, that doesn’t work does it...mmmm. Hello, isn’t that Dom with two cups? and Emilio, and look at Maddie – she’s got three cups, I think I’ll get a saucepan from the galley. Hey, the bucket’s full now, let’s release our Captain – crikey look at them go, they’ve got to swim from the ramp to the groyne, and in these seas that some feet; well, four pairs of feet actually. Now I know why Charlie swapped with Will, look at Will go. Oh...oh, look at Rob, with his drysuit on he’s full of air – what you been eating mate? We’ve finished, so what’s the results? What? Lots of cheating going on, stewards’ enquiry...that’s a bit thick.
Right, it’s time for game two. What’s that? Chris is up on Star Point and he’s going to throw about 400 balls in the sea – well, whatever floats your boat Chris. Oh, it’s the balls that float and we’ve got to gather as many as we can, run along the promenade, and fill our bucket up. That’s mine, doah, too late. Aha, I’ve got one, but hang on Mia has got four, or is that Holly, or am I seeing double? This is madness, he’s got them stuffed down his lifejacket, and I am not sure about Harry, he looks like he’s about to lay and egg! Well, that’s it; 399 balls, let’s all search for the missing one, yeah it’s just a drop in the ocean – very funny.
Hey it must nearly be time for lunch, cor that smells good; let’s just chill-out in the Clubhouse and take five. Wowee – it’s pasta and tomato bolognaise sauce with garlic bread; hey, keep your hands off my bread and to think I defended you yesterday – someone said you hadn’t got the manners of a pig and I said you had, arf...arf. Any seconds? Great, there is, and some more of that garlic bread – too much. Now for a bit of fruit and I am all set-up for the afternoon. So Chris – what are we doing now? We’re going to see Clacton Lifeboat, and we are going to walk there! Tell you what, let’s launch our boats ‘cause we’re bound to need the Lifeboat and they can come to us...it’ll save all that walking...alright, it was just an idea.
Well here we are now, Martello Bay and there’s the Lifeboat Station – cor it’s a bit flash. Who’s this chap showing us round? Oh, he’s the Chairman of the Station – here mate, have you got a brother at Gunfleet Sailing Club? No, it’s your sister – don’t get funny with me. Oh, I didn’t know that, Clacton has had a Lifeboat for 136 years, and the Atlantic 85 has 230 horsepower from its two engines – well our Club Rescue Boat has a 30 horsepower engine so we just need a second one with 200 horsepower and we can be the same. That tractor is a bit of alright, look at the size of the tyres, I wonder if we can get one of them to help launch our boats. And all the crew and helpers are volunteers – that’s a touch. Maybe when I get old enough I could join the crew.
Right, it’s time to walk back...oh no, it’s started to rain; never mind, when we get back to the Club there are bucket loads of cakes – what a brill day – cheers Chris and the gang...and hopefully tomorrow we can get out sailing.
Wednesday Halfway-Laughday...and it is. Faaaaantastic, the wind is cushtie and the old current bun is up there so let’s go for it, now where’s my iphone cause I must text someone and tell ‘em it’s on – BIG time; quick, let’s get down the old Club. Wow, who’s that hiding behind that mountain of sandwiches, cripes it’s Jon and Linda – what you doing guys, entering the Guinness Book of Records? Oh, I see it’s just Dave’s packed lunch – that small pile behind it is for all us Cadets and Otters...yeah, yeah, yeah. Right, get the boat rigged, slip into my wetsuit, ugh it’s wet and cold from yesterday and don’t my wet boots pong! I’ll slip them under my sister’s bed tonight that’ll keep her awake. Hey, is that you Chris – what’s cooking today mate? Oh, it’s yesterday’s cruise, I guess we’ll meet ourselves coming back then...what a cool dude I am! Now, who am I going with – oh great it’s you, that’ll be a laugh ‘n’ a half; where are we going Chris? Marshmallow Bay, cor that sounds a bit alright now where is it? Oh it’s kinda cool to be out on the water again...coooeey - howz it going? Yeah, awesome mate, just waiting for the rest to launch. Oh look there’s whats-his-face, and look at all that lot on Robert’s Topaz, there’s four of them, I bet he’s got that sinking feeling. Was that the horn or was it Chris blowing his nose? Oh well, same thing really, it’s the all-clear – we can go.
It seems that on the way down the coast to Marmite Bay we’ve got this fun game – we’ve got to sail back to the end of the fleet where Rescue Boat 2 is, grab a ball each, and then sail up to the front of fleet to Rescue Boat 1 and put the ball in our Team’s bucket – I think I can handle that; here, beep beep, out the way, I’m coming through, starboard, left hand down a bit, mind the gap, roger and out, buy one and get one free....I think I might have lost the plot on this game – probably because we’ve been at sea for several days with no sight of land, and nothing to eat or drink! Now, how are we doing? Crikey – the “Extreme” Team is first, “Never Capsize” is second, third is “Life’s a Beach” and fourth is “Finding Nemo”. And there’s land, yes it’s Marmalade Bay...we’ve landed, right get the boats pulled up the beach; ah, the natives have arrived bringing gifts – picnic lunches and cakes, but first....
Why it’s Bulldog...catch us if you can...there goes another one, and another, you’ll never do it...you have; I’ll never do it...I didn’t. Right, let’s get stuck in. Hello there’s only Harry Spence left, crikey he’s a sly as a fox...get him chaps; well done Harry.
Now it’s the long-jump and the Otters are going first – you can do it Hannah, cor, look at Jacob go – he’s a natural and he’s won it, well done mate. Who was second? Abigail – that’a’girl, then Mac – good on u, and then Ted – top banana mate. Now for us Cadets. Hold on to Caleb, he’ll get a nose bleed jumping that high – that’s a mega-leap but bad luck, you were just over the line. So, first was Conor – I saw the sparks fly as you took off, then Brogan – cor, can your dad shout!!, and then Rob who was trying to leap to the front of the lunch queue! Talking of lunch this is a bit of alright, and loads of it – who said I was a sandwich short of a picnic? Oh I see, you want to do some swapsies! Hello mate, how’s it going? What, your dog picked the winning numbers in last week’s lottery – what do you feed it? Oh, Winalot, very funny. Tell you what, last time I was round your house it looked like your dog was rather good at doing the pools; I hope you cleared it up – arf...arf!
Hang on, Chris is telling us about the next game – the three legged race, well that excludes me 'cause I’ve only got two. Oh right, I get you, we have to tie a leg to a partner’s leg – well don’t put me with her ‘cause her stubble tickles my leg, Hang about there’s a four legged race going on, and there’s three of them – or have I had one too many Isotonic drinks? Hey, that’s a laugh, they didn’t last very long. Oh, it’s our turn next – careful, easy tiger! Why isn’t this working – you fool we’re facing opposite ways; no wonder I’m getting dizzy. Now I would have paid to have seen this – six of them all tied together – so how many legs is that? And the results are being announced – Charlie’s Team “Finding Nemo” was first, second was Brogan’s “Life is a Beach”, third was Conor’s “Never Capsize” and fourth was Rob’s “Extreme”.
Cakes, did someone mention cakes?
And now for the nuttiest game I’ve ever known – Egg-nose-rolling; you what? You seriously want us to push an egg up the beach with our noses – what do you think my name is, Pinocchio? LOL – look at that, she’s ploughing the beach with her hooter – stroll on! Right, it’s my turn – here we go. Actually it’s a bit of a laugh down here – phoooor, who else didn’t wash-out their wet boots last night? Stroll-on! Well I did it without breaking the egg, what do I get? Sand on the end of my nose – very funny. Who won then? What, Charlie’s Team again, then Conor’s, followed by Rob’s, and finally Brogan’s.
OK, so the next game is All Aboard – how many people can each team get on a Topaz? I reckon we are going to get pretty wet on this one. Look at them go – out to the buoy, round and back – that looked easy but then there were only two people aboard...oh, now there are three, that still looks smooth.. Hang about, Rob and Conor have five each on their Topazes, that’s got to be the winning numbers; just a mo...Brogan has got 6 of his Team on there – fandoobiedangle.
I don’t believe it, we have got to say goodbye to Martini Bay – well we leave shaken, if not stirred (ha-ha) and what a great sail back this has become. Look at the fleet of Topazes cutting through the water – they are motoring; and how about all those 405’s - very tasty. And talking of tasty is that the smell of more cakes I detect as we get near the Club – this has been my kinda day.
Here....I ran home behind the bus when I left the Club and told my dad I had saved £1.50 and he had a go at me; he said I should have run behind a taxi and saved a fiver! Where is he coming from?!
Thursday; Day 4 – Lotsmore...can’t disagree with that one. Not sure where the sun’s gone but the wind is OK and it has stopped raining so let battle commence. Chris – the Godfather, has got us all racing this morning – racing round getting the boats rigged, racing into the changing room to get changed, and racing out to the start line where someone keeps honking that horn...do you mind, some of us are trying to get to sleep. Oh, I get it, they’re telling me a flag is going up or down...all that fuss over a flag; s’truth it’s still a bit lumpy out here but I like it, I like it. It won’t be long before we are away; oh look, the Toppers are off and Max is leading the way, Harry hot on his heels and Korben just behind, followed closely by Robbie and Harrison...oh look, there’s Ted going for it too. C’mon lads you can do it! Now it’s the turn of the Topazes and it’s Darcie and Daisy at the front, Maddie and Alice just behind, then Harrison and Mac followed by Will and Caleb. Oh, where’s Tom and Ed?...ah, there they are. Grrr, there goes that flamin’ horn again; what? Oh, I see, the 405’s are away and it’s Charlie and Harry in top spot, Conor and Finlay snapping at their heels, Ross and Hugo just behind, Brogan and Nick behind them and Beth and Deacon at the back but already starting to overtake – this could be anybodies. But what’s going on at the slip? Of course, I nearly forgot, the “Ducklings” are going out – five boats with five experienced senior helms and the young novice sailors getting a taste for helming themselves on the high seas – now that’s what I call neat; been there, done that, got the T-shirt; just think...you youngsters could be like me one day; what do you mean, and be the Gunfleet know-it-all? I knew you would say that. Now, how’s this race going? Cor, look Maddie and Alice are in the lead in the Topaz class, Ted’s upside down in his Topper...probably not the quickest way to get round the course Ted, if you don’t mind me saying; and Ross and Hugo have capsized their 405 twice so far but are still going strong. Not that horn again?! Oh, Harry has won the Topper race in “Joo-C”, well done mate. Now it’s Maddie and Alice’s turn to get a first in the Topaz class – nice one girls. What’s going on there then? Crikey, the rudder’s fallen of Will and Caleb’s Topaz and Caleb is swimming in the water holding on to it so it doesn’t go to the bottom of the sea – that’s a bit Superman isn’t it? Well done Caleb, that’s impressive. So it’s just down to you 405’s – look at him out on the trapeze...taking it easy a bit, isn’t he? Just lounging back having a rest while his helm is doing all the grunting, nice work if you can get it. Mind you, they are motoring, especially with the kite up. Wow – it’s a clear victory for Conor and Finlay – great going. Right, let’s get the boat up on the prom; what, not that bloomin’ horn again. Oh, I see, the Food Flag is flying I better make a dash as I hear it is sausage and mash, with peas and gravy – sounds pretty tasty to me.
That’s better, I’ve filled my boots and am ready for the next thing – what is it? Triathlon – bring it on. Who’s going to swim then? What you, and you; cor, this is going to be a bit serious, isn’t it? Look at Brogan go, and there’s Maddie, and Will; all belting along – hey, you guys ought to join a swimming club...oh, you already have joined, hello, we’ve got professionals in our camp. They’re round the buoy and are swimming back – c’mon you can do it; what? All that potato you ate lunchtime is slowing you down – well you shouldn’t have gone back for seconds. Now a group from each team have to paddle a Topaz hull round the buoy and back to the ramp before rigging the boat and sailing down the coast to Eastcliff and passing the baton on to the runners. I’m warn-out thinking about all this. Robert’s Team is flagging a bit, c’mon boys, paddle the boat harder, you’re going backwards...I don’t believe it, the Rescue Boat is having to tow them back...tiska, tiska. Three-up on a Topaz, sailing against the tide, is some slow experience but they’re making it. Quick, look, some of the Team are running along the promenade, coming towards us – it’s the last leg, well quite a few legs actually, who’s going to be first? Here, you’re out of condition, all that puffing and panting, go and have a rest guys before you hand that baton in. Wait, here are the results – first place is “Never Capsize”, then it’s “Finding Nemo”, followed by “Extreme” and finally “Life’s a Beach”. OK guys, let’s take a cake break – just look at that lot of cakes, we’ll soon hoover them up.
Quick, on with the next game; why, it’s the good old numbers-up game and we’ve got to swim for the bottles. Look, they’re hurtling out the Rescue Boat, I’ve got one with 100 in it – isn’t that the age of the Commodore? Look at those three all swimming towards that one bottle – crikey, he’s got there first and thrown it to his mate, only she grabbed it first – this is more like rugby! Oh, here come the 200’s, quick...quick, up the steps with those and in the bag. Cor, they’ve lobbed out the 300’s and now it’s the 400’s – you’ve got to have some bottle to play this game tee-hee. So how many did we get? Brogan’s Team got 5,300, Charlie’s Team got 5,200 – I demand a recount, Rob’s Team got 4,900 and Conor’s Team got 400 – what! Just 400 – what happened?
It’s all go – now were into Wordsearch and they’ve given us a list of the letters to find – 10 of them and they make a single word. Out in the water again – we need an L chaps, you’ve got it, well done. What’s that – you want T – we’ve only just had a cake break – oh I see, the letter T. There, found it; so we have got all the letters but what’s the word? Well done mate, you’re right, it’s TRAMPOLINE – who thought that one up? Charlie’s “Finding Nemo” won, then it was “Never Capsize”, followed by “Extreme” and finally “Life’s a Beach”,
Is that the time, the end of another great day – let’s get changed and hit the road...’til tomorrow.
Friday – Goodbyeday – but not quite yet!! I’ve just stuck my head out the bedroom window – no I don’t feel sick! – and its honking a bit; must be at least a force 6. Right, grab my gear and let’s get going; mum, what’ve you done with my 2013 Cadet Week T-shirt, I wanted to wear that today. Oh yes, there it is, screwed up on the floor where I chucked it last night. Mum, can you wash something urgent.
Oh look, the Club flag is really flying hard, and look at them cup things up the pole whizzing round! Hi, how’z it with you?, do you know what we’re doing today – I don’t think I fancy getting the boat out in this wind – what? It’s a force seven, I’m definitely not taking my boat out; that’s the horn isn’t it, telling us it’s time for the daily briefing. Phew, no sailing today, but a bit cheesed off with this weather ‘cause I really do want to get out there...bet it’s lovely next week when we’re all back at school!! So what’s the first game?; got yer – it’s rigging-up the Club Topazes, but I thought we weren’t going sailing? Oh, right, up on the greensward – it’s the boat rigging, de-rigging, round the obstacle course, and back to the finish line before re-rigging game – yeah, that’s a snappy little title. Woah – better rig the boats into wind or they will be up at the haven if we’re not careful. First two Teams, are you ready ‘cause the winner of this plays the winner of the next two Teams playing. Right – go...cor look at em running with that mast, it’s Max and Korben...go it lads; well done Owen, giving the girls a hand with their spars. That’s it Michael, put that rudder through the tyre – no, you don’t have to go through the tyre too. Mind where you put that boom Dom – that’s what I call getting a little behind!! Come on you cool dudes, get that hull over that rope – it’s easy from where I’m sitting. Now, boat back on the trolley, get the dagger board in – not right down, twit, it’s sinking into the grass!! Cor, that was a close race, now for the next two teams...and they’re off – go, go, go with the daggerboard Scarlett, that’s it, and you Hannah. Nice work Ed, you slipped that rudder through the tyre a treat. Hey, Deacon and Finlay – why are you carrying the trolley, wouldn’t it be quicker to just pull it? Watch the way Will is doing it. Another close thing and now it’s the final – and it looks like it’s between “Never Capsize” and “Life’s a Beach” – c’mon, let’s see some sweat! Cripes, that was quick, now who really won?
What’s next – a Treasure Hunt, is that really for gold?? Oh, round the streets of Holland on Sea, but I’m useless at geography – my geography teacher put in my report “it just amazes me he can find his way home”. Quick, it’s time our team got going. What’s the first clue then? Where does the local doctor live? I know, it must be that house – it’s called Bedside Manor...arf arf! Right, turn left here and the next clue please – Where is the police station situated? – it must be here – Letsbe Avenue...boom boom! This Treasure Hunt is a bit of a giggle isn’t it? Cor, we are going past the fish and chip shop and it’s just closing, quick, I’ll pop in and ask “Have you any chips left mate?”, “You have – well that’s your fault for frying too many” Tee-hee. Have we got all the answers, right...back to the Club, just in time for lunch; by the way, what is for lunch? Cor, a chicken burger, what? And chips, oh no, I hope the chip shop man has a good sense of humour!! What’s this? A Magnum ice cream for a pudding – now this is my kind-a-food. Really? Charlie’s team won the Treasure hunt, and they did it in the fastest time – well done guys.
Now it’s the Tug of War so let’s get up on the green and start flexing our muscles, or in your case..whelks. I knew a crab that went to a disco once and pulled a muscle! Grab the rope lads and let’s pull with all our might. Now if we bang Nick into the ground half a metre it might help. Heave, heave, heave...after eating so many chips I might well. C’mon Emilio – give it your all, that’s it. Now everyone...dig your heels in and pull...we’re getting there...whoops, hold on, brace yourselves, one last pull, there... and the winning Team is “Finding Nemo”, then it’s “Never Capsize”, followed by “Extreme” and last was “Life’s a Beach”.
Did someone say it’s Wellie Throwing next, that sounds a laugh. Whose wellie are we throwing? OK lads let’s really wind our arms up and go for it, whoops, mind the Commodore’s house. That’s a good throw Mia, oh sorry, Holly. Now what about your brother? Wow Jacob, that was impressive; who’s next? Look at that one go – I am sure that aeroplane swerved up there. Now it’s my turn...here we go...spin round like a shot-putter and...where’s it gone? Oh, it’s in the hedge. So, who can really throw? Well it seems in the Otter section it was Mac that won, followed by Ted, then Jacob, and Abigail in fourth place. In the Cadets it was Nick first, then Conor, followed by Hugo, and fourth was Caleb. Just time for a Cake Break – oh, yes please, I like the look of that one. Quick slurp of my juice and we’ve got the Egg Throwing. This is easy, you can just hand it to your partner. Oh, I see, the rope goes back and the gap opens up. Catch...well done; back still further; throw carefully, well caught. Back still further...I wouldn’t throw it like that...ugh, I guess you’re out. Watch out, there are eggs flying through the air – oh, what a catch! In the Otters it was Ted and Jude that got threw the furthest. In the Cadets Brogan and Nick won, then Hugo and Max, third were Finn and Deacon, and fourth were Charlie and Harry. Where were the girls in all this?
Finally, today, it’s the water balloon race. Up on the green in a line in our four teams and first is to go from the back of the team to the front carry our water balloons – well that’s easy. Oh, you have to go under the legs of your team-mates mmm, not so easy. Right, I’m there, what next. We’ve got to squeeze through that tyre; as long as it’s not a wheelbarrow tyre I should be alright. Now what? Down the slope east side of Star Point, round the point and down the ramp into the water...but the sea is wild! Quick, swim to the steps, have I still got the balloon? Yes, phew, now each Team has got to form a chain and pass the balloons along the chain, all the way in the compound and up the steps into the Clubhouse. Careful now, through the Clubhouse, keep the chain going...end person back to the front quick, and we’re on the balcony. Finally one Team member has to lob the balloons of water into their Team bucket, being held in the compound. Cor...I’m glad I’m not holding that bucket. Wow, it’s in – well done, and the next one – fantastic. Keep chucking them. Here, you look a bit pale holding that bucket mate...arf, arf. So, who won? “Never Capsize” were first, then “Finding Nemo”, third was “Life’s a Beach” and finally “Extreme”.
So that’s it...time to get out of my wetsuit and go home. There’s a tear in my eye...I am not sure if that’s because it is the end of the 2014 Cadet Week or because I haven’t washed my wet boots all week – Pooooh. Still, there’s the Cadet Party tomorrow to look forward too.
Saturday – It’s Party Time. Well I got mum to wash and iron my 2013 Cadet Week T-shirt and here I am down the Club – cor, the marquee looks cool – oh, oh, it’s full of “old-uns” I think I will see where the gang is. There’s a load on the balcony – yeah, I missed getting out here in the week, shame. Which Team do you think won then? I reckon it was a close thing – it could be that one but I thought it might be this one. Bit of a shame we didn’t get that much sailing in – that rotten weather, let’s suggest we hold 2015 Cadet Week in Spain. Is that the sound of food being dished-up? – quick, let’s join the queue. I lurv that pork, it just melts in the mouth – and what about the crackling, I’ve never seen so much - wow. Cor, that’s delicious. I like the salad kebab – who put all them together? Really, Our Cadet Rear Commodore Daisy, and Cadet Social Secretary Brogan – well done guys, they’re brill, have you got any left-over ‘cause I fancy another one. Hey, there’s loads of extra crackling, I daren’t have any more – I’m stuffed. Oh well, just got room for a bit of chocolate gateau – hang on, that’s got to wait as Chris – our Cadet Officer is about to say a few words. I agree Chris, it was a shame about the weather but yes, it’s been a brilliant Week. First it’s the sailing trophies. First in the Topper fleet is Harry Swinbourne – well done mate, you did brill. Next, in the Topaz fleet, the winners are Maddie and Alice – good on yer gals. Finally it’s the 405 mob and victory’s gone to Conor and Finlay – great going guys. Now for the Team results – wait for it...in fourth place, with 66 points, it’s Rob’s Team “Extreme”, then in third place it’s Brogan’s Team “Life’s a Beach” with 72 points...things are hotting-up. Second place goes to Charlie’s Team “Finding Nemo” with 76 points, and in first place – the 2014 Cadet Week winners it’s....Conor’s Team “Never Capsize” with 78 points. Great Teamwork y’all, let’s start training for next year!! But first...let’s demolish that chocolate gateau. Hold tight, firstly we have got to collect our Cadet Week T-shirts – hey they look really cool, I think I’ll put mine on now. Just a mo, our Cadet Commodore Rob wants to thank Chris and Lisa for such a brilliant 2014 Cadet Week – here, here. Then there’s a big thank you to everyone that helped – what a fantastic team it was – all those Club members giving-up their time to put this on for us – a sincere cheers guys and when I am no longer a Cadet I’m going to help because although I know it’s hard work, it’s also a lota fun.
And one last request from me – is anyone willing to wash-out my wetboots, only my mum is refusing to and at the moment they’re running round the garage out of control; ‘till next year, all the best – I will never forget this week.