Gunfleet's 2015 Cadet Week Sails In
Wednesday...and if the wind was moaning yesterday, well it’s howling today; maybe I should just bury my head under the duvet...but hang about, I wouldn’t see my mates, and I’d miss all the fun...right, let’s go. Will I need my wetsuit today? Probably not; well then I’d better take it off, once I get out of bed...arf...arf. Well, it saved mum having to wash it and it’s all dry now; mind you the bed’s a bit damp! I reckon something leaked out my boots.
Cor, there are loads of people here already, this cruise is going to be interesting – bagsy I eat my packed lunch before we go. What? We aren’t going; why not? Yes I see that whatsaname on the wall, yeah, the one that’s reading 44 mph; holy baloney that’s a hoolie and a half. Let’s get into today’s briefing and find out what we are doing, apart from being blown around. Hang about, first it’s the new total scores to date; Buoys ‘n’ Gulls are still in the lead but second is Amazing and third is Beach Babes, with Ebb ‘n’ Flow just behind – it’s closer than I thought; mind you, I don’t think much. I did the right thing, for once, getting out of my wetsuit to come down here but I wish I’d remembered not to put my pyjamas back on, still no-one seems to have noticed; here, what are you laughing about. I’ll have you know this is an expensive designer suit by Mat Alan, oh yeah, alright it’s a cheap pair of pyjamas from Matalan. So what!
OK..OK, let’s get on with the business, why it’s Nick’s 17th birthday today – crikey, our Cadet Social Secretary Beth, and her crew Grace have got him a cake and a present. Right, let’s all sing happy birthday and embarrass the bloke...tee, hee. So, the first game is a Treasure Hunt around the streets of Holland. I heard these streets are paved with gold; well a lazy friend of mine came looking for a job here and when he arrived he came across a £5 note blowing along the path. He went to bend down and pick it up and then he said to himself “oh, blow it, I’ll start work Monday” Arf...arf.
All ready chaps, let’s go...up the steps and turn right. What’s the first clue..something about missing letters; well I always thought that postman looked dodgy. Quick, onto the next one. Is that another Team coming up behind us? Oh, very funny, Mr. Payments’ first name is Bill; well our Team’s made up of Felix Cited, Sheila Blige, Ben Dover and Shaun Parts...trump that! It’s a bit of a giggle, this Treasure Hunt lark. Now we’re into dragons, paw prints, head-counts, and nothing – yes, the answer to one of the questions is nothing; how bizarre is that? Howe are we doing for time? Well it’s coming up to an hour since we left the Club. I’m beginning to think of food. Wow, the last question...what are these swords called? Well I am so hungry all I can see are knives and forks on that flag mate. Quick, down the steps, stop the clock. Oh, here come the answers...yup, that one’s right, that one’s right, that one’s right, no, we’re right and you’re wrong on that one. Is it time for lunch yet? Yes, it’s time to pick-up our packed lunches that we should now really be eating on the beach at Frinton!! Oh well, it tastes just as good in the Clubhouse, in-fact there’s more wich and less sand; that’s tastier. Crisps, cakes, juice...hang about, how come we get so much, it’s brill.
Shhh, let’s hear what the first game of the afternoon is...great, it’s rounders, I’m well up for that. Which team is wacking the ball to start? First one to hit it in the sea gets very wet. Here, I think I’m going to start calling you Cinderella. Why? Because you keep running away from the ball, mate. Alright, alright, it was only a joke. Look at Hugo go – he’s a bit of a pro, I think the ball is up at the Haven now. Cor, Conor’s Team seem a bit red-hot. There goes Finlay...quick, catch it Emily...oh, bad luck. Not another complete rounder...wow. Hang about, they’re all out...that was a bit quick. Now it’s those Buoys ‘n’ Gulls...they keep running round...I’m getting dizzy just watching them. Wack it hard Ted, now go, go, go...stop; that’s it. Oh, the Team Captain’s out, the whole team begin to look wobbly...Yes, they think it’s all over...well it is now. The Beach Babes are there, talking tactics. Now, now Ross, you are supposed to using the bat to hit the ball with, not your brother. I like the style Abigail, and what a mover; darting from here to there...and back again. And finally it’s Tom’s Ebb ‘n’ Flow. C.mon Esme, you can do it. Now it’s Matthew’s turn. What, that’s the end; just as things were hotting-up.
Next it’s the tug of war and an inter-team knock-out. No you can’t hammer Hannah into the sand as an anchor point, even if she doesn’t mind. Let me dig my feet into the sand, take the strain...and heave...heave...we got it...no, no, no, we’re losing it; hang about it’s coming back...doah...we lost. Well who asked those passing nuns if they wanted to have a go anyway?!
What did you just call me; oh, right, you said it’s the piggy-back game. You want me to run up there and back with that big brute on my back...sorry Emily, you’re not really a brute. Now let’s see you go Will and Matthew...woah, easy does it. Hang about, where are they wandering to? Look at Fran and Isobel, they’ve got style! Is that the whistle, which Team’s won? Did I hear cakes, hey, wait for me.
OK, so now we’re going to roll an egg along the beach with our noses...here, what was in that cake you just had, I think I’ll try a piece. Oh, I see, you are serious; well shouldn’t we play this game on Fry-day, arf...arf. Here, does Finlay know where his nose is, only he seems to have the egg in his mouth! Watch-it, that egg is being pushed lower into the sand all the time. Oh, oh, their egg has just smashed, he really has got egg on his face. Deacon’s got a cool technique, and look, Daisy is dodging round people like a good’un...I’m impressed. Hang about, Owen seems to be changing into a mermaid...now that’s weird! The Beach babes have finished,,,well done y’all. Everyone back to the Club for a piece of Nick’s birthday cake. Hold fire, He keeps blowing the candles out and they re-light. That icing is starting to look a bit wet Nick – stop blowing so hard, I want to eat your cake not drink it!
Well I can just about move and we’re into the last game – a sandcastle competition with points for the best design, the most creative use of the sand, the greatest volume of material and how much you slip the judge; mmmm, that seems very reasonable. I like it, I like it, but I still think ours is best, what do you think Mr. Adjudicator? It’s a choice of – a bed, Beach Babes HQ, Valley of Kings with a UFO in residence, or Pompeii. Well, that’s a fair result, and a great end to the day. See y’all tomorrow and, who knows, we might get some sailing in!!
Thursday and I had a terrible nightmare last night – I dreamt I was eating a giant marshmallow and when I woke up the pillow was gone! Mind you, they say dreams come true, and they do you know. I dreamt I was awake and when I woke-up I found I was – how spooky is that! But to look out the window and see the wind howling, yet again, well it was my worst nightmare. Are we ever going to get on the water again...! What mum? Have I brushed my teeth? Yeah. ‘course I have, and I’ve brushed the dogs’ teeth and granny’s; they were in a glass by the way (for those that thought I rammed a toothbrush down dear grandma’s gob). Mind you I had to laugh, her choppers fitted the dog quite well too. Now, where have you put my wet-gear mum? Boots, rash-vest, buoyancy aid, granny’s false teeth...only joking.
Watcha all, good to be back down the Gunfleet, am I late? No, phew, we’re still waiting for Hugo – the scarlet pimpernel of GSC. Oh, it’s time for today’s briefing – how do those scores look? Woah - Conor’s Team Amazing have slipped from second position to third with Harry’s Beach Babes now just second to our stars – Beth’s Buoys ‘n’ Gulls. Oh, and here comes Tom’s Ebb ‘n’ Flow, getting ever nearer to the top three positions. Well, what’s on today, Comm’ old moosh? (don’t be cheeky, it’s Mr. Moosh to you – Commodore) Sailing!, did he say sailing? I get it, it’s a race for those that feel they can handle it and those that pass the “ability test”. So, that’s three Hobie 405’s and four Topazes...and what about me? Fair do’s, I can handle that. And for the rest of us it’s games on the beach. Look at those waves, it certainly looks a bit lively out there and I can hear the wind blowing through the hairs on Nick’s legs - awesome. Well Conor and Finlay have been hurled into the water and just look at them go, Finlay’s flat out on the wire, are you going to hoist the kite boys? Now it’s the turn of a Topaz, and it’s going like a train. Who’s next? Right-on Beth and Grace, off you go in your 405. OMG they’ve capsized...it looks serious...it is serious; that mast shouldn’t look like that. Hey, are you OK girls? Thank goodness the Rescue Boat is alongside. What’s that horn? Oh, I see they’ve hoisted the abandoned flag – everyone to get back to the shore quick – it’s blown up to a force 7! Hey Beth, Grace – are you alright? Yeah; well you’re braver than me – Rock-on girls. C’mon lads, let’s get ourselves ready to help recover Beth’s 405 when the Rescue Boat tows it back. Heave, lift, oh dear – that repair won’t be a five minute job. Where’s the Rescue Boat gone – oh, it’s heading out to sea to pick-up the marker buoys. Hang about, they put three buoys out and they’re coming back with four, how did that happen? The Boats coming in - right lads – once more with feeling...heave...heave...were there – cheers Chris and Dave, you did a great job. Now, is that the “F” flag I see flying from the pole? Quick everyone – grub’s up.
Cor – I’m stuffed, what a great feast – cheers Galley Crew. Hello, the jolly old Comm (watch it) wants to say a word or two - beach games this afternoon as it continues to be just a bit breezy. What! More food? Oh, I get it. There are four corners on the beach with a different message in each corner – “Don’t Like It”, “Love It”, “It’s OK”, and “Never Tried It”. The games arranger shouts out a food and you run to the corner that reflects how you feel about it...mmmm that’s easy, I like all food. Oh, then someone in the middle tags you whilst running and you’re out; that sounds cool. What’s the first food – Prunes! Yugh, well I don’t like them. What’s next? Curry! Yeah, I’ll have some of that. What!! Figs – no wonder everyone’s running! Well there aren’t many of us left. Oh no, I’ve been tagged – just as well really as my stomach was getting particularly dodgy after that little lot. Who’s left – crikey – Mac’s won – well done mate. Next it’s a game called A Bit Of A Drag! Hang on, shouldn’t this one have a government health warning? Where are we playing it – behind the changing rooms? Oh, alright, I must have misunderstood. One member from each team sits on a bit of carpet and the rest of their team take it in turn to drag them up and down a course. Who ever dreamt this one up needs to see a doctor, mate. Don’t put me on the matt, not after I’ve just eaten all those prunes, curry and figs – I’ve got a sensitive stomach you know. In fact I went to the doctors the other day and he told me to go over to the window and stick my tongue out; when I asked him why he said that he didn’t like the bloke over the road. Good idea, let’s put the smallest team member on there – now hang on tight as, when I pull, the g-force might be too much for you. Here, is the carpet still attached to the gripper? Get your No: 12’s off our carpet mate, we play by the rules here. Look at that lot go, I’ve got’a beat them; now, over to you...but it’s Conor’s Team that won, then Harry’s, with Tom’s third and our overall champs at the bottom of the pile – pile...carpet...get it? Yeah, it was too subtle wasn’t it? Right, now it’s the heaviest on the carpet and the rest of the team dragging together. Look at the trench Nick’s making; cor, that’ll upset the coast protection scheme! I don’t believe it, Conor’s lot have won this – I think they should change the team name to Dyson as they seem to be cleaning-up at the moment. Everyone on the pirate ship for a touch of Captain’s Actions. Last one to respond is out – this is hairy-scary – boom coming over...port...starboard...scrub the decks (if my mum could see me now)...climb the rigging...sweep the decks – cor, it’s tough being a pirate! And it costs a lot of money to run a pirate ship...well you don’t get many miles to the galleon, arf, arf! Look, it’s down to the last two rough-looking cut throats - Shona and Grace...Aft...and Shona’s got it...well done girl; Team 2 are back on top. A cake-break – golleeey, look at that lot, I can’t believe what choice we have – can I have one of each please? Thank goodness the next game is for each team to lay down like the numbers round a clock and then take it in turns to run over their team members – well that’s going to help the digestion isn’t it!? Oh, well why didn’t you say – you have to jump over them. Well I think this clock has stopped.
What’s that noise? It’s the Red Arrows...wow...that’s something else...how cool is that...what a sight! What’s next? Cor that’s an old plane – it’s so old it’s got an outside toilet. But what a brill way to end the day...and you say this was all laid-on for the Club,,,come off it, I’m not daft...no, honestly, I’m not daft.......no, really........
Friday – hang about, I’m lying in bed and I can’t hear any noise of wind whistling outside; quick, let’s have a peak out the curtains. Check this out – sunshine and a light breeze; this is it, we’re going out on the water. What was that mum? Would I like my cereal in bed? No mum, I’ll have it in a bowl if it’s all the same to you. Now what’s the matter mum? What do you mean have I got odd size feet, have you been sniffing dad’s aftershave again? Oh, I see, I’ve got one size 6 wetboot and one size 12 in my bag; well what’s wrong with that? I’m a size 9 so if you add 6 and 12 together and divide by two it comes to 9. Now let’s get down the Club.
Howdy all – ah, there are my wet boots, now let’s look around for two people wearing just one boot and I reckon I’ve cracked this one; they don’t call me Sherlock Holmes for nothing. It’s great to be pulling our boats onto the beach and at last we’re going to get on the water. Hello, that’s the three horns which means it’s time to race to the Clubhouse for today’s briefing. Morning Comm – now what are the scores? Conor’s Amazing – now just to clarify this to those that don’t understand – Conor is the Team Captain, and his Team is called Amazing, so when I say Conor’s Amazing I am not idolising the bloke, though he seems quite a decent sort, I am saying that Amazing, Conor’s Team, have got 131 points. Now have I made myself quite clear? Beth’s Buoys ‘n’ Gulls have 138 points, Harry’s Beach Babes – again just to clarify that this is the name of Harry’s Team not a group of young females swooning at his every word, have got 129 points and finally Tom’s Ebb ‘n’ Flow are on 109. Now by the time you’ve read all that you missed the morning’s race and are waiting, like the rest of us, for our chips, so I’d better rewind the tape. Our good old Comm now has us gathered round the course board as he talks about flags, buoys, start lines, shorten course, general recall, triangles, beacons, ODM’s; I think I must be back at school. Well I suppose he knows what he is on about, just smile and nod occasionally and that should keep him happy. And, at last, we’re on the water and it feels greeeeaaat. Ready about – le’ho, starboard, there’s the five minute flag – it looks a bit like my mum’s duster. There’s Blue Peter and things are hotting-up. Blue Pete seems to have gone so I must get near the line...and we’re off. Cor, Harry, that was a rather smart start...I never saw that coming, but look at those 405’s flying-by – wow. Round the first mark we go and, cor, the Williams boys are flying their kite – awesome. It looks like they could romp it. In the Topazes it’s good to see Harrison and Mac doing so well – great going boys. Now round the Seaward buoy and hey this is really fun. Oh, oh, there’s a boat capsized, no, they’re up and back in action. Here we go, finishing the first lap, and it must be Conor and Finlay in first place, but anything could happen...hang about, something has happened...their spinnaker has gone under their boat and caused them all-sorts of problems, and Ross and Caleb have got in front – that’s a smart bit of work boys. Yes – Ross and Caleb won the race – the Isotonics are on you. Now I don’t know about you but I’m getting quite hungry, in fact the bloke I was sailing with said he wasn’t sure if the Air Show had started or whether it was just my stomach – hang about, I do the funny stuff round here mate. I always love Friday’s lunches at Cadet week ‘cause it’s the healthy option day – chicken-burger, chips, and an ice cream; I suffer it really as you know I would much rather have a stick of celery and an apple. Excuse me, is the dinner nearly ready please? Oh,oh...something about a chip delay, well could you entertain us while we wait? Blow me – no sooner do I say that and the Red Arrows appear – straight-up. Actually, not only straight up but straight down, upside down, inside out, and strolling down the wing putting their washing out to dry. ‘Scuse me mate, you can’t see where our chips have got to from up there? Well haven’t you got a tom-tom or something in your cockpit? Who’s that at the top of the stairs? Ah, it’s the Chip shop chap – c’mon – chop, chop, chip shop chap...try saying that fast. I’ll get gran to try and say that this evening, without her false teeth in. Mind you, I’d better cover the budgie up or it’ll get soaked. Cor, this dinner is brill and now for the ice cream. Oops, we must eat them outside the Clubhouse so we don’t mess the floor. Are you saying we eat like pigs? Talking of which - I actually defended a friend of mine the other day, only someone said he hadn’t got the manners of a pig and I said he had.
It’s a second race, this afternoon, and the wind has freshened (for a change!). Here we are again, buzzing up and down the line...and we’re off. Look at those Topazes – all bunched together – now that’s what I call good sailing. Starboard, cor, just missed that Topper...round the windward mark and out to see on a reach. Love the spray, watch that wave, let’s gybe, where to next? ‘Skuse me at the AWS buoy, were all shoulder to shoulder, nudging each other. Hang about, I’m sure that’s a different crew to what I started with – spooky! I spy the shorten course flag...there’s the horn (or the Comm blowing his nose – same thing) let’s go in. What’s that – Cake Break? If I have another one I will burst.
Now for the final few games – it’s how many Cadets and Otters can you get on a Topaz. Well it seems pretty cool so far; yeah, alright, so there are only two on it, no three, no four, no........twenty!!! That’s a record for our Club – yup, yup, yup. Next it’s climbing the mast. Go it Abigail, c’mon Owen, nice one Emily. Cripes, Deacon fair jumped in the air and grabbed the mast – nice one old chap. And finally it’s kiss the bow – we can all do that...oh, no, it’s not as simple as you look...well I could have got there but I had the wrong type of wet boots – yeah, a size 6 and a size 12. But look – Ted has not only done it he has got himself back to where he started. The girls are having none of that; Shona is down the hull, kissed the bow, and shot back to the start; so both get maximum points. The whistle goes, we help get the Rescue Boats in, and then put our boats away...that’s it for another year but don’t go away, there’s the Big Party on Sunday night – see you there guys.
Sunday: Cor, I can hardly stand up this evening – after a real blast of a Cadet Week I went headlong into Cadet Day on Saturday, and that was a larf, before coming down to the Regatta Race Day today – and it got a bit lively for me. Anyway, it’s great to be down here rockin’ with y’all – hello there you look tired too. Yeah, I’m shattered but it’s a great way to brace myself before I go back to school...another Coke please and go gentle on the ice; man that’s cold. Have you seen what’s ‘is name over there – love the haircut. What’s that...the food is being dished-up...wait for me. Wow, that pork’s fantastic, tonnes of it too. Lurve the barbecue sauce on it, and that crackling – cripes it’s scrummy – luck I brought granny’s teeth in my pocket – well it helps to break it up and she did say if there was any left... Now move over a bit mate so I can sit down next to you. Hello, the old Comm is doing one of his speeches – he’s getting on a bit now you know but I don’t think he’s started dribbling quite yet. Something about a great Cadet Week – yeah I agree with you there mate, lah, lah, lah, thank all the helpers...yeah they were great...he said we were a good lot of young people!! Where’s he been living this last week? Only joking, we’re all angels down the Gunfleet – Hell’s Angels! Oh, wait a minute, this is the important bit – the final Team scores...