Cadet Week - It's Brill

Monday... Mornin’ all, good to see all my old mates again.  It’s been so bloomin’ hot at school and now we’re having a week of fun and it’s blowin’ dogs off chains.  OMG (that’s Oh My Gunfleet to the uninitiated) you’ve grown, shame it’s not upwards, ARF, ARF; and what do you mean, I shouldn’t be surprised if a Cadet grows a beard?  You’re a girl!!!  Oh, oh, there’s the Commodore, I’ll keep clear of him, only I borrowed a fiver off him last year and I think he’s forgotten that I never paid it back.  Whoops, what was that?  I think his brain has just burst into life.  “No, no mate, I think you got it muddled, it was I that lent YOU the five pounds”, there’s one born every minute.  “Don’t forget the interest!” 

Now, am I an Otter or am I now a Cadet?  Tricky question, that, as I have been coming to these Cadet Weeks since 1962 and before you come up with any smartie-pants comment I was born on February 29th, or was it 30th so don’t bamboozle me with science – I know my numbers, well some of them anyway, and when you’re born in a leap year you take away the number you first thought of, divide it by the number of false teeth granny has got, and the answer always comes out as a pound of apples.

You’re so right Owen, it is a bit breezy out there, and it wants to rain; well I’m not stopping it.  Normally at this time on a Monday we are all sticking masts up, hoisting sails, and genuinely looking like we are about to get on the water; but no sign today, what’s going on?   I think we’re about to get the answer as I just heard the horn which tells me it’s time for this morning’s briefing.  “Excuse me Mrs. Cadet Officer, why are you covered in calamine lotion?”  Oh, you’re not, it’s your official Big Boss polo shirt; suits you.  Here she’re pleased to see us; well we’re really pleased to see you.  What was that about the need to be house-trained?  Oh sorry, you said house rules; my apologies but I think I am losing my hearing.  I went to see the doctor about my ears and he found jelly in one and custard in the other; he said I was a trifle deaf!  Never trust a doctor who tells jokes, that’s what I say.

Now, Claire is pointing out that it’s a goof force 6 out there, I personally wouldn’t call that good, and we are playing games on shore today – wise move Mrs. A.  

We’re off to the Eastcliff recreation ground to play rounders, that should be fun – now which team am I in?  Is it Team Pickle, Flying Pig, or the Beach Barbies?  Oh thanks, I’m in that one.  If you give me the wacker I will show them a thing or two, but can you draw the course please as I get easily lost.

Wow Jess S what a swipe, here comes Poppy; cor, nice one Popps.  Now Owen’s hit a really impressive ball, it’s got to be a six!  Wait though, the fielding teams are putting up a remarkable show; look at Farron and Ed, simply stonking round.  Left-handed Lauren really belts the ball.  Harrison pushes it but was stumped at the last base; hard cheese.  Hey, suddenly they’re dropping like flies; talking of which, mind the dogs’ mess.  Oh look, there’s the Commodore talking to the Dog Warden.  What was that?  You’re frightened of dogs since you were bitten by a Corgi when you were little.  “Did you put anything on it?” No, he liked it just as it was.  “Yes, you owe me a fiver, I haven’t forgotten.”  “What did you say, you owe what all?  Charming!”  Oh yes, it looks like Lauren’s Team has won the rounders.

Now it’s that old favourite – Wellie Throwing.  Yes, I know you want to practice but watch my left ear-hole.  Who’s going to be the best Otter I wonder, is it Sophie, George, or Jess S?  Well my money (actually the Commodore’s fiver but don’t tell him) is on....mmmm; oh well done Sophie.

Now for the big “kids” on the bloc, let’s see what you’re made of.  Will it be Jude, Tom, or Owen.  Ready...steady...chocks-away and, with little doubt, it’s a clear win for Tom, and his Team.

Hey, what’s this game all about??  It’s called Chin 2 Chin, well it’s alright for him as he’s got a double chin, or have I been at the blue Isotonics too much?!  Cripes, I say, this is a bit risky isn’t it?  I put my chin under yours and pass a sponge ball from one end of the line to the other; there’s got to be simpler ways of transporting this bloomin’ ball.  Actually this is quite good fun; here, stick a bit of Velcro on your chin, it works wonders.  That was quick and the Beach Barbies won it, chins down!

I’m starting to feel a bit peckish, when’s dinner?  Cripes, there’s more games and the adults are showing us what to do, a touch of the under and over; yea, my gran suffers from that.  Oh yes, this will be fun as what we’re passing is our mascot; where’s ours gone?  Oh, here it comes, flying through the air.  Above your head, between your legs...above your legs and between your head; no, that can’t be right.  The old up and under – works a treat.

Just one more thing before lunch – chasing across a field of demented Cadets and Otters without getting a foam ball hitting you, let’s give it a go.

Back to the beach and all of a sudden there’s the F flag climbing up the flagpole, and we all know that F stands for food; I’m going to be knocked flat in the rush.  There are tasty bangers Mrs.; what have you got ‘cause I’ve got peas and mash with mine?  Oh yea, you’ve got beans with yours, how do I know?  Well you got juice running down your chin mate.

Time to get changed into our wet gear and now it’s off to the beach to build a team sandcastle.  Do you like our one?  Difficult to choose?  Interesting designs?  One looks like a woman, the other looks like another woman; they’re certainly blessed in all the right places, and then there is the more traditional look – an actual castle; and yes, the castle has won it!

Time to brace ourselves as we are about to go in the sea for a swim.  Firstly it’s all hands to launch the Rescue Boat, and launch the crew at the same time.  Now, they’ve laid the buoy we all have to swim out and around it, one team member following the return of the other.  Fun but battered and bruised.  With just a short while before the best bit of the day – the cake break, it’s time to go for a bit of a splash; WOW, those waves are powerful.  Something’s calling me, oh it is those cakes; I’m off to the Clubhouse where I know I will have my cake and eat it.

Cake all gone and we are into the egg and spoon race, watch out Ben, be careful Farran, you’ve dropped it again Belle!  Typical, who has broken their egg, time to wash the yolk off; let’s all jump in the sea!  Sorry, nearly did but there is the final game of the day – swim to the buoy, again, run into the compound, up the steps, down the slope; what happens if you get a double six??  So, where was I?  Up the ladders, down the snakes, grab a plastic cup the size of a thimble, run to the sea, fill the cup, then into the compound and pour it over the fence and into a bucket.  Corrr, it’s always nice to finish on an easy game!!!  My cups split, the sea’s too far away, the wind is blowing the water – hey it’s mad!  I think they are still trying to work out who won!!

OMG, the Flag O is flying; time to get out the water, change, hand in the wristband, and go home.  What a brill start to the Week, roll-on Tuesday!



Tuesday... woke me far too early, it’s still dark outside; look at the clock, it’s only...what??  Holy Moly Macaroni, it’s not that early but look out that window – black sky and rain; that’s not what Wind-Zulu said on my i-whatsaname, it’s s’posed to be blue sky and sunshine, not this load of nonsense.  Now where’s my wetsuit, MUM?  Have you seen my buoyancy aid?  My rash vest? My wet boots?  My duck-sound-like? What Mum?  What’s a duck-sound-like?  Quack, quack of course...ouch!  It was only a joke.  Quick, let’s get going ‘cause I don’t want to be last there.  Here, it’s brightening-up, look, the sky is blue over there and the wind is looking good; hello mate, you look a bit rough, you been on the sherbert dabs again?  Pooh! What’s that smell?  Oh, I see; cor it’s a bit ripe Mrs., especially this early in the morning, I’ve only just had my Farley’s rusks.  Now are we going cruising or what?  It appears it will be a bit of “what” today as the cruise is postponed until later in the week; cor, I wish my lessons at school were like this; it’s like Lucky Dip.  Well I’m changed and helping rig-up the boats, and there’s the mating-call of the lesser spotted horn; time for the briefing, let’s make it brief as I am get on the water.   

Good morning Mrs. A, what’s the low-down for today?  Blah, blah, blah, cruise postponed, yup, I knew that bit, blah, blah, racing this morning, blah, blah, blah, see what the weather is like at lunchtime before announcing the rest of the day.  What was that?  Over to the Commodore who is running the race, and everybody out round the Course Chart.  Cor, don’t he go on; something about tides and winds, now something about currents and sultanas; poor old boy, he’s lost the plot, he thinks we’re all at a cookery demonstration.  Now I am no clever clogs (well maybe a bit of a one) but why, when he has said that the wind is coming from the south-west, does he want to send us up the coast with the wind behind us?  Well this should be fun!!  I think I had better pass over to him to update you on the race, ‘cause I will be too busy sailing.  Just humour him, and don’t be surprised if he starts talking about regulo 6 for half an hour; he’ll be back safe and sound in his room shortly, they’re coming with the large butterfly net very soon!

A force 4 south westerly wind greeted the competitors for the initial race in the Cadet Week Trophy series, and first away were the five Toppers, heading up the coast to the Kingscliff buoy on a very broad reach (pssst – I told you he wasn’t all there) with Alfie Searles taking an early lead.  As the boats hardened-up and headed out to the Seaward mark he was being chased by Harrison Smith, with Korben Symmonds being just a little behind.  

Five minutes later the eight-strong Topaz fleet got underway and, right from the start, there was some strong rivalry between crews.  Harry Swinbourne and Jess McLean-Wright powered into an early lead but, snapping at their heels were Tom Philpot and George Smith.  They too headed up the coast (there, he’s at it again) and made swift passage to the Kingscliff buoy.

Meanwhile the Toppers were lapping-up the conditions.  Harrison had slipped ahead of Alfie but unfortunately Kees Levine retired early in his Topper, and a little later was followed by Lauren Hooper.  On the reach from AWS to Seaward, Korben moved up to second place but it was clear that Alfie was not going to take this laying down and so ratcheted-up the power.  

The Topaz fleet saw positions changing quite regulo, sorry, regularly and in a clever tactical move Tom and George got in front of Harry and Jess and started to pull away.  At a similar time the then third placed Thomas Aiken and Mac Symmonds let Maddie Corbett and Esme Symmonds move into third place.  Within a stone’s throw Was Jude Aylen and Freddie Spooner, and as the boats finished their first lap there was just a few inches between the leading two boats.

Back in the Toppers, Harrison, flying round the second lap, looked like he was home and dry but Korben started to move on up and on the penultimate leg of the second and final lap, Harrison was getting concerned.  As the Eastcliff buoy was rounded it would have only taken one mistake to change the results but Harrison kept his cool and claimed victory.  

Disaster struck Tom and George on the second lap when the toestrap cord broke, resulting in Tom completing a backward somersault and the boat capsizing.  This allowed the opportunity for Harry and Jess to take the honours in the Topaz class.

Results – Cadet Week Topper Trophy Series – 1
1.    Harrison Smith
2.    Korben Symmonds
3.    Alfie Searles

Cadet Week Topaz Trophy Series – 1
1.    Harry Swinbourne & Jess McLean-Wright
2.    Tom Philpot & Goeoge Smith
3.    Thomas Aiken & Mac Symmonds

Has he gone?  Then I can let you know that, despite all that cut and thrust waffle above, we actually just had a great sail and, yes, it was sooooo good to be back on the water.  Mind you, once we landed we got in the water and that was pretty cool, until we saw a jellyfish.  Hey, is that my stomach starting to rumble?  Oh no, it’s the signal for food, I’m on my way.  I’ll just avoid the gazebo on the beach as that is where the tiddlers had a really fun time this morning, I just wish I could have joined them.

Wow, pasta, with a herby tomato sauce, cheese and onion potato bake and garlic bread – bring it on!  I think I will take a helping for Ron – yeah, Later-on...arf...arf.  Actually there are seconds and even thirds; no, you win, I’m stuffed.  Thanks Mrs. Rear and Auntie Kay; I would offer to wash-up but I gota rush as there is another race this afternoon.  Hello, the Commodore has woken-up at last; no, you missed lunch granddad, so what is the course?  A triangle, followed by a sausage; oh lordy, he’s back on his cookery classes again, two laps – I can handle that!  Right then, back over to the Commodore but if he nods off then give me a shout and I will carry on.

As the Toppers got underway in this, the second race of the day, it was Korben that took the lead, beating down the coast to the Eastcliff buoy, assisted by the last of the flood tide.  It was certainly good to see such a closely bunched fleet and at this early stage it could clearly be anyone’s game.  In the Topazes, setting off five minutes later, determination was in the faces of the sailors as they jostled for best position on the start line.  Hardly surprisingly Tom and George were very close behind, followed by Ed and Henry, and just behind them were Owen Hooper and Farran Leeks.

The second leg, out to the Seaward buoy, saw Harrison take over the lead in the Toppers whilst the Topazes settled down for a little while.  On the third leg for the Toppers, which was a reach down to the AWS buoy, Alfie kept a straight line and rounded the mark in second place, from whence there was no turning back (crikey, he’s morphed into Shakespeare).  The Topazes, having gybed cleanly at Seaward, then reached up the coast to Kingscliff before returning to Seaward via AWS (I hope you’re following this ‘cause I don’t know that anyone else is).  At this stage Tom and George had now taken the lead and really had the bit between their teeth, ensuring nobody got in front.  At the end of the first lap it was Tom and George, followed by Harry and Jess, and then Maddie and Esme.

During the second lap the tide turned and a strong ebb tide, coupled with a fading southerly wind, made manoeuvring out to sea quite painful but, despite that, the competitors did not let this phase them.

Results – Cadet Week Topper Trophy Series – 2
1.    Harrison Smith
2.    Alfie Searles
3.    Korben Symmonds

Cadet Week Topaz Trophy Series – 2
1.    Tom Philpot & Goeoge Smith
2.    Ed Philpot & Henry Spooner
3.    Maddie Corbett & Esme Symmonds

Thanks Mr. Commodore, I couldn’t have put it better myself.  A bit of swimming followed and then we packed the boats away, avoiding that rather disgusting pit, which reminds me – there’s just time for a cake break before legging it home.  Oh – someone take the Commodore back to his room (the Bag of Nails Club) at Breezy Ridge Home for Gentlefolk – thanks. 



Wednesday...I can’t wait as today is our cruise day and that means a really good sail without all this argy-bargy, or is that the name of my old Gran’s favourite Indian takeaway?  My Gran wants to come with me as she went on a cruise once and thinks it will bring back memories; poor old girl, I tried explaining that she would be looking for the deck quoits and wanting the steward to serve her a pink gin.  Mind you, when she was on that cruise she was asked if she would like to have dinner at the Captain’s table and she became really indignant.  “After all the money I’ve spent I am not eating with the staff” she retorted.  “Anyway, Gran, wasn’t that the time when Granddad had trouble with his whippets?”  “Yes son, but he’s been to the doctors and had them removed”; now I’m not sure my Gran is on the same planet, she would probably get on very well with our Commodore.

Anyway, you’re distracting me Gran, let’s get ourselves ready.  Mum I thought you said you had washed and dried my wetboots but one of them is all wet.  Oh, you saw the dog sniffing around them; oh well, at least it’s warm.  Right, I’m ready to go; come on mum, I don’t want to be last down at the Club.

Cor, that weather looks bootiful, as old Bernard Matthews used to say, but then he always was one for using fowl language...arf, arf.  Watcha Jude, how you doin’ Owen?  I fancy a drop of this, let’s get rigged; crikey, my boat is already on the beach – cheers guys.  And there goes the three blasts on the horn, time for our daily briefing.  Claire has just given us the scores for Tuesday and, combined with Monday’s scores the three teams are all still very close.  OK, let’s launch and wave goodbye to the Clubhouse, see you in a few year’s time; once we have circumnavigated Jaywick.

Hang on, why do you think I need a ball?  I mean, I am sailing, not playing tennis.  Oh, right, I have to sail to the front of the fleet and give it to the leading Rescue Boat,  Thinks – but why didn’t you just take the ball straight to them instead of asking me to do it for you?  Hello, they’ve given the ball to someone else at the back of the fleet and now they’re sailing it up to the front.  Oh, I get it, you’re keeping us all together; some smart cookie running this show!  There goes the Pier; well to make it clearer, the Pier isn’t going anywhere, it’s us that are moving, oh don’t those beaches look crowded?  Now past Martello Bay, and here’s the golf course.  I never understood that game.  Golfers always take a spare pair of socks with them when playing a round in case they get a hole in one; now what sense is there in that?  Anyway, by I time I made that silly comment we are on to Jaywick and the tennis balls keep flying!  Hello, what’s that I see ahead?  It’s the Club gazebo and there are some familiar faces, we must be here.  How good, we got here without getting wet – what a result; right, let’s go for a swim.  In fact the longer we are in the water the warmer it gets; this is amazing.  Here, you know what my mum washes my sailing gear in?  No?  Well it’s Tide!  Arf...arf.  

Claire is callng us in as it’s lunchtime and I’m starving.  What did I order?  Was it Cham or Heese?  Oh, I really can’t remember; but I know which crisps I’ll have – barbecued budgie.  Yeah, they were going cheap.   Cor the cakes are tasty and, having got warm in the sun, are even scrummier – nice!  And a bottle of Isotonic to wash it all down – a real feast.  Do you know, days like these don’t get much better.

Another quick splash and it’s time for the Treasure Hunt.  Some devious soul has buried 66 bottle tops in the sand, not once, but three times, and we’ve got to find them.  Well if you hadn’t buried them in the first place, we wouldn’t have this problem!  Can’t stop, got to help my team.  Hey, I’ve found a bottle top; oh, with a bottle still attached!  Hang on, there’s a hand on the bottle; whoops, sorry Adam, didn’t realise you hadn’t finished your drink yet mate.  Hold on, the Beach Barbies have found all 66, are you sure?  Cor, s’truth!

Here, Ed, do you want to make your 405 look younger?  Yeah?  Well, try using some Boat Tox.

What did you say Claire?  I really wasn’t listening.  OK, it’s the long jump; yeah, I’ll give it a go.  Hang fire, it’s the Otters first.  Nice one Belle, smooth move Poppy, clever tactics George, steady little Annabelle – you can stop running now!  That’s a real good move Sophie but top of the leaps is Esme with a very impressive performance.  Now it’s the turn of those strapping Cadets; surely Tom will win this by an arm and a leg; well at least the leg part.  Hold hard, there are some really good jumps going on and this could be anyone’s game.  With all the determination he has, Korben gets a very creditable third place, whilst in second place is Henry; so who is the overall champ?  Well it’s good ol’ Thomas, who took a leap of faith and landed in Jaywick!  

Now for the one we’ve all been waiting for – a touch of the egg throwing!  Gently does it.  Who am I paired up with?  Oh no!  Not Butterfingers Billy!!  He used to be a goal keeper in his local football team and they used to lose 58, Nil, he just couldn’t catch a ball.  Mind you, one day he was walking past a block of flats and there was a bit of a commotion as a man and woman were arguing about something or other.  On the window ledge was a little baby which suddenly fell out the window.  Well, a big crowd had gathered in the street and as the baby fell a scream of fear went up.  Old Butterfingers Billy ran over to where the baby fell and caught it safely in his hands.  The crowd went mad and cheered him, and old Billy bounced the baby twice on the ground and kicked it up the street!!!  You couldn’t make it up.  Well bang goes my chances of getting into the finals.  Mind you, there are a few bouncing eggs and a few raw eggs running down faces.  Gosh, look at the distance apart right now.  Cripes is that still intact?  Crazy!!

A quick blast into the sea, pick up any rubbish, and time to get going; holy-moly, the wind has suddenly picked up, but actually it’s great and everyone’s going to love it.  Well, not quite everyone; did you really want to be turning that GP14 upside down?  Good old Dave is there in the Rescue Boat and taking control of the situation.  Don’t worry about me, I haven’t got time to capsize as I need to get back for the Cake-Break, and there’s a rumour going round that there is a bucket or two of bread pudding to consume, now that’s what I call a snack.  ‘till tomorrow – ta-ta.




Thursday...Oh boy, am I tired?  What a day it was yesterday, I think I am cream-crackered; and there’s mum calling out that breakfast is ready.  I can still taste the salt water in my mouth and there’s so much sand in my bed I will have to install some groynes soon to stop it moving about.  Alright mum, I’m coming.  Do you know some friends down at the Club were discussing the best way to make a toasted sandwich for breakfast and I played Breville’s Adovcate!  Anyway mum, I’ll just have two eggs this morning as I’ve got to keep my energy levels up as it’s the third class race this morning.  What do you mean, put that ipad down at the table, I’ve only just picked it up.  And I’m not obsessed with it, I read a book last night, it was called Great Eggspectations; you know the one?  Written by Charles Chickens...arf, arf.  Enough waffle mum, I need to get to the Club, and you can do the washing-up when you get back – you see, I am thoughtful.

Well it’s definitely going to be a hot one as I see they have put the chocolates in the fridge; could I have a Mars Bar please, and a straw.  OK, boats rigged, I’m changed and am already for the briefing.  Here comes Claire with her clipboard, this looks serious, and it is.  The scores given yesterday, for Monday and Tuesday, weren’t quite right, however, the positions don’t change; crikey they are now really close.  So now you are giving out yesterday’s and things are even hotter.  Right, so it’s a racer this morning, followed by a race this afternoon as to how many cakes we can eat (I made that last bit up but I am already feeling hungry).  Oh. Oh, the Commodore is going to explain the course...down here, left there, whoops sorry Mr. Commodore, I meant port, then out there , back there, round here, under there, over there; are you sure this is the course and not a knitting pattern?  I think I’ve got it; tell you what, I’ll just follow everyone else, I usually do.  Eye eye, there is a red and white striped flag flying; does that mean the Commodore is having his hair cut?  Oh, I see, there’s a 15 minute postponement.  Yeah, I heard him on his megaphone.... and all stations to Clacton on Sea.  Whoops the old boy’s giving me a funny look, I’m launching and handing over to him for a bit of a commentary on this race.

The Toppers are all close to the line when their race begins, and Lauren leads the way, with Alfie just behind, as they beat down the coast to the Eastcliff buoy, the flood tide hurrying them on their way.  Kees is just behind them, but Harrison and Korben seem to be rather on top of each other at the Outer Distance Mark, and by the time they have sorted themselves out there was a significant amount of catching-up to do.

The Topaz fleet looked impressive, with all eight boats hovering on the lines, and five minutes after the Toppers started the Topazes are unleashed.  Maddie and Esme immediately take the lead with Thomas and Mac just behind them and working hard.  This is going to be an exciting race.  The first leg for the Topazes takes them down to St. Michael’s buoy and then it’s a long run back, parallel to the shore, and a port tack around the Kingscliff mark.  Meanwhile Alfi has taken the lead in the Toppers and the gap between all of them being really small; the helms being mentally willed-on by the onlookers.  They soon reach the Seaward buoy and reach down to the AWS mark and back out to Seaward and things are changing.  Harrison has driven his Topper into top spot, with Alfie holding onto the second place.

The Topazes really are refusing to separate and as they head from Kingscliff, around AWS and out to Seaward the top positions are changing quite regularly.  Tom and George start to carve themselves out a small lead as they tack tight and head out to sea, using the tide to help hold them on course for the offshore buoy.  At the end of the first lap Tom and George are in top spot with Thomas and Mac constantly on their tail, whilst Harry and Jess are lying in third place.  In the Toppers it is Harrison that takes the first lap, Alfie second and Lauren third.

The second lap sees the Toppers settling down, whilst in the Topzes, whilst the top three positions remain constant, the rest of the fleet see many shifts in placings.  Ben and Sophie find themselves at the back, but with some very smart sailing they pull themselves up several positions during the second lap.  Half way through the final lap it is Ed and Henry that are the tail-end Charlies but they choose not to follow the pack after gybing round Kingscliff  and head straight out to sea.  From there they tack tightly around AWS and avoid getting pulled down with the tide, so moving them up several places.  Sailing consistently, but just missing out on third place are Jude and Freddie.

Results – Cadet Week Topper Trophy Series – 3
1.    Harrison Smith
2.    Alfie Searles
3.    Lauren Hooper

Cadet Week Topaz Trophy Series – 3
1.    Tom Philpot & George Smith
2.    Thomas Aiken & Mac Symmonds
3.    Harry Swinbourne & Jess McLean-Wright

Have you quite finished Comm?!  Actually, I guess you summed it up quite well considering; didn’t see my name come up though, were you really watching what was going on?

Anyway, I haven’t got time to be arguing with you ‘cause the food flag tells me there are far more important things going on at the moment.  Jacket Potato and a choice of filling, so what’s the choice?   Cheese...yes please; Tuna...yes please; Baked Beans...yes please; a clip round the that out of a tin or frozen?  It’s fresh from the back of my hand.  Why does there always have to be one smart galley helper?  Actually this potato is rather tasty, and those fillings certainly are.  Now, what’s happening this afternoon?  There’s been a bit of a what?  Oh, I see, it’s called Balls-Up and we’ve got to sail out and throw our team overboard to pick-up balls, and then get them all back to shore, the balls that is, the team can find their own way home!  Cor, the sea is covered in coloured balls, it’s amazing.  I’ll grab this lot; hang on, I can’t swim now, and I keep trying to stuff them in my pockets and they keep floating out; wish I had Gran’s hairnet with me.

Right then, what’s the next game?  Watery Wordsearch, oh yes, I remember this one,  There’s a ten letter word floating out on the high-sea; well actually there are ten letters, per team, floating out at sea and we have to find them, and then make the word.  Hm, pretty easy, that one.  Let’s start finding letters, quick.  I’ve got an L, what?  You’ve got a C, and what about you?  Oh, you’ve got an N, but what about our vowels?  What was that?  Oh, very funny – Dave on the Rescue Boat is saying eat plenty of prunes,  Now that’s sneaky!  You’ve held the vowels back to let go in a flurry.  That’s funny, that’s what I heard Gran say the other day, and also explains why the window was wide open.  Now, back to this game, you’ve just picked an I and what have you got?  I said what have you got?  I said what have you got?  The letter A, I thought you couldn’t hear what I was saying; silly me.  So, back to shore and let’s lay these ten letters out – A I O C L M N P S T. It’s coinplants, oh no it isn’t.  It must be paint something or other, look – Harry’s Team has got it, why haven’t we?  Wait a minute, wait a minute, who said that?  It’s COMPLAINTS; now that is something my old Gran is full of.

Cake Break, now that’s what the letters should have made!  Mmmmmm, I spy Mandy’s Millionaire Shortcake; just the eight slices for me please, I don’t want to appear greedy.  What was that mate?  No you wouldn’t like it; that cake’s an acquired taste and I’m acquiring it all.  Oh, oh I am feeling a little queasy, it must be something I’ve eaten, now what could that be?

Another game; not too energetic I hope.  Why, it’s me old pal Numbers-up, I think mine might be.  Swim out, that’s me finished, grab some bottles, throw them on the boat and, fingers crossed, we get the largest score.  Look, there’s a 100, and another, and yet another.  Isn’t that a 400, crikey that’s rare.  Oh look, there’s another bottle floating by.  Did you know that H2o is the formula for water, so I guess ice must be H2o cubed.  Anyway, stop prattling and find some more numbers; oh, there goes another one.  Time for the big count-up; that’s an impressive score; crikey, that’s even bigger!!  And what about ours??  Hey, that’s pretty cool!

Just time for a quick swim before I leg-it home; is there any more Millionaire’s Shortcake please? 




Friday...I just can’t believe this is the last day, hasn’t it just flown-by?  Here, Mum, have you ironed my wetsuit, only it seems to have a crease running down each leg?  What was that?  Dad reversed the car over my wetsuit ‘cause I left it on the drive...mmmm, some people have no respect for other people’s property.  Now Mum, I need an old Cadet Week T-Shirt ‘cause our team will get points....yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, points mean prizes, very funny Mum.  What do you mean, I got them going back 100’s of years, I’ve told you a million times not to exaggerate.  No, not that one, it’s in Latin!  Ah, here’s one, when our revered Commodore was in nappies – 2012 arf...arf..., I am not being rude Mum, he can’t hear me.  Let’s see, 2012 was an Olympic themed one; now what year was this, it’s a Battle of Trafalgar one?  Alright, I’ll wear this one, let’s get going.

Hi y’all, who’s pinched the wind, it must be reading all of 1 mph.  Yeah, do you like my T-shirt?  What happened to yours?  Oh, I see, your dad was using it to clean the car, he’s not that small is he?  Oh, I see, he was it instead of a sponge.  Your dad’s car must have been dirty.  There go the three blasts, it’s time for the briefing.  Firstly, what are the scores?  Wow, it’s still very close – Flying Pigs:  480, Team Pickle:  500, and Beach Barbies:  519, now that really is close.  But what about the wind (I pause at this stage for you all to make your own jokes on this subject)?   Right, I see, we are playing games this morning and hoping the wind fills-in this afternoon for our final race.  Bring it on!

Now, listen very carefully, as Claire will say this only once; Hello, Hello, where have I heard that before.  We start with a swimming race, for certain team members, then it’s a run to the Eastcliff Cafe for some of the other Team members, and the last lot of each Team sail to Eastcliff Cafe, swap about, and sail/run back.  That all seems very straight forward!?!!?  Maybe you could just go through it one more time.  Right then, who’s on the boat, who’s running, and who’s swimming, ‘cause you know I can do all three, at once, and juggle plates at the same time; look, I’ll show you.  What’s that about a broom – now don’t be rude.  Mind you, with absolutely zilch wind you’ve got time to stroll down to the cafe, have breakfast, and knit yourself a new lifejacket.  Oh, I hadn’t realised that each different category is a race in itself – quick, let’s go.  Oh well, the boats drifted down on the tide but it’s going to be tougher on the way back.  Have you got the chicken?  What about the Pig?  Not me!  How jolly dare you!!  

What’s next?  Save Our Shipmate?  Do they need saving?  Oh, I see, one member of each team is kidnapped and taken as hostage, along with their mascot, and marooned at the Outer Distance Mark.  The rest of each Team are to be tied up and sent on a journey to hell and back, well actually the greensward but I am trying to add a bit of drama to the whole thing.  Then it’s time to fill-up buckets with water using cups the size of thimbles.  Once this is completed, and remember that all water must be passed by the Cadet Officer “Ouch!  What was that for?”, you can go and collect your captured colleague; and whatever you do, don’t forget to come back with the mascot.  Let’s see, who are those poor retches that are being held prisoners?  Oh, it’s Poppy, George and Belle – don’t worry, we will get you; mmm, so much for any sympathetic reassurance from me, they’re not worried in the slightest!  We’re off, let’s hot-foot it through the compound; hang on, where’s all this water coming from – Shelley I don’t believe it, and you of all people; I’m soaking wet!!  Still, it’s cooled me down and I won’t need to wash tonight.  Up the steps, down the slope, round the bend; yes, we’re all that.  Load that bucket! – OK let’s go get our poor half-starved waif from the clutches of the wicked pirates.  What?  You were so hungry you ate the chicken!  But wasn’t it was rubbery?  Better than KFC!  Well, fair comment.  Once we’re ashore i’ll give you a healthy pat on the back and, fish fingers crossed, we will see it reappear.

Just one more game before lunch and it’s Tug’O’War.  Yellow verses Green, verses Red, verses the winners and losers.  One, two, three...Heave, and again...heave; hello, that’s brought the chicken back to life.  Now, what’s for lunch ‘cause I see the “F” flag just shooting up the yardarm.  Wow – Lasagne, we’re going all Italian!  I knew an Italian chef, once, and when he died they said he just pasta way.   Say, this is very tasty, and I love the garlic bread.  I don’t go to Italian restaurants anymore as last time I went I think the Mafia had taken over, because on the menu was broken leg of lamb.

Hey, the wind is still very light.  Yup, got you; it’s All Aboard Paddle Race using Topazes, and away we go.  Cor, watch-it, there are arms and legs everywhere, so what do you think you are?  A bloomin’ windmill or something?  Well it’s certainly worn-off dinner.

The wind has, by now, freshened just a tad, so whilst I get the boat ready I will pass over to the Commodore for a bit more of his sparkling repartee on the up and coming race.  

It’s a light easterly breeze but, as previously an onshore sea breeze has filled in during the afternoon, the course for each class will include three laps.  First away are the Toppers and Harrison immediately takes the lead, as the fleet heads towards Kingscliff buoy, Korben in second place, followed by Alfie, Lauren and then Kees.  With the tide flooding the boats stay close to the shore to mitigate the adverse affect and as they round the first mark it’s Harrison, Alfie, Lauren and Kees, but no Korben.  Time ticks by and then he appears; it would seem he forgot to put the bung in his Topper and, as a result, has basically put the anchors on.  

Meanwhile the topazes have started with Harry and Jess in front, but it is not long before Thomas and Mac overtake and begin to pull away.  Trailing way behind are Tom and George who seemed unaware that the race is underway.

The toppers have reached to the AWS buoy and then it’s out to the Seaward mark, down to Eastcliff and back through the line. 

The Topaz course is a lot longer and, having reached the Kingscliff buoy it is out to Seaward, down to Eastcliff, along to Kingscliff, back to Eastcliff and then to the finish line.  Once again places are regularly changing and all the time Tom and George are picking competitors off.  The wind really has failed to fill-in, and the Officer of the Day hoists the Shorten Course Flag to reduce the laps from three to one.  But now all eyes are on Tom and George as they have moved right up to second place and still the gap closes, but not fast enough; leaving Thomas and Mac top take today’s honours.

Results – Cadet Week Topper Trophy Series – 4
1.    Harrison Smith
2.    Alfie Searles
3.    Lauren Hooper

Cadet Week Topaz Trophy Series – 4
1.    Thomas Aiken & Mac Symmonds 
2.    Tom Philpot & George Smith
3.    Ed Philpot & Henry Spooner

Thanks Commodore, that actually was a jolly exciting race, despite the light airs and your rather tedious commentary...only joking!  Was that joking or yolking, because we just have a few eggs to toss-about – yuk – who threw that?






Saturday...This is the bit I love – the jolly old party.  A bit of gel on the hair, a quick lick behind the ears and I’m all ready to rock ’n’ sausage roll.  Cor, you look a bit alright...watcha dude...didn’t recognise you with your clothes on – ooops, sorry vicar!  We’ve got ourselves a marquee with a disco in it – now you’re talking or, more appropriately, singing.  Just how cool is that.  A roll of the drums and here they are...the Kings of swing – Harry and Tom make a real entrance with their white hats, matching shirts and white shorts.  Blimey Harry – those shorts are a bit tight mate, not a lot of Victor Sylvester in there mate!

Before the fun gets underway it’s time to tuck-in.  A touch of Chicken Warrior, Chips and/or sweet potato fries, coleslaw, salad, and more dressings than a hospital surgery.  Mate, that’s something else.  Oh yes, I’ve accidentally been eating the serviette, silly me.  Now for a bit of pudding, oh sorry – sweet.  What a wedge of chocolate gateau – that’s humongous fungus mate, where’s the oxygen tent? for Nurse Daisy.  I’ve just got to sit still for a minute and let this lot go down.

Hold on – it’s time for the presentations.  Is that a roll on the drums or Tom’s knees knocking?  Everyone into the Clubhouse.  A few words from Claire – our leader.  Yes, it has been a brilliant week, no incidents (hang on, the night is young), great games, superb sailing, fantastic food, wonderful weather.  Careful now, you don’t get your alliterations muddled with your superlatives...see, I’m not just a pretty face.  Now the next bit seems to get a bit blurred but it is time for some trophy presentations:

Swallow Trophy – Toppers:  Harrison Smith
Amazon Trophy – Topazes:  Ton Philpot & George Smith

Merit Certificates:
Fantastic Effort – Ben & Sophie Bennett
Most Likely To Forget Their Bung – Korben Symmonds
Landing of the Week – Owen Hooper
Best Capsize – Tom Philpot & George Smith
Well Mannered – Lauren Hooper
Wearing A Previous Year Cadet Week T-Shirt Every Day:  Jude Aylen, Harrison Smith, Alfie Searles

The ORSTED Trophy for the winning 2018 Cadet Team – “Team Pickles”
Tom Philpot, George Smith, Maddie Corbett, Esme Symmonds, Thomas Aiken, Mac Symmonds, Kees Levine, Alfie Searles, Annabelle Lockett

And now for our Dynamic Duo to pick up the microphone and make a few speeches.  Hey, that’s pretty funny...yea, you’re spot-on there...sure was good...I agree...  Presentations are made to the Commodore and his wife, Vice Commodore Dave, and, most importantly – the Star of the Show – our Cadet Officer Claire.  Time for me to get serious for a moment.  A BIG thank you Claire for organising an amazing Cadet Week – one that will stay in our memories for ever.  You had a great team supporting you and we are all indebted to all of them – it really was the highlight of our school holidays.

The music starts in the marquee, the lights start flashing, let’s boogie the night away.  Oh, oh, here comes Gran and she wants to join in.  What?  You want to hitch your skirt up and do the Can-Can; no you Can’t, Can’t...I knew it – this Cadet Week Party is going to be awesome!!  Pass me another Sherbet Dab.

OMGOh My Gunfleet

Course Board
Date 31 July 2018
Race Topper Class Series 1
Start Time 11:30
Wind Strength (Beaufort) Force 4
Wind Direction South Westerly
High Tide 14:46
Course K - S - AWS - S - E - Line
Course Board
Date 31 July 2018
Race Topaz Class Series 1
Start Time 11:35
Wind Strength (Beaufort) Force 4
Wind Direction South Westerly
High Tide 14:46
Course K - S - AWS - K - S - E - Line
Course Board
Date 31 July 2018
Race Topper Class Series 2
Start Time 14:15
Wind Strength (Beaufort) Force 4
Wind Direction South Westerly
High Tide 14:46
Course E - S - AWS - S - K - Line
Course Board
Date 31 July 2018
Race Topaz Class Series 2
Start Time 14:20
Wind Strength (Beaufort) Force 4
Wind Direction South Westerly
High Tide 14:46
Course E - S - K - AWS - S - K - Line
Course Board
Date 2 August 2018
Race Topper Class Series 3
Start Time 11:00
Wind Strength (Beaufort) Force 3
Wind Direction South Westerly
High Tide 15:19
Course E - S - AWS - S - K - Line
Course Board
Date 2 August 2018
Race Topaz Class Series 3
Start Time 11:05
Wind Strength (Beaufort) Force 3
Wind Direction South Westerly
High Tide 15:19
Course St.M - K - AWS - S - K - Line
Course Board
Date 3 August 2018
Race Topper Class Series 4
Start Time 15:30
Wind Strength (Beaufort) Force 2
Wind Direction Easterly
High Tide 16:27
Course K - AWS - S - E - Line
Course Board
Date 3 August 2018
Race Topaz Class Series 4
Start Time 15:35
Wind Strength (Beaufort) Force 2
Wind Direction Easterly
High Tide 16:27
Course K - S - E - K - E - Line