After the excitement of the evening’s entertainment, it was time to find out where I was sleeping. Fortunately Chef had taken it on himself to wander off earlier in the evening to find our beds. And it is just as well he did because we were sleeping on the boat we were to be taking out the following day, and that was birthed half a mile away from the toilet and shower block.
This meant the sensible people in our party decided to refrain from drinking in the latter part of the evening. There was no way we wanted to get up in the middle of the night and trek all that way back when we were desperate!
It was not only a trek, but our boat was not the closest to the pontoon to which they were moored, which meant we would have to clamber over other boats to get to dry land. And, as the day had been hot, and the sky was now clear, there was a very heavy dew settling, making the decks very slippery. I for one didn’t fancy trying to negotiate crossing over boats in the middle of the night. Boats which were liable to rock on the water when ever someone moved!
There were seven of us all expecting to get some sleep, but we weren’t expecting to share the same boat. In previous years, hardly anyone has stayed on the boats; they have either used a local hotel or not come to port until the day of the regatta. But this year, the majority of people taking part had decided to stay over. This meant we were all staying on our respective boats.
There were eight beds. I call them beds, but they were really just flat surfaces on which one could lay ones head! The skipper had his own room. Unfortunately, we woke him up. He never said a word to us, he just came out of his cabin, switched off a few lights we had turned on and returned to his bed!
That left seven of us. In the mid section of the boat there were two bench seats. One could sleep two people, providing they didn’t mind getting cosy, and the other would sleep one. Chef chose the single, whilst two of his customers opted for the double.
That left four. At the rear of the boat was another room which had a double shelf! This was close to the engine and smelt a bit because of the fuel. At the pointy end (you can tell I’m a sailor, can’t you!), was another room. As I was standing at this end, I volunteered to take this room. Inside was another shelf, but this one was coffin shaped. It would take two people, again as long as they didn’t mind being cosy.
The only person I knew, apart from Chef, who by now was sorting his bunk out, was The Kid, so we opted to share. Getting into bed was a real challenge. It really was like a coffin shaped shelf, albeit a double coffin. It was about four feet high. One had to get ones sleeping bag in place, climb up, and then attempt to slide into the sleeping bag whilst keeping it in place.
Once in bed, one had to remember that the ceiling was only inches from ones head. So no strange dreams which would cause one to sit upright were needed!
I didn’t have to worry about strange dreams because The Kid would win an Olympic medal for snoring! I did manage to get a few minutes sleep when The Kid turned on to his side, because he only snored on his back. Unfortunately he chose to sleep on his back for most of the night!
I doubt it would have mattered whether The Kid snored anyway, because the boat creaked every time any of its occupants turned in their beds. Not only that, but our cabin had no blinds or curtains, so the light was streaming in as dawn broke.
I figured 6am was late enough to get out of bed and head back towards the showers. If anyone was still asleep at that time, it was time they were woken; we had a days sailing to look forward to. So I creaked my way out of my cabin and clonked my way up through the hatch and over the decks to the pontoon. Once on dry land I made straight for the showers.
And what showers they were! Classic FM piped in. It’s not often I listen to a bit of Beethoven or Mozart whilst showering!
With breakfast looming, I made my way to the marquee to grab a strong coffee and await the rest of the crew. Breakfast and sailing follow in part three!