Monday, 17 November 2008

Worse Things Happen At Sea

Do they?
Well actually, they probably do. Look what happened to Titanic.

Now, I like boats and I love the sea. We went out on our friend's motor boat on the weekend, one of those rib boats that zip around fast with the air blasting your face. It's all rather a lot of fun. Or can be.
Safety first Captain, always; our friend is ultra prepared and he does all the safety checks - lifejackets (aye aye Captain), GPS (aye aye Captain), waterproof radio (aye aye Captain), ipod player (an essential! Aye aye Captain)...ecetera and so forth.

But sometimes you just cannot prepare for the unexpected. Unless you're that psychic scouse guy Derek Acorn (or something) on Most Haunted (maybe). We were pootling around Cardiff Bay - speed restrictions in some of the areas naturally, so nothing too fast. We motored over to Penarth, we motored over towards the sailing club, we motored around the barrage. All lovely, all rather nice and refined. We pass many sailing boats (many of whom the sailors give us stern -no pun intended- looks...there's a certain expression of distain. We have a mototboat, we are not *real* sailors, which is probably a fair comment). We pass small trawler contraptions, which look like they're about to fall apart, the weathered old men on them are sat there smoking with their woolly hats on; they resemble meaner Compos and Foggys off Last of the Summer Wine. Without the bicycle polo.

Just as we are heading homewards towards Mermaid Quay, we faced the sea's peril. Well, another motor-boat's wake in fact. I've been in rib boats before. Half the fun is zooming over the waves and ship wakes and the boat jumps up. Such tremendous larks. Only the larks got a bit too larky for my liking. The boat hit the wake and rose out of the water. I mean rose. High. The boat bashed back down onto the water with a hard smack and we were all thrown forward...."Eek!" we all cry. But before we even have time to think, the boat smashes into another wake and woosh - the boat is up higher than before. It must have looked all rather James Bond for anyone watching. Only it's not so amusing when you're actually in it. And Daniel Craig wasn't in sight.

The boat crashed back to the water and threw us in the back of the vessel forward with a violent force. I was lucky (no really) enough to hold myself up somehow and I only smacked my jaw on a metal bar. It hurt, but no big deal. My dad sat next to me though....he was bent double with blood splurting everywhere. At first I thought he was just throwing up (much joking had gone on prior leaving as he has a tendency to get sea-sick on round-abouts). He had hit his head and cut it open. There really was blood everywhere. My endless watching of TV hospital dramas must have had an effect because I didn't feel squeamish at all - who said TV isn't useful? The gash was nasty and we needed a first aid kit....but alas! There wasn't one on the boat! The one thing that wasn't on the boat, I hasten to add. So we had to use a glove to stem the blood flow. Make-do-and-mend, that's was what they used to say during the War. You live and learn.

So off to A&E, where I must praise the NHS for being quick and effective. No, really. For once I am not being sarcastic. There was no wait, we went straight through, had excellent service and brilliant doctors and nurses. The NHS probably does its job like this every day, and yet there are no Daily Mail headlines declaring: "NHS DOES JOB WELL". Shame. Dad was treated by an Iraqi surgeon, who was excellent. He told us how he was working out in war zones, and came to Wales because he had treated Welsh patients out in Africa (I love the idea of the Welsh Tourist board out in War Zones telling people to come to Wales, wait until they see Newport...). He was very experienced but had to work his way up in the NHS, pass more exams, including English tests. I wonder what the Daily Mail would make of this great guy, who was working his arse off; to be polite, courteous as well as perform a begillion tasks at once. Well, they wouldn't be interested in something so positive.

Oh what Navy Larks....I wish we had been going Dead Slow though....


m4rkdh said...

Did all this happen inside Cardiff Bay or were you out in the channel?

TrefforestGump said...

Inside the Bay THANKFULLY. Otherwise it really would have been brown trousers time....!

m4rkdh said...

ah. well there is a 5 knot speed limit in the bay, isn't there? as a sailor myself, I am guessing that might be why you were getting dirty looks

hope your dad is OK...

hooning around in the channel is much more fun ;-)

TrefforestGump said...

There is a speed limit in the bay, but only in certain parts. Don't worry, we abide the speed limits!

I've been in sailing boats before too, I'm not in any way surprised at any ill feeling towards motor-boats ;-) It's not proper sailing, which I prefer. Oh and dad is absolutely fine now!