April 15th 1982

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 0
The Marloo – Scott, Karin and Gerd’s boat

A definite jolt to kick the day off.  Val had got up a bit before me, and then came rushing back, me still in a dazed state, to tell me to get up quick because we were transiting with the Germans.  I was very confused.  Apparently, an Australian guy (tho’ to be fair, his wife + friend were both German) had asked Dave if he could borrow us to transit with him, + Dave agreed, once he’d extracted a promise for $30 for us for doing so.  It was all a rush, as they’d had a pilot sprung on them at the last minute.  We shot round there, climbed aboard, + away we went.  And had a good day, too.  There were just 3 of them – Scott, Karin, + Gerd – + they were young, friendly + fun.  We did very little all day really, more or less just fulfilling statutory requirements for 4 line handlers.  We just ate… very well… chatted + listened to music.  The pilot was nice too, until it became obvious that he’d drunk too much, by the end of the day.  In fact – this was only really evident once we’d completed going thro’ all the locks – he became totally incapable, mumbling the same instructions + questions over + over + over again.  It would have been funny except a) he became a pain in the arse, and b) it was dangerous.  Especially at the other end.  It was very dark so we couldn’t navigate by sight, + he was unable to get us to a safe anchorage.  When he called for a launch to come + pick him up, it couldn’t find us, so obviously we weren’t where we should be.  Eventually, Scott + Gerd took him back to Balboa YC (where we didn’t really want to go, but didn’t have much choice) + we let him off there, drunk + protesting.  Only then, safely moored, could we relax, laugh about him, drink champagne, eat cake + smoke some dope (it was Gerd’s birthday.)  Everything was nice, but the dope was tremendous… just 1 joint between 5, but we were bombed.  Scott used a life-saver strobe light for a mind-blowing disco light.  Then, one by one, we collapsed downstairs into our bunks.  We hadn’t intended to stay, but were glad we had.

Pleased that we finally got to enjoy the full transit experience, complete with good food, good company, and drink… even if the latter very nearly got us into serious trouble.  Still, all’s well that ends well, and what doesn’t kill you makes for a good story.  And our pilot was, by the end, utterly incapable.

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