Wednesday, 7 May 2014
Publishers don’t like coincidences in novels. Which is strange, given how often they occur in real life.
When I was in hospital, all the staff were fascinated by the fact that I’m a sailing correspondent. I daresay it sounds very glamorous, which it isn’t, but it does mean I get to write about what I love doing, and who wouldn’t want to do that?
The question they all asked was, “have you got your own boat?” The answer is sort of, but I’m promiscuous when it comes to loving boats. I own half a dinghy (Piran) with Mr B. He has a small motor boat called Echo that he calls mine because of the time I’ve spent looking after her while he’s been away.
Last summer we were walking through Mylor harbour car park when we saw someone working on a beautiful wooden boat on a trailer. I said, “we were just admiring your lovely boat”. It turns out it’s a Dragon classic boat called Snap, which he’s kept at Mylor in the summer months for many years but never sailed much as he lives in Derby and doesn’t have crew here. Mr B’s arm shot up. “I’ll crew,” he said. I gulped (we’d only just done our course, but I wasn’t going to be outdone.) “And me,” I said.
I gave Alan my card and he laughed. “Kittow,” he said. “Another Cornish name. I’m Alan Dale. From Redruth. The boat’s going in the water Monday, then I’ll rig her Tuesday. How about a sail on Wednesday?”
We said yes, jumped up and down a bit then went back to the car. “I wonder if he’ll ring,” said Mr B. But the following morning, when I was out with MollieDog, he did. We met Alan on the Wednesday, had the most fabulous day sailing and from then on we became his official crew, and raced with him in Falmouth Week. We met his wife, and they have become dear friends. And we hope to race with Al in Falmouth Week this year.
As if they weren't enough boats, a few months ago I met the lone sailor and we’re going sailing on his 35’ cruiser. Unfortunately we can only go out on spring tides, and I have to wait a few more weeks until I’m fit, but that’s something else to look forward to.
Last year I stopped writing the walks for Cornwall Today, but became sailing correspondent which has opened up all kinds of amazing opportunities.
I don’t know why publishers don’t like coincidences for they happen all the time. Or perhaps I just attract more of them than most.
This time last year, we had booked a sailing course, but I hadn’t been sailing for many years. This year, I can’t wait to get back on the water. Several people have asked me what I hope to do this year, and I say, “get to be a better sailor. And write about it.”
And I can't WAIT to get on the water again.....