By Tim ...
Last week, sandwiched somewhere between the mizzle, the wind and the fog, we had a couple of days of perfect Cornish Blue and everyone at the boatyard sauntered forth to celebrate this wonder. At the end of the pontoon where Albacore is moored, a small impromptu party took place around the picnic table ... Well actually, me, Lisa, Bob and Andy had a couple of cheeky beers and, fuelled with the giddyness of said beers and the sunshine, we decided it might be a good idea to do a bit of flag-raising.
Now, I know nothing about nautical flags and their meanings, except that it's probably a good idea to exercise some caution before hoisting up any old thing just because it looks nice. Bob, who lives in the boat next to me, had acquired a set of flags from a boat jumble in Plymouth a while back (along with the world's tiniest anchor, but that's a different story) and happily for us each flag had been neatly folded away into a pocket which conveniently displayed its corresponding letter or number.
There was much debate over what word we were going to hoist up Albacore's flagpole. After 1 beer there were a few suggestion along the lines of 'love', 'hope', 'help' etc. So far not very inspiring. Having only one of each letter was somewhat limiting our choices and the discovery of a missing 'A' caused much disappointment when we realised that 'pasty' was no longer an option. After 2 beers, the suggestions were becoming slightly ruder, mostly thanks to Lisa whose language would have made a pirate proud. In the end, growing bored, we settled on 'dreckly', a suitably Cornish word which suggests something along the lines of 'I'll do it soon. Probably not today though. Or tomorrow ... Or ever.' Which seemed apt.
Now, I'm not too shabby when it comes to climbing things, but that ol' flagpole is pretty high. But it was worth going up there, twice, just to torment Lisa whose cries of 'I can't believe you just did that', 'get down now' and 'I'm not going to save you if you fall in' quickly evaporated into 'hang on a minute, I'll just get my camera'. Never a one to waste a good photo opportunity. Coming down was slightly more tricky, but we won't dwell on that here.
So the flags are up, and mighty pretty they look too. Every boat should have some.
We did check, via google, that we'd displayed the correct letters, and I'm still slightly concerned that I might have hoisted a 'Q' instead of a 'Y' (the 'Q' flag, incidentally, also means 'My vessel is healthy and I request free pratique'. Which is good to know.) For anyone who might be interested, here is a link to a chart of nautical flags and their meanings. For now, though, it's entirely possible that Albacore is flying the word 'drecklq', but after all that sun and beer and climbing, my legs need a rest.
Old Rope Salvage