It seemed like a good idea at the time, why not accept the invitation to be a part of the parade of classic sail? Seemed a well organised affair, detailed instructions and a parade route from the docks to Pendennis point including a salute to civil dignitaries. The event was to include fire boats and loads of classic vessels of all shapes and sizes. It was also Claire’s birthday so seemed like a good idea to celebrate it surrounded by classic sail. What could go wrong?
On a beautiful morning we launched Penarrow at the duly allotted time and pottered out into a gently circling mass of parade boats. We took an “easy” in a suitable vantage point, Claire handed round a few beverages and snacks and we gave a particularly harmonious rendition of “happy birthday” as working boats, classic yachts and launches and a gig under sail (must get Flushing converted!) passed by. We were all snapping away at the glorious sights around us although in the bright sunshine it was difficult to “frame” that perfect shot. Then came the call on the radio for red group to parade – that was us!
We had noted that all the action seemed to be centred around a beautiful white yacht at anchor (rumoured to belong to Pete Townsend of “The Who” fame), we all agreed that must be the parade boat so Claire deftly steered us to the West as instructed. When perfectly aligned Claire gave the instruction to “Toss oars”, although there were a few sniggers amongst those who hadn’t heard this phrase before, we felt the salute was pretty slick and accompanied by 3 rousing cheers. In response we received a deafening blast from the canon on board the yacht, “they must have appreciated it” we thought.
It was a little later that we noticed all the other boats were saluting the St Mawes Ferry, strange we thought, then it dawned on us….
So in summary:
We saluted the wrong Boat!
Got shot at!
Missed the civil dignitaries entirely!
Got a lovely photo of “Governor” buoy (well it was a bright day and it did look a bit like a yacht through the viewfinder!)
But all had a really good time
Happy Birthday Claire!