Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Boater's Serenity Prayer.........

Today, I took Pippin into Cambridge to pump out.

Jackie stayed on the mooring to fix Rhoda's engine (the new filters had arrived) and continue paintwork on nb Caboodle.

So I was Cambridge-bound.


You just know this isn't going to end well, don't you.....

Actually, the rationale behind choosing Cambridge over Ely as the pump-out destination of choice was perfectly sound: limited hours of daylight, not wanting to leave Jackie homeless and bankside while I chugged back from Ely, and the hope that the university rowers might possibly have some lectures to attend/homework to do etc etc.

And so it was that I chugged in this morning, breezing Baits Bight Lock, which stood for me, and passing but one or two training tubs in the whole trip.

I pumped out at Cambridge with surprising ease, given the handle on the pump-out hose has been broken off and the whole thing is held together with duct tape and goodwill.

Also, having three-quarter filled the tank with rinse water, even the coin-slot jamming did not perturb me: I pushed my £1 coin through the slot with the edge of a handy 10p.

So the rise-out went okay.........

No, it was on the return trip that it all went pear-shaped:

As I chugged out of Cambridge, past the Commons, I lost count of the number of eights, fours, sculls etc being put in the water and then overtaking me.

It was the angler at the footbridge that did it:

"Why are you so close" he said indignantly to me as half the membership of CUBC rowed passed me.

'WHAT!' I said, 'Why do you think!!!!!!?'

He then said something rude, to which I responded by inviting him to go and dangle his maggots in somebody else's ditch.

Thus it was that, thoroughly adrenalised, I took The Mighty Pippin up on tip-toes to allow the rowing fleet to pass.

I caught up with them at The A14 over-bridge. Here, a priceless ginger wing-nut on a bike tried to hail me.

He utterly failed to make himself heard over the sound of the traffic roaring across the bridge, although the W.I. could have made jam with all the plumminess.....

I made out some vague exhortation to 'be careful'.

Good Grief.

Like I was about to be anything else?

Anyway, I got Pippin past the assembled throng of Cambridge's Finest and into the lock and onward to The Parish without further incident.

(However, my money is definitely on The Other Place in next year's race.....)

And so, Brothers and Sisters, now John has shared with the meeting, let us close with The Boater's Serenity Prayer:


Please grant me

The Grace

to accept the things that I cannot change,

The Strength

to change the things that I can change,

And the Wisdom

to properly weight the corpses of those I had to drown because they pissed me off."

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