The sound of the bugle woke me from a disturbed sleep. I opened my eyes to see
the rest of my friends up and getting ready for the day ahead. I slid out of my
sleeping bag and dressed. We’d not had a shower for days and it was beginning to
show. I wrapped up warm and headed up onto the deck for a morning briefing. The
fresh salty air soon woke me up. The grey sky looked ominous and we were
informed that the weather forecast for the day was not good. There wasn’t much we
could do by that point though as were already half way to France.
We quickly hurried back downstairs to a hearty breakfast proudly slopped out by the
ship’s cook. Hot lumpy porridge. Not the most appetizing breakfast but we were so
hungry we would have eaten anything.
After breakfast we hurriedly rushed to our cleaning duties. I’d been unlucky enough
to have the ship’s toilets. A quite unusual contraption with a pump handle and foot
pedal. The weather soon began to grow worse and it wasn’t long before I was feeling
pretty seasick and wishing I’d finished my duties so I could go back on deck. Duties
done I joined the rest of the crew and was quietly pleased to see I wasn’t the only
green face amongst the group. The ship’s cook provided us with the sweetest
milkiest tea and ginger biscuits which kept us warm and I was soon feeling normal
Several hours passed before we finally spotted the French coastline. We were all
relieved. The thought of a hot shower and dry land appealed to everyone. We were
soon pulling on the ropes and climbing the rigging, bringing the sails in before we
moored up. Climbing up the rigging was one of the most terrifying experiences of my
life. I tended to get a dose of Elvis leg every time I looked down. We finally moored
the ship and before going ashore we were all pleased to meet the ship’s special
visitor, David Prowse, also known as Darth Vader and the Green Cross Code man.