Making Shipmates

You would think, if you lumped twenty-three people from different nations together on a small(ish) boat for a week, there would be some friction wouldn’t you?


I would. But returning from an unforgettable holiday where thwenty-three folk from locations between and including the antipodes and California (oh yeah, and Prestatyn) slept, ate, sunbathed, drunk (nothing stronger than a sweet sherry for me you understand) and swam in close proximity of one another, I’ve had my mind changed. We truly bonded, we were, however corny this sounds, like one big family within days.

But then there was the Scrabble match!

Gail, who is American and was the one from the group who wanted to prove that bread and wine was kept in the tabernacle of an ancient chapel on a walking tour (led by Abigail…the best on the Island), and who promptly wrenched the ornate door from its hinges in doing so, kept score. Oh, and for those of you keen to know the outcome of the tabernacle exposé, it contained nothing more than a set of toenail clippers and a half eaten thing that looked like a Ginster’s pasty.

Gail also had the advantage of an app on her phone. A Scrabble App! An app which suggested two letter words like ‘Id’, ‘Og’, ‘Gi’. Oh and of course, Zs were used all over the place. Z, yes that fine little letter which rarely features in the English spelling of words. Zs, which boast a glorious top score of ten points dear reader. Of course, our cousin from over the pond (Gail) used them where an S suits us just fine. S scores one point by the way!

Despite me transforming Gail’s ‘under’ to ‘underpants’, and on a Triple Word Score square to boot (high five that Englishman)…Gail won.

The well-travelled eighty-three year old Tricia (who can’t eat egg white) was the matriarch of the vessel. And despite the rest of us holding our breath whenever she climbed the ladder to the sun deck in case she broke wind (we would’ve been in trouble if we so much as sniggered), she was much loved by the group. Tricia, originally from London, married a Croatian and now lives on the west US coast, couldn’t decide whether to sing ‘Hey Jude’ with us Brits or to lead the ‘Hokey Cokey’ with the US contingent in the Captain’s Dinner, nations ‘sing-off’. She finally did neither and finished off someone else’s Sauvignon Blanc.

In spite of the English (Poms) trying to outswim the Aussies, or indeed out-salsa the pro dancer from Germany in the cocktail bar during happy-hour, we all got along famously.

We laughed together all week long. We took a group picture at the end of the holiday, exchanged email addresses, hugged and thanked our fabulous Croatian crew, and told each other how much we’d miss everyone.

Now, if only we could get the whole world on a boat together huh? It might just turn out to be happier place.

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