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Aaah Bistro

October 1, 2013

It is such confusing terminology that one hears when aboard a racing yacht. Yesterday I had the pleasure and honour to be invited aboard L’Ecocet, the lovely racing yacht captained by the Master Mariner Mundell. The occasion was the 12th Bistro Rally from. port de la Rague to the islands off Cannes. I questioned him when he raised the ensign as this would be frowned upon in yachting circles when racing, but he retorted that it was a rally and so socially acceptable. This we rallied rather than raced to another great victory in warm sunshine, slight winds and flat seas. I think this is the ninth year on the trot that he has won, but perhaps playing “We Are The Champions” by Queen at full volume on board and piping it through the VHF radio frequency was a touch provocative? Although no more so than in the previous 8 years I suppose.

But back to that terminology. There was a lot off talk amongst the crew (which I was alarmed to discover included me – I thought I was there in either a decorative capacity or for a sensible head or to ensure a continuing flow if alcohol) about whether or not to put up the spinnaker. Then there was talk about a Genoa, which I learned was not the dreadful Italian town in which I spent 2 days at Ikea in the summer. Not being a sailing person, nor gay, I was also interested as to why they wanted to head towards the buoys. There was talk of jiving, roger the cabin boy, corkscrewing into a nose dive – something our glorious skipper did to himself later after surfeit of celebratory Pastis and rosé, culminating in blood being spilled – and reeding the main sail, none of which made the remotest sense. These sea faring types do talk a lot of cobblers, which is probably something to do with scratching barnacles off your bottom or another ailment equally in need of the application of ointment. I mean, “splicing the mainbrace,”? what can it all mean?

The race itself was marked by some outrageous cheating by two boats who, when it was clear they were being beaten, reverted to using their engines on the final run to the finishing point between Les Iles Des Lerins, something to which they were happy to admit at the traditional post race tie up. This is where all the boats tie up together, people move from yacht to yacht eating each other’s food and drinking their drink. At least that is what we did.

music on boat

The Wingco in god like rock and roll pose

Amps were set up and the Wingco plugged in and together with Jaw Jaw Jeroen on mouth harp at very high volume went through his usual repertoire of blues Hendrix and Smoke On The Water in a less than subtle dig at the cheats, with a brilliant ad lib from Blind Lemon Milsted, gathering most of the contestants from the other 4 boats onto L’ Exocet. It was so crowded that it reminded me a bit of the recent Americas Cup competition, but then I do have a vivid imagination.

Mention should be made of the honourable contributions of limericks which have been coming in thick and fast on the comments section of this column. I have no idea why this trait has developed, but there have been some remarkably good ones, illustrating perfectly the high quality of the readership, now with over 115,000 hits in total, and that does not include my own visits because they won’t count them, dammit. It gives me hope that I am tapping into the rich seam of very intelligent people who have not yet come to terms with the benefits they can achieve by applying for, and opening an account with Currencies Direct, indeed I do not need to tell them that they merely have to click in the link (that’s is the highlighted text above) in order to start this rewarding process.

Chris France

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Patrick permalink
    October 1, 2013 11:16 am

    “… probably something to do with scratching barnacles off your bottom …”

    If you’ve barnacles clinging below,
    Your progress through water will slow.
    On the hull of a boat,
    They can form a rough coat,
    Which is bad for the slipstream, you know !


  2. howzaaat permalink
    October 1, 2013 1:02 pm

    “Aaah Bistro”

    From the heading of his blog today, one can see that poor old Chris is still suffering from things brown and liquid – or at least his mind continues to dwell upon that uncomfortable affliction.

    For the uninitiated, let me clarify his journalistic “pun” :

    “Ah ! Bisto” makes dining complete;
    It’s a gravy one ladles on meat;
    Made from tatties and soy
    And dried onions, a joy
    For all diners who like a meat treat.


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