Dinghy days


News that Boris Johnson is to go off rowing and sailing in a dayboat comes too late for me to have offered him a berth aboard my own Tepco 12ft sailing dinghy. Last week my nine-year-old son Richard and I sailed and rowed from Tonbridge in Kent down the River Medway and back across the Thames Estuary to our home at Leigh-on-Sea.

Had I realised Boris was keen to get afloat I would have offered him a thwart aboard Gina 2. He could have heaved on the oars and trimmed the sheets and camped in a damp tent as we did. It might not have been up to his own standards of travel accommodation, but the fellow would have seen the beautiful Garden of England floating by before it eventually gave way to the salt marsh of the tidal end of the river.

Here it is that the Jolly Green Giant wants to plant Heathrow-on-Sea. Even though we broke our rudder in a blow on the penultimate day and had to use an oar to steer, Boris might just have changed his mind about accommodating the great steel birds of mechanical flight having heard, as did we, the call of the cuckoo, give way to the eerie cry of the curlew.