Readers own up to their sailing sins

We had almost finished putting away our gear on the yacht we’d chartered when the harbourmaster wandered up and offered to help guide us out of its rather tight berth. We quickly stowed the last few items and got the engine going. The harbourmaster walked the bow along the pontoon and then gave us a shove off. I was acutely aware that I was being observed as I carefully reversed away, then spun round quite neatly and headed out of the marina. The lines and fenders were being brought in when I remembered that one of my sailing instructors had told me that the last step in all manoeuvres and evolutions was “put the kettle on and make a cup of tea”. It was at this point that we realised that we had more cups than crew members. Meanwhile back in the marina, and much to the harbourmaster’s amusement, my wife returned from the car with the last few bits and bobs to find the berth empty and the boat nowhere to be seen. As I rather sheepishly turned the boat round and headed back to collect her I remembered another piece of advice I’d been given, and which I think will now always stick in my mind, “before casting off, do a head-count.”

Matthew Diggle

Each month, the best confession wins a Standard Horizon HX210E VHF radio worth £134.95. If you have an amusing confession from your time on the water, send it to: yachtingmonthly@ti-media.com.