Never Too Late!

Never Too Late!
any resemblance to anyone real or imaginary is mere bad luck
we are all lying in the gutter, but some of us are trying to get up


Lazy, now dubbed 'Whippet', is set to running errands around in the dinghy, when he can spare the time from putting out nets surreptitiously for mullet and wow, jackpot, even bass...

Halfway across Falmouth harbour he notices the water in the boat is almost up to knee-level and there is definitely more of it than there was. Then the outboard sputters and dies.

His unfortunate passenger is set to bailing frantically while he phones shore. "Um... is there a bung missing here that you forgot to tell me about?" - "No." - "Well, we're shipping water awfully fast. Did Wayne fill the petrol up like he said he would when he borrowed it last time?" - "Um, I don't know. Quite possibly not, knowing him..." There is laughter at the other end of the line as he rings off.

The water is about an inch from the gunwales. Lazy looks up, and a brilliant double rainbow has appeared, almost incandescent across a moody, glowering sky.

And God said:"This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you,
and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. (Genesis 9:12-15)

He sighs heavily, gets the oars out, and sets to rowing, hard. His passenger is bailing - a panicking man with a bucket is better than any pump when the water's rising - and we reach the mud, thank God it's low tide, just in time.

Lazy's passenger stalks off in a rage, convinced this was an incredibly unfunny practical joke played on them by "Captain Blight", and he is left alone with a heavy swamped boat and no outboard, and mystified and worried about the source of the leak. Surely he hasn't somehow accidentally holed the boat that Captain Blight borrowed from the old gentleman? No, that's impossible.

There is a little bit of petrol in a bottle marked 'meths' under the sail in the dinghy. Lazy fills the outboard and shoves the boat off, prays and starts the outboard. Holding the tiller with one hand and working the boatpump with the other, he heads back across the harbour and into the cove and creek.

He just makes it to the other side, ramming the boat into the low-tide mud shore, again with the water lapping at an inch from the rail, pulls her ashore, drags her up dry. Water jets out of a little hole aft where the bung is missing.

Captain Blight is kind enough to provide dry clothes and sherry.

"...and as we were there with a dead outboard, sinking, I was thinking..."
"You were thinking: 'It's not my fault!' " interrupts Captain Blight, laughing.
"...I looked at the sky, and there was this double rainbow, and I thought, well, if I'm going down, at least it's a beautiful day for it."

A near-disaster averted. I am pleased to note that Lazy seemed to enjoy every minute of it, but I am not so sure about his unfortunate passenger.

It is utterly mystifying why it all should have happened in the first place. Bungs aren't supposed to just fall out as there is water pressure keeping them in.

"I suspect..." I am saying later.
"You suspect skulduggery. You suspect - Wayneduggery," says the malung, who won't talk to Lazy any more, also due to a later boat-related incident.