Have had simply marvellous fun sailing in the Mediterranean.
Well, not exactly Port Grimaud in large luxury Yacht.
More like very small 'Fun Boats', suitable for two people. Who are very small indeed.
But such fun!
Husband and I, plus Middle Son, Daughter and Youngest all holidaying in the South of France in the most idyllic of settings. Gorgeous pool, cicadas doing their thing day and night. Hot, sunny days lazing in the pool. Warm, sultry nights lazing in the pool.
After about ten extremely lazy days lazing by the pool. decided that Youngest was probably getting rather bored. This followed a conversation at breakfast (lazing by the pool) when he stated that holidays like this were probably more for 'old people'.
There was a brief pause.
'Are you saying that you are a bit bored?' we all asked, collectively feeling the punch of the word 'old'.
'Well, it is rather boring just eating and swimming and then lying down to sleep.'
Right, we thought...
And that is why we decided to go sailing...
Three boats (Fun Boats), all bright yellow and more like bath tubs than sailing boats. But they had sails on them and lots of ropes, so that was alright.
Husband was extremely excited and leaped upon the first Fun Boat, along with Youngest.
There was absolutely No Wind At All.
I clambered on to the next Fun Boat.
Middle Son and Daughter got on the third one.
Off we went!
Except that there was No Wind At All.
We sort of drifted around a bit, and occasionally there would be a tiny breeze that wafted us along rather nicely.
It was heaven. I sunbathed a bit more and we trailed our hands in the water and jumped off the boats a few times. Just because.
When we arrived back two hours later we had all decided that we needed to come back when there was a little more wind.
Which is why we returned two days later.
The only thing was that the wind was howling. Like in almost a gale. Like in Lots.
Beaucoup de vent, as they say around there.
The Fun Boats were available, every single one of them, and we clambered on board, this time swaggering a bit with our massive previous experience.
Within minutes our knuckles were white with the exertion of holding on to the flipping ropes, sails were crashing across (gybe ho) and we were SCORCHING across the water. It was marvellous!
The sun peeked through the clouds and then decided to come out completely and all was transformed. Sparkling water, a nice breeze and fast boats!
Well. It would all have been perfect if it hadn't been for a minor point.
Husband capsized. Not once. Not twice. Three times.
We never got to see the first capsize, as Husband very quietly righted the boat round the corner from where we were all dashing backwards and forwards across the water.
The second one was as Daughter and I were going at cracking pace across the same part of the bay. One moment there was Husband ahead of us, boat at jaunty angle.
"Hope Dad doesn't capsize!" chuckled Daughter and we shared a fond giggle. The next moment, Husband's boat goes from jaunty to jiggered and the entire sail disappears, with a small shout from Husband.
Daughter and I turn about (nautical terms coming out of our expert ears by now) and tear across to where Husband and boat are bobbing about. We are beaten there by Very Fast Rubber Sort of Boat with man from our sailing yard, who scoops Husband out by the shoulders and lays him flat, like a landed fish, on his Rubber Boat. Husband can't seem to get up due to tricky angle, so we see if we can help. Wind packs into our sail with a thump, and we are taken off, like a fierce tango dance, to the opposite side of the bay.
Daughter keeps reporting back.
"Dad is nearly sitting up."
"Dad has fallen back into the boat."
"Dad is being put back onto the Fun Boat."
Sort of thing.
Finally we see Husband flailing around with sails, but definitely the right way up, and in the right direction. Hooray!
With all sorts of shouting and sign language we decide that enough is enough, and that it is definitely time for a large Verre de Rosé for the adults and Lemonade for the children.
But not before Husband, with a tremendous roar of protest, capsizes for the third time, the boat whipping him off and into the water before you can say Domaine de Grange Neuve, Bergerac Rosé 2011.
With the deepest of shame I remember laughing heartily. So did Daughter. So did Middle Son. So did Youngest.
And after we'd laughed enough, we raced over to him, where Middle Son was extremely helpful and abandoned Youngest and their Fun Boat to assist his father in righting his wretched little dinghy.
For all their jumping up and down on the right bits, it didn't seem to be working, and so the very kind man who had already hauled Husband out once before, came dashing over again, and proceeded to do more hauling and righting of boats.
Youngest was now in a Fun Boat on his own, but with marvellous timing and grit, managed to expertly guide it back into the yard; this was no mean feat as the wind was feisty, to say the least. Daughter and I managed to get ours back too, and then we all watched as Husband and Middle Son brought theirs back. Would they capsize again?
Disappointingly, they didn't.
And we all piled into the car and drove to the nearest restaurant, where we partook of local Rosé and Lemonade, and laughed a bit more at Husband's expense. Who took it all on the chin.
"Shall we come tomorrow?' we all asked.
Husband looked a bit green. " I think we might leave it there for a bit," he said, slurping up a large mouthful of Bergerac Rosé 2011. And so we will leave it there. For a bit.
Looking forward to next time, when the wind will be kind and the boats will behave.
(photo NOT of Husband, but very very similar!)