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releasing it, it pecked him very hard four times.


‘The bird was exhausted so he put it on one of our deck chairs and it was fine. Nigel however was quite put out and I was in disgrace.’ The pair have also braved a series of mishaps together. Marianne laughed: ‘I do not know which of us caused the problem but somehow, in getting into the dinghy to bail it out we tripped and ended up entwined – swearing - face down in four inches of rainwater. ‘Wet bums and bad mood could have occurred but we ended up laughing our heads off, which we


pretty much do every day anyway. ‘Then another time while entering the dinghy from the pontoon, I fell and Nigel, reaching out to help, knocked the tiller which span us round in eight high speed circles under the gaze of hopelessly guffawing tourists.


‘It is so embarrassing but we console ourselves by the memory of a fellow mariner who leapt into his dory and promptly shot backwards off the seat getting his backside wet and saying, somewhat girlishly “Oops” – again sniggered at by onlookers. You get photographed so much that you feel like a Z - list


celebrity.’


Marianne has finally found her sea legs, but it has taken her eight months. ‘Balance is a real problem,’ she said. ‘It is hard to understand at first but you are moving all the time, even when you are moored so at night if you get up to use the loo (heads), if you don’t take a moment to orientate, you fall down.’ Strong winds terrify her – “it’s the noise really, the screaming howling winds and the crashes and bangs” – and a recent Force 9 gale left her in tears. ‘The wind and waves can become surprisingly violent. In our naivety, sitting on the deck whilst sipping a G&T, thinking of buying the boat while enjoying the sun, somehow we didn’t factor in a gale,’ Marianne admitted.


‘I have never been so frightened in my life.’


Despite the misadventures and


fearful experiences Nigel and Marianne are looking forward to many more years on board Treshnish and life on the River Dart.


Nigel has successfully completed the day skipper theory course and Marianne wants to take the competent crew course.


‘If our health holds up we’d like to stay here longer,’ Nigel said. ‘We want to be able to sail her out and about around the South West coast.’ Marianne added: ‘We thought we were good for one last adventure and we are certainly having one of those.’u


65


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