Bill Mills' room

Bill Mills

Bikini crew

by  Bill Mills

One beautiful summer’s day my regular crew for the GP14 hadn’t turned up, so I was looking for a replacement. The Sailing Secretary introduced me to a new member looking for a sail. I told her that as it was such a lovely day I had no intention of racing round buoys. I was going to sail out to the island and back, a distance of about nine miles.

           My new crew was a very presentable lass of about  twenty, who told me that she had only been out sailing a couple of time. I told her that with a nice force three blowing and not a cloud in the sky, we were sure to have a pleasant sail. Taking advantage of the truly summer weather I was dressed in bathing trunks and a loose shirt. Isobel, my crew, changed from her jeans into a very stylish and brief bikini. A couple of can of Coke were stowed away out of the sun.

          We set sail just on 1400 and the wind was giving us a reach out to the island. It couldn’t have been more pleasant  We chatted away, giving each other a bit pf background about each other. It was all very relaxing.

          We rounded the island and had a can of Coke to celebrate. The wind started to die away and before long we ended up with only the lightest breath of wind –and that only occasionally.

The sun continued to shine out of a now cloudless sky. The sea was calm with hardly a mark upon it. A floating beer can could be spotted at an incredible distance. I discovered that my healthy looking, scantily clad companion, could tell which brewery the can came from, long before I could. She also knew more brands than I did.

Time passed. We managed to keep the boat moving – just- and objects on the far shore slowly became clearer.

It was after 1900 when we ran the boat onto sand at the Sailing Club and trotted up the beach to get the launching trolley. We happily told each other how much we had enjoyed the day and each others company.

A sharp, almost screeching voice broke the evening quiet.

“Oh no!” said my crew-girl and leaving me with the trolley in thick sand, ran up to a car parked at the Club.

          I had managed to get the dinghy and onto the trolley but was making heavy weather of pulling my load over the sand to the dinghy park, when my crew returned to help. She was obviously upset and told me that the elderly maiden aunts with whom she lived, were in the car and being very unreasonable about us us being late. They had noticed that everyone else had left the Club. They couldn’t understand why on such a lovely day we were so late. They had also mentioned the paucity of both our clothing and that I was old enough to be her father. True! - but so what!!.

          I started to make my way towards the car as quickly as I could through the heavy sand. I would soon sort this little matter out. But when I saw the three grim faced old harridans sitting there looking at my progress- I realised that it was a lost cause. As far as they were concerned I was tainted for life.

          I chickened out and went home and told my wife who promptly laughed like a drain.

          And I never saw Isobel again.

         Bill Mills