“You need a holiday”, she said. (Part 2)

If you haven’t already read it, here’s Part 1.

This was the life. Finally, all the stress and tension I’d felt over the last few months was
starting to ebb away. I was embracing nature and loving every minute of it.

But, as I began to enter a near-meditative state, I was abruptly brought back down to earth
by an overly-energetic Captain Kreegan. “Shipmate Alberton”, he bellowed. Bit formal, I
thought. “You alright?”, he shouted. “Yes, Captain”, I said, thinking that this was an utterly
pointless exchange.

Startled, I glanced up and noticed the clouds. They looked eerily grey and were floating
swiftly across the dark sky. The boat was starting to sway back and forth, and Fiona – one of
the other crew members – appeared quite unwell. I didn’t like seeing her like that, so I
decided to walk across and see how she was doing.

As I staggered towards her, my shoes began to squeak loudly. I should have known this
would come back to haunt me. It was quite embarrassing, and they continued to get louder
and louder as the boat rocked harder and harder. I finally made it across, she didn’t look at
all well.

She looked up at me and blurted, “My god, Samuele, you don’t look well. Are you ok?”
Well, I wasn’t expecting that. “I’m feeling fine, Fiona. It’s you I’m worried about”, I said.
“Oh, you don’t have to worry about me. I always feel a bit rough at the beginning of a trip.
I’ll be as right as rain in a few minutes”, she exclaimed, chirpily.

Feeling that my charitable gesture hadn’t been necessary after all, I decided to head to the
bow of the boat. As I began to make my way, a huge wave broke over us. It was getting
serious now. I was starting to think that Fiona’s perception was correct; I wasn’t feeling at
all well.

I decided a trip to the toilet would be a good idea. By this point, I was beginning to feel like I
was on one of those godforsaken roller coaster rides, not a relaxing boat trip. I shouted to
Captain Kreegan, “Can you point me in the direction of the toilet, please?”

He gruffly hollowed, “The head?”. “No, the toilet”, I said. As he pointed downwards, he
went on to rapidly explain that, in nautical terms, the toilet is referred to as the head. Well,
you learn something new every day, I thought. “And, Shipmate Alberton, clear those sheets
while you’re on your way”, he ordered.

At this point, I was really starting to get fed up. What was happening to my relaxing break?


What on earth was he talking about now… sheets?
Jerry, another ‘shipmate’, yelled: “He means those ropes, move the ropes.”
For goodness sake, can’t we just call things by their proper name? Toilets are heads, ropes
are sheets, the front of the boat is the bow. And talking about bows, I was now in big

I could feel the colour draining out of me. I was in no fit state to clear away any sheets. I
couldn’t care less what they call them, I need the bloody toilet, and I need it now.
Squeaking at full volume, my mission was to reach the facilities unharmed.

Carefully placing one squeaky foot in front of the other, I could feel my stomach doing
somersaults. My girlfriend’s “you need a holiday” mantra was buzzing around in my head
– I couldn’t believe how things were turning out.

I was at the top of the stairs; the khazi was just a few moments away. Almost there.
As I began to take those glorious final steps, a gust of wind blew a rope into my path.
Hooking itself around my leg like an angry cobra, it flipped me up and launched me down
the stairs.

As I commenced my flight, I wondered, bizarrely, if there was in fact a nautical name for
stairs? And that was the last thing I remember.

“Samuele, Samuele. It’s ok, you’re on land now. You had a bit of an accident”.
It was Captain Kreegan. He explained that I’d knocked myself clean out and that they had to
quickly race back to shore.

So that was my holiday. Next time, I’ll go skydiving. I think it’ll be safer.

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