yorkshireman-on-tour travel blog

Well life as been very hectic over the last 2 weeks, I went for the job interview at with Sunsail down at Portsmouth and was offered the job that afternoon. I got the feeling I would have had to really mess up the interview not to get the job, I was right as well they were really desperate for an engineer, it was because they needed by brilliant technical skills and charming personality. I was asked to fly out on the Friday so I could spend a couple of days at the Marina at Dubrovnik learning the ropes on the yachts, but as it happened the lead boat came into the marina that day so I joined them straight away. Within 20 minutes of arriving I had a beer in my hand and I thought this is going to be the life but now I realise it was just a clever ploy to lull me into a false sense of security, the calm before the storm. I am on the flotilla lead boat with a skipper and hostess, who are a couple. Max is the skipper a well chilled out salty sea dog; he is the same age as me but definitely had a tougher paper round than me. He drinks red wine by the bucket load and forces me to drink with him!! Debs his girlfriend is lovely and have adopted her as my surrogate mum, I don't think she will let me get into any trouble. It was really funny last night, we had a blocked toilet on our yacht and Max jokingly blamed her so she said she wouldn't use it again and when I came back last night she was on the deck using a bucket, she was slightly worse for too much red wine mind. They are both from Yorkshire, so it is an all Yorkshire boat therefore we are in the process of building an outside toilet, unfortunately they wouldn't let us have any whippets on board. On the Saturday we moved up to Slano the base from where the Flotillas go from but Sunsail only have 10 mooring points on the jetty but have 20 boats so the last 10 boats have to go in bow to bow or pointy bit to pointy bit to you none sailors and then the guests have to carry their bags and climb over the other yachts. On the Sunday morning we waved goodbye to the last guest then the sight just turns into absolute chaos, teams of lady cleaners come and start cleaning the yachts and the Croatians don't do anything quietly but insist on shouting to each other, also we go round doing engine checks and filling the boats with water and any other prep needed. The funniest bit but probably the scariest was to refuel the boats, I had to take a small van which has a big plastic tank in down to the local petrol station fill it up with 300 litres and then drive back, but this tank leaks so the foot well of the van was full of diesel. When I got to the petrol station I got out of the van and my shoes were slippy with the diesel and I went arse over tit. When I get back, still high on the diesel fumes we have to pump the diesel out of the tank wiring a pump up to the van battery, the health and safety people would have a field day. When I saw the guest list of the next 2 week flotilla I was gutted the average age was about 65, the youngest person was 49, not the picture I had envisaged. They are really nice though if not a bit mad. The worst one is Judith who is married to a German bloke, she definitely wears the trousers in that relationship within 10 minutes she had listed numerous faults and pulled a locker door off. One bloke went round the boat and kept finding missing screws. The following day when were trying to get everybody away we just had loads of faults, it was like the boat version of the circus cars were it comes on with wobbly wheels and all the doors fall off and engine blows up, Max and I were rushing round like nutters and working our bollocks off, I know it's a long time since I have done that. My hands have gone all soft after too many years in the office and have loads off cuts on them. The social side is go though and as I expected, we get looked after by the restaurants we take the punters too, we get a free meal and free wine which we are taking advantage of. Croatia is really nice and the people really friendly despite all the brits asking them questions about the war. If anyone is interested in coming out we can get you discount for a yacht or if anyone wants to come out alone they can stay on our yacht for nowt. Sorry for going on, I will try and keep it shorter next time.

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