Thursday, June 26, 2008

Look at the idiots Mummy!

We watched a real-life rescue today. To be fair, it was a completely unnecessary rescue with a drama factor of nil, but it was magnetic viewing all the same.

The place where we go snorkelling is very shallow to start with. The beach has a very gentle slope into the sea and you have to wade a fair way out before you even start wetting your botty. It means that the water is nice and warm of course and that encourages plant growth and corals. Dawn and I usually swim out to a depth where we can just about stand on out until we were tippy-toes. That's where all the best fish are. By then we are about a quarter mile from the sunbathers on the beach.

So, we were sat on the beach today drying off when we spot a small white dinghy just a little farther offshore than we'd been snorkelling. There's a couple in it, a man and a woman, and he's tugging furiously on the starting cord of an outboard motor. And failing dismally to start it. So after about 20 or so tugs, the two of them grab the oars and start to row. Except they have absolutely no idea. They're facing the wrong way and rowing out of time so all they do is go in circles. So then he has another go on the outboard. And so on.

This went on for about half an hour and, meanwhile, they were drifting further and further away from where they probably wanted to be. The tide was coming in so there was little chance of them being swept out to sea, but the wind was pushing them further along the coast at a reasonable lick.

By now they'd attracted the interest of everyone on the beach, including the lifeguard who eventually decided that enough was enough. So, mounting his board, he swam out to them and, just a short while later, all three of them were wading back to shore, towing the boat. Yes, that's right. Wading. So why hadn't these budding seafarers done this before? Because apart from not knowing how to sail, not hiring any lifejackets, not knowing what depth of water they were in, not knowing how to start an outboard motor, nor even knowing how to row with oars ... this fabulous couple couldn't swim either.

The lifeguard summed it up in one word, spat with venom: "¡Turistas!"

Cartoon scanned from my notebook upon our return home. I have no idea where the couple's legs are.


willow said...

Oh, that is fun-eee!! They must have felt pretty silly when the life guard asked them to please get out and pull their boat back to shore.

Stevyn Colgan said...

Oh yes. I'd have wet myself ... but I'd got out of the water by then.