Legends from our own lunchtimes

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Sometime today we had to face the music. There was a guillotine hanging over our head called the theory test with it's thirty questions on the code that had to be dealt with. Aileen and Grahame, the Kiwi couple who were sharing our pain, felt no better equipped than we, but again the experience and skill of our tutors led us calmly through the day, explaining water action on underwater hull shapes, throwing ropes, retrieving objects and avoiding obstacles, all the while dealing with the unending procession of commercial traffic travelling in the opposite direction.

By early afternoon, the intensity was such that we all began to experience a strange sense that we had been together for a month.

Eventually we could stall no more. The final hurdle had to be crossed.

The air was thick with silence as we sat together round the dinging table aboard, answering our questions, each with a different test so there could be no cheating.

As the last pencil was put down, a well timed crackle broke the silence followed by the blaring of Handel's Allelujah chorus from the ship's speakers.

We could relax.

The champagne cork popped.

We were all barge captains and had the paperwork to prove it.

1 comment

Gerry said...

Superb and well done! Always a good feeling!

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