On the 6th (30 years ago today, as I write this) we boarded The Balmoral for the trip from Mumbles to Ilfracombe.  It’s not far.  You can see North Devon from Swansea.  It’s a pleasure cruise 🙂 

You can see her here

Well that day the Bristol Channel was rough!  Dishes were sliding around so much the Galley didn’t open.  Most people on the boat headed for the nearest convenience, including my new husband.

In order to avoid the green people, I headed amidships to the bar which was unoccupied except for a man with a babe in arms.  First the forward then the aft porthole went underwater.  Then the port, then the starboard.  And then the sequence repeated over and over as the Balmoral pitched and tossed.

The barman appeared.

Do you want a drink? he said.

I pointed out that my husband was off being ill somewhere and I didn’t have any money on me.

Well I didn’t ask if you had any money, says he.  I asked if you wanted a drink.

And so we had whiskeys and he offered me a cigarette – Woodbine – and thus I passed the journey – with the only good sailors on board.  The Captain was apparently sick as well.

We docked at Ilfracombe and all the aliens emerged looking very sea-green indeed.

So you could say that the start of our married life wasn’t plain sailing 😉  But the last 30 years have been worth all the effort it takes to stay the course and in our hearts we still have a soft spot for the beautiful, elegant little Balmoral.