Four gigs and a crew of 22 set out from Two Tree Island on a voyage of discovery.
A disconcerting event was soon to develop on our row to “Coconut Cove”.
After a little briefing we set off for Coconut Cove (Canvey Point), via Vestcliff and yes, the old smugglers haunt, known as the Billet in ye old port of Leigh.
It was a beautiful spring day, all was well at first. We rowed in close formation towards Vestcliff but it soon became apparent not all was well. Two gigs belonging to Lower Thames Rowing Club broke rank and shot ahead. Fearing a mutiny, I called them up on the vhf radio and commanded them to regroup at once, and make for Leigh. This was obeyed and all seemed well for a time, especially once berthed up with the beer flowing. After refreshments we set off again with a good audience to find Coconut Cove. There was something in the air, and I felt a little restless.
After navigating round the notorious Cape of Coconut Cove and sounding our way into the sandy cove it seemed well at first. Wood gatherers were deployed and the cook was commissioned to make a hearty lunch with further liquid refreshments soon to flow. The crews seem to be settling down when suddenly my misgivings were realised when a Frenchman called Phillipe swam ashore and the crew in black were unveiled as imposters – they were South Woodham Ferrers not Lower Thames rowers.
Fearing a resurrection of the Battle of Trafalgar quick thinking had to take place and they were offered sausages and wine. After this peace offering we became friends and hoped to meet again on the high seas. So all was well and we finally went back to Two Tree. We all had a lovely day.
Thanks to South Woodham Ferrers for your brilliant company and support.