Me: That’s a lovely photo of you all.
Nell: Yes, we were at Dartmouth waiting for the Golden Hound to weigh anchor.
Me: Was everyone on board?
Nell: Unfortunately not. I was expecting Captain Flint. You know that parrot from the Caribbean?
Me: Wasn’t he there?
Nell: No, instead there was a very small monkey called Coleton Fishacre. A good friend of Captain Hiro’s apparently. David went very pale when he saw him. He swears he is the same monkey that the elderly pug had on his shoulder.
Me: You mean the short sighted elderly pug with the monkey on his shoulder who gave Beagle Bones the Black Bowl?
Nell: Yes, but we don’t know he was short sighted. Anyway, all Coleton does is talk about nuts. Nut roast, nut cutlets and if it isn’t nuts it’s bananas. Chatter chatter. So annoying.
Me: Very. So are you all ready for the adventure to begin?
Nell: Yes, all our things are safely stowed away and we set sail at first light. I’m glad the corgis were able to source a few Welsh coracles. Not canoes but still useful.
Me: Don’t you think I should go with you?
Nell: No, someone has to hold the fort at home and I have my mobile. Poppy is sharing a cabin with Harriet. Jonathan is with Mutley. David is with The Cat and I have a cabin of my own.
Me: Who has the map?
Nell: Captain Hiro has the map. Mutley and Jonathan are keeping an eye. Mutley is an experienced yachtsdog, of course, having sailed single handed around the world. It will be the first time he has missed Cowes Week in years.
Me: I learnt to sail you know.
Nell: Yes, I know but it was back in your youth and we want to try and be realistic about our skills, don’t we? I wouldn’t be ship’s nurse if I had just done a First Aid course, now would I?
Me: No, sorry.