In four years of our adventures with Pintail we have lost very little overboard: a handheld radio in the muddy waters of the river Crouch; a key to the water filler in A Coruna marina; a pair of Stefan’s shorts blown off the washing line (and recovered two weeks later with the fishing rod!) in Agios Nikolaos.
Losing our big red beanbag just off Rhodes was, however, our biggest tragedy.
Since the beanbag came on board in 2015 it had been Stefan’s favourite place. On dry and warm days we had usually only just left our mooring before its big red mass appeared in the companionway to make its way to the aft deck. In the River Crouch, across the English Channel and all the way down the Atlantic coast he kept watch from his squidgy perch.
It was also his favourite place for reading, napping and enjoying a sundowner.
Occasionally friends and family were allowed to have a go.
In fact, it was during our time with The Germans that Michael named the beanbag, Clarence the Big Red Beanbag, a reference to an American cartoon dog that went over the heads of us Europeans but stuck anyway.
Just very occasionally I was even allowed to sit on it and I can report that after dark it made the perfect spot for some late night ghost story telling.
So, apart from our concern at polluting the sea with a giant red object and causing a hazard to other ships, we were really gutted to lose it overboard. It had literally been part of the furniture on Pintail since our adventures began.
So, Clarence, rest in peace after your unintentional sea burial. You were much loved and are much missed….
However, Clarence’s memory had barely faded before Stefan spied a beanbag shop on the side of the road whilst we were lost in Antalya, Turkey. Through a series of hand signals, drawings and Google translations we ordered ourselves a new beanbag. They say in Turkey they can copy anything. We’ve seen a lot of fake designer handbags and T-shirts to prove it.
And so Clarence 2.0 was born. Slightly smaller than the original, we picked it up the following morning. Full to bursting with beans, we spent a good few days decanting bags of them until it was the optimum squidginess and a worthy successor to Clarence!
Stefan has wasted no time getting acquainted with his new friend.
Even our recent guests, Lavinia and Richard, and I have been allowed a go – although I did have to sneak on whilst Stefan was off on the tender!
You will be pleased to hear that the new beanbag comes with an important new safety feature – handles which enable us to tether it to the boat to avoid another BOB (beanbag overboard).
Long live Clarence 2.0!