$400? You’ve got to be kidding?

I have a couple of things to report. Both of them good, despite the title.

First, after two days of pottering about, we went on a boat trip. A $400 boat trip. For those of you unsure of the exchange rate, that’s about £300 – or the price of a decent road bike. Or Doris’s insurance renewal. You’re getting the picture?

P1650062

quicker than it looks

Our Jen, who with James, visited B&S earlier in the year, went on this day-long boat trip from Nassau out to one of the cays that make up The Bahamas. It’s $200 each and worth every cent – so she told us. To add treacle to the tart, both Bex and Jen said they would pay for C as it was a senior birthday this year. Bless them.

Even so, $400?

Well I have to say that $400 was cheap. What a day. Let me explain. 24 of us, including two loud, elderly Trump supporters, got on a fibreglass rocketship, which was fitted with four Yamaha 250hp outboards (that’s 1,000hp, the same as a Bugatti Veron). Then, across a sea which was like glass, we spent an hour speeding at 40 mph – that’s unecessarily quick -making our way towards West Africa. I could smell the fuel being burnt. Fabulous.

On a small beach the captain – we had four ushers and they were all great – just ran the boat aground on the sand. We were then given large cocktail sticks and handfuls of grapes (that must have cost $100, knowing Bahamian prices) and let lose on feeding a bunch of iguanas. Iguanas are like small dragons, but more scary. They have teeth and are blind, so can easily mistake a big toe for a grape. This was the first of our brushes with nature’s predators. Brill.

P1650079

I must check my toes

We then drove (at a million miles an hour) to another beach which had a couple of shacks on it. This would be our home for the next 5 hours. Food was provided; sandwiches and dips on arrival and a lovely fish and beef BBQ for lunch. And all the drink was free. Pretty much anything. As many times as you like, which I think is brave of them as, with some of the team quickly under the weather, we were about to swim with sharks.

First we fed the stingrays. Was this the best experience of my life? Close to it. Before we were given strips of fish for the rays to suck off our upturned hands, they swum among us. Between us. Bashing into our legs. Letting us stroke them. They can and do sting, but only if you really piss them off. Which we tried very hard not to.

P1650097

fabulous

Then the sharks. We’re talking human sized sharks (more C sized than me, to be fair). The staff fed them with dead fish on pieces on nylon rope. We all stood in the water as the sharks were hauled towards us and lifted out of the water. They chomped through the thick nylon rope – three times. Which made the snorkelling bit of the day which followed, extra interesting. The sharks had been fed, but they hadn’t gone anywhere. So as we snorkelled out to the rip tide, the sharks (sort of, but not on purpose) swam among us. One came within a couple of feet of my face. One swam below C. The guys shooed them away with the safety boat, but by then we’d already had our close encounter of the shark kind.  Then we swam down the rip tide like the turtles in Finding Nemo. I saw a turtle! It was another great experience.

P1650107

our home for 5 hours

Lunch, then more drink (our v loud Trump supporters had stopped being quite so Texan at that point, because they were struggling to string a couple of words together) and time to relax as the chef knocked up a conch salad. Mmmm, not my idea of a fun dish.

And then back on the rocket ship and home for tea and medals! Hurrah. So, my advice. If you come to the Bahamas – bring an extra $400 with you and go on #powerboatadventures. Fab.

P1650105

A quick update on book stuff. Loving book 4 (Money for Something?), now 42/120k words in and having no problem with 1,500 words a day. And Amazon UK have at last started marketing Fuelling the Fire. Have a guess what? As a result the books are selling. Hurrah!

Screenshot 2017-09-20 at 17.59.18 - Edited

hurrah!

All-in-all, a couple of very good days.

How I became a reasonably unsuccessful novelist…

Article Title block - EditedIf you’re interested in my latest article see the tab on the top – or click on this link: How I became a reasonably unsuccessful novelist. And then go and make yourself a cup of coffee…

Let me know what you think!

The big red button

I thought it best to bash this out before we all get embroiled in a nuclear war. That, of course, is a nice lead for me to say a few choice words about POTUS (I’m loving Twitter), but I shall refrain from doing so. Although, I can’t move on without mentioning one of his latest tweets where he berates South Korea – an ally, no less – for appeasing their loony neighbours. In the first line of the tweet he uses the clause ‘as I have told them’. Mmmm. I think if I were leader of the Free World (and had only been in the seat for a few rollercoaster months) I’d be tempted to drop stuff like that. It smacks of ‘me-ism’. Anyhow, he’s surrounded by US Marines now, so hopefully they’ll bring some order to where it’s due. I do worry, however, that they’re currently planning a beach invasion of Inchon, something they did quite well in 1950.  They’d better check their geography though. Inchon is in South Korea…

my latest marketing shot

We’re exhausted. Over the past three and a bit weeks we’ve driven to Berlin and back, then Bristol and then Devon to drop of Doris at the doctors. Then to Colchester and up to Skye. Back down to Devon to pick up Doris where Chelstons assure us that she’s watertight. Up to Gloucester where we have deposited Doris with P&K, and now to Godalming in Surrey as a launch pad for Heathrow. New York on Tuesday (thankfully not driving) and then, on Friday, onto The Bahamas where Hurricane Irma is due to land – on the same day. Thankfully we’re due to stay with Rebecca and Steven for four weeks, so a couple of day’s delay to avoid the second worst mid-Atlantic storm this year, won’t be such a challenge.

£35 from Maplins. All I need now is a decent reading voice.

As you can see, it’s all go.

As a result I have still not finished my article ‘How to become a not very successful novelist’. I hope to get it down before we board the plane on Tuesday. Over the next five weeks I’d like to get it published somewhere, complete another 5 chapters of book 4, and, hopefully, have recorded a podcast of Unsuspecting Hero – with the aim of making it available for free to anyone who can bear the sound of my voice. All of this whilst browning our knees and avoiding getting swept into the Atlantic by whichever tropical storm happens to be bashing against The Bahamas whilst we’re there. We’ll see.

Anyhow, I must go and finish ‘the shelter’. We’ve practised getting under the kitchen table in the crunch position (and closing our eyes) earlier today. Hopefully it won’t come to that. But knowing POTUS, anything to deflect from Congress not approving his tax reform bill – or the Russian enquiry using the big ‘I’ word (impeachment). Men, their egos and the big red button. I tell you …