Tuesday, 21 January 2014
We need to talk about the harbour
'I just thought it would make a nice break from looking at the maps and, while certain people are otherwise engaged with loading, we could have a chat about...getting out of the harbour,' explained Norma.
Fine!' replied Captain Bill. 'If you think it's worth it?'
'Well, let's be honest,' continued Norma, 'we have had...well...problems in the past.'
'You mean when Annie fell overboard?' asked Captain Bill.
'That was one,' replied Norma, 'but I was thinking more about those occasions when we've...hit the harbour wall.'
'Remind me,' said Captain Bill.
'Well there was last time for instance and the time before that and the time before that and I recall once when we hit it despite us starting the voyage with the Pickled Heifer already moored on the other side of the island.'
'Point made!' said Captain Bill.
'Which is why I've prepared this little model for us to look at. Let's assume that the hat here stage right is the ship and the snow is the harbour wall.'
'Aha!' mooed Captain Bill. 'Problem spotted! Those sticks are completely blocking our way!'
'No, no' replied Norma, 'I've just put them there to mark out the course we need to steer.'
'It looks like a straight line from here!' called out Horace.
'I thought you were going to try to write some poetry?' said Norma.
'Can't!' replied Horace.
'Why not?' asked Norma.
'Dropped my pencil!' said Horace.
Norma walked over to Horace, picked up the pencil and gave it back to him.
'You weren't that badly hurt,' she said to him and then returned to Captain Bill.
'Shall we continue?' she asked.
'Hmm,' replied Captain Bill, 'before we do and I realise you're only trying to help but I've seen a pretty serious flaw in your model. Correct me if I'm wrong but the Pickled Heifer is designed to float on water but you've indicated that it's on dry land.'
'No,' replied Norma, 'it's still on the sea, the grass is supposed to be the sea.'
'But,' said Captain Bill pointedly, 'the grass is green and as you made clear green is land!'
And Norma accepted that this was going to take longer than she had anticipated.