On the puffer’s bustling approach into the sheltered waters of Tayvallich, Zander gathered an eager audience on deck as he pointed out the Americas Cup boat, tied up not far away. To whet the guest’s appetite for their forthcoming adventure, he provided them with a running commentary on her perceived ‘finer points’, enthusing over her slim racing lines, her tall masts that could hold up acres of sail and even gave an impromptu lecture about her alleged peerless past performances and achievements. He ended the diatribe with his text of the day,
“She is a superb relic of the history of the racing yacht from the days when her crew was made up from the cream of international society and dashing adventurers.”
However no mention was made of exactly how long it had been since this fine craft had contested an international event, if ever it had. Once again Zander made great store of the privilege they were getting, not only being allowed on board this historic craft but in addition, sailing on her!
Following Zander’s pointing finger, the latter day ‘Americas Cup’ sailors saw a big racing yacht standing out in front of a sunlit, wooded Highland landscape, its reflection poised serenely on the flat calm mirror surface of the anchorage. The elderly vessel did indeed look absolutely splendid, and ready for action. Each one of his audience was hooked and could hardly wait for the next day to dawn.
At supper that evening, talk was all about the ‘Americas Cup’ boat and how everyone was looking forward to when they would be able to enjoy the benefits of their kind host’s indulgence. To have been on and actually sailed in an ‘Americas Cup’ yacht was something that they could casually drop into conversations for years to come. How many of their friends, colleagues and acquaintances could top this for one-up-man-ship? Even the host had begun to believe that by procuring the use of this fine craft for his guests, he had pulled off a very sound coup indeed.
Excerpt from Chapter 14 in A Storm in Any Port
For information on the beautiful village of Tayvallich, visit their website by clicking here