I knew the cruise ship wouldn’t sail without us. Well, if the Missus missed the boat, I’d pay it no never mind. There was time to knock back another beer before I had to pick her up at the hairdresser, grab our bags and get on board for a jaunt down the coast to Tasmania.
The mates at the bar were a jolly crowd. Fellow name of Bill up and bought me a pint, so I did the right thing and bought a round.
“I love sailing,” he says, all gentlemanly, like a bloody Englishman. You can tell the limeys when they come slummin’ Down Under. My Missus would add, Yah, but you can’t tell ‘em much.
“Where you off to now, Bill?” I asked.
“Hobart, Tasmania,” says he. “Never been there and I guess I’ve been through every port in the world.”
“Then we’ll be shipmates on this trip, much as I hate the water and don’t swim a stroke. The fellows in my shop bought us this cruise as a Christmas present.
“Well done,” he says, and clinked glasses. “Timeless memories to come.”
The Missus was calm for once as I claimed our bags and waited for clearance.
“I had the most interesting conversation with a lady at the hairdresser,” she gushed. “She was a history professor in Brisbane.”
“Fascinating, I bet,” I said, fetching some coins for the porter and pointing out my old lady’s horrendous large bags. And the hairdresser had done wonders for the old gal.
“She told me that back in the 1930’s or thereabouts, off Wales, a ship sank and all of its 81 passengers drowned, except one survivor named William Hughes. Oh, wait, it was on December 5th, 1938.”