Sunday, October 07, 2007

On board...

Coxswain Dave gave an impressive display of his trim-tabs, demonstrating how the pitch of the Pride of the Humber can be adjusted to suit the conditions (given that the water was ridiculously calm, there were not a lot of conditions to deal with but I got the idea), and showed off his echo sounder, which, as it provides a readout of the depth of the water, allowed him to nuzzle her right up to the Spurn beach without running aground, a move which baffled a few people fishing there, I think. Dave's a feet and inches man, the readout's in metres, which means that, as well as looking at this dazzling array of equipment and pondering on rescues about to take place, he also has to do a swift mental conversion. It struck me that to grapple with all that goes on here and amid the adrenaline rush and confusion and the constant battle with the elemements that must accompany a shout, that Dave and his crew must have to have co-processors installed in their brains.
"This," says Dave, surveying the array of stationary vessels in front of him, "is the Humber's car park."
An hour later and that was that. We were sat having a cuppa outside the cafe that Dave's wife runs, met a couple of the young children that live here too and Dave did a nice monologue about the importance of his pager, how his clothes are always ready to leap into at any minute and how that, if they're stood at the checkouts in a supermarket and a bell rings, they always jump thinking it's the bell back in their house on Spurn. This, quite obviously, is a job that never stops for these heroes. Although it does have to fit in around domestic chores. "We do all that. Ironing, laundry, we're all just having new dishwashers installed. Which probably means they're closing the station."
I have, of course, kept the best bits to myself. For now.


On A Shout opens at Hull Truck Theatre on January 24th, 2008.

2 comments:

Bazza & Wifey said...

Have they taken you hostage?

Anonymous said...

Was Dave there as well Dave?
Aw well you should have said

Martin C