OK, Time to confess – I’m not really Ellen – but I’m logged in as her. She who must be obeyed. She who dragged me to Cardiff Bay on Friday the 13th May 2011. And why was I here? Because the previous day, Ellen and Peter, ably assisted by various large vessels belonging to the Cardiff Bay Port Authority and a couple of canoes from the nearby White Water Centre, had been led a merry song and dance by a swan that was wearing a piece of fishing tackle like a designer ear-ring.
And as I had missed this, Ellen felt that it was time I got involved with my Canoe. I wasn’t so sure!
Anyway, at 2pm I met Peter and Ellen just outside the Cardiff Bay Yacht Club gate, and we put my master plan into effect. This was to grovel unashamedly to the yacht club, in the hope that we could borrow one of their motorised safety boats. Peter was volunteered (by me!) to do the grovelling, and I offered to drive the boat. Unfortunately, there were insurance issues with this course of action, but as if by magic we were saved when one of Peter’s neighbours, who was in the club on his own business (but made the mistake of heckling us!) was volunteered to drive us around.
So Peter and I, with Vic driving, spent a few hours driving around Cardiff Bay looking for the “tackled” swan. Meanwhile, Ellen was enjoying the hospitality of Vic’s luxurious motor cruiser, complete with a warm comfy seat in the sun, reading materials, TV, tea and coffee making facilities… life is hard when you’re the boss! Meanwhile, us poor cannon fodder were pottering about looking for the swan, in the brilliant May sunshine, freezing our buns off in the strong wind blowing down from the North. Global warming my left buttock!
Actually, it was a rather pleasant way to spend a bright Friday afternoon. We examined the flock of swans in the river Ely – no luck. We went up-river towards the pumphouse, but no swan. There were a few in front of the clubhouse, but he (or she) wasn’t there either. Nor was it in the big flock at the mouth of the river Taff, or upstream from there.
And the few remaining “loners” in the main part of the bay seemed to be OK as well. There was a newly hatched family in the nature reserve area near the St David’s Hotel – two parents, and five cygnets about the size of small ducks.
By now the wind was freshening (that means it was getting stronger) and I was starting to get cold – not assisted by the occasional wave over the bows and into the face! Fortunately, Peter decided that we weren’t going to find it, and that, having used half a tank of the yacht clubs’ petrol, it was time to call it a day!
So we returned the boat to the club, and adjourned to Vic’s yacht where we enjoyed Swan Rescue Tea (made by the Boss) and chocolate Hob Nobs courtesy of Vic.
As for the swan – we guess that we haven’t heard the last of it, and maybe Ellen will get her wish of me having to flog around in my kayak trying to herd it. But if we can, I think I’ll suggest that we try to enlist the invaluable help of Cardiff Bay Yacht Club again.