Digglum Bestiaruim ~ The Digglers' Crest

The Digglers ~ Pet Memory Website

The Island

A Busy Weekend

The magic of autumn was now covering the wood. Diane and Lucy were patiently waiting for the first snow that would bring back Snowman. They were busy collecting pieces of wood for the bonfire at the bottom of the garden on Bonfire Night on Sunday. Their dad had made a huge Guy to sit on the top and their mum promised to make some treacle toffee and the girls were looking forward to the great event.
Another important event was about to take place that weekend. On the mainland there was a yacht club at the marina and every year in November they held their annual yacht race. Usually, Diane would stand on the beach and wave to all the yachts as they sailed round the island and dream of what it would be like to take part in the race. This year, her dream was about to come true. Kevin, the boy who had thrown the flowers into the lake on the day of the picnic and had felt rather unhappy about the affair and tried to think of a way to really say sorry to Diane. His father owned a yacht and was a member of the club. Kevin asked his dad whether Diane and Lucy might be allowed to take part. Permission was given and a happy Kevin broke the news to the two girls.. He wasn't the only one who was happy!

That Saturday morning their dad took the two girls across to the mainland where they were to meet Kevin and his dad. They were already waiting for them and it wasn't long before they reached the clubhouse. There were lots of people getting their yachts ready for the race. Kevin showed the girls his boat that was called Sea Mist. Diane and Lucy helped to take off the covers and wheel the yacht towards the slipway. Before they got in, Kevin's dad made them wear lifejackets. They were bright orange and rather bulky. Diane didn't like them but she knew it wasn't safe to go sailing without one. If you fell overboard, a lifejacket would help you to keep afloat. They watched as Kevin and his dad hoisted the two sails. The mainsail was red and had the numbers 2957 on it and the smaller sail was yellow, the same colour as the flowers Kevin had thrown into the lake.
At last, everyone was in the yacht waiting for the start. Other yachts were ready. People were talking and laughing and wishing each other luck. It was a beautiful day for the race. A gentle breeze was blowing which would help the yachts, but once they reached the open sea it could be quite rough. Diane and Lucy felt very proud sitting in the yacht. A gun would be fired when it was time to set sail. At last it went off and they were off.
Diane and Lucy watched as Kevin and his dad eased the sail until the wind caught them. Every time the wind or the boat changed directions the sails had to be moved. The two girls tried to help but unfortunately they got in the way so they just sat there enjoying the race. Sometimes the yacht would lean dangerously over to one side but Kevin's dad leaned on the opposite part of the yacht until it became straight again. The race time was about four hours but if a strong headwind it would take less.
Now that they were becoming used to sailing, Diane and Lesley began to take notice of the yachts in front of them. Diane counted fifteen that meant they weren't doing too badly as there were thirty six yachts in the race. Diane could see the island and they would soon be starting to sail round it. Sea Mist began to catch some of the boats in front and when they passed three, Diane, Kevin and Lucy cheered and waved to the people on the other yachts. It was great fun!. The girls could make out High Rise Hill and Lucy could make out the steep side she had fallen down and she realised how silly she had been attempting to get down the steep side.
Now they were passing two more yachts and were reaching the open sea and it would become rough. Certainly, the wind seemed much stronger and Sea Mist was going faster. The waves were also higher and they kept splashing over the yacht. Diane and Lucy were frightened they would be swept overboard and they hung onto the safety rail as tight as they could. A safety launch was following the race in case of any accidents.
Sea Mist passed three more yachts before the sea became calmer and the girls less frightened. Only seven more yachts in front. Would Sea Mist be able to pass them?
They had been sailing for about three hours when they rounded the tip of the island and then they would be heading back to the marina. Diane spotted her mum and dad with Rusty on the beach and she started to wave so did Lucy. If only they could pass the seven yachts in front and win the race! They were catching up with three and were passing them. The children began to cheer. Only four to go! The first two yachts were quite some distance away, too far to catch, but they might be able to catch the third and fourth placed yachts.
They were nearly back at the marina and Diane could see the flags flying from the clubhouse.
'Come on!' she whispered to herself willing Sea Mist to go faster. They were gaining on the third and fourth yacht. Would they have time to pass them?. Kevin's father eased the mainsail to allow the wind to make the yacht go faster and with a final effort, they passed the two yachts and finished third!
Diane and Lucy stood up and cheered and hugged each other. Sea Mist sailed proudly into the marina and Kevin and his dad took down the red and yellow sails. They then brought Sea Mist back up the slipway and fastened down the covers.
They all went into the clubhouse and waited for the other yachts to return. Whilst they were waiting, Kevin's dad treated them to lunch. After lunch, the prizes were presented to the winners. Diane, Lucy and Kevin felt proud as Kevin's dad went to collect the prize for coming third. It was a silver cup that had Sea Mist's name engraved on it.
After all the excitement, Kevin's dad took the girls back to where they had arranged to meet their father after the race. He was waiting for them and they ran towards him shouting the good news. He was very pleased. Diane and Lucy thanked Kevin and his dad for letting them take part in the race..
When they got into the boat, they found their dad had bought an outboard motor, so he wouldn't have to row any more. Their mum was also pleased about the race. Tea was ready and after tea the two girls went happily to bed. They were very tired with all the excitement besides, there was so much more to do as tomorrow was Bonfire Night.

Diane and Lucy were up early the next morning. The sky was clear and it looked as if would be a fine day. After doing their chores, they went to have a look at the pile of wood in the garden. It certainly was a big pile and their dad had already placed the Guy on the top. That morning they helped their mum with the treacle toffee cutting it into small pieces and put in a bag. They also got the potatoes ready that they were going to cook in the fire. The two girls were so excited that their mum couldn't get any work done! She told them to take Rusty for a walk and he couldn't understand why everyone was making such a fuss over a large pile of wood!
At long last, teatime arrived and after tea they were going to light the fire. Their dad had bought some fireworks yesterday whilst he was waiting for Diane and Lucy finish the race. He'd kept them in a tin box in the shed and wouldn't let the girls touch them. Everyone was ready for the bonfire. Before it was lit, their dad made sure there were no animals such as hedgehogs hiding under the pile of wood. Diane made sure Rusty was safely locked in the kitchen. She knew her father would not have bought any fireworks that made a loud noise. Their mum carried the potatoes and the toffee whilst Diane and Lucy carried three chairs into the garden.
The bonfire was lit and as they looked towards the mainland, they could see rockets from other bonfires lighting up the sky. Their dad got the fireworks from the shed. As he did so a few spots of rain fell.
'I don't think it will do much,' said their mum as she saw the disappointed look on their faces.
The fire was burning brightly and sent sparks flying into the air and very soon it would reach the Guy on the top.
Now the fireworks were going to be lit. Diane and Lucy sat munching treacle toffee as their father placed a firework in a tin box that contained sand. He lit the firework carefully, but nothing happened then it exploded into beautiful colour. It then died down. Diane and Lucy shrieked with delight as another one was lit. The potatoes were placed at the edge of the fire to cook. Every time a firework finished, he waited until it had cooled and then replaced it with a fresh one.
The next firework didn't work. He waited for about a minute. Instead of replacing it, he left it in the box and when he lit the next firework a terrible thing happened. The one that hadn't worked suddenly exploded and flew straight into his hand. He fell to the ground holding his hand. Their mum rushed over to see how he was and if he had been badly hurt. His coat had been burnt and so had his hand very badly. Diane and Lucy lost all thoughts of the bonfire, all they could think of was their dad.
'We'll have to get him to hospital,' said their mum.
They all helped to get him down to the beach and into the boat. The girls were told to go inside and wait.
It was a very long six hour wait but at last they heard the noise of the boat returning. Their mum was coming back but their dad wasn't with her. They ran down to meet her. She saw the anxious look on their faces.
'It's going to be all right,' she said. 'His hand is badly burnt but they think it will be ok and they are just keeping him in to make sure.'
Diane and Lucy were so relieved as they made their way to bed.
The next day instead of going to school, they went with their mum to the hospital. Their dad was waiting for them. His hand was heavily bandaged. He would be off work for a few weeks.
'Next year,' he said, 'we will have a bonfire without fireworks!'