All Sam wants for Christmas is Tiff. Tiff, however, has other thoughts… Elsewhere, Louise throws a big Christmas dinner, which yes, you’ve guessed it, ends badly – and trouble brews for Jamie…


Usually, when a sailor went adrift and missed his ship (a fairly frequent occurrence), he eventually turned up and was then sent on to join the ship at the next port of call: he had to pay his travel expenses for the privilege. We were therefore expecting Leech to turn up before we left Pointe Noire, but he never did and was never heard of again, as far as I know. Perhaps he is actually at the bottom of Takoradi Harbour. Leech’s disappearance aside, the junkies had a good run during the West African sojourn. Weed was plentiful and the pace of life was. West African: the sun always shone and the Horomaya was an easy ship to work – it didn’t make any great demands. The alchies had an equally good time. The ports that were in ex-French African colonies had a certain refinement not usually present in the ex-British West African colonies, which tended to be grim with few redeeming virtues. However, there was reasonable beer at good prices in most places, as well as good wine in the Francophile countries. These aspects, coupled with the sun and slow pace of life, made the West African coast admired by the alchie crowd.

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