Taki Taki

The FBI has a problem with Catholics

[MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images]

On board Aello

She was built in 1921, a beautiful wooden ketch that is as graceful to look at as she’s uncomfortable for fat cats accustomed to gin palaces. I’ve sailed her over many years, the last time giving her to my children as I was in plaster having fallen from a balcony in Gstaad. This time it was worse. In fact it was the greatest no-show since Edward VIII skipped his coronation and showed up on the French Riviera instead. Michael Mailer had hinted that some Hollywood floozies were eager to sail around the Greek isles, but arrived empty-handed. The absent floozies were missed, but were immediately replaced by my son and his son, and off we went, four males looking for mates down the Peloponnese coast. Young Taki, aged 17, won hands down, romancing the most beautiful 16-year-old in the whole of Greece, whose grandfather was a friend of mine and whose great-grandfather was a crony of my father. Such are the joys of old age.

‘What a coincidence – I met your wife online too.’

Aello’s crew of five was eager, willing and able – there is nothing worse than reluctant, pusillanimous sailors – and there was a surprise right off the bat. The steward Fraser Richardson, a Scot, is a handsome young man who has written a very good screenplay according to Michael Mailer. He told me that his grandmother, Moira Macfadyen, is a loyal and long-time reader of The Spectator. ‘So what else is new?’ answered yours truly. ‘Everyone whose brain hasn’t turned to cheese reads The Speccie.’

With family on board, I decided to act responsibly and in a dignified manner. Once upon a time wild scenes of drunkenness and women-chasing were par for the course.

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