So with bag packed, underwear clean and newly purchased hat on my head I met Rachel and Ali as agreed, but found they were not alone. There were a half a dozen or so others, all young, tougher looking than Rachel, and like Ali either had a deep tan or had spent a long time in the Middle East, standing by a huge pile of sports bags.
I spotted they were all wearing Prada t-shirts and the name of the hush-hush sponsor became pretty clear. This could be good news as though the main show was over there were rumours their cat had some unseen tricks that had to be tested way offshore away from prying eyes. Not for long!
"This is the journalist, Mr Staysail" said Ali, and they muttered a greeting. There was this huge chap, like a hunk of beef, who just stared at me. It was a bit disconcerting to be honest.
"Call me Buff" says I.
"Buff!" said the big chap. It didn't sound welcoming, scornful even. "Buff!" He reminded me of someone, but couldn’t place who.
Then he and Ali were blabbing away in whatever lingo they were into. Looked nasty at one point but Rachel said something and that seemed to be it.
"So what's the story?" I asked. They had promised a scoop after all.
"We are delivering ice creams" said Rachel "to the Luna Rossa boat training out in the bay.
So I'd guessed right, sort of.
"You should wear this t-shirt too."
She rummaged around in her bag and handed me one. It was L but I'm more of an XXL chap so a bit tight around the belly area; it sounds better if you say figure hugging or streamlined.
The big chap seemed to take charge, leading us down the pontoon out to a Sunseeker, standard white plastic box fitted out for the offshore fishing day charter market. Everyone slung their bags down below and grabbed a seat: I picked one close to Rachel and Ali, not knowing anyone else.