My dear friend Tumi Bestard, the former U.S. Consular Agent has just penned his memoirs. It is a very good read and Tumi is quite a remarkable man. Reading through his book the other day jogged my memory to an adventure alongside Tumi Bestard which I will never forget.

The U.S. aircraft carrier, Saratoga, had been a frequent visitor to Palma over the years and on her last visit a special trip was organised for a lucky group of people. Thankfully ,I was one of them. We would sail out of Palma aboard the Saratoga and return via aircraft to Palma airport. All went well until we were all sitting in the plane waiting to fly back to Palma. The aircraft suffered a malfunction and as civilians are not allowed to fly off aircraft carriers in the dark, we would have to wait until the following morning.

The Saratoga was by this stage off Minorca and heading for Bosnia. I pleaded with the captain to inform the Bulletin that I would not be back in the office that night. The editor of this newspaper got a call from the Pentagon saying: “I can’t tell you where he (me) is or what he is doing but he will not be back in the office tonight.” I spent a very nervous night aboard the ship waiting for sunrise and the trip by helicopter back to Palma.

Finally we took off and my lack of sleep caught up with me. When we got to Palma, Tumi said to me “that was fun wasn’t it...” I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I had been asleep for the whole flight and had been petrified about losing my job for most of the day!”

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