May 10th/11th – Waiting For The Night Boat


Simon was due back on his yacht Drum so we went to Portsmouth. We got the train out of London, took about 2 hours. When we got there we went to the Whitbread Info place and they told us that his boat was due in at 5am!!! So we had to stay there on park benches etc, stay up all night!

Close up of me in Portsmouth in 1986. I thought I looked cool.

Me in Portsmouth in 1986. Not the right clothes to stay up all night in! Although the trousers ARE PJ bottoms!

We met Mary and Traci from Birmingham who are great and said they would give us some Rum Runner stuff they had. We also met a girl called Tina from Southampton, Marci from Chicago Illinois, Lanka (?) from Los Angeles, Karen from Southampton and loads more. We were filmed by lots of different film crews singing when Cote D’Or boat came in (French boat). We stayed up all night til gone 5am WHEN SIMON CAME IN!

Drum had arrived!

Drum arriving at last! This was around 5am. All those press men in the background became teddy bears! COPYRIGHT MICHELLE COLDWELL-SIMONS

After customs etc, and Yasmin going to meet him, Simon waved to camera’s and to us. He shouted down to Yasmin and his brother Jonathon who were on the pontoons. Jonathon helped Yasmin bring some booze onto the boat.

After a while we were allowed to go down on the pontoons, and then – ON THE BOAT!


I pulled myself onto the boat and took two steps forward and stood slap bang in front of Simon! He kept saying things like ‘WE DID IT! WE DID IT!’ (They came third). He also SHOOK MY HAND!!!!! He knows Tracy (fan who was puking at Westside) who was on the boat and he said in a really silly voice to her ‘I saw the biggest best-ist and loudest helicopter you will ever see!’ (Tracy likes helicopters apparently) He was half pissed on the champers and beer they were serving up. Yasmin looked ok. Simon was really funny and nice to us. He was happy being back in the world.

We nearly capsized the boat there were so many of us on it.

He said on the radio the night beofre that ‘I would like to see the shore. And some Duran fans at the port.’

I think he’s great!


I remember so much more about this day that I had written. I remember getting to Portsmouth and finding out that his boat wasn’t due in until 5am and having to find a phone box to call my mum and tell her I wasn’t coming back! She was NOT happy! I had to persuade her that I was with a lot of other fans. That I was OK. Finally, after posting many coins in the coin slot she agreed for me to stay. Then it was the turn of the other friends I went down there with to phone their mum’s. Did they tell their parents they were in Portsmouth and weren’t coming aback until the next day? NO!  They told their parents that they were staying at MY house!

I remember walking round the harbour, then walking down to the area where we thought Simon’s hotel was. I remember going into the hotel to use the toilets and thinking that it wasn’t a very posh hotel and that surely Simon would stay somewhere better than this! I remember that between the four of us that went to Portsmouth, we only had enough money for a cup of tea each and a portion of chips to share between us. I remember it getting really dark and really cold, really quickly!

But the thing I most remember was when it started to get light again, I started to hallucinate! I was so tired and cold and hungry that I started to see things. All the press men turned into teddy bears. One minute everyone was singing, we were all shattered but we sang to stay awake. Then I looked at where the press photographers were and they became bears! It was so strange as I had never hallucinated before and never have since!

I remember the Birmingham girls had brought a bottle of sparkling pomagne or something and started drinking it. I was totally against alcohol then and didn’t drink. It scared me. So I just watched and hoped that they didn’t do anything silly.

I remember the HIDEOUS clothes I wore. They were flimsy too. A pair of pink pj bottoms, a purple shiny shirt and a purple shiny jacket. Yep! Style! It was no wonder at 5am we were freezing cold!

It was amazing to get onto the boat. I never saw that coming. One minute we were all singing on the dock. Then next we were on the pontoons scrabbling to get onto the boat! And it did literally start to keel over. The other crew members kept trying to move us about to balance it. I was so happy to shake Simon’s hand and to be part of his triumphant return. It was a really special weekend.

The thing that brought the weekend down was getting the train home. We all got on and promptly fell asleep. We were woken by the inspector who wanted to see our tickets. Our tickets were valid for the day before. He told us that we would have to pay a fine at the end of our journey. I was so upset! I started crying, saying we had been up all night and that we never meant to miss our last train but we were waiting for this boat to come in etc etc. He told me to come and find him at the end of the journey. Everyone else went back to sleep but I couldn’t, worried that I had to pay a fine and I didn’t have any money.  When we got off the train the inspector was waiting for us. Luckily, he believed our story and told us to try not missing the last train again and waved us off. I was so relieved!

This diary entry went over two pages and the writing was very erratic and barely legible. I wrote it as soon as I got home. I bet as soon as I had finished it I fell straight to sleep. It was such an amazing, unique weekend. And my first ‘all nighter!’


About thedurandiaries

Long time Duran fan. Followed them since 1985 - and that means physically going to see them! I kept a diary from 1986 and thought it may be funny to write them up on a blog. And the profile picture is of the actual of diary. Yes it has Care Bear stickers on it. But this was the 80's. And Care Bears were cute. View all posts by thedurandiaries

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