It was New Years Day 2009, after seeing in New Years Eve in a rain swept and drenched Queenstown.
My wife Shirley and I, along with our friends Graham and Nicky wanted to celebrate the New Year’s day by going on the legendary good ship Earnslaw for the evening dinner cruise to Walter Peak.
So bookings were made with the Real Journeys team and all was good!.
Later that day I tried to operate the in-house hotel room dryer, mistakenly setting it to wash rather than dry. With everything else in the laundry bag and nothing else to wear this evening, I got a horrible thought that I would be wearing wet soggy jeans on the much looked forward to Walter Peak dinner cruise, this did not appeal so much to me.
Now with no time left, and friends already gone to the wharf to board the Earnslaw, I put my shoes on and felt the wet clammy jeans slither and slide around me, this is going to be awful I thought! Both Shirl’s and me ran out of the Hotel down the hill to the wharf.
Running in wet soggy jeans with much squelching and squeaking noises emanating from the unusual style of running being exhibited by me to get to the Earnslaw.
Shirl’s ran in front and I was left swaggering behind, she made good time and got to the wharf alerting the gent waiting for us at the boarding plank that I was just around the corner.
I appeared from around the corner swaggering and swaying as only you could do in wet jeans only to reach the boarding plank, only to be viewed by all aboard who were eager to identify the idiot who was holding everything up. “Sorry about the delay, running in soggy jeans isn’t easy you know”. I said to the Earnslaw officer, “wet jeans have you sir” he said with a chuckle. “Yes” I replied, “not very comfortable”.
“I’ll tell you what” he said, “when we set off, whip them off in the men’s loo and get them to me”. “What are you going to do with them I asked?” “There not your size” I jokingly replied. “Give them to me and Il put them on the boiler and they will soon be dry as a bone”.
I looked at Shirl’s and she looked at me and we both laughed at each other.
The Earnslaw gracefully departed the wharf and set course for Walter Peak, and before I knew it I was handing my wet jeans to Shirl’s who handed them to the Gent, and I watched them disappear from sight down to the belly of the ship.
Before heading back behind the men’s loo door, Shirl’s handed me my jeans shorts from her handbag, put these on in the mean time she said. I couldn’t believe it my girl had a grabbed my shorts for me to wear in the interim.
So we both went to the bar for a much deserved drink, and joined our friends for a laugh at the whole situation. Twenty minutes before getting to Walter Peak for dinner, I put my head over the engine observation area and caught the eye of the pants rescuer.
“Here you go mate, all dry and warm for you”. I replied “mate your a legend and thanks very much”. Now with warm jeans on we settled in for great night!.
The following morning when reaching for my mobile phone out of my jeans pocket, I pulled out a disfigured and slightly melted mobile phone.
It worked, just – stupid jeans.
Thankyou Earnslaw for a great and memorable time.
Rob Snoad

The TSS Earnslaw made a brief cameo appearance in the movie Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) as an Amazon River boat.

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