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A young blonde Portsmouth girl, down on her luck, decided to end it all one night by casting herself into the cold, dark waters off Gunwharf Quay.

As she stood on the edge, pondering the infinite, a young sailor noticed her as he strolled by. 'You're not thinking of jumping, are you babes?' he asked. 'Yes, I am.' replied the sobbing girl.

Putting his arm around her, the kind sailor coaxed her back from the edge. 'Look, nothing's worth that. I'll tell you what; I'm sailing off for America tomorrow. Why don't you stow away on board and start a new life over there.

I'll set you up in one of the lifeboats on the deck, bring you food and water every night and I'll look after you if you look after me - if you know what I mean. You just have to keep very quiet so that you won't be found'.

The girl, having no better prospects, agreed, and the sailor sneaked her on board that very night. For the next 3 weeks the sailor came to her lifeboat every night, bringing food and water, and making love to her until


Then, during the fourth week, the captain was performing a routine inspection of the ship and its lifeboats. He peeled back the cover to find the startled blonde, and demanded an explanation.

The girl came clean, 'I've stowed away to get to America. One of the sailors

is helping me out. He set me up in here and brings me food and water every night and he's screwing me.'

The puzzled captain stared at her for a moment before a grin cracked his face and he replied, 'He certainly is pet. This is the Isle of Wight Ferry!'