Oh the joys of foreign travel. Backchat hears of one lucky -or should that be unlucky - traveller who enjoyed a particularly novel method of traversing the Atlantic: a banana boat.

It all began when said traveller developed a sudden irrational fear of flying while abroad. Quite simply, he just wouldn't, or couldn't, get back on the plane home. A quick phone call to his friendly travel insurer revealed the only method of transport home that the insurers would stump up for our intrepid soul was a cargo ship carrying bananas. Shiver me timbers.

The poor fellow arrives in Southampton many days later having spent a rather cramped journey in the crew's quarters.

Would flying really have been that bad?