I’ve come to the conclusion that all skippers are mad. As I waited outside Amsterdam Centraal in a lay-by Paul came screeching up in a hire car, jumped out and said ‘I saw your skinhead and thought “there’s another English football hooligan to run over”’. After picking up Michelle five minutes later he then drove us out of the center of Amsterdam, swerving towards the pavement every time he spotted an old lady. The Dutch are very definitely mad.
Voyager was moored up a quiet canal just outside of Amsterdam and was accessed via a quiet track. Despite the industrial glue factory in the background it was a peaceful setting and was to become our home turf for the next week or so. As we approached the yacht we spotted Tim for the first time and quickly introduced ourselves. It turned out Tim was from Wethersfield, just down the road from Saffron Walden and we became pals immediately.
After a chat and a beer we got to know the boat and I made the schoolboy error of choosing the smallest bunk in the fore cabin. Twat. My fears of an uncomfortable sleep, however, were dispelled after my first night aboard Voyager.