A sunny start to a crisp autumn Monday and one would be forgiven for thinking it was another normal day aboard Voyager. Jason was up on deck having a cup of tea and Paul was busy compiling a list of our chores for the day, which he stuck to the saloon wall. My tasks were to include scrubbing the underside of the hull…..all 56ft of it. These tasks were to be finished by 5pm.
Up on deck Paul casually said “When Jason has left the boat I have a number of tasks I’d like you to complete for me……”, at which point I interrupted and said “Actually Paul, Tim and I will be getting off the boat with Jason”. As if expecting this Paul simply replied “cool, ok”. It was as if he realised he had overstepped the mark, but this was just wishful thinking. I continued: “Whilst we have got on well I have to say I’m disgusted with the way you have spoken to Tim and Jason and I’m just waiting for you to turn on me, which could be half way across the Atlantic, and I don’t want to take that risk”.
And that was it. The three remaining crew members packed their bags and we hailed a passing boat and got off Voyager. I shook Paul’s hand and wished him luck, vaguely guilty that we had had a good working relationship, but I knew I had done the right thing.
Later discussions with Tim’s dad, a very experienced sailor, revealed his concern at the lateness of our trip (everyone else who had crossed Biscay had already done so a couple of months before), the course we had taken and were due to take to the Canaries, and the missing compass light! Clearly we had been taking some serious risks.
Tim caught a lift home with his parents whilst Jason and I booked into a B&B and planned our next steps. It became quickly obvious that we were going to have to head home, so I booked a flight to Stanstead whilst Jason got himself a place on a coach. Our last night was spent coming last in a pub quiz and then hitting Shades, a rubbish nightclub packed full of more fit art college students. We were so emotionally drained from the last 24 hours we could barely speak to each other, let alone chat up the scantily clad young honeys.