Jamie didn’t like the darkening skies, so he took a look at the forecast to discover some big weather coming in from the west. Fishing vessels, large and small, arrived from deeper water, dropping noisy anchor chain and crowding into the anchorage behind Ko Tarutao’s high hills. He told the others to prepare themselves for some potential big winds.
It’s perhaps not surprising that my best holiday so far was the result of a series of coincidences and good fortune. Even now, parts of it feel like a dream. How likely is it that your boss in South Africa tells you that you’re being sent to a conference in Istanbul and that – taking a chance because you know your friends are sort of crazy – when you email friends in London to say you’re going to be in Turkey for a few days, do they want to join you, they come back immediately to say that they’d love to.
What a strange bunch of crew! There’s the usual suspects with the family and Tac, who all came out from May – October. They need no introduction as they’ve all been out before, but some info on the others:
Herewith a list of the foolish people who dared come aboard Esper in 2007. It only ever ends in tears and a thumping headache.
A patient and competent skipper Roger kept his head, and his boat, when all around him were losing hope on that windy day! Roger was accompanied by Brian, his tennis partner from the UK, who was holidaying with his wife.
I should consider myself lucky that I have Mustafa on hand to come sailing with me. The decision is normally made the night before and it’s usually during the week, when everyone else is as work. Despite being employed full time as a skipper it seems his boss is never around so Mustafa is pretty much a free agent.
Dave the Egret joined us for a 24 hour leg somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic. Obviously tired from flying he decided to take passage on Ocean Indies and earned his keep by staying on anchor watch for the entire time he was aboard. When he parted he left behind a little present for us on the deck.
Expecting an open-armed warm welcome, three men appear on the deck looking a bit perplexed at our arrival, what with our kit and bags. Even an explanation of our presence seemed to confuse the guys on board.
The petrol head from Manchester who now lives in Abersoch, Wales. Dave has owned more cars than I’ve had hot dinners, and he’s owned as many boats as he’s owned cars, so he’s got through more engines than I’ve had hot AND cold dinners. In fact he’s owned so many sea-faring vessels he can even boast to owning a pedalo. Until someone nicked it.
Crew of Voyager, October 2003
A qualified Royal Yachting Association (RYA) offshore yachtmaster, Sam has already crossed the Atlantic a number of times. His piece-de-resistance, however, must have been sailing the original Ramprasad (a traditional open Indian fishing boat made from teak) from India to Australia single handed. Check an Atlas to put into context just how mad this bloke is.