We were moored up in Falmouth and had taken the sails in to be repaired, so it was obvious that we would be spending some time in Falmouth. This didn’t add to the growing tension that was occurring aboard Voyager, so when Tim and Jason’s parents came down to visit they were glad of the break. I stayed on the boat to appease Paul who was showing increasing signs of frustration and short-temperedness at being stuck in Falmouth for so long. Maybe if we’d have called in for one night and left we’d all be well on our way to the Canaries by now, but this wasn’t to be.
I guess the slowly building tension between Paul and Tim was accelerated by the fact that Tim had accidentally punctured the tender whilst trying to tie it up to a rusting ladder by the harbour wall. An accident that could have happened to anyone I guess, but the fact it was Tim did not help his cause.
I spent the evening with Paul on Saturday night on the boat, whilst Jason and Tim went ashore and made the most of the large percentage of young ladies in Falmouth (due mainly to the art college). This gave Paul and myself time to hang out and chat and in all it was a pleasant evening, but soon the conversation turned to Tim. The skipper was adamant that he would be chucked off the boat because he felt that he couldn’t act sensibly and that he would, at some point, put our lives in danger.
The fact that Tim had far more experience in both sailing and navigating on open waters was obviously irrelevant. Neither did it occur to Paul that he himself was putting our lives in more danger by having no night lights on the compass! It was becoming clear that the skipper had some issues and I’m not a psychologist so I didn’t want to get involved in this but Tim was a good mate and I couldn’t stand to hear the skipper talk about him in this way. I tried persuading the skipper to have a rethink about his decision, that Tim was an excellent crew member who worked well as a team with Jason and me, but Paul appeared to have made up his mind already and, hey, he’s the boss and I’m just the galley slave.
On top of this tension came the weird revelation that actually Jason was a really good bloke and was an excellent member of the crew. After weeks of slagging him off the skipper had now decided that Jason was an essential member of the crew. The guy had spent the last few days getting covered in oil and taking both the engine and water filter apart and was up until 2am sorting that water filter out. He must have put in well over 12 hours work that day, so I should bloody well hope he’s a good crew member.
On Sunday we hooked up with the others on land and spent a couple of hours in a couple of pubs, but the skipper just couldn’t relax. He appeared to be constantly on edge and every ten minutes he told us that we had to get back to the boat. Don’t ask me why, it was a Sunday evening and there was nothing to get back to the boat for, unless he wanted us to start scrubbing the underside of the boat or something. When we finally left the pub the skipper then suggested we go to the Oyster Festival! What happened to getting back to the boat?? As it was the festival had finished for the evening so we headed back to Voyager.
When we got on board Jason helped himself to a beer, which Paul took from him and put back in the fridge. “Where’s my beer gone?” Jason asked. “I’ve put it back in the fridge”, Paul replied. Well, I think you can guess where this one’s going. Before we knew it a huge argument ensued and the skipper was once again screaming at the top of his voice and speaking to Jason as if he were five. Jason, who had for weeks been bottling up the constant abuse he’d been receiving off Paul, had had enough. In short he told the skipper where to go and before we knew it Jason was to pack his bags and get off the boat first thing in the morning.
Jason, Tim and I retired to our cabins shortly after this incident and I’ve never heard someone say the word ‘cock’ so many times! Jason was livid, and rightly so. He’d put up with constant abuse and condescending comments since the moment he stepped on the boat and never once complained, so to be treated in this way was appalling. Tim and I sat in silence for half an hour whilst Jason got things off his chest. At the end of his monologue it was clear what Tim and I had to do.