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Calvin Kent
30th October 2012, 02:23 PM
I recall being on a layby berth in Rotterdam or Antwerp when a Dutch barge tied up alongside us for a couple of days. I was on Buries Markes "La Bahia" a small tanker, eighteen inches freeboard and just back from a round trip to Barranquilla.

The skipper of the Dutch barge had no ticket, no experience, and no sense. He was a Swede who had accumulated his money making blue movies and his "first mate", in every sense, was this rather beautiful woman who had been his main "star". They had purchased the barge and were intending to take it down to the caribbean and trade between the islands and were looking to a couple of us to jump our boat and go with them. This was quite an old barge, single hatch, dominoes, tarps, dingy on single davit and a piano on the poop. Having just done the crossing on a boat that in my opinion shouldn't have been beyond extended hometrade we were never going to sail with this couple but it was a long way to the nearest bar, we were on a river berth somewhere, and they had plenty of ale for the crossing. The skipper was also not too possesive of the mate so we had an excellent social life until we 'fessed up that we wouldn't be joining them for the voyage. They took it surprisingly well and even passed us over a couple of cases of beer when we sailed. I often wonder if they ever found a crew stupid enough to sail with them and whether they ever made it there.

Regards
Calvin

Keith Tindell
30th October 2012, 03:06 PM
Hi Calvin,
I dont know if you have been watching BBC 4, and Timothy Spall, his wife and the barge Princess Matilda, but there are another 4 episodes starting tonight at 1930hrs. Quite entertaining, and amazing how they survive sometimes, regards KT

Calvin Kent
30th October 2012, 03:19 PM
Thanks for that Keith, I've set it to record. Going by the name I assume there was a previous series so I will check I-player and hope I'm not too late.

Regards
Calvin