A dingy sailor’s char­ter

Yachting Monthly - - YACHT CHARTER - By Jonathan New­bury

As many young Aus­tralian doc­tors did in the 1980s, I worked in the Bri­tish Na­tional Health Ser­vice for a while and hol­i­dayed in Europe in a VW camper van. My sail­ing ex­pe­ri­ence was mostly in dinghies but I had am­bi­tions to sail yachts, so my girld­friend Wendy and I char­tered a boat in Greece with friends.

We parked our camper van at a Lon­don hospi­tal near Gatwick and flew to Greece where I spent two weeks be­ing re­spon­si­ble, if not neu­rotic, about look­ing af­ter the boat. I rit­u­ally awoke in the night to check that we hadn’t dragged an­chor. There was but one mo­ment of ter­ror, when I awoke and looked out to find us sur­rounded by trees and street lights. In a panic, I jumped up and shouted to Wendy, ‘Quick, get out of bed. We’ve dragged!’

It was only then that she pointed out my er­ror: the hol­i­day had, in fact, ended the day be­fore and we were now back in our camper van af­ter our flight home and were parked in the hospi­tal grounds.

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