I started sailing rather late in life at the age of 31. I was shopping in one of the famous Dutch grocery shops and after so many times behind the cash register on a wonderful Saturday morning I thought, life must be more that this. In 1990 I decided to look for a floating summer home big enough to accommodate four people. It became a Dufour 27 from 1975. Some “friends” refer to my new boat as a caravan. I was not amused!
My new vessel had the name Taraxacum. I thought it was the name of some Mexican pirate sailor or sea god, but I learned much to my embarrassment that it meant Dandy Lion. Oh well, Taraxacum it was.
But after three years of careful learning, I sailed her to England with a group of student friends. The Dufour 27 proved to be a safe and forgiving boat.
I had the pleasure of introducing sailing to many friends while I was still learning myself. I guess good friends kept up my confidence enough to keep going. So much fun for us all!
Later, in 1996 I bought the Lupa Maris, a fine Dehler 34. With this boat I did my first serious sailing. I sailed her to England, Norway and all the way to the North Cape! I was always amazed by her seaworthiness. Really fantastic sailing.
In 2005 I bought a sturdy aluminum Dick Zaal design. A Fulmar 38 which was named ‘Fram”. How appropriate. It is Norwegian and refers to the boat which Nansen drifted with in the ice to the North Pole. I proved a good name for this boat for I sailed her single handed to Spitsbergen. After the summer of 2011, I sold the Fram back to her former owner, ready for him to sail her to new destinations.
Of course, I real sailor cannot live without a boat. Just a few months later I bought a 30 year old Victoire 1200. A fantastic boat build of GRP, material I am so used to. I named her appropriately after the Norwegian Cost Guard vessel SENJA, who assisted me out of an ice field during my adventure in Spitsbergen. The Senja is overhauled completely with new engine, sails, rigging and structural improvements, together with many new instruments.