I wanted more

I wanted more

I wanted more

4 June 2020

In the past weeks Alice, Liz, Richard and Richard Down have told us their favorite memories on board of the OOSTERSCHELDE. Today, Jan ten Dam tells us more about his experiences on board. He is quite experienced already as he joined us on 21 trips since 2003!

In 2003 I received a fantastic gift from my wife: a daytrip with the Oosterschelde from Scheveningen. She knows that I would have liked to go to sea in the past. This daytrip was my first acquaintance with this beautiful ship. What an experience it was! I looked my eyes out and Captain Jip must have gone crazy of all my questions.

Promptly I wanted to make more, or a sailing trip on the high seas. Days in a row at sea aboard the Oosterschelde that became my goal. To try it out I booked the voyage Amsterdam – Brest in July 2004.

Partly due to the very changing weather conditions it was a beautiful voyage, which also quickly brought disappointment. Just on our way to Dover we had to enter the harbour for a day. I hadn’t come on board for that, so they couldn’t get meoff with a stick.

The ‘mile-maker’ turned out to be the true type of voyage for me. Just water, water and water for days, watching the weather develop and occasionally a cargo ship in sight. So I made several longer trips to or from the Mediterranean, and did two trips from Tromsø to Rotterdam in October 2006 & 2008.

The two journeys were very nice, with the northern lights as a special encore. The first time I made a forced stop in Aberdeen, but the second time we went non-stop. Ten consecutive days at sea and a lot of sailing, that’s what I was looking for.

Since 2012 I have made several trips to or from the Cape Verde Islands (Sal). That is a voyage that has two longer stretches. Ideal for me. Enjoying the irregular rhythm of waiting, eating at regular times and taking your sleep when you can.

A memorable trip the first time, because there were only a very limited number of guests/trainees with me then. We were assigned to the crew’s watches, six hours on, six hours off. That took some getting used to and was very tiring in the beginning. But also this turned out to be very tiring. A lot of time to be at the helm (my favourite spot).

Now I am waiting for the program for next winter. If the Oosterschelde will be able to go to the Cape Verde Islands again, then I would like to take the outward or return voyage again. As always, my wife will be my ‘sponsor’ to make that possible. And secretly I hope to make another long ocean crossing in the future.

See you aboard the Oosterschelde!