|Barge Vitesse was all mine but only for two hours...|
The handover went smoothly and by midday the following day I was owner of 82 tonnes of 1922 riveted steel. Barge Vitesse was mine and how I was going to convert her now preoccupied my mind. Unfortunately, the shipyard's mind was on holidays! Barge Nilaya was already back afloat by the time I'd driven from Groningen and I had just two hours in which to throw my things aboard before the gates of the yard were locked for a three week vacation shut down. I couldn't believe that I wouldn't even be able to spend one night aboard! Gazing through the locked shipyard gates, I decided to use the 'down time' productively by returning to the UK, undertake some training on boats leading to British ICC certification for a 24 metre vessel, to sell my trusty camper van and from weeds at the end of Dad's garden extract a very aging and all but overgrown Peugeot 205 I still owned.