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Early next morning the eldest crew member (let’s call him Dave) and myself went in to town to do some shopping and get chatting to some very friendly Dutch girls behind the fruit and veg counter, quipping that we’d sailed a long way to sample their melons (you had to be there). Dave was getting a little over-excited at their friendly demeanour so we pushed on back to the boat
With strong gusting winds we found getting out of the pillared berth a real test of lateral thinking. If you imagine the boat tied bow-to, but with three 10ft high wooden pillars down each side of the boat, we were continually blown side on to one set of pillars. With some very careful manoeuvring and pushing against the pillars from all sides we eventually managed to reverse our way out of the mooring back into the main canal – straight into the path of an oncoming barge one way and a container ship the other! Quick! Slam that motor into forwards and get the hell out!