T.S.M.Y. Weller was built in 1947 for the Royal
Navy and used as a supply vessel transporting passengers and goods
to and from the lighthouses along the North Sea coast.
In 1961 she was sold to an English/ British couple who ran cruises
of up to 30 passengers in Scotland. Later they sailed it along the
canals through France to the Mediterranean. She operated here as a
leisure yacht for over 20 years until 1994 when she was again sold
to another Englishman who began on an extensive project to restore
her. After four years of work, his wife wanted to invest in a house
and the ship was once again put up for sale.
Chance led to me and my family finding her while we were on vacation
in Mallorca. We thought the ship was interesting and after a couple
of days of confusion, the agreement was signed.
Some friend of ours travelled to Mallorca to put
the ship in order and sail it to Marseilles, and on the canals
through France. After two strenuous months they found themselves in
Gent in Belgium. The crew was exhausted and I travelled down with a
friend to bring the ship over the North Sea. This was in October,
which made it a risky voyage for the both of us to undertake.
After two days work in Antwerp, we really did the
town before passing the last of about 180 locks and sailed out to
sea from the Netherlands with a south-easterly breeze under perfect
conditions. There were continual repairs so there was not much sleep
on the voyage. After two days on the open sea, the wind came.
The story doesn’t end here, but it almost did. To
be continued, on board…