November 2011. Palm Beach, Australia.
Peter is 74 years old. He arrived in Australia in 1961 in a cargo ship and he was supposed to stay just for a few months, visiting his sister, and then going back home, to the Netherlands. But plans seldom work out. It was the same in Peter’s case. He was offered a job in Australia, then another one, and somehow what was to be just a few months in Australia turned into 50 years.
Peter has been sailing since he was 6 years old. And he always dreamed of his own yacht. So he decided to build one himself. Sometimes in the 70s he set up a workshop in his own backyard and spend next 38 years constructing a yacht of his dreams. He wanted his yacht to be a large one. And it is huge! It requires a crew of 14 to operate it and can carry up to 27 people. Unfortunately, the dream of having such a large yacht has worked against another of Peter’s dreams – a dream of sailing around Pacific Ocean. It is simply very difficult to gather a team of 14 people, who would be able to work and live together for many months.
But Peter is not giving up his dream. He keeps trying to find his crew. In the meantime, he gathers his family and friends and organises sailing trips around Sydney for them. I was lucky to take part in one of those trips last weekend.