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TAXI TO THE NORTH SEA:
Although a number of small fishing and leisure boats often sailed out to the Caroline ship, the main tender left every couple of weeks from Dunkirk in France, usually subject to the seas being less than gale force ... but not always!
It was a ship called the Bellatrix, almost as big as the Ross Revenge itself. We left on the tail end of a gale and following a bumpy journey to the Knock Deep we dropped anchor a few hundred yards away from my new home.
In calm seas the supply ship tied up to the stern of the radio ship and it was "just " a case of stepping from one ship to the other, but on this occasion the storm was still blowing out so the transfer involved a commando style crossing in a rubber boat. I arrived onboard soaked to the skin after hanging precariously from a broken rope ladder while three waves broke over me. I was very wet and very cold. I made my way to the mess room radiator and wondered if I'd made a wise move.
MY NEW HOME:
The arrival of the tender was always a time of frantic activity with crew changes, new supplies to be stowed onboard and fuel and water supplies to be replenished, eventually I was allocated a cabin and after a change of clothes and a good meal I soon settled into life on a pirate radio ship. The fact that I'd nearly drowned and nobody cared wasn't a personal thing, it's just that things had to be prioritised and drowning was looked upon as an inconvienience.
It was decided that dispite having no proper previous radio experience I was to take care of the afternoon show, starting at 1pm the following day, but first I had a quick lesson on the studio equipment. I had to wait until after midnight when, on Monday mornings, the radio station closed down for maintainence.
TWO GREAT VIDEOS
Videos from Jan Veldkamp of Radio Monique, also broadcasting from the Caroline ship: A pleasant journey in a small boat on a Sunday afternoon - transferring from the Bellatrix to the Ross Revenge and the second video shows a visit from the Laser crew on a much calmer day.