When the war ended we returned to Belgium. Like my father and grandfather before me, I was a shrimp fisherman but it was not the same there. In 1951, I heard about a small fleet of seven ships setting off for Argentina. It looked like a good opportunity to see the world for a year or two so I went with the fleet as an engineer on one of the boats. By chance, we had to put in at Brixham while sheltering from bad weather so I was able to visit old friends - that was in November 1951.
It took us 73 days to arrive in Mar del Plata*, in Argentina.because of various problems with the engine of one of the boats. I had always planned to return to Belgium after a couple of years. I knew my wife as a Belgian schoolgirl in Brixham, then after the war we lived in the same neighbourhood in Belgium Her father was the chief engineer of a Fishing company that had emigrated. I met her again when she returned to Argentina where we married in 1953, and we all went back to Belgium in 1954. My father-in-law was later recalled by the owner of the Fishing Company because the firm was in a mess on the engineering side. In 1956, I went back to Argentina once more and went to the Maritime College to study navigation. Meanwhile my daughter had been born. So in 1955, I was back in Dippe and saw the place where that bomb had dropped in 1940. It had never exploded and there was only a small repaired scar to mark where it had fallen.
We Belgians were the founders of the Argentine deep sea fishing fleet, exploring the oceans around South America from Brazil to the Falkland Islands. Eventually, I became skipper of the same boat and later I was to be captain of other ships. I also have a son who is a captain - he is the fourth generations of my family to become a fisherman but now I am retired after 1312 voyages as a captain and 36 years of service.
*Today one of Argentina's premier beach resorts.