Saturday, July 25, 2009


We finally left Medemblik this morning with a forecast of W4-5, decreasing to SW3-4 this evening. The forecast was just about accurate and as expected the Ijsselmeer got choppier the further west we headed (with more room for the waves to build up). Once again we were sailing with just the foresail, with quite a few rolls in it, and even that was really more than enough. The water was a particularly repellent shade of slime green and the waves were probably no more than ½ metre, but that's pretty uncomfortable when there's only 2m of water beneath your keel.

Last time we were out on the Ijsselmeer in similar conditions (probably, in retrospect, lighter winds but a similar bumpy sea) we were in a chartered Van de Stadt 27 and Guy was about 16 months old. We sailed from Lemmer to Stavoren and I ended up in a quivering heap on the floor of the saloon clutching Guy and convinced we were going to die. I think I've made a bit of progress since then. When we came to Friesland two years later in our 16ft Winkle Brig and both boys, we didn't even venture out on to the Ijsselmeer but stuck to the Friesian lakes, which seems very wise in retrospect.

This time everything was fine until we approached land – the marina here is not very sheltered from westerlies and Kalessin's modest engine and prop don't do her any favours when making tight turns in a force 5. Mooring up at the reception pontoon, then turning again and heading for our allocated berth, involved lots of screeching (by me) and revving (by the engine). I think it was perfectly reasonable to complain that when Sam says “head up there”, I can't tell where “there” is, because I am squatted down by the throttle control. He says I should know. This is a man who, when things get tough, shouts “pull that rope”. Honestly, sailors have spent hundreds of years evolving names for ropes, why not use them?

Anyway Hindeloopen is very sweet, our first visit to Friesland for many years (Sam has just found the Friesian courtesy flag we bought when we were here in the Winkle Brig in 1993), and the wind is at last (6pm) easing off a bit. Sam has found a replacement pair of sunglasses and a useful spanner for dismantling the diverter valve (loo repair attempt no. 3) in the chandlery. There are even more Germans here than there were in Medemblik and we've only seen one British yacht since Amsterdam. I thought lots of Brits came up here, where are they all?

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