Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Goodbye to Guy

One small benefit of the horrible weather is that Guy was also unable to set off on his delivery trip from Stellendam. So yesterday, after extensive planning and phone calls, we trotted down to the ferry terminal in Breskens, headed to Vlissingen where we were met by a nice man from Avis, and rented a Corsa for the day. From Breskens it's 115 km to Stellendam by road, via the tunnel under the Westerschelde; from Vlissingen it's only 65km.

Anyway after a couple of unintended laps of Middelburg we made it to Stellendam and saw Guy - hooray! We met his skipper and the mate and took a quick look at the Najad 50 which he'll be crewing - impressive, but stripped down and with every chippable surface covered, to avoid damage. Apparently it took them a whole day to find all the kit they need. It seems not every yacht has its first-aid kit in a first-aid locker, marked First Aid on the outside, as we have on Kalessin. And on some boats, flares can be hidden at the back of a locker in a cabin, not in a waterproof tub in the saloon ready for easy use. Very strange.

Guy and his 50ft Najad (ignore small motorboat in front)
Anyway we had a pleasant, leisurely lunch at the Stellendam clubhouse and headed back, admiring the white horses on the Oosterschelde en route. It was very nice to be in a car rather than a boat on a day with so much wind. We even had time for a trip into Vlissingen after nice Mr Avis dropped us back at the ferry terminal - partly via a solar-powered tram, which was exciting. Vlissingen was pleasant but quiet.

Dutch schoolchildren are now back at school and things are much quieter here - the few children around seem to be German. The main excitement in Breskens is preparation for Breskens Sailing this weekend, together with the erection of a giant scaffold covered in 10ft red plastic penguins. The latter apparently is Art and cost €300,000 from Cracking Art group.

Giant red penguins
And of course we need to find a weather window to cross the N Sea - I'm hoping to speak to Simon Keeling in the next few minutes to get some advice. Guy left this morning and has texted us to say he is off Oostende in the rain - his boat is leaking like a sieve. Hmmm.

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