Friday, June 24, 2011

Lemmer nice

There's a tradition in the Netherlands of mooring up in the middle of town. This can be a very pleasant option, or it can mean rafting up to seven boats deep, with a busy road along the harbour and lots of loud and friendly people a few feet away or trampling over your boat. Consequently we often look for a quieter option just out of the town centre. We do however feel slightly guilty that we are not entering into the spirit of Dutch sailing.

We are currently in Lemmer, which is basically a large village with a canal through the centre and at least 10 marinas. In France this would never be permitted, a single municipal or centralised authority would control the whole lot. But the Dutch believe deeply in free enterprise. I think we are in Jacht Haven Lemmer, but it was really a question of finding a free hammerhead where we could easily tie up and find some kind of harbourmaster.

The iJsselmeer likes to remind innocent sailors that it is not a sheltered lake but a proper sea, capable of being scary. We left Enkhuizen in sunshine and a light breeze but with a very dark cloud approaching. As the cloud approached it brought 20 knots of wind, from almost astern. We logged more than 9 knots on the log before deciding that discretion was the better part of valour and lowering the mainsail. Under jib alone our speed dropped to around 6.5 knots and the squall gradually overtook us, bringing lots more nice rain to wash the decks again.

Two successes though. Sam has encapsulated the starboard cockpit speaker in three layers of expensive American anti-magnetic insulation (plus about 10 layers of gaffer tape) and the autopilot now works. Also our even more expensive boom brake did an excellent job of preventing jibes.

Lemmer is a curious place. We found a Lidl, next to it a Super de Boer, and next to that an Aldi. It's not often you find a town with a supermarket quarter.

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