Saturday, June 04, 2011
Safely to Enkhuizen
So here we are in Kalessin's final destination for the time being, Enkhuizen. We could have rushed home today, or tomorrow. But it seems a shame to rush when this is such a pretty place and the weather is gorgeous. And the Sunday trains are quite slow. So we are chilling out and basking in the sunshine. The most recent Navtex forecast says force 5-6 for Thames, but in this sheltered marina it's relatively peaceful and warm.
Yesterday didn't look anything like as promising. The entrance to Edam is extremely narrow and shallow and at 9am, when we started to think about leaving, the north-easterly wind was blowing straight into it, and no yachts were moving. The sky was dark grey, it seemed to be about to rain, and the forecast was for the wind to strengthen. And our passage to Enkhuizen was a straight line dead into the wind.
Eventually a few boats started to move and we gritted our teeth and headed out into the grey Markermeer. The entrance itself was fine but the first few hundred yards of the outer channel were very choppy. After that we got the sails up and tacked out into “deeper” water, i.e. 2 metres under the keel instead of only 1 metre. Upon experimentation it seemed we could make the best course by tacking north, which also took us into more sheltered water in the lee of Hoorn. Then, as is often the way when you're slightly dreading a passage, the sun came out, the wind gradually eased instead of strengthening as promised, and we had a pretty good sail.
Unfortunately Sam was having a grumpy day. It transpired this was because I had mentioned that the solid, steel, expensive motorboats, of which there are many in the Netherlands, must have some advantages because they only draw about half a metre, aren't too high, and can consequently go to lots of places on the Dutch waterways where our mast and keel don't let us venture. In addition I had mentioned a few days before that if he dies and I am still fit enough to go sailing (which is possible given our 16-year age gap) I wouldn't try to sail Kalessin on my own, but instead would sign up for voyages with the Tall Ships trust on Stavros S Niarchos and the Challenger yachts. Sam decided this meant I hate sailing, would rather have a canal boat, and only go sailing to keep him happy. He didn't ask me what I meant though, nor observe that I have planned and arranged this sailing trip to the Baltic with some enthusiasm, nor notice that I had only mentioned sailing rather than motoring in my post mortem plans, he just sulked for the rest of the day. Men, I ask you.
Anyway we are now speaking to each other again and relaxing in the large, solid, well-equipped Buyshaven, which is not only a pleasant marina but also only 100 metres from the station. There's even a jazz festival in the just-audible distance. The only snag is that, in my humble opinion, winds should die down in the evening and allow you to have a quiet night. This one seems to strengthen from about 5pm onwards and shows no signs of disappearing. Tut tut.