Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sneek peek

Despite what I said yesterday, tonight we are on municipal moorings in Sneek, although on the edge of town with an excellent view of a car park rather than in the middle.

We are taking the standing-mast route across Friesland. It's not very speedy because it goes under a lot of lifting bridges and it also goes round in some rather random loops to avoid fixed bridges as it gets further north. However today we covered 17 miles in the general direction of Denmark, mostly sailing with just the jib, on a day when the IJsselmeer would have been grim and the North Sea utterly horrible. It has rained most of the day, on and off, it's cold and it has been gusting up to 18 knots or so.

We last visited Sneek in our Winkle Brig, which was a gaff-rigged trailer-sailer, 18 years ago when Ben was just four months old. We launched it from the De Domp marina on the north side of town, and the owners were really helpful and brought us cups of tea with lovely Dutch teaspoons, while we struggled with rigging the Winkle Brig in the hot sunshine, and dealing with a three-year-old and a baby. The Winkle Brig was just nine inches deep with her centreboards up, but nowadays we draw 5ft 6in and sadly we can't get into De Domp to see if they remember us.

That was a memorable holiday. At one point it rained hard without stopping for 36 hours, which is tough for two adults and two very small children on a 17ft boat. On the other hand with our tiny draft and lowering mast we could visit a lot of Friesland which we won't see this time around. I'm not even sure if we will recognise anywhere. But it's nice to be here, and hot sunshine is promised for tomorrow....

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