In the afternoon we felt we should get Sam off the boat, as we had been awarded the disabled berth with an alongside pontoon. There were eight steps up to the road but Sam managed those in fine style. In the way of Dutch towns on a Saturday afternoon almost everything closes at 1730, but before we managed a nice wander around the very pretty centre of Middelburg, an icecream, and a chance to watch a bizarre sport something like five-a-side trampoline volleyball, played on a giant bouncy castle with a net in the middle. Then Sam went for the shower in the disabled access facilities which are wide open with no shelter from the spray, nowhere to put possessions, and have no grab rails. Still, very welcome. The kibbeling had left us very full so in spite of the attractions of the harbour club, which even has a stairlift, we elected to eat on board.
Today the forecast from Windguru gave us westerly winds around 12-15 knots, gusting up to 20 knots, and that's pretty much exactly what we got - plus a mixture of fine drizzle and occasional sunshine. Fortunately most of our route was more or less easterly - up the rest of the canal, wiggling along the Versemeer, and then out through the always slow Zandkreeksluis lock into the Oosterschelde and round to Yerseke. We were able to sail almost all the way, using just the genoa (foresail), and discovered that our Ed Dubois-designed hull is noticeably faster than the older knuckle-bowed Westerly designs, certainly on that point of sail, even though we only have a 110% foresail compared with the original 130% genoa and we had a couple of rolls in it much of the way. The Zandkreeksluis was a bit unpleasant as the wind was blowing us straight in and gusting up to 19 knots, but we got onto a waiting post ok and got into the lock with no more than a slightly skinned knuckle for Camilla.
I'm not quite sure why we are in Yerseke. Apparently it is the Oyster and mussel capital of the Ntherlands so we will sample some tomorrow. The marina is of the very open and slightly bleak type, on the edge of town, and is a bit of a shock after the urban delights of Middelburg. Still, at high water we had a lovely view out over the Oosterschelde. I suspect at low water we will sink into the mud - hopefully we won't fall over as we have a Konsort tied outside us.
Miles today: 22
|Yerseke: the view from the cockpit tent at HW. An hour later, all I can see is concrete sea wall.|