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Saturday, 28th December 2013 – Review Of The Year

So another year goes by – our seventh with Emjaytoo and we have experienced a bit of the “seven year itch”, but more of that later!

January has always been “the Boat Show”, but this year it was “the Boat Shows”. In addition to the London Boat Show at Excel, we went to Boot 2013 in Dusseldorf. The London show was the same, somewhat disappointing affair, but it was a pleasant day out and we met up with our friend Andy. Dusseldorf on the other hand was brilliant! We had a two day ticket and booked an hotel for the Saturday night. The drive over Saturday morning was a bit fraught due to the heavy snow and at one point Kim was wondering if it was such a good idea! But we got there just after lunch and had a great time. There were so many boats – halls just full of boats! And everyone spoke English, even when Wendy tried to speak German; she was met with blank stares! Well, the vast majority of the exhibitors were not German, so English was the common language!

In February, our trip to Wissenkerke coincided with Carnival, so after a cursory inspection of the boat we headed off to Bergen Op Zoom, where despite the sub-zero temperatures, thousands of people had taken to the streets to celebrate Carnival. By the time we got to De Kroon in Wissenkerke there was a thick blanket of snow making for a real winter-wonderland atmosphere. The trip back home on Sunday was okay despite the snow.

Easter was early this year - the end of March and whilst we dutifully took all the gear back and re-commissioned Emjaytoo, it was bitterly cold and we wondered when we might actually get the season off to a start. There then followed a couple of non-sailing trips – one for Kim to clean the boat (the jet-wash again proving what a brilliant job it does removing all the winter grime) and fit a battery monitor; and a weekend staying in the marina. The early May Bank Holiday proved a bit cold and windy on the Saturday, but then picked up considerably on the Sunday and eventually we got the season started.

At the end of May we set off for our “Summer Cruise”. This was different to all previous cruises in two respects – firstly, it was very early in the year; and secondly we went for two weeks. The intention was to cruise the inland waterways to Amsterdam. We didn’t make it to Amsterdam, but we did get to Haarlem (albeit, by train!). We paid the price, weather-wise, for going so early in the year, but overall we had a great time and are planning two weeks again next year, albeit much later in the year.

By late July summer had finally arrived and we did have some pretty good weekends. Then in September we had our now customary camping trip in France and this is when the “seven year itch” manifested itself. Having enjoyed our camping holiday we started to re-examine the philosophy behind owning a 31-foot cruising yacht in the Netherlands. Some internet research into various alternative recreational ideas – campervans, trailer tents, holiday cottages, a small boat kept locally etc. then followed. Kim even went off to boat show no. 3 - the Southampton Boat Show - to look at alternative boats to keep in England!

In early October we had, what turned out to be, our last trip as later in the month the weather was not very nice and before we knew it, we were clearing the boat for the winter.

Now as the year ends, we are still pondering the future of Emjaytoo.

A photo to sum up the year?

 photo 4520485238_d463b7fc02_z_zps5fe00883.jpg

A bit tongue in cheek!

In conclusion, the year didn’t seem to feature many trips to the boat, our fortnight’s holiday and a few other trips is all we can really remember despite the fact that we actually spent more nights on board and logged more miles on Emjaytoo than we did the previous year. Oh well, next weekend we are off to the London Boat Show and that will, no doubt, whet our appetites for the coming season!

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