Friday, 8th February 2013 – Stentec Software
About a week ago, following a conversation with the guys on the Stentec stand at Boot 2013, Kim bought some navigational software to cover the Dutch Canals in readiness for our planned Summer Cruise to Amsterdam. All attempts to get it to work on his laptop computer have failed and two e-mails to Stentec have, so far, gone un-answered.
Sunday, 10th February 2013 - Mid-winter Boat Inspection
Decided to take it easy on Saturday morning and caught the 8.20am Shuttle. The drive up to Kortgene was straight forward including a stop at the motorway services for coffee and a pastry. When we got to the marina it was, not surprisingly, bitterly cold and the boat was covered in a combination of snow, ice and hailstones.
We emptied the water out of the dehumidifier things and topped them up with crystals. Kim then had a couple of minor jobs to do and after 10 minutes or so, we were ready to leave. Something that occurred to us, was how potentially dangerous climbing on the boat could be. There was not a soul around, the boat was covered with slushy ice and the water was about freezing - there was a thin layer of ice across the marina! If one of us had fallen in, the consequences don't bear thinking about. Needless to say we were particularly cautious getting on and off as the potential danger was not lost on us at the time. Next year we will take life jackets to wear on the pontoon and boat.
After leaving Kortgene, we decided to visit Bergen Op Zoom which is about 40 minutes drive away. This is a place a little beyond Tholen at the top end of the Oosterschelde. We had thought about going there last summer, but decided on Tholen instead, since the marina at Bergen Op Zoom appeared to be in the industrial part of the town. Indeed, this proved to be the case. However the old part of the town looked attractive enough. What we did find was that the Saturday we chose to visit, they were celebrating Carnival! The town centre was packed with thousands of people all dressed up in some strange sort of costume and they had floats and bands all parading through the town into the market square. Quite a sight!
We didn't hang around too long as it was cold and Wendy is still getting over a particularly nasty bout of flue from a couple of weeks ago. We arrived at De Kroon in Wissenkerke at about 4.00pm and sat in the bar with some apple cake and coffee. As usual the hotel did not disappoint and we had a very nice evening meal and a comfortable night's sleep.
During the evening it started to snow and by the time we went to bed there was a good few centimetres of snow.
Fortunately by the morning it had stopped and was not a problem.
On Sunday we drove back to Calais stopping off at Nieuwpoort and Gravelines, hoping to get some lunch but not really finding what we were looking for. We had a bit of a walk round each place, but again it was far too cold to stay out of the car for long. We finally had a bite to eat at Cité d' Europe and then caught an earlier shuttle than we were booked on, so got home by quarter past five.
We will recommission Emjaytoo at Easter, which is only seven weeks away, so not long. Between now and then we need to pick up the sails and spray hood from Wilkinson Sails at Faversham, arrange to get the gas system overhauled – new rubber hoses will be required and a test certificate – and get the Stentec software working. With various weekends already booked for other things, Easter will soon come round.
Sunday, 17th February 2013 – Shuttle/Ferry Crossings All Booked!
After the various cock-ups last year as a result of not booking crossings in time, we have, this year, got ourselves properly organised. We have sat down this afternoon and booked every single crossing for the coming season, all the way up to November’s decommission!
They are mostly Shuttle crossings, but even this early in the year, some of the Shuttle crossings we wanted were not available, so we had to resort to the ferry (P & O Ferries). But, the most important thing is, they are all booked! Our whole coming season is mapped out!
Footnote on the Stentec front – still no response! Several more e-mails sent. Have they gone bust?
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