Sunday, 3rd June 2012 - Escaping The Jubilee!
We had planned a long weekend away some time ago, but didn't book the crossing sufficiently early enough, so the earliest crossing we could get was 13.45 on the Saturday. As it turned out this was quite good as Jim (Kim's eldest son) came down by train on the Friday night and we were all glad of a leisurely start in the morning. The weather forecast for Saturday was to be quite pleasant, but for Sunday, to be breezy with a lot of rain. We had hoped to go to Zierikzee but the thought of beating to windward in pouring rain was not very appealing. Oh, and the forecast temperatures were only 10 degrees. What a change from last weekend!
Wendy suggested that instead of just sitting holed up in the marina, if we could get to an island Saturday evening, we could hole up there and wait 'til Monday, when the forecast was a lot better, to head back to the marina. So, having arrived at the boat at about 17.00 we were away by 17.45. The intention was to go to the Goudplaat, but there was not a lot of wind and it was cooling down quite quickly, so when we found the jetty at the Zandkreekplaat vacant we decided that was far enough to go, especially as by then it was past 19.00. Wendy put Kim on the jetty very neatly, but with only rings to thread the mooring lines through, Kim had difficulty getting the boat secured properly before the wind started to blow it off. Eventually Wendy got close enough at the stern for Jim to step off and between them they got the rest of the boat alongside.
The evening just about hung on to the sunshine and there was an interesting cloud obscured sun set.
We were even able to sit in the cockpit with a beer for a while.
During the night the wind got up and the rain started. By the morning the weather was pretty foul!
Sunday was spent just chillin' (well with a temperature of just 10 degrees - what else!) We did manage a walk around the island.
We then switched the TV on and caught the beginning of CNN's coverage of the Queen's River Pageant (in English) which we then spent the whole afternoon watching. Wendy then fired up the oven to roast a chicken in a slightly ambitious plan to do a full Sunday roast. At this moment Kim decided to go on line and get an up to date weather forecast for Monday. Whereas previously Monday mornning had been forecast to be dry with less wind, and thus our window of opportunity for a dry return, it was now showing rain and strong winds the same as Sunday. As the wind had dropped right off and it wasn't actually raining, we made a snap decision to head back to Delta marina - complete with chicken in oven continuing to cook. Well, the chicken didn't really continue to cook as the gas bottle ran out! Fifty-four minutes later we were tied up in the marina.
Once the gas bottle was changed over, the chicken continued to cook, filling the boat with the wonderful aroma of roast dinner. It turned out a treat - roast chicken, roast potatoes, four veg, stuffing & gravy!
A really embarrassing situation then became apparent for Kim. After we were tied up, Wendy asked Kim, "Where did you leave the car?". Kim looked up to see the car parked in the unloading bay! He'd been in such a hurry to depart on Saturday evening that after unloading the car, he'd forgotten to move it to the car park. What is really embarrassing, is that last weekend, we (well Wendy), complained to the marina staff about someone who parked their car in the unloading bay!
Tuesday, 5th June 2012 – Back Home
If we'd been in any doubt about returning to Delta on the Sunday night, Monday morning's weather firmly vindicated our decision. The wind was howling and it lashed down with rain. The thought of having had to return to Delta in that, made us positively shiver.
After a leisurely start we headed over to the marina office so Kim could go and apologise for his parking faux pas! We also got the new WiFi log in details and our new swipe cards. We then headed off to the Mediamarkt where Kim wanted to get a new Dutch mobile internet dongle so we can access the internet when we are away from free WiFi, without having to pay the ridiculous international roaming charges.
On the way back we stopped at the Lekkerbek to treat Jim to the delights of chicken saté, frites and frite-sauce.
Once back on board we settled in to watch Dutch TV's live coverage of the Jubilee Concert from the Palace. It has been quite noticeable how much live coverage of the Jubilee there has been on Dutch TV. By the time it finished it was pretty much time for bed, especially as we had an early start Tuesday morning.
We were away by 09.00 and got a slightly earlier Shuttle than we were booked on, so Jim caught an earlier train back to Leamington and we got home early as well. All in all, a brilliant weekend. Okay, so the sailing wasn’t that great, but we got to spend 24 hours on the Zandkreekplaat, Wendy cooked a superb Sunday roast on board, we got back to Delta without any mishap, we didn’t get wet and we didn’t get particularly cold. We got see quite a lot of the Jubilee celebrations on the television, we got to visit the Mediamarkt and we got to have lunch at the Lekkerbek. What more can you ask for?
To catch up on a few other things, on Friday Kim called the marina to enquire after the fridge and was told it had been replaced with a new unit, so we had a fully functioning fridge, or as Ad put it, ‘You can bring your beer!’
Kim’s earlier faux pas with regard to the parking was caused by us being in too much of a hurry to get away on Saturday evening. This morning’s departure must have been a bit too hurried as well, since when we got home it dawned on us that we had left on board the boat a partly drunk bottle of wine, a partly eaten white chocolate and strawberry cake, a partly used cauliflower and a large potato! Our next visit is not for another two weeks and it will be interesting to see what condition these items are in when we return - especially the cauli!
Sunday, 17th June 2012 – The Haringvreter With Clint
If the weather forecasts during the week were to be believed, Kim would never have gone over to the boat.
However, he decided not to be put off and headed over Saturday morning with his friend Clint. After stopping off at the chandlery to pay the bills for the replacement fridge and the lift-out/anti-fouling (ouch, wasn’t that expensive!), they arrived on the boat at about 12.30 hrs.
Half an hour later, they were heading off down the Veerse Meer with 15 – 20 knots of wind on the nose, so were motoring all the way. At the Bad Hotel, they could have put the sails up, but by that point the wind was pushing 25 knots and Kim figured they might just as well motor up to the Haringvreter and get secured for the evening. The approach to the jetty went well and the only difficulty arose when they tried to “walk the boat” along the jetty to finally tie it up! The wind was howling by this stage and doing its best to push the boat off the jetty. Eventually, everything got sorted out.
Kim showed Clint around the island and they were lucky to have a reasonably close encounter with the deer.
As it was so windy the island was very quiet. The western side was totally deserted, as it was taking the full force of the wind with no shelter to offer.
And there weren’t too many boats in the main harbour on the sheltered side.
Wendy had sent them over with a pre-prepared Beef Bourguignon so they ate in style without the hassle of too much food preparation.
Sunday morning the wind was supposed to ease a bit, but they left too early and it hadn’t yet happened, the result was that they had a superb run back under genoa only, getting in excess of 6 knots.
The arrival back in the berth at Delta was not helped by the wind, which even in the shelter of the marina was blowing sideways at 12 knots plus! But they got the boat back in its berth without touching the Bene next door, so that was okay.
After clearing the boat away they headed back to Calais to catch the Shuttle. Kim had booked the 19.36 Shuttle and they were back some 3 hours ahead of that. The earliest crossing they could get was 18.36 which was going to give them a couple of hours to wait. But on this occasion Kim’s luck with the Shuttle was definitely “in” and he managed to slip past all the “Jobsworths” and get on the 16.36 crossing. So despite the forecast (or maybe because of it) they managed to have a great weekend.
As a footnote, the potato survived okay, but the cauli had rather stunk the boat out.
Friday, 29th June 2012 – This Weekend
The forecast looks good for the weekend - south-westerly 3 to 4, a bit of cloud, lots of sun and 21 degrees. The water temperature is getting up around 20 degrees, so should be on for a swim! Shuttle over tomorrow morning at 07.20hrs.
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