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Sunday, 1st June 2014 - A Weekend In The Car Park!

Since Emjaytoo is out of the water, this weekend was all about boat cleaning.

We thought we would have a more relaxed start than usual, so booked a twenty past eight Shuttle. Needless to say we woke up at our usual time, so had plenty of time in hand. With this extra time, we left home a bit earlier than we might otherwise have done, so that Kim would be able to get his bacon roll & coffee at the Shuttle terminal. If you remember, Kim was cheated out of them last aturday, because it was so busy and we didn't have enough time. So this time, we got to the Shuttle with time to spare, only to get waved straight through, on to an earlier shuttle than we were booked on and Kim missed out on his bacon roll & coffee again. Of course the flip side was that we got to the marina earlier than we expected, in fact we did the journey, door to door, in about three and a half hours.

The weather was ideal for cleaning & polishing the topsides – warm, dry, but not blazing sunshine. Wendy had some translation work to do, so settled down in the saloon with her laptop whilst Kim got stuck in to the cleaner and polish. By the end of the afternoon he had completed one side and the transom and was well on target for the weekend.

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Saturday night was another visit to the Boot Café and another excellent, well priced meal. The Boot Café could become a new favourite!

Sunday saw the job completed and since we were on the 09.36pm (local time) shuttle from Calais, we had plenty of time to enjoy the day. The weather was, by comparison to Saturday, scorching and we were sad when we had to leave. Even a weekend in the car park, 10 foot in the air is special – when it’s Holland!

Sunday, 8th June 2014 – You Can't Win Them All!

The forecast for this weekend was all over the place, anything from gale force winds (Weather-on-Line) to scorching sunshine and little wind (Windfinder). The reality was we got a bit of everything, although not quite gale force winds. It seems most of the Dutch & Belgians were optimistic and so given that this weekend was a three-day holiday for them, the place was packed. Our departure from the berth was assisted by some westerly breeze and we go out without a load of shuffling back and forwards.

Out on the water the wind was against us, being westerly and as we couldn't be bothered with a load of short tacking we motored up to the Bad Hotel keeping an eye out for a suitable overnight stop, but everywhere was crowded. As we turned at the Bad Hotel what had started out as a rather dull day with little breeze turned into a still, sunny afternoon. We decided to anchor just up from the Goudplaat (which is still under reconstruction) for a swim and to wait and see if some space became free on the Harringvreter. We anchored in what we thought was about 2.0m and Kim leapt in. Well actually, he carefully lowered himself in! Kim then discovered that whilst the keel and the depth sounder might have been in water 2.0m deep, just behind and to the landward side the water was shallow enough for him to stand on the bottom. Then he started to realise that the wind was shifting and getting up in strength. Where we were anchored was starting to turn into a lee shore so we decided to move whilst we still had the option, as indeed did another boat anchored just behind us.

As the time was getting on, we decided to forego anchoring again and go straight for a mooring. The unattached jetty at the Haringvreter would have had space if the boats already there, had parked a bit more thoughtfully, but as it was we had to continue on to find another mooring. As we came through the channel from Kamperland to Veere, we saw that there was very little on the western side of the Haringvreter, as is often the case as it tends to be rather exposed and it's a long walk to the toilets.

By now the wind had freshened quite suddenly making for an interesting arrival. There was already a boat on the windward side of the jetty so we had to go onto the leeward side with the wind blowing quite strongly across our beam. It took Wendy 3 attempts to set Kim down safely on the jetty. As it turned out the leeward side was the better, as shortly after we arrived the other boat had to leave as he was being bashed against the jetty.

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The evening was spent in the normal manor and as usual the sunset over Veere didn’t disappoint.

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On Sunday morning as we were getting ready to leave, a friendly couple came over to chat to us and after talking for some time, we established that we have mutual friends in Veere and that he is one of the KNRM (lifeboat) crew in Veere. Will be embarrassing if we ever need to call them out! As there was virtually no wind, the departure easy enough, but the trip back to Kortgene was just two hours motoring. But the sun shone, so it was okay. Back at Delta Kim tried yet another method of backing Emjaytoo in to her berth. This consisted of reversing up to one of the piles, getting a line round the pile and then reversing against the line to pivot the boat round the pile. It sort of worked and we got in okay. But there was no wind and we did seem to make a bit of meal out of it!

All in all an enjoyable weekend but not one of the best.

Saturday, 21st June 2014 – Kate Gets A Step Closer To Launch

As we were having a weekend at home to catch up on the mundane tasks that have to be done round the house and garden, Kim grabbed the opportunity to go up to Conyer Creek and try and get Kate ready for launching. Wendy prepared Kim a flask of coffee and lunch so he could make the most of the day.

By 5.00pm he had got the mainsail and gaff rigged and swapped Kate's winter cover for her summer cover. The difference between the covers is that the winter one covers more of the boat and requires fitting from off the boat, therefore not suitable when she is in the water; the summer cover is intended to be used when she is in her berth.

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All we have to do now is sort out a date to have her craned into the water, the rest of the rigging can be done from on board when she is in her berth.

Sunday, 29th June 2014 – The Veerse Meer Still Holds Surprises

It has been three weeks since we last came over to Emjaytoo and despite the weather forecast looking decidedly “iffy” during the week, we were keen to get back on board again. At least that's Kim's official version. The reality is that after such a stressful few weeks at work, for 2 penneth he would have happily stayed at home, but it was Wendy who was keen to come back. However, after barely 5 hours' sleep, even she wasn't quite so keen on Saturday morning and could easily have been persuaded to stay in her nice, warm bed! In the end, though, we were on the 7.20 Shuttle as planned and were both glad we had made the effort as the weather in Kortgene was quite benign and we were really happy to be back on the boat.

Kim first went to see Ad at the Service Centre as the invoice had arrived from the marina during the week for the lift-out and antifouling but made no mention of replacing the anodes, one of which, on the sail drive unit, had been in a particularly sorry state. Ad said he would check if it had been done and if there was any doubt, the marina would lift her to check at no expense to us. We will still have to pay for the anode but not the lift out.

Once on the water, we found the westerly wind not favourable to sailing – too much short tacking, so we motored as far as the Bad Hotel, then put the sails up. The wind had been quite lively whilst we were motoring and we then enjoyed some pretty good reaches up to Kamperland. We got as far as Oostwatering, then the wind started to die away and it even threatened to rain. We turned round and sailed back past Veere. Kim then decided we would go and investigate the Mosselplaat.

We stayed on the Schutteplaat which is next door, back in 2006 when we had Maggie Jane, but had not been to either since. Not sure why not really, probably because it is quite close to Veere and is always really busy and partly because we had some concerns about depth (the chart says 1.1 to 2.2m). Well, we can forget about the depth as there is 2.7m on the outer jetty, on the south side and we were later told by someone on the inner jetty, who draws 1.6m, that the depth there was 2m. Perhaps because the forecast was not that great, it was pretty quiet on the Veerse Meer and there was plenty of space on the Mosselplaat.

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It was really nice to find that after eight years we can still find new places in the Veerse Meer! Mosselplaat is one of the larger islands and offered an interesting walk with views of Veere.

Our evening was spent wining and dining in the cockpit, although we did need fleeces and it tried to rain a couple of times. In spite of the overcast conditions, the light made for some excellent photos

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in fact by Sunday morning we found that we had already taken 97 photos between us!

Early Sunday morning we had a short sharp shower, but by the time we had finished breakfast the cockpit had dried out. The wind had moved round to the north during the night so we enjoyed a run down to the Bad Hotel under genoa only. As we were then going to harden up onto a beam reach we decided to get the main up. Sunday was a good bit breezier than Saturday and we had a really great sail back to Kortgene. Kim suggested that we not worry about what time our shuttle was booked for but just take our time, enjoy the day and get whatever shuttle we could.

As we entered the marina Wendy felt decidedly sorry for Kim as he was faced with trying to manoeuvre Emjaytoo backwards into her berth in what was still a fresh breeze! It didn't go quite according to plan but it was nevertheless a success and we learnt a few more lessons for the future. The new berth requires Kim to helm the boat rather than Wendy as the person at the back of the boat not only has to drive the boat, but also has to leap about trying to keep her centred in her box. This entails using the boat hook to pull & push the stern whilst at the same time steering and controlling the throttle. He was assisted by a fellow berth holder who came and took the stern line. These days we don't decline a hand when parking the boat!

After a leisurely lunch in our sun trap of a cockpit, we cleared the boat and left by about 3.30pm, about an hour later than we should have done, given our 6.20pm shuttle booking. However, we decided that as we were having such a good time there was no need to rush and we would take our chances with a later crossing. In the end we pulled into the Folkestone terminal about 40mins later than planned, eager for the next trip.

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