Wednesday, 1st June 2016 – A Dank Day!
And that's not a Dutch word! We woke up this morning to a heavy mist and everything up top soaking wet.
Our idea of yesterday evening that we might go to Zierikzee went out of the window and we proceeded to have a leisurely breakfast in the hopes that the weather would improve. It didn't.
At about 10:00 we decided that the weather was here for the day but we needed to move the boat. Whilst yesterday the Speringplaat jetty seemed a good place to spend the night, it proved to be the wrong place! We had the slappers all night. Okay, we could have turned the boat round, but we thought this morning it was better to just move, so we motored up to the Haringvreter. It was quite breezy, but the wind was on the nose and we still had quite a bit of mist. It was also very wet out, not actually raining but everything was getting soaked.
One strange thing was that the engine exhaust smoked all the way. When Kim opened the throttle right up, clouds of white smoke came out. Once the throttle was eased back the smoke eased off but didn't stop. However, when the engine was ticking over during the mooring, there was no visible smoke.
Just as we started our approach to the Haringvreter attached jetty, it started to rain proper. It then stopped as abruptly as it had started, but by this time we were soaked.
We spent the rest of the day going for a walk, having lunch and generally relaxing. Well, Wendy relaxed, Kim doesn't do relaxing! He gets fidgety and has to find things to amuse himself, which he generally managed, although not without annoying Wendy on occasions (another popular pastime!).
In the evening the wind eased a bit and the sun even tried to break through. We managed to have our beer sat in the cockpit and were visited by a family of black swans.
Unusually, there were only two cygnets. In the past we have seen families with four or five cygnets. Later we had to retreat down below and warm the boat up by cooking the dinner.
Later on we ran the engine for half an hour to charge the battery whilst we were charging computers etc. Again there was no smoke from the exhaust. The engine will require a good check over in the morning and we will see what happens then.
The forecast for tomorrow? Much the same as today with maybe a bit more wind!
Thursday, 2nd June 2016 – Sitting It Out On The Haringvreter.
Today the weather has been, as forecast, horrible! Very windy, up to 30 knots, grey damp/wet, in fact miserable! So we decided to stay put. We did think about moving to De Omloop as it would be more sheltered, but then it is a very small bit of “island” with limited walk potential.
The reason for wanting to move was that whilst we were moored head into the wind and so did not suffer the slappers last night, the howling of the wind kept Wendy awake. The wind is due to subside over night and indeed has shown some signs, this evening, of easing (really! – Wendy).
We had another good walk and the Haringvreter is good for that because it is quite large with the added attraction of the deer.
We then spent the rest of the day reading. Kim actually coped quite well with “relaxing”!
When it came to our evening beer we refused to be beaten, we wrapped up warm and braved the cockpit. Being head to wind, we were able to sit tucked up under the spray hood out of the wind
but after one beer, we had to retreat below. Even so, it is still magical sitting in the cockpit watching the coots, cormorants and other birds going about their daily lives whatever the conditions.
A comment about how cold it is: whilst we have described the weather as cold and to some extent, with maximum daytime temperatures of only 14 -15 degrees the effect of wind chill has made it feel more like about 10 degrees, we have managed to get the saloon up to about 18-20 degrees, so it has not been that uncomfortable. Overnight we have been perfectly warm enough in bed.
Friday, 3rd June 2016 – Back To Delta.
First thing this morning we again had the bright idea of heading up to Zierikze - that is until we looked out of the window! As forecast, the wind had eased in the early hours, but the morning dawned grey, wet, drizzly and murky.
The thought of trying to get to Zierikzee, possibly against a foul tide was less than appealing. So we we decided that Veere might be a better bet. The attractions of Veere were showers, restaurants, mains power and wi-fi. Equally, Delta Marina had all those things to offer as well. When we considered the potential time restraints on Saturday morning, given that we have a ferry to catch Saturday evening, we finally settled on going back to Delta.
Before departing, Kim checked the engine over and could find nothing untoward. Yesterday we had run the engine for a couple of hours to charge the battery with out any white smoke at all. Today the engine performed fine, no white smoke. So what that was all about, who knows?
We actually had a really good sail, both full main and genoa.
The drizzle cleared up and although the wind never really got above 10 knots, it was very pleasant and even when our speed fell to under two knots, we were not concerned about the time, so happily drifted along. Towards the end, when we were off the Pardekreek and our speed dropped below a knot, we finally gave in and switched the engine on. It was also starting to get cold.
When we got to Delta, we stopped off at the fuelling pontoon to fill up on diesel. This was the first lot of fuel we had put in Emjaytoo since October 2014. She only took 30 litres. Says something about how much use we get out of the boat!
By the time we backed in to our berth it was about 3 o'clock in the afternoon and the water was like a sheet of glass – no wind at all. We did a bit of tidying up and managed a beer in the cockpit, but it never really warmed up and later on we were glad to head over to Het Veerhuis for a really excellent meal. We had the special set meal at €27,50 each and it was really good. As we sat in the restaurant, overlooking the water, we could see the gloom descending and by the time we left you could barely see Wolphaartsdijk less than a mile away.
Saturday, 4th June 2016 – A Summer Cruise That Wasn’t.
Saturday was spent generally tidying up and cleaning before setting off back to Dunkirk. Various texts and tweets from DFDS suggested that the traffic was awful around Calais/Dunkirk and we were advised to leave at least 90 minutes for check-in. Just to be sure, we left a load more time and got there really easily without encountering any traffic more than usual and arrived to find the port of Dunkirk deserted. In fact, we would have been in time to get to the 18:00 ferry – if there had been one. As it was, we had a very long wait followed by a very long crossing and walked in the front door at about 9.40 pm, to find that the power had tripped out and we had lost the entire contents of both fridges and freezers, the crowning glory to our early summer cruise!
We should never have built this week up in our minds as some sort of summer cruise for a number of reasons. Firstly, it wasn’t summer! Thereafter, it wasn’t a cruise, it wasn’t a week and it wasn’t anything really!
The week was cut short to five days because of Wendy’s work and the weather was crap. It was mostly grey, damp, wet & murky with either too much or too little wind. In reality, the wind was immaterial because the grey, murky (almost fog) weather meant that we were not inclined to go very far.
Our decision to head back to Delta on Friday was clearly the right one as on Saturday the thick fog never really cleared. That was despite several weather sites forecasting scorching wall to wall sunshine. Had we been heading back home from Veere Saturday morning it would all have been pressure, pressure with poor visibility, no wind and the engine on trying to get back in time to depart on time for the ferry.
As it worked out, Kim was able to spend time cleaning the boat. It was amazing how dirty the topsides were, given that the last time we were over we were cleaning her!
Having been home a day or two and able to reflect on the last couple of weeks it has become clear that we no longer wish to devote the time, energy and money to sailing Emjaytoo. For the last few years our main holiday has been two weeks in France – camping/mobilhome/gite/whatever. The number of trips to Emjaytoo has diminished, we would rather go sailing in Croatia! The reduced trips have, over the last couple of years, become more stressed for various reasons – immigrants, security, cost, crowds and lack of tolerance on our part.
This September we are going to Italy for two weeks with our trailer-tent. If you are serious about owning a yacht, you don’t bugger off to Italy for two weeks’ camping! Next year, we are already drooling over the idea of chartering in the Baltic. Where does Emjaytoo fit in? Clearly, she doesn’t! Sometimes these decisions make themselves when the time is right and sadly that very much seems to be the case now.
Saturday, 25th June 2016 – Cancelled Weekend.
We were supposed to be going over to the boat this weekend, but neither of us were much in the mood and so we changed the crossing to 8th/9th July. Just as well really because the weather is pretty grim. On Thursday the UK went to the polls in a referendum on whether we should leave the EU. After a campaign of blatant lies, some retracted within 24 hours of the polls closing, the leave campaign won! We don’t know a single person who voted to leave, but clearly enough morons were convinced by the lies to vote us out. What the future holds for the UK nobody knows. The immediate effect on currency and shares was catastrophic!
How travelling backwards and forwards to the Netherlands will be affected is another unknown. Yet another nail in the coffin! Of course, we have already decided that this will be our last year. The only good thing is that when we come to sell Emjaytoo in the Netherlands – for euros, the depressed state of the pound will play into our hands
Meanwhile, after a recent flurry of interest in Kate, she still sits up at Conyer Creek going nowhere. As Kim types this he is sat looking at the latest invoice for her storage ashore, money slowly draining away.
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