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27th November 2008 - Packing Away In The Snow

Despite the abysmal weather forecast of high winds and rain, we caught the only available shuttle, which was at 6.05 on the Saturday morning. We arrived at the marina at about 10.30 having stopped for breakfast en route, but as the weather was not conducive to taking the boat out, we headed off by car to Westkapelle on the coast for lunch and a walk along the beautiful beach.

Saturday night we snuggled down with the fan heater on full belt and watched a film.

Because our return shuttle was not until 9 pm, we had a leisurely start on Sunday before starting to clear stuff out of the boat and load the car. The process started well then what had been forecast as rain, turned into snow - and lots of it! By this stage we had taken both the sails off and although the genoa had been loaded into the car, the main was laid out on the foredeck slowly getting covered in snow.

Eventually we got everything in the car and just about managed to cram the snow-sodden main in on top, with one end between the two front seats, dripping onto Wendy's lap!. By now it was 3.00 pm, the temperature was 0 degrees and there was about 2 inches of snow on the road - very pretty but not the easiest of driving conditions.

We cautiously made our way up to the main road, but that was thick with snow. Progress was slow and even the Dutch motorways were no better, in spite of the snow ploughs. As a result, the first half of the journey all the way to the E40 motorway in Belgium was done at about 25 mph in thick snow. Thereafter the weather and the roads improved and by the time we got to France things were completely normal and the temperature was up to the dizzy heights of 7 degrees! As it turned out, it was very fortunate that our shuttle back was not until 9.00pm.

All we need to do now is to find a home for all the gear until the spring. It's going to be a long winter.


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