Monday, 7th November - Clearing Away
This year, as Kim had some un-used holiday, we decided to go over on Sunday returning Monday. This meant we had Saturday at home to sort things out like putting the roof box on and ensuring we had sufficient bags and crates. We had, on the previous trip, brought quite a bit of gear home so this time was a bit easier than in previous years.
Sunday morning we set off to get the 8 o'clock DFDS ferry. We haven't used the ferry since the summer when it was over crowded and we couldn't get a seat. At this time of year the ferry was quieter, but unfortunately the departure was 30 minutes late from Dover due to refuelling problems in Dunkerque on the inbound trip. There were no announcements as why there was a delay and we only found out by asking a member of staff. We have been rather spoilt of late using the Shuttle. We will not be booking any bulk purchase crossings for next year with DFDS.
By the time we arrived at the boat it was 1.30pm so not too bad. It was grey, windy & cold. The sort of weather that doesn't leave us feeling sorry we are putting the boat away for the winter. At least it didn't rain so we got the sails down and the sprayhood off and into the car.
Last year when clearing the boat away, we took her round to the fuelling pontoon to fill up, so we could leave her over the winter with a full tank. This helps to reduce condensation in the fuel tank, the presence of which ultimately creates water in the tank. The problem with this practice is that we probably can't actually fill the tank right up as the fuel starts spewing out of the breather vent before the tank is full. Given that diesel is not very ecologically friendly to have spreading out all over the Veerse Meer, the man at the fuelling pontoon stops the moment the fuel comes out the breather. This means the tank is not full. Last time we were over, Kim checked the hours since our last fill up and reckoned we probably only needed about 10 to 15 litres. This really did not warrant a trip to the fuelling pontoon. So that idea was knocked on the head. However, Kim decided that it might be an idea to top the tank up from a jerry can (not that we had a jerry can!). Work quickly provided the jerry can and a few quid on Ebay produced a fuel syphon kit. So, on Saturday evening Kim proceeded to try filling the tank. It was very successful, if a little slow. In fact, being slow meant that he was able to fill the tank without it spewing out of the breather or overflowing from the filler. So, all in all, a success.
In the evening after having a beer we headed off to Iets Anders for our "Laying Up" supper. Unfortunately Iets Anders had run out of food! It transpired that they were about to shut down for a few weeks for major renovation/redecoration works and had only put on a very limited menu which had quickly sold out. When driving into the village, Wendy had noticed that the Overstaag had under gone a transformation and had become "de Zilte Zeeuw", so we wandered up to have a look. There were about three or four groups of people inside eating so we decided to give it a go. Whilst not quite on a par with Iets Anders, we certainly had a very nice meal and reasonably priced.
Sunday morning we had a leisurely start and slowly cleared the rest of the boat and cleaned the inside. The weather was now even more unwelcoming - grey and misty and quite windy, also a good bit colder.
Finally, everything was done and Emjaytoo, with all her external embellishments removed and her mooring lines doubled up, was ready to face the winter.
As we drove out of the village with the car loaded right up, all the leaves were falling off the trees and it looked as if winter was well and truly setting in.
In the next week or so the marina staff will carry out the winterising and that will be Emjaytoo tucked up for the winter. We will pop over in early February (our annual Wedding Anniversary/Valentine’s Day trip) to check her out, but otherwise, that is that until Easter.
Incidentally, as we passed Iets Anders, the builders were in and ripping the inside out, it would seem that perhaps, part of the old charm of Iets Anders may disappear. We will find out next year!
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