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Friday, 2nd November 2012 – Last Trip

Tomorrow morning we are off to Holland for our last trip of the year. No sailing, just clearing the boat for the winter. The weather forecast looks pretty grim, so we are glad we got the sails off during the last trip. The only ‘outside’ job is to remove the sprayhood. Hopefully it will stay dry enough to get all the gear into the car.

Sunday, 4th November 2012 – All Packed Away

The drive up to Delta Marina was pretty grim – heavy rain most of the way. We arrived about 11.30, by which time it had stopped raining and was clearing up a bit. We were glad we didn’t have sails to get off having done them two weeks previously. The spray hood was the only ‘outside’ thing to deal with and it looked as if, given a few hours it would be dry enough to go in the back of the car.

We shifted a bit of gear to the car and then Kim topped up the fuel tank. As last year, Kim had borrowed a 25 litre jerry can from work, which we took over full of diesel and Kim siphoned it in to the tank. This succeeded in filling the tank to the brim without any spillage, or so we thought (more of which later). It is important to keep the tank completely full over the winter to prevent condensation forming in the tank as the water will contaminate the diesel. Kim also dosed the tank with an additive which helps to prevent the growth of ‘diesel bug’. This is a bacterium that grows in diesel and as the bacterium dies, it forms sludge in the bottom of the tank which can clog the fuel filters.

By the time Kim had finished, the spray hood had dried out, so we got that off and in to the car. As it was now starting to cool down, we shut the hatch and got the fan heater on to warm up the inside of the boat.

In the evening we went over to Iets Anders, having booked a table when we arrived in Kortgene, and had a superb meal. Wendy did have to say though; it wasn’t quite as good as In den Struyskelder in Veere! Seems we may have found the ultimate restaurant!

Overnight, it wasn’t as cold as we might have expected and we had a reasonably comfortable night’s sleep given our current dissatisfaction with the mattresses in the aft cabin.

In the morning it was grey and miserable, but we didn’t get the gale force winds overnight, that were forecast. After breakfast we got the rest of the gear in to the car, mostly before it started to rain. This winter we have brought the mattresses from the aft cabin home. This was initiated by the belief that they were knackered and we should look to get new ones for next season. Later, after we got home, we concluded that there isn’t actually anything wrong with them. It is just that, during the course of this year, we have had some pretty uncomfortable nights. Perhaps it’s just that we are getting old. The mattresses are only two inches thick, so having got them home we may well decide to do something to improve our night time comfort.

An interesting thing we noticed in the morning was a huge ‘oil slick’ all round the back of the boat! We did wonder if it was where Kim had topped the fuel tank up on Saturday and it had expanded and spewed out of the breather vent. It is quite surprising how a very small amount of diesel can create such a large ‘slick’. Fortunately the onset of the rain and the increase in the wind soon dispersed it.

The final job was to give the inside of the boat a good clean and remove some of the ropes from topside to take home and put through the washing machine.

By the time we left Kortgene, the rain had stopped and the sun was starting to break through. The drive back to Calais was quite pleasant, although now the wind had started to get up to its forecast ‘gale force’ level.

We got home and just dumped the contents of the car all over the house. Next weekend we will have to try and sort it all out and find a home for it until next spring.

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