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20th October 2008 - On The Kaai

Went over on Saturday morning with a long weekend planned - return Monday afternoon. The plan was to go to Veere, spend all day Sunday there and see some of the sights we have not got round to seeing, such as museums, churches, etc. However, there was a more ambitious objective!

For two years now, every time we go to Veere, we stay on the outer visitor jetty as we've always considered The Kaai far too small and far too congested for us to venture in there. But, given that this was October, we thought it should be quiet enough for us to have a go.

So, in we went, with Kim on the helm. The first thing to do once inside the narrow harbour is turn round so you are pointing "out to sea". Not too difficult a job when you are only 31 feet long and the boats already inside were only rafted two deep at most. We identified a likely looking host boat to raft onto, but then Kim spotted a vacant space on the jetty. Having asked Wendy's opinion as to whether it was big enough, and being told "no", he went for it anyway! As the wind was coming over the stern and after the lesson learned last month in Zierikzee, Kim reversed Emjaytoo into the space. A kind Dutchman took the stern line and the bow gently drifted in against the jetty.

Whilst it probably looked like Kim knew exactly what he was doing, there was a degree of luck involved. In fact Wendy reported afterwards that our bow only just missed the back of the kind Dutchman's boat in front. When we had finished tying up we realised the gap we had gone into was only about 35 foot!

On a more general note, despite a rather overcast and on occasions wet journey up to the boat on Saturday morning, the weather cleared up as we headed up to Veere. The wind was brisk and we motored all the way to The Bad Hotel, but then got the sails out and had a cracking sail. By the time we got into the Kaai it was really sunny, although still pretty crisp as you would imagine for October.

In the evening we went to the Veere Yacht Club to eat and had a superb 3-course meal with wine for less than 70 Euros, which we thought was amazing.

On Sunday we had a leisurely start as we did not need to be going anywhere and were just preparing breakfast when we had an unexpected visitor along the jetty - Hans out walking their Leonberger "Bomel". We told him that we inteded to go to De Schotse Huizen museum and he suggested the museum in The Old Town Hall, as well as going to the top of the Grote Kerk, the enormous cathedral-like building in Veere. As we bought our ticket to go up the tower at the Grote Kerk, the lady warned us that the last bit was rather dirty due to the pigeons - and she wasn't exaggerating. In fact we even had to shoo pigeons out of the way to get up the last set of steps. However, the views were well worth the effort.

On the way back to the boat we bumped into Hans again (Veere's a very small place!) and although we had previously arranged to meet up in the Veere Yacht Club, he suggested that we might like to go their house for a few drinks. This then turned into a Dutch-style fish and chip supper and a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

We had planned to do a night passage back to our home marina, but in the end decided to stay the extra night. We made an early start from Veere, leaving at 7.30 and were treated to a rather impressive sunrise with blue skies.

Again the wind was brisk and initially in the wrong direction, so we motored again as far as the Bad Hotel, then since the wind was abaft the beam, unfurled the genoa and sailed the rest of the way under genoa only, getting back to our home berth by 9.20.

To add to the social nature of the weekend, we bumped into Luc and Christine who invited us to see their new boat. Although we had to get cleared up in time to get the ferry, we were still able to spend half an hour or so chatting to them.

26th October 2008 - A Weekend With Stewart

Headed over to the boat on Friday evening with Stewart. Norfolkline were having hiccups, so the ferry was an hour late leaving Dover. We drove up via Zelzate so Stewart could take some night time industrial photos for his college course work. Finally arrived onboard Emjaytoo at around midnight.

As it was a clear night, it was a bit cold. However Saturday arrived with bright sunshine and a moderate breeze. After getting a few things at the village Spar Shop, we headed off up the lake towards Zandkriekplaat. The forecast was for the weather to be okay on Saturday but not Sunday, so the intention was for a few hours' day sail only.

We tacked all the way there under full main and genoa, then turned round and broad reached all the way back. Got over 6 knots at one point so all in all, a pretty good sail.

When we got back to the marina, we went for a walk over to the main part of the marina and had a nose in the chandlery, but didn't buy anything.

Earlier in the day we had seen Luc & Christine, who had invited us over for a drink, so Stewart & I wandered over to their boat for a couple of early evening beers. Well Kim had the beers, Stewart had Coke!

Back to Emjaytoo and a meal knocked up from the tins on board and then some TV.

Overnight the wind got up and the sky clouded over as forecast, which made for a warmer night. The clocks went back this weekend, so we got an extra hour in bed.

Thereafter, the usual Sunday drive back to the ferry. The slight difference is that I've posted this blog entry whilst on the ferry. I must do this more often, it passes the time and gets the blog entry online more quickly.

Wendy & I will probably have one more trip to the boat this side of Christmas to bring the soft items home and that will be it for the year.

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