A hearty meal previously prepared by Susan was demolished off St Abbs Head. Sunday was a beautiful summers day as we entered Whitby at 12.00 and went straight through the bridge to the marina. Fantastic showers then a walk round town and the obligatory fish and chips made for a pleasant visit in scorching weather. Whitby is a very interesting historical town although it is always very busy with visitors. We left at 0630 Monday morning for the remaining 220 miles to Ijmuiden.
Whitby Opening Bridge
The course was SE and unfortunately the wind freshened to 25knots from ...yes SE. This made it quite uncomfortable as we motor sailed trying to make as best speed we could. Visibility also left us looking at the electronics for quite some time. The forecast was to go NW 4 or 5 which would be perfect. As night approached the wind fell away to nothing and remained that way until 30 miles from the Dutch coast. The NW 4 to 5 came in and we sailed fast towards the shore. As we approached the coast we were treated to a massive thunderstorm which was around for about 2 hours. Torrential rain showers and both sheet and fork lightning lit up the sky. We entered Ijmuiden about 00.30 and went straight into the North sea canal where we tied up alongside the first boat we saw. A celebratory dram and a long and welcome sleep.
Mid North Sea
One egg or two?
An evening visitor
Our Canal Buddy (thats a raindrop not the sun!)
A trip out in the city for food sightseeing and soaking up the continental atmosphere was enjoyed by all. Stuart met a friend from work and seemed to soak up more atmosphere than the more senior crew!
On Thursday night Stuart headed home to soak up more atmosphere on a stag weekend and Chris flew out to join us for a while. We left Amsterdam for Volendam on the Markermeer. This involves 1 lock and a lift bridge followed by sailing with the echo sounder always around 1 or 2 metres as the whole area is very shallow. You get used to it and we had a good sail all the way. George said farewell and caught a bus to the city.
Into the Markermeer
We had a great few days going to Einkhuizen and Hoorn. Both very pretty towns with lots to see and do ashore. The sailing was also great in warm weather and gentle summer breezes.
Lots of traditional boats
Entrance to Hoorn
Goodbye Graeme & Chris
Welcome Susan & Lynda
We spent a very pleasant 3 days with lovely weather taking in the sights and hiring bicycles to tour round the surrounding countryside.
The 7 bridges
The rural bridge
Just relax Lynd
Check out the liner sailing the canal behind
Lynda flew home on Friday and Susan and I left on Saturday morning for home. We locked out into the North sea at 12.00 and no surprises had 25 knots of wind on the nose. We could just lay the course but it was very lumpy and made for a bouncy 9 hours. We did make good speed though and arrived in Whitby at 02.30 Monday morning. A good sleep refreshed us for the next leg. We had decided to stop in Eyemouth to break the journey. We left Whitby at 12.30 Tuesday and no surprises into 20knots of Northerly with a big swell. We made slow progress not getting to Eyemouth until 10.30 next day. A nice meal ashore and a motor to Granton in flat calm next day with glorious sunshine was a relaxed end to the trip. We tied up at 14.00 and were back in Gala by 16.00.
Susan chills out in Whitby
A last word perhaps. A great trip possibly a bit short but gives a good excuse to return again. Holland is very much a boating nation and looks after its sailors very well. It is clean well managed and we were given a friendly welcome everywhere we went. We were unlucky with the wind at times but thats sailing. It was great for friends and family to be able to enjoy the visit. The boat performed amazingly well, so much Im already planning where to go next year!