Sunday, 7 August 2016

We're Back!!!

So that's it !
We are now in Ramsgate and I write this whilst Martha and I wait for a lift home
The sail back was exciting to say the least. Strong South Westerly winds with waves breaking over the cockpit added to the enjoyment
I was delighted that Martha managed to read most of her book and catch up on some well deserved sleep during the trip
We have come to Ramsgate to wait for the next Spring tides so that Calismarde can be lifted out of the water and the leak properly sorted back in Faversham
Bonita has continued back to the Swale and we all said our farewells off the North Foreland after a brilliant adventure to the Baltic





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Saturday, 6 August 2016

Down but not defeated in Dunkerque

We headed up the coast this morning to Dunkerque and arrived at lunchtime with a plan to have a rest then attempt to cross the channel tonight
Unfortunately the weather dampened our plans once again when we saw that fog was forecast for the Channel tonight
It is beautifully clear in Dunkerque but I hope in a perverse way that it is like pea soup in the Dover Straits!
Tomorrow we will try again......,


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Friday, 5 August 2016

Nip to Oostend

After a night spent listening to the wind howling in the rigging we were pleased to find that things had settled a bit by the time we left Vlissingen early yesterday morning
After a lively and quick sail we arrived at Oostend by lunchtime so that Will and Lucy could catch a ferry home from there


Unfortunately ferries to Dover no longer run from Oostend!!!
Thankfully they were able to catch a train to Calais
We spent the afternoon seeing the sights of Oostend and soaking up the seaside atmosphere


Today Martha and I hope to make it further down the coast in company with Bonita


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Thursday, 4 August 2016

Storm bound in Flushing

Today we have mostly been storm bound in Vlissingan which is also known as Flushing
After a gentle trip down the canal we tied up mid morning then went for a walk around the town and visited the fascinating local pram museum !!!


in addition to the Zeeland Museum.... The crew are experts on Dutch history now


They build huge super yachts here and more importantly the town was the scene of an important strategic battle in 1944 focuses around this windmill


We hope that the weather will be kinder tomorrow


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Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Mooring mayhem in Middleberg

No rain today but plenty of wind, so we are grateful for being on the inland waterways which are a lovely place to sail


We didn't leave early for a change and despite that arrived in Middleberg by mid afternoon.
This is a beautiful 16th century town built around a series of canals
The harbour was packed with anxious sailors when we arrived and Bonita and Calismarde's entry did nothing to lessen the tension , particularly as both boats are difficult to manoeuvre. Indeed one German man was so stressedthat he accused William of being solely responsible for Brexit!!


We spent a lovely evening in the shadow of the town hall and will probably stay here tomorrow in light of the gale warnings


As I write this the wind is howling in the rigging
This shop in Middleberg specialises in supplying mycota powder so I can bring some home if needed....just let me know


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Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Wet, windy but not wanting in Wemeldinge

So much for getting to Vlissingan today.....


The weather has been diabolical
It has rained all day and been blowing hard from the wrong direction


Despite this the crew have remained up beat and cheerful and this mood was improved further after a good meal in the Marina restaurant
Tomorrow we will try again to get near to Vlissingan..........


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Frustration leads to satisfaction

We all awoke with a sense of frustration this morning with the thoughts of being stuck in Scheveningen





It is a very pleasant place but the forecast for the next few days is not favourable and we can't get into the inland waterways from there
However!!! At lunchtime the wind shifted so we hurriedly left, sailed past Rotterdam without hitting a container ship and are now in Stellendam.
This now gives us the opportunity to get further south despite the weather, so we hope to be in Vlissingen by tomorrow evening





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Sunday, 31 July 2016

A toe in the North Sea

The weather forecast predicted fair winds for us to cross the North Sea to Harwich today but as is often the case the reality was very different
We made the decision in the lock at Ijmuiden to come to Scheveningen instead


This is a fishing town with a huge Marina and a name that is impossible to pronounce unless you are Dutch.
It is on the fringes of The Hague


It may well be that we will continue to go down the Dutch coast until we find favourable winds to get home
Let's see what tomorrow brings!!


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Back in Amsterdam





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New crew




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So here we are again........

......In Amsterdam !!!
This is the last leg of our voyage and we are tied up in the same spot as we were 2 months ago.
We had an uneventful sail today in light winds and were pleased to meet Lucy and Will in the marina after their cultural day in Amsterdam


Elen left on the party bus back to London and Megan is leaving tomorrow after an action packed fortnight. They will both need a holiday to recover
Tomorrow we hope to head home if the weather is kind


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Friday, 29 July 2016

At last we're through the canals and in the Ijslemeer

I am sure canal holidays have their attractions but in a yacht which is difficult to steer they are not to be recommended


Yesterday we motored for about 12 hours passing through some beautiful countryside but also having to negotiate numerous bridges and locks with their inherent challenges


At dusk we tied up on a small island which would have been idyllic if it had not been for the fact that the mooring was very shallow so we ran aground,thankfully within jumping distance from Bonita
After being easily towed off by Bonita this morning we came into the Ijslemeer and had a brisk sail to Enkhuizen.
This is a lovely town with beautifully preserved 17th century houses and a church with tinkly bells that chime loudly every 30 minutes





Tomorrow we hope to be in Amsterdam



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More canals

Today we spent the morning going through Gronigen. This took ages as there are a lot of bridges that have to be lifted
After that we motored through the Dutch countryside until we reached Dokkum which is a lovely little town. We spent the night in the middle of the town and were the first boats to go through the bridge when it opened at 9 o'clock


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Wednesday, 27 July 2016

More canals

Today we spent the morning going through Gronigen. This took ages as there are a lot of bridges that have to be lifted


After that we motored through the Dutch countryside until we reached Dokkum which is a lovely little town


The crew have been busy photographing various scenes and playing Scrabble
Tomorrow we will mostly be doing the same


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Not Jom but Jim!!!!




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Rosie and Jom on the Dutch Canals







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Old salts

This is a picture which demonstrates how Mike and I are looking after 8 weeks on this trip


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Tuesday, 26 July 2016

It's Tuesday so it must be Jolland

We awoke to the forecast of strong headwinds and set off from Nordernay with some trepidation to try and teach Borkum, the most Westerly of the German Frisian Islands
With a helpful tide we were pleased to reach there by lunchtime so decided to press on.
We entered the Dutch canals at Delfzijl and have eventually tied up against the canal bank ready to move on first thing on Wednesday.
We travelled more than 70 miles so no wonder the crew are tired.......but not complaining!! They are all getting better at scrabble now.
No photos today




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Monday, 25 July 2016

A day in Nordernay

After Deidre's departure from Bonita yesterday we are now awaiting Dave's return.
This has given an opportunity for some well earned rest and recuperation
Yesterday we hired bikes and went for a swim in the North Sea.


Today the crew went for a morning at the spa and this afternoon we went to visit the fishermans museum
Tomorrow we will try and get to Borkum.....another step towards home
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Sunday, 24 July 2016

North Sea weather

Getting into Cuxhaven was exciting after motoring really fast from the Kiel Canal
We arrived late and got up at 5 next morning to catch the tide to get to Nordenay in one hit.....60 miles


All went well for the first hour then thick fog descended and lasted all day


Thanks to my vigilant crew we arrived at Nordenay without trauma at about 9 in the evening. A long sail but worth the effort especially as we can now have a couple of days rest awaiting new crew for Bonita
We were even able to help a German boat with a conked engine...I know how the skipper felt.... !! We towed him into harbour where he was able to fix things overnight
Today has been a washing shopping and tidying day with a bike ride this afternoon

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Kiel Canal to Cuxhaven

Sunbathing one minute then this!!



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Kiel Canal












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Friday, 22 July 2016

Back in the Briney

Today we have mostly been doing motoring. Indeed we have motored all the way down the Kiel Canal from Rendsburg to the end and then down the Elbe to Cuxhaven
The trip down the canal was slow but relaxing and undertaken in blazing sunshine such that we had to rig up a parasol to stave off sunstroke
When we left the canal we benefitted from the tide and found ourselves doing more than 7 and frequently 8 knots ( which is fast!)
The entry into Cuxhaven was exciting and we enjoyed 'sausage a la surprise' to celebrate what has been a long but very successful day heading West
No wifi so photos tomorrow from Nordeney



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Thursday, 21 July 2016

Bye Bye Baltic

So.....that's it!! We have now left the Baltic and are heading West down the Kiel Canal



We experienced wind, thunder, lighting,calm, blistering sunshine and searing heat yesterday on our 60 mile trip. We also had to wait for 2 hours to get into the lock in Kiel which was frustrating but as Elen said, the experience of being in a huge lock with massive ships was well worth it


We motored for hours to get to Rensburg which we visited in the way East. It is a pretty place just off the canal and tonight we hope to leave the canal and to reach Cuxhaven
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Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Chilled







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All happening at HEiligenhafen




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Hi from Heilgenhafen

Yes we are back in Germany!!
Only 25 miles from Kiel we have come to a huge Marina where it was very difficult for us to find a suitable berth but we are now all happily settled after a fish and chip supper on the harbour.
There is a big festival taking place here all week with live bands and lots of interesting boats in the harbour
We had a great sail today. Elen went on Bonita and enjoyed herself on a 'proper' boat whilst Megan and Martha read and chilled all day
Tomorrow we hope to get into the Kiel Canal.......all being well!
No wifi so no photos today I


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Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Glad to be in Gedser

Gedser is at the most southerly point of Denmark and so we were pleased to have a quick 30 mile sail from Klintholm in sunshine for most of the time





This is a pleasant small harbour and the crew excelled themselves in tying up to a box berth without any loss of paint or frayed tempers


Tonight we are eating aboard thanks to the culinary creativity of Julie, a member of Bonita's crew


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Monday, 18 July 2016

Clubbing in Klintholm




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Cliffs at Klintholm




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New crew




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New crew New Country

After saying a sad farewell to Jane we were delighted to welcome Elen and Megan to the crew of Calismarde
Not only that.....we were also able to sail to Denmark
With a slight change in wind direction we have sailed back to Klintholm on Mon. This is the site of huge challenge cliffs which we could see from 20 miles away
Tonight we enjoyed a typical Danish Italian meal accompanied by singing by a British friend of the owner
All in all ....a good day was had by all!
Sadly though the photos won't upload so will try again tomorrow


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