To the Baltic and Back; Farewell to the Friesians, back in Open Water; 27th August-01September 2013

Tuesday 27th August 2013
Explored Vlieland on foot as R’s ankles were playing up and we walk more slowly than cycle as far as the legs, ankles and knees are concerned. The light house sits on top of the dune so was fairly easy to walk up to the top and then see the North Sea, sand and much of the island which was not possible on most of the other Frisians. A drink in the town after supper was supposedly to hear a local folk duo, but we arrived at half time and it was a formal concert rather than entertainment in the pub which we were expecting, so we went to another ” Cafe Zeevart” and sat at a table outside with an elderly couple with whom we chatted the night away.

Wednesday 28th August
Sunny, light wind day, left Vlieland via swatchway running W, then E, then NE to join main channels running to Harlingen, Texel, And Den Helder. Pleasant motorsail under genoa, then main along the channels, touching 7 and 8 kts plus when with the tide under us. Wind got up to 16kts for a short while, but sub 10kts mostly, so chugged along with the rest. Arrived Texel, and refuelled ready for the run South. Spent most of the evening checking tides, tidal streams and weather.

Thursday 29 August
Fairly early start, and motor sail to IJmunden, arrived tired and went to the open burger bar for good value, high cholestral meal straight after tying up and then to bed.

Friday, 30 August
Confusing weather forecasts, some Wf4-5 others W 5-7′s. Went to beach to eyeball the sea state and straightway, looked at a fog beyond hbr arms with only 1nM vis. So another day to maintain the boat, do the laundry, and check the weather.
Sods Law of the Sea; Once tide gone and laundry started, sun came out for a lovely sunny pm. Forgot to go to mini market before it shut in evening. So another good value meal at the hamburger cafe, which has free wifi, unlike the hbr. Not much else open round the harbour, except the casino and the “Dutch Admirals” posh hotel restaurant over the HM office.
The bus service to town and on to Amsterdam in 30mins or so runs until quite late at night still from the HM bus station.

Saturday 31 August
A cold grey morning, got going at 07.15 in a strong, lumpy sea, with two racing yachts, then wind went from WF5 to a steady 22kt+nNW f6, then F7/28kts. Sea very very lumpy. The 2 racing yachts shot away from us to S, three yachts came the other way, also bouncing about madly on the contours.
Off Scheveningen, two yachts came out and beat N inshore of us, the wind having eased to a F5, 16/17kts . Glad of that, as Pilot says entry dangerous in NW F6+.
Berthed at 11.20, 27.5nm in just over 4hrs. Both Very tired, but tidied up fore-cabin, where everything thrown and jumbled up. Then Alice managed a nap, before we cycled to chandlers for new edition of chart 1801, with Maas/ Europort changes, then Jumbo supermarket for next few days meals, then walked to N side of hbr for excellent meal and beers at ‘ Het Brouw’ cafe. And so to bed.

Sunday 01 September
Hoped to go S at 05.00, but woke tired, and to a similar Fcast to yesterday. As 61nm+ to Vlissingen and Breskens, decided to rest today, and await a better Fcast, which seems likely Monday or Tuesday. It was a long and tiring day coming up this way in May, in good weather, so best not to push it.

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