Elwing II pt 7

Sat 1/8

Notes from here are from memory as my computer refused to power-up after this. From Almere to IJmuiden started with a fuelling stop at Muiderzand marina. Then into A’dam via the Schellingwouder bridge & the Oranje locks and 18 miles of (big) ship canal to IJmuiden. The Seahaven marina has what may be the world’s longest (visitors) pontoon, about 1/2 mile, not good news if you take the 1st available berth as you come in.

Sun 2/8

Sail from IJmuiden to Scheveningen, easy NW breeze. The marina is fine but the yacht club (restaurant) is closed for August so its a rather longer walk for grub.

Mon 3/8

SW breeze, on the nose, so forced to motor to keep the tide from Scheveningen to Roompot, though with the mainsail up for stability. Unfortunately the boat bounced on a wave and the sail split just above the 1st reef, right through the leech.

Tue 4/8

Nasty looking weather forecast with nastier looking clouds so stayed in. Bought the latest Patricia Cornwell from the shop in the caravan park.

Wed 5/8

It always looks on the chart as if it ought to be possible to get further, but Roompot to Blankenberge generally seems to fill a day’s trip. Used the new club marina as the others all seemed to be full-up. Nice friendly assistants including 1 lassie with a suspiciously good English accent; turns out she was brought up in Hong Kong & Dublin. Even managed to find a supermarket, by asking in the VVV (tourist info). There’s nice tourist maps available but, as usual they only tell stuff like: where’s the town hall or the dentist or the beach, never anything that’s actually useful like where’s the supermarket.

Thu 6/8

Straight forward passage from Blankenberge to Dunkerque. Apparently there’s a supermarket here as well, although I’ve only ever found it once and amazingly for a French town, there’s only 1 boulangerie and it’s closed, always!

Fri 7/8

Dunkerque to Dover where there’s still a Calais ferry problem. According to plans in the Marina office they’re going to build a new LARGE marina in the main harbour, east of the inner pier, & cut a new lock through to the inner basins. This will bypass the old bridge which was always breaking down.

Sat 8/8

Westerly winds so I can’t get any further than Eastbourne. There’s 1 film at the cinema which was almost worth watching, everything else was rubbish.

Sun 9/8

Can’t manage to get all the way back to get into Emsworth, so stage at Littlehampton. Warning to anyone else who gets there on Sunday or out of regular hours: Don’t go off the pontoon without your mobile phone or you won’t be able to get back to your boat. The only notice is on the HM’s office door which doesn’t help if you left your phone on the boat. Luckily I get let back in by a friendly local who’s squatting on the pontoon waiting for the tide to get to his own mooring.

Mon 10/8

The return to Emsworth is an evening tide so I simply go with the flow and wait on the outer pontoon until the tide returns. My berth is, of course, occupied so I use the visitors pontoon in the marina instead. It takes 2 days before my own berth is clear but it’s only a short walk home.

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