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Easter onboard - the boat is leaking salt water!

I have just re-read the text of our last blog, and realise that a lot has happened since then. I must admit that, as we are sailing each and every weekend, it takes a considerable amount of thought to work out how to give this blog some direction/form. Sharing is the foundation of my thoughts on this topic. In this case sharing is not about some higher psychological virtue but purely the fact that we are able to share our sailing experience with our son Tim and his Australian girlfriend Phoebe.

We are confronted with a potential dilemma as Tim declares that he “hates boats” whilst Phoebe is very happy and excited with the prospect of spending the long Easter weekend aboard our boat. Tim realises, that for Phoebe a weekend on the Waddenzee is a great chance to see the Netherlands from a new and different angle and he says that he is more than happy to spend the Easter weekend on the boat.

Tim decides that sailing with Phoebe is a good idea

On the evening before Good Friday we pack the car with our bags and Tim drives the four of us to Makkum. On arrival we are quick to stow away the provisions on board and sit down for a night-cap before turning in for a good nights sleep. The following morning we slip our lines and half an hour later arrive at the Lorentzsluizen, the gateway to the Waddenzee. We clear the locks and set sail in a gentle breeze towards Texel. On the way we keep our eyes peeled for any sea-life, such as seals or porpoises, but to no avail. We have to stay in the buoyed channels due to our draft, however the wind angle is favourable and we have a great sail all the way to Oudeschild harbour.

Whiskey Romeo in Oudeschild (slideshow)

All sailors have their own routines when it comes to controls to be carried out before and after sailing, one of these controls is to check whether there is any water in the bilges. As pointed out in the previous blog Roland has found there to be water in the bilge under the galley. Safely tied up in Oudeschild harbour Roland starts his controls and discovers that yet again there is water in the bilge under the galley. He tastes the water and declares: ‘We really do have a problem! It is salt water!’ On the assumption that there is no actual hole in the hull, Roland starts a systematic check of each of the through-hulls and the taps. He discovers that the tap on the raw-water intake for the toilet is cracked and leaking quite significantly. Fortunately we have Tesa extreme repair tape on board which Roland wraps around the tap casing which stops the leak. You may well be thinking how did the tap casing crack? The answer is very simple ….. the firm that prepared the boat for the winter storage obviously had not treated that tap with anti-freeze.

We fix the leak with tape (slideshow)

Texel is a very inviting island for cyclists. As Leontine and I both have folding bikes on board we only need to hire two bikes for Tim and Phoebe. We ride our bikes in beautiful sunshine for a few kilometers to Den Burg (the capital of Texel) where we find a great place to have lunch: Hotel De Lindeboom where we enjoy delicacies like ciabatta Texels lamb with mustard sauce and a spectacular club sandwich, all of this washed down with the local beer Texels Skuumkoppe.

Feeling very well fed we leave Den Burg and cycle through the coniferous woodlands followed by the dunes before reaching the North Sea coast where we enjoy a long walk along the shoreline.

On Easter Sunday we organise an easter egg hunt on board for Tim and Phoebe. Leontine hides approximately 14 chocolate eggs in the saloon, taking care to ensure that none of the eggs are in direct sunlight. By the time that Tim and Phoebe join us, several hours have passed and the sun has moved. Roland announces the start of the easter egg hunt and Tim finds the first egg which promptly squirts melted chocolate down his sleeve and chest. Fortunately all the other Easter eggs are found without any new meltdowns with the possible exception of one egg which Roland may or may not find when the boat goes into storage this winter.

With the easter-egg hunt completed we slip our lines and leave Oudeschild for a short sail to Den Helder where we berth at Willemsoord. Willemsoord is a charming little marina with a large naval history. We go out for dinner at Kade 60 which is a very trendy looking restaurant, unfortunately the quality of the food was pretty mediocre.

We dine at Kade 60 before sailing back to Makkum (slideshow)

The next morning we are ready for the lock gates out of the harbour at 08:00 and motor back to the Stevinsluizen in extremely light winds. We pass through the locks and are back on fresh water for a short sail north back to Makkum.

After tying up in Makkum we are so happy to see that both Tim and Phoebe have truly loved their Easter weekend on the Dutch high seas!

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