I can well imagine that all boat owners find it a highly stressful moment to see their beloved yacht being lifted off the stand and hang in mid air suspended only by a couple of canvas strops. Will the strops break? Will the boat crash down onto the hard before it is lowered into the water? Roland (anxiously) asks the crane operator what the maximum weight is that the crane can lift and is comfortingly reassured that this crane can lift 50 tonnes - Whiskey Romeo only has a displacement of 7 tonnes - all is well!
Whiskey Romeo being relaunched (slideshow)
What a fantastic sight to see the boat being lowered again into the water at Flevo Marina in Lelystad. As the sail drive seal has been replaced during the winter we check that the seal is holding before the strops are removed from the crane - if the seal were to fail the boat would sink very quickly indeed. The seal holds perfectly and the boat thankfully does not sink. However there is still a considerable amount of water in the bilges, which Roland pumps out muttering under his breath “I wish I knew where this water is coming from”. It is an age old fact that all boats always leak and that the bilges are always wet - sometimes just from condensation sometimes from hairline cracks on deck or leaky hatches and windows. The only certainty is that the water will finally end up in the bilge. Finding the source of a leak is a very painstaking and difficult task, we will share more on this topic in a future blog!
Back in the water in Flevo Marina
The forecast for the Saturday morning is overcast at first with a light northerly breeze. We wake up early and happily drive to Lelystad to start the 2019 sailing season with a 35 mile trip to Makkum in front of us. As we leave Flevo Marina in the drizzle we realise that we are in for quite a cold trip. Roland goes below and puts on his ‘thermals’ under his three other layers. Leontine who generally is never cold puts on all her foul weather gear, and then we discover that we do not have our sailing gloves on board.
Final departure towards Makkum
Fortunately the drizzle stops after an hour of sailing and the sun manages to break though the low cloud coverage. Our plan is to sail directly to Makkum where we will be picked up by our dear friends Ine and Reint who will drive us to their house in Koudum for dinner and then back to the boat. At midday we have only sailed 5 of the 35 miles and realise that it will be 6pm before we arrive at the entrance to Makkum and an hour later before we have the boat safely moored in our new slip in the marina. Leontine calls Ine and explains that it looks like a very late dinner indeed. After a short discussion the dinner plans are cancelled and we agree that we should grab a pizza at the local pizzeria in Makkum. We sail on for a couple more hours and when we are just to the south of Hindeloopen Leontine confidently states that she has the perfect solution to the dinner dilemma: we will not go to Makkum, we will sail to Hindeloopen for the night which means that we can be moored there by 17:30 in time for Ine to pick us up for a dinner in Koudum. Roland is taken aback by the sudden change of plans, but does (finally) agree that this is a good idea.
We set off to Koudum for dinner with Ine and Reint
Ine picks us up as agreed and we are welcomed at their house and enjoy a lovely evening with good food, good wine and most importantly good company. We are driven back to the boat tired from our first day of sailing in this new season, but we are very happy to be back onboard the few square meters of yacht which we called our home for four months last year.
The following morning we are treated to fantastic sunshine and fair winds as we sail on north to Makkum our home port for the 2019 season.
Finally arrived in Makkum (slideshow)
For those of you who missed our last blog a reminder that we have started a new campaign for KiKa called “mijlen zeilen voor KiKa” (sailing miles for KiKa). This campaign is driven by our desire to sail as much and as far as possible, whilst knowing that we will only be able to sail in the weekends. Also the chance of a sailing holiday for a few weeks this summer is uncertain due to developments at Rolands’ work outside his control.
So we are hoping to find generous sponsors who will commit an amount per sailed mile (1.82km), or alternatively sponsors who would like to donate a fixed amount. Both choices can easily be selected on our site via the menu choice KiKa2019.
Our mileage this season is now 34nm.