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We spot an olympic champion at Medemblik

Each Friday after Roland returns from the office we eat supper at home in Naarden before driving to Makkum. We both find it very comforting to sit down on board after unpacking our things and stowing away our provisions. We will certainly open a bottle of wine and a bag of crisps while we discuss our sailing plans for the coming weekend.

Our plans are primarily driven by the weather with the objective to be able to sail and to sail back from our destination without having to use the motor. This ideal is unfortunately not always possible. Generally due to a total lack of wind, in which case the question “where would we like to go?” is of greater importance.

This weekend the destination is Medemblik approximately 20 nautical miles (37km) from Makkum. We slip the lines a bit before 11am and as soon we make the turn in a south westerly direction outside the Lorentzsluizen we hoist the sails and have a very enjoyable trip in 20 knots of wind. We arrive in Medemblik before 3pm and tie up in the old Oosterhaven. One of the things all visitors should do when visiting Medemblik is go to Grand Cafe Hof van Medemblik and order a plate of Bitterballen (crispy deep fried croquette balls filled with ragout). They make their own Bitterballen which are regarded as probably the best and the biggest in the Netherlands.

Back on the boat we enjoy a simple dinner and are suddenly aware of a lot of commotion on the other side of the dock with people cheering and clapping. We ask our neighbours what the commotion is all about and we are told that Maarten van der Weijden is about to start a training swim from Medemblik to the other side of the IJsselmeer (Stavoren) and back - a round trip of 40km! Maarten van der Weijden, who is an olympic gold medal open water swimmer, tried to swim the eleven city trip of approximately 200km last year but unfortunately was unable to complete it. This year he is having another attempt at this incredible distance.

We turn in for a good nights sleep and at about 8am Roland hears more commotion outside the boat and witnesses Maarten van der Weijden returning from his 40km swim and with a smile on his face climbing out of the water into the arms of his welcoming committee.

At 11am we motor out of the harbour and set sail again in beautiful sunshine with 12 knots of breeze on the beam back to Makkum.

As mentioned in a previous blog this season is all about sailing destinations on and around the IJsselmeer and the Waddenzee, and of course simultaneously promoting our Mijlen zeilen voor KiKa campaign raising money for children’s cancer research. Please look here for more information on our KiKa campaign or here to make a donation or here to sponsor us per mile.

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