Monday, 21 August 2006

windy again!

Apparently Zierkizee doesn't close on a Sunday. Well not entirely anyway. We wondered around for a while. We had been running out of cash, and all the machines in Zierkizee seemed to be unable to dispense cash to any overseas cards... we had begun to panic, with thoughts running through our heads of our accounts having been emptied by identity fraud, or something equally sinister, until we saw Belgians and Germans having the exact same problem. However, Sunday morning, it resolved itself, and after what must have been our 5th visit to the cash point, it dispensed the goods.... the first Sunday victory! We then discovered a gift shop that was open... our second victory... the kids were dissapointed that they couldn't buy some tat as little gifts for their friends... so suitably weighed down with plastic windmills and hastily knocked together (no doubt in Taiwan) model ships, we wondered on. We found a nice cafe bar, and had a pleasant lunch, and a couple of cold beers... the sun came out..... And then, our third and final victory... the tower hovering over the Zierkizee skyline, the Monstertoren, appeared to open after midday, so we duly trooped up the 275 steps up and the 275 steps down. The view from the top was worth the effort, with a clear view right out over the Zeelandbrug, over the Roompotsluis, and far over into Walcheren. In the mean time, i'd been watching the wind build, and when returned to the boat, not only were we inside a 3 boat raft, but also it was gusting 26kts... Firstly, we rearranged the raft to place us on the outside.... as usual, our Dutch neighbours spoke perfect English (somewhat embarressing isn't it), and were quite OK with us mucking the raft about... and then we listened to the forecast.... with hindsight, it should have been the otherway around! With Netherlands coastguard forecasting 6's and moving to a North Westerly, we decided to not leave in the morning.... Maggie copes perfectly well with a stiff breeze, and in fact is fun to sail in a 6, but its a long passage for the kids (and probably SWMBO) in that weather, with 24 hours of swell having built up, and secondly and probably more importantly, none of the Belgian ports are much fun to enter in a strong NW, and indeed can even be dangerous. We decided to hold off, and head for Roompot marina in the morning... partly to just try somwhere different, and secondly, to be closer to the Roompotsluis for a departure on Tuesday morning... We slept soundly, and after an easy start, and a light breakfast, set off. The 8nm to Roompot took just over two hours. it was slow going, as it was straight in to the wind and the tide, but we plugged through it under engine, not bothering to raise the sails for what would have been a less than pleasant beat in a relatively narrow channel. We reached Roompot marina, and grabbed the holding pontoon.... they requested a call on VHF ch 31.... why oh why does Ofcom prevent us from using the channel that most Dutch marinas use? We overcame it, with a phone call, were allocated a berth, and soon alongside. We agreed that our close quarters handling has been good this week. No major dramas, and definitely working better as a team. The Havenmeester took our money, and informed us of the marina's swimming pool.... the kids were delighted... guess what i'm going to be doing later! First impressions of Roompot?.... not the touristy location that we have previously visited... more a functional marina.... but clean, pleasant staff and conveniently located... (below corrected - I forgot to add the mileage for Sat and Sun last week!)

Miles logged 10nm
Miles logged this trip 156nm
Miles this season 565nm
Miles since this blog started 1,348nm

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