Sunday, July 18, 2010
Holland 2010 – Week 5
I swear I'm the unluckiest person in the world – or the dumbest. Last year before we arrived, I had packed all hot weather clothes expecting Holland (which is virtually the same latitude as Nanaimo) to be like home – warm, sunny summers. So we froze our Asses off as you know. So having learned my lesson I purchased flannelette PJ's, 3 sweaters and lots of long sleeved T-shirts! Wrong again! This is a record breaking hot summer and I'm dying!! Last year I used my little fan on about 2 days – this year? It's on every day, all day. Sleeping at night is a little uncomfortable. Phil insists on breathing and giving off body heat and I'm sweating up a storm. I need to get an extension for the fan so I can plug it in at night in the bedroom – oops, aft cabin! Must practice being nautical. It's moor not park, fenders not bumpers, etc. etc. And he who shall not be named is insisting I learn how to tie ropes and other things shippy. He doesn't get it – this is my cottage on the water. I just want to put my feet up and enjoy!
Along with the hot weather, we had another storm (July 11) that quickly brought back memories of last year's terror. What is it about Vollenhove? If they do 'Perfect Storm 2' they can film it here. There we were - in our 'jammies, settling down the for the night, just starting into our nightcap of Southern Comfort when a wicked storm came up with wind that just whipped up the waves and tossed the boat around. We had to scramble up on deck to bring down the bimini before it went the way of the cabriole just like last year. The sweet little man on the boat behind us came out to help me and got soaked in the process. Can't say enough about the helpfulness of the Dutch. It was the night before the World Cup final and there was a big party with live music and a ton of electrical equipment in the square. They had to quickly scramble to save all the instruments, amps and other paraphernalia.
But the next night was lovely, clear and warm and they set up a huge TV screen in the square where everyone gathered to watch the game and drink beer. Sadly, Holland were in tough and managed to hold on as long as they could but in the end Spain prevailed. But it was wonderful to see a sea of orange shirts and costumes cheering wildly for their national team. We went up, ordered some beer and went back to watch the game in comfort on the boat.
Even the boats were decorated.
Last Friday I took the rental back to Emmeloord. We affectionately called it "The Pimple". The Smart Car is the size of a zit, a small Corsica is a boil, thus our little car was the carbuncle in between. But she was very handy whether we were just going out for lunch or off buying furniture, wood or materials needed to construct new screens. So now we are back to biking which is a good thing. Maybe now I'll lose a little more weight!
Our new chairs are so much more comfortable.
Phil has been really busy this past week doing odd jobs around the boat and is feeling very chuffed with himself. He made 5 new screens to keep the bugs out, mended the steering station cover which was literally falling apart and managed to mop up the water and oil floating in the hold. He has discovered a new use for disposable diapers! They make prefect rags to soak and mop up gunk.
Mr Fix-It !
And now for the big news! Last Sunday Phil woke up with a pronouncement. We are going to France!!!! After cancelling all the plans we had made, he has now determined that even with the boot on for stability, there's no reason why we can't get going. We are leaving it a little close to make our winter moorage in Migennes, and our stay in Paris will be cut short, but we are both excited to get going. Holland has been lovely, our havenmeester and the village have all embraced us with kindness and open hearts, but we are determined to keep the dream going and are heading off to France. We've changed the route and will take the shortest route through Belgium ( a 4 day journey) and we should hit the north of France by about August 8th. Then we have about 5 ½ weeks to get to Migennes where we will leave the boat for the winter. Then we'll make our way back to Amsterdam to fly home on September 23rd. I'm already having nightmares about French locks but presume that fortified by lots and lots of good French wine, I'll survive – or not!
Not sure when the next blog will be posted but I'll keep in touch as events unfold. I am always pleased to hear from you so don't hesitate to email or post a comment on the blog. The distribution email will have an attachment that Kristen prepared to indicate how to Post a Comment directly on the blog.
Much love to all,
The Excited but Nervous Nellie and the Master Mariner