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.
Party time!

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!

The Pimple!

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




  1. Hi guys! So glad you're heading off to fulfill your dream of France! Will you also go to Ty & Karen's wedding?
    Things are fine here and at the BC Specialty on the Lower Mainland on Friday, in the sweeps in the morning, Honour and Ready placed 2nd in their respective veterans classes. In the Specialty in the afternoon, Ready placed 3rd! And Honour placed 1st! So she got to go in the Breed ring for the big finale at the end. Didn't win Veterans, but it was a thing of beauty to see Andrew and her in the ring on a beautiful July afternoon.
    Hope Phil's foot is not too much bother for him and anyway, warm weather's better than cool!
    Rosemary & Andrew

  2. It is good to hear that you are heading off to France. The trip will be extraordinary. It must have been fun watching the World Cup in the Netherlands. You will likely hear that the weather in Edmonton has been up and down, lots of rain. By the end of this summer you will have to change your title to Master Mariner, if not Captain. Enjoy the warm weather. Mary-Janr

  3. Bon Jour
    We hope you have an interesting trip, adventurous,eventfull but nothing dangerous.Keep us posted, we would like to know where you are.
    We are making up for lost time and are heading for the northen Dutch coast with our RV on Wedensday.
    Bon voyage Auriol & Meinhard

  4. Hi Phil and Sharlene,
    Have a wonderful time in France....are you going to Auzerre ?
    Emma gave birth to Kyle this morning...7 weeks early and by epidural had a C section and hysterectomy.
    Baby and Mother are doing well...Kyle is 5 lbs.
    We can relax now....for a while anyway !
    Charles second cataract surgery is tomorrow..what a week.
    We should be canal crusing too !!!!!
    Love Helen and Charles

  5. Great to hear that you are moving on! Best wishes on your journey to France. I hope you get a chance to see a bit of Belgium on the way.

    Bob and Susan

  6. Great blog again Mom!! I miss you guys lots, but Dave and I are having a wonderful time on our trip. Montreal is still lovely, and the architecture makes me want to move back. But...then I get out onto the busy streets and try to navigate my way through all the people and I start to get a little anxious! I'd rather navigate a French lock with two casts on!! :o) We are "doing" the Vieux Port today, and then having supper with Natasha and her daughter. Then tomorrow we're off to see the cousins - Dave's as well as mine! I'm being "subjected" to more family, but so is Dave!! :o) We hope to hear from you soon, and send you our love. Big hugs and kisses to you both!!!

    Kristen and Dave