Maybe not the best headline, it is no drama with being trapped, but sailing in the north of Europe in the wintertime certainly is a different experience than the Hawaii sailing in August and California in September. More correct headlines could have been; “Sailing home for Christmas”, “It`s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” or other song titles down that road…
When we now are trapped, Netherland is a great place to be! We sailed from Dover to Haag (The Hague). We struggled to cross the channel outside Dover at 90 degrees, with 4-5 knots of current pushing us north, but after some discussions with the English coast guard we crossed and had a quick trip towards north/east. Outside Europort (the largest industrial harbor in Europe?) it was not more than 3 ships around us and we had the same current, so the crossing was made very quick. From Haag we continued to Ijmuiden and from there on the inland waterways to Amsterdam Just when we came in through the lock we were stopped for a passport control. It is obvious that European countries are watching more over their borders now than a few years ago. In Amsterdam we looked around – beautiful city and nice people everywhere. Some bike sightseeing was also done. From Amsterdam we were “sluiced” (lock) in to Markermeer, one of the two big lakes north of Amsterdam. The plan was to enter in to Ijsselmeer (the other big lake) and find a slip in Enkhuizen. We came to the lock around 1500 and are used to not having to wait for more than some minutes, but that turned out not to work out as planned. They were not at work before 1100 the next day so we tied up to the waiting dock for the night, and yep – no facilities available.
Today we got through and sailed in snowy weather across Ijsselmeer to Makkum. Not as much traffic out here now as we had last time we sailed here (the other way in the summer of 2016), but we met two traditional ships.
Octopus is now dressed for Christmas, both inside, and now during the afternoon we have also got snow on deck and in the cockpit.
Hopefully, we can continue our trip towards the Kiel canal in the next few days, but it is a lot of wind in the German bay, so we may have to wait some days, maybe until next weekend.