At last – we are back on the boat. After nearly three years we have finally got to see that the boat still exists which is just as well as we have been paying to store it throughout the pandemic. It turned out that we decided to arrive on Konigsdag – the Dutch ‘Kings Day‘ – a bank holiday. However, De Gier Boatyard had very efficiently put the boat in the water ready for us. Once we had worked out how to get in (!) we found the boat moored in one of their berths looking very clean and tidy. First appearances were very promising. The cabin had survived two years well with no mould or damp, though a lot of cleaning was required, not least because we hadn’t cleaned up properly when we left the boat pre-pandemic, expecting to be back within a few weeks!
However, the further we got into things, the more issues we found. The worst one was that all the mousing lines had rotted from UV damage over nearly three years and so we had no way to pull all the halyards back through the mast. A fun hour was spent up the mast dropping down weighted lines and trying to find them at the bottom, but we got there in the end. While up there we fitted the new wind vane and a couple of other jobs. We then gradually fitted all the sails and at the end of the day collapsed into a local restaurant for a very nice meal ….
This morning, after getting the yard to fix a couple of issues with seacocks (always better to keep the water outside the boat!), we headed through the lock to the Ijselmeer round to Compagnieshaven. Coming into the marina I proved how long it had been since I have driven the boat by messing up the approach so well – it was all perfect in my head, but the implementation was well short of my plan! The rest of the day was spent spending money – lots of it …. New fenders (two years constant UV has destroyed many of them), new warps (partly chafed through), new charts (for the new chart plotter), new mousing lines (ones which won’t rot!), a new Fender step (UV-damaged) and so on …. The end result was the sort of bill where you need to be sitting down before paying it ….
However, we are ready to go – an early start tomorrow to head through Friesland on the canals …..