After I am “home” again in Friesland, I sail to the Kruispolle, a marrekrite island on the Fluessen, where I usually moor on my way back to pick the then ripe blackberries and rose hips to make jam. But that is late in August. Once in the entrance to the island, I saw that they were working hard on a completely new revetment. Concrete wall plates are being driven into the shore, after which they will be connected with new scaffolding planks. I arrive there on 13 April. I will stay there for a week and then, on 19 April, I will sail on to Heeg. I have made an appointment with the Nautical Centre in Heeg to see what the repair of my dinghy will cost. We moored at “it Butlan” in Heeg. Someone from that company comes to take a look and gives me the bad news that it will be expensive. I walk with him to the shop where he will make two quotations for the four torn off eyes. One quote is for replacing all four and one only for the two towing eyes. Respectively € 792,- den € 430,-.
That is when I decide to call in the insurance. After a few phone calls, the insurance company agrees to pay the highest damage amount minus the €75 excess. By the way, the towing eyes were not meant to hang in the Davids but only to tow. This has to do with the shape of the ring, a so-called D-ring. This would mean that I would have to have extra lifting eyes fitted. In consultation with Nautical Centre I am looking for a new boat. Costs incl. lifting eyes € 1200,- brand “Diesel Rubbing”. a boat of 2.30 mtrs. Now a calculation tells me the following. Buy that new boat minus allowance of own money € 483,-
For my old dinghy I buy 2 separate towing eyes for €30,- , which I have already glued on. Furthermore, I have cleaned the 3 year old dinghy and it is now for sale for €450,- . If I succeed, I will have a new dinghy with two extra lifting eyes almost at a bargain.
Today, the 10th of May, the container arrived at the Nautical Centre with my new boat, I expect to have it before the end of the week and then I can hang it in the Davids. Now I hope to sell my old boat before I go to sea.
The weather is finally starting to get better, until now I still had to use the heater, but not for a week now. The next problem is the remote control for the autopilot, which is looking for its network but cannot find it. And that is a problem because now I have to run inside to change a course when I am working on the deck. I can’t figure it out myself. I made an appointment with Rimare in the houkesloot near Sneek on 17 June. So I stay around the Sneekermeer for a while. I am not making any progress.
On Monday May 23rd I get the message from Rimare that my remote control is dead. The other bad news is that they are not for sale anymore (they were €600,-) The good news is that they have a used one and tested it with my transmitter, I can have this one for €300,- , so I did that quickly.
Roof hatch repair
Soon I will continue my way to my spot near Akkrum and more to the marrekrite. I will stay there for 7 days and start with some repairs and maintenance. I will start with the repair of one of the gliders of the roof hatch, which is about 1.50 metres long. That bar was attached with 4 screws, which had completely rusted through. This is an essential repair to prevent me from losing my roof hatch in a seaway. There is a lot of rust coming from the upright steel edge under that bar, so start by de-rusting it. The area around the roof also has a lot of rust spots, so I will take those too. When I check the rest of the area and the front roof of the cabin for rust, a lot is showing up, so besides the roof repair I also decide to derust the lower part of the cabin and get it ready for painting. When I have de-rusted all of that, I put two coats of primer on all those spots. After a day this is all dry again and I start with the actual repair of the roof glider. The screws were from the inside under woodwork that I don’t want to demolish, so I thought of another method. I still have a set of pop rivet pliers on board, but for blind nuts, so I am going to drill them into the steel from the outside and pop them in, 4 of them. When that is done and fits well, I grease the wooden batten on the inside with brown sealant, then I press the batten into place and screw in 4 stainless steel countersunk screws from the outside. It sits like a house again.
On 31 May, I continue my journey to Leeuwarden after having spent four days in Akkrum Geleen for washing, filling up with water, shopping and changing my TV. My television in the bedroom had broken down. I had bought a nice sound bar at Action and after installation put the wrong headphone plug in the TV resulting in nothing but crackling and interrupted sound from that moment on. I had bought this TV from AROB Antennebouw in 2016, so called them with the problem. This could be repaired fairly easily and cost about €50.
So me with the TV in a big bag by train and bus to Arob in Siegerswoude and handed in the TV. I would be called when it was ready. After two days a phone call and here too TV died, nothing more to do. But we still have a used one, so I took the train and the bus at 10 o’clock to Siegerswoude. A slightly larger TV but still suitable for mounting on my bathroom door, at 1500 I was back on board, time for a drink.
On Wednesday 5 June I will leave Akkrum. Next stop is the Alde Feanen, the heart of Friesland (see menu Photo&Film). There, too, I will spend two days in a beautiful nature reserve, to sail to Leeuwarden on 8 June via Wartena and more off to the Prinsentuin for a night.
Dokkumer Ee and Dokkum
After Leeuwarden, we steamed out of the city, onto the Dokkumer Ee and followed this meandering river in the direction of Dokkum, to finally turn into the small harbour of Molen de Zwaluw owned by miller and harbour master Jan Tollenaar in the village of Burdaard. These are all home runs and I have been sailing this route for 12 years. I stay here for three nights and then move to a marrekrite a little further on. On 20 June, I sailed to Dokkum and left the lake temporarily before going through the bridge, because I had planned a repair here as well. During an inspection, I saw that the boom of the mizzen mast was swaying in the wind, further investigation showed that the weld of the fitting had completely torn off. So I started to juggle where in Dokkum I could get stainless steel welded, well I found one just before you sail into Dokkum. So I phoned and explained that it was no problem, the man said, come along. The RVS fittings were already fixed to the aluminium boom with 4 pop rivets for 49 years, so I drilled them out because you don’t want to carry around a 4.5 metre boom. It took almost an hour, with a lot of penetrating oil, to get the fittings off. So after mooring I took my hilt with me and another stainless steel outrigger to have it welded. When I asked what it would cost, the man said, get a packet of heavy cigarettes at the petrol station across the road. Now the holes for the blind rivets were either ripped out or not, but in any case 5 mm, I had the nails, but they did not fit in my pliers. So when I handed over my packet of shag, I explained the problem to him and the man said: “Take my pliers with you. That is a Frisian kindness. After the nails were posted, this was also fixed. Then we sailed into Dokkum and moored opposite the windmills. On the day before departure there is a knock at the boat, man and woman, I did not recognise them at first but they turned out to be Sam and Cees from the Sambucca that I had met in September 2015 with their Swedish wooden lifeboat. Now they were sailing in an Aluminium sailing yacht the “Ellya”
On 23 June after the necessary fresh groceries left again for the Lauwersmeer for the last part of Holland. After the lock of Dokkumerzijlen moored on my own stekkie “Senneroog”.
On Wednesday 29 June 09.00, after 5 nights, we left for the lock of Lauwersoog and headed out of the sea. ETA Norderney 22.00. Planned to be at the “sluchter”, a sandbank that is 3-40 cm deep at low tide, at least 2-3 hours before high tide. Arrived there as planned 0m 22.00. Locker no problem, anchor out on tidal current for entrance to Norderney harbour at 23.000 hours.
Anchor off Norderney at 07.50, wind calm 3Bft, sailing out via “Dovetief” with current to Helgoland, arrival 17.31. 4 nights planned on Helgoland. Moored as third boat in package. Boat on my inside wanted to leave at 08.00, no problem I said I will refuel in the inner harbour and find a place afterwards. So I did on Thursday 30 June in front of the gas station. Fuel price €1,71. per ltr. when buying > 500 ltr. (normally I never pay more than €0,90 ct. but still cheaper than the Netherlands. 818 ltr. tanked, still saves €400,- and with that advantage I buy 2 boxes (24ltr) malt whiskey for the winter.
Eider and Kiel canal
On Sunday, 3 July, I cast off at 0810 in Helgoland with destination Tonning, which lies on the Eider river behind the EiderSperrwerk. To arrive at Tonning at high tide one needs 1 1/2 tide. 6+3=9 hours HW Tonning 1700 so 17-9=8. At the approach of the Eidersperrwerk we cross the mudflats again and you have to follow the farmers line. Now my chart was more than 2 years old, so it is to be expected that this is no longer correct and I must follow the barrels. At 15.50 I was at the Eidersperrwerk at high tide. After being locked up, I made my way across the still tidal Eider River, where I moored at 16.47. No more room on the floating jetties, so just along the quay on tide. I had set out two long lines so that the boat could also sink. However, at low tide when you are in the mud, I appeared to fall askew and my lines were stretched like a string. So not long enough. At the next high tide I corrected this.
On 4 July I will leave Tonning 3 hours before high water (18.00), in order to get the current along the Eider river. There are still a few obstacles in the form of bridges. Strassenbrug Tonning, Eisenbahnbrug, Strassenbrug Friedrichstad and finally the Nordfeldsluis. After this last one, you are on regulated water again, so no more tides. None of these bridges or locks has a VHF radio, so it is important that you have the telephone numbers in advance to call that you are coming. After all, with a current of 8-10 knots you do not want to have to wait for a bridge to open. So report well in advance what time you expect to be at that bridge (especially at the eisenbahn bridge). google on “betriebszeiten der schleusen und brucken der Eider” website https://elwis.de
There you will find all information about bridges, locks and operating times.
Hint for indicating ETA bridges and locks on the Eider river
A good hint if you have a plotter where you can plot route and waypoints. I myself use a Raymarine ES98 plotter. What I do on the eider (and on other occasions where arrival time is essential) I plan a complete route over it with waypoints. I will never follow that route up to date because in this case you are on a narrow fast flowing river. But I click before I start to follow that route, the plotter has this route info now in its memory, then I click “auto” and my steering is followed by my input degree left or right and not by the route. As long as I do not click on “stop following”, the route will continue to be followed by the plotter in the background, and at each waypoint a message will be shown telling me that the waypoint has been reached. If you now look in the plotter at the whole route, where you see all the waypoints listed, you will see the time you arrive at each waypoint based on your current speed. So if you make sure that each bridge has a waypoint (you can also call them that) you can tell up to the minute what time you will be there. For example, 20 minutes before I arrive at the railway bridge, I can tell the bridge keeper that I will be at your bridge at 16.57. If the bridge operator says I can turn at 17.20, the only thing you have to do is reduce the speed of your boat (and most of the time you are not sailing on a river like that) until the plotter indicates that by slowing down you will be there at 17.20. This works 10 times better than sailing on a radar. This works 10 times better than turning around in front of the bridge on a narrow tidal river on the current. This is also called anticipating.
Nordfeld lock end of tidal river
At about 5.30 p.m. as planned, I locked into the Nordfeld lock and left the lock on regulated water. In the curve of the village of Suderstapel, I drop anchor outside the buoyage and have a drink. That’s enough for today. I hang up the escapes for Simba, so she has more freedom of movement and can run across the deck and cabin and try to climb the mast. These escapes are no more than a rubber mat or ropes with lines into the water, if she goes overboard she can at least get back in and it worked once. So better than fishing up a dead floating kitten.
On 5-July-2022 The next morning at 10.10 a.m. I continue my way and moor at Tielehemme, a small harbour where I have been coming for years. Here I do 2 washings and fill the water tank for free. The women’s EK has started so it is great to watch football.
Friday 8 July-2022
I continued to the last lock at Gieselau and stayed there for two nights. Here is the connection with the Kiel Canal.
At 08.20 I turn into the Kiel Canal, at the same time Sam and Cees from the Ellya leave, who have already spent the night in the lock at Brunsbuttel. We agreed to meet up 2.5 Nm before the lock at Holtenau on the Flemhudersee, where I drop anchor every year, and then sail through the lock into the Baltic Sea.ebben afgesproken dat we elkaar treffen 2,5 Nm voor de sluis van Holtenau op de Flemhudersee waar ik elk jaar anker, om vervolgens door de sluis de Oostzee op te varen.
I drop my anchor at 14.20 on the Flemhudersee and Sam and Cees also turn onto the Flemhudersee around 17.00 and moor alongside me, behind one anchor.
Together, we leave the Flemhudersee for the lock at Holtenau (Kiel), where we turn into the Baltic Sea together and hoist the sails.
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