From Amsterdam, we passed along the North Sea Canal (mostly motoring against light winds with canal traffic) and locked out into the port of IJmuiden. We were visited in the marina by Ynskje’s nephews Aram and Raban for a pleasant evening of chat and reminiscences.
After what seems like a very difficult season, weather-wise, summer had at last arrived and we had positioned ourselves to take advantage of four days of easterly winds, although they would be light. To make the most of them, we skipped stopping at Scheveningen and sailed on carrying the spinnaker until sunset and then overnight – not something we do often without extra crew. A racing pigeon hitched a lift for an hour or so while it rested. It was a beautiful warm star-lit night as we ghosted along in the company of two other yachts. Unfortunately, at 4:00am the wind failed completely, leaving us drifting about in the approaches to Zeebrugge, so we motored to shallows off Oostende where we anchored at dawn to rest and wait for wind.
In the afternoon a light air appeared and we had a gentle spinnaker run along the Belgian coast. Lots of yachts were out enjoying the sunny Sunday afternoon. In Dunkerque, we berthed at the Yacht Club, caught up on sleep and visited Leclerc’s to stock up on French goodies to ease any Brexit deprivations.
On Tuesday we had one last afternoon of fine easterly airs and we moved on to Calais, thus positioning ourselves for an easy crossing to Dover when the westerlies return. Tomorrow, Antipole should be in the UK again after four years away.
Ynskje & Tony