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Wednesday 27 April  Woendag
Boat maintenance and preparation for Koeningsdag tomorrow. The bunting is up! Koeninsdag or King’s day is a public holiday to celebrate the monarch’s birthday. Queen Juliana’s birthday was 28 April – so that’s the date of the festival. When she was suceeded by Queen Beatrice, whose birthday was 31 January, they sensibly decided to retain the festival date, in the hope of good weather.
How can I tell where I am, even with closed eyes? The smell of coffee roasting (it seems to be the ubiquitous industry) and the sound of carillon bells.
Thursday 27 April Donderdag  KOENINGSDAG
We were woken this morning by a marching band going past and all the church and other bells ringing. So still  not in the UK!
Now there is a King, but unfortunately, the weather didn’t co-operate this year and  there were few people out on the streets. Which was a pity for the live musicians in Bolsward. We almost remembered how to dance ‘rock n’ roll!
In a hopeful mood, Dave bought some sunglasses. In The NL even buying some cheap specs necessitates the optician fitting them on you. The other half of the optician’ premises was a wool and fabric shop. This is quite common – two apparently unrelated businesses sharing premises. A sensible idea.
Friday 28 April  Vrijdag
Up at 7am (6am to you UK land-lubbers!) to empty the toilet and get  fresh water, then under the road bridge en route to Workum. As the wind was behind us, we experimented with the jib plus engine and got up to 4.2kn for an instant.
Saturday 29 April Zaterdag
There’s a strange light in the sky and we only needed two layers of clothing! Walked to a beach on the Ijsselmeer. I’ve never seen so many sails, dinghies, sailboards and modern and trad boats further out. Thesky was hazy so distant wind turbines looked as if their blades were dipping into the water. It looked flat calm further out and I think it must have been because none of the boats were making much progress. The water near the beach seems to form a lagoon, with sandbanks further out , where the saildboarders could get off and walk around. Saw Shelducks.
Later dinner abord, with our friends Pieter and Ineke Schulting, who also own a Finesse, although theirs isn’t in the wter yet. In the way which is more usual in the NL than the UK, they lived on a large boat in Amsterdam for many years, brought up their children there, then owned another boat and although now retired to dry land, they couldn’t resist getting a ‘little boat’, so they can carry on having adventures. They bought their Finesse in the UK and sailed it back themselves. Much better seamanship than us!
Sunday 30 April Zondag
Still sunny. Turned the boat round on it’s moorings as the wind had changed direction. This wasn’t easy. All the while, the carillon played a selection of tunes. And the owners of the boat next door took their miniature Oldspot pigs for a walk!
Much windier day and many more sailboarders out on the Ijsselmeer. Lovely walk along the dyke and back  ona cycle path through farmland. Very cute lambs,plus plovers, various geese, shelducks again, redshanks and lapwings.
Monday 1 May Maandag
Getting diesel involved a long wait hile a cruiserbound for Berlin filled both it’s tanks and almost gave us a diesel shower into the bargain. Moored on a Marrekrite mooring , surrounded by water, reeds, birds and rain. A trd boat with a family on board moored nearby. Played the ‘Dutchlanguage game’ basically trying to work out how to say things in Dutch. It will be easier when we oick up our new and better Dutch/English dictionary when back in the UK.
Excitements on this get-away-from-it-all site include two coots having a territorial scrap and an owl which sat on a branch and looked at us. Not sure if it was a Little Owl or a Tawny. Probably Little as the Twny owl is strictly nocturnall, although its face wasn’t quite right. Wish it had made a noise and then we’d have known.
Tuesday 2 May Dinsdag
Walked around the island while Dave readied the sails for today’s adventure. And adventure it was! We learned a lot, including: reefing the sails is a waste of time, tacking at 10 degree tilt is exciting, the chart plotter is invaluable, always pull in the mainsail after a run if you want to go upwind and the jib furler  jams in an annoying way so as to make you not want to use it again!
Moored at Langweer – most expensive morring yet as 14E, plusshowers and electricity. But it was worht it to get out of the wind and chop.
Wednesday 3 May Woensdag
Dtudied the chart before setting offback to Grou. Sailed across Snitsmeer, which was challenging (for me). A Dutch man in a family boat came past and shouted, ‘Hey English Man! How’s it going in Great Britain?’ Our reply was ‘Just limping along.’
We can now get the mainsail down from the hatch, so Dave doesn’t have togo on the roof, which is obviously a better way.
Moored outside Ostergoo Hotel in Grou and enjoyed beer on their terrace in the sunshine.
Thursday 4 May Donderdag
Now moored on Marrekrite PR52, in a channel outside Grou. Getting here was interesting…very windy and the chart plotter switched itself off at what could have been a crucial time, but fortunately we could already see the side channel we needed to turn into.
Slap SLAP, gurgle, judder, wobble, slap SLAP,rattle, flap, slap SLAP was the night’s soundtrack.
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