MEDEMBLIK, then ENKHUISEN
Friday-Tuesday, July 29-August 3
Having gone bow-in through silty mud to rest at our mooring in Hindeloopen we now were backing out without the least bit of noticeable resistance (possibly our keel plowed a trench on the way in?). In this Disney-movie-set-of-a-town we had savored our time spent biking, walking, training (as in locomotives), and being with friends while meeting new ones.
Craving one last anchorage before we headed to Enkhuizen, we opted for a cove off a nature reserve, one our friend Thijs had suggested. We crossed the IJselmeer watching the depth as most of this large lake averages between 10-12 feet, a bit disconcerting when JUANONA draws six-and-a-half feet.
Our approach to our anchoring spot took us through three fleets of racing boats. We managed to snap some photos on the downwind leg of the race with colorful spinnakers puffed out like rounded bellies as the boats screamed through the water.
Later we discovered we had landed next door to a Regatta Center hosting the World Championship of the “29er” class of boats. [If you want more info on those, please google as I’m completely ignorant of them except to know it takes two people–typically young and very fit (du-uh)–to sail one boat… the boats aren’t huge… they are fast… and, I’d love to be on one, as a passenger….]
As we entered the cove we slowly inched our way forward passing red-buoy markers, touching bottom once, until reaching a comfortable depth for anchoring. Here we breathed a sigh of contentment as we gazed around, mentally sending thanks to Thijs for his recommendation of this pastoral anchorage.
For four days we stayed on the hook, rowing into the public dock for walks into town, scrubbing and waxing JUANONA’s hull and deck, and simply relishing being our own little island surrounded by nature. We even enjoyed hearing the thunder booms from an incoming storm, one of the few we’ve experienced this entire summer.
Yesterday we pulled up anchor to sail the 10 miles to Enkhuizen where JUANONA will stay while we head home for a bit.
Our 2016 summer cruising may be coming to an abbreviated end, but with so many rich memories. Being in more populated regions than last summer, we saw numerous museums and other really fascinating cultural sites; and, of course, the wildness of Norway’s coastline and islands and the tamed beauty of the Netherlands captivated us.
Yet, the most memorable times involved the wonderful folk with whom we’ve had the pleasure of sharing time, even if only for a little while.
Paul and John, two Brits who were cycling to Prague and whom we met at Haarlem’s windmill demonstration
Haarlem’s Downtown Coffee manager-owners Linda and Daren who kindly helped us register our Museumkaarts (unfortunately, no photo but may be possible in the near future)
Our guide at the Corrie Ten Boom Museum, who was a child here during WWII, and just radiated warmth and love
Tara at a great hostel-inn, HELLO I AM LOCAL, where we hung out using their wifi while sipping coffee and beer at their cafe
The wild and crazy crew we met in Amsterdam at the Liberation Day trivia quiz: a German Couple, Ilse and Werner, and three, thirty-year-old locals who had grown up together, Erik, Ditske and Koen
Fellow sailors, Henk and Kiki, whom we met tied along Hoorn’s town wall and who continue to send us helpful advice for navigating these Dutch waters (as well as later meeting his son, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren cruising at Vlieland when we were prepping for our Norway passage) and one of our wonderful nephews, Rudy
Another fellow sailor, Thijs, his wife Deborah and young daughter Tika, whom we initially met in Hoorn and had the good fortune to meet up again in Hindeloopen
Our “Belgium Family”–Ta, Koen, Seppe, Frieke, and Wannes–who made the trek over to see us along with Rudy
The guys from Norway’s Rescue Organization, Redningsselskapet, docked behind us at our first port of call in Norway (Egersund) who gave Max a diesel additive (again, a missed opportunity for a photo)
Skudneshavn rafting neighbors on our third night in Norway: two Norwegian lads, Lars and Oddbjoern, and two Brits, Judy and James
A surreal, serendipitous meeting of a fellow Mainer, Paul, who later hosted us in his hometown, Stavanger
There but for the kindness of strangers: the guy who helped us fill up with diesel in Skudneshavn, using his credit card in case ours wouldn’t work
The lovely Dutch couple who, along with us, were the only other non-Norwegians in the tour of the Barony Rosendal
Marit and Even, a Norwegian cruising couple with whom we wish we had been able to share an anchorage
And, because of Marit we met Irene in Bergen and had a delightful coffee break discussing her project resulting in a book, WORD BY WORD, ROW BY ROW
Two lovely, wonderful people, Elisabeth and Gunnar of Os, who treated us like lifelong friends
And, because of them we met Vibeke, who along with her husband Peter, runs a successful art gallery on the island of Lepsoy
Hildegunn, our bus driver on the island of Sotra, who drove us to Televag when she knew we had to wait several hours for the next bus
Dag, to whom we regrettably had to turn down his invite for coffee at his home but said we hope to change that to a ‘yes’ if back next summer
Eoin from Ireland who also happens to be the OCC Port Captain in Stavanger and who made my tummy ache from laughing so much
Max’s Norwegian Family–Oddbjoern, Bjoern, Sylvie, Antonia, and Kelly–who gave us a magical experience and a true appreciation for Max having family in Norway
And, those we met upon our return to the Netherlands and, unfortunately, lack photographs:
Nick, our friendly neighbor at Vlieland Marina… Danielle and Henk who helped us with our lines docking at Hindeloopen (and gave the good advice of rev it up to get through the mud)… Kitty and Paul with whom we had fascinating conversations as well as plenty of laughs… Lena and Henk with whom we spent a wonderful evening soaking up their knowledge of cruising the Danish and Swedish coastlines… and, fellow OCCer, Peter, who graciously drove an hour to meet us today before we fly back to the states.
I’m not religious but I do appreciate what the universe may provide, and for all the human reasons above, we definitely feel ‘blessed’.
Thank you to all who made our 2016 summer aboard JUANONA so absolutely special.
FYI: The reason we’re stopping our cruising so early is due to a visa regulation. As non-residents we are juggling two restrictions dictated by the EU and Schengen, the latter being a treaty signed by the EU and Scandinavia.
In the UK US citizens are allowed to visit up to six months at a time. To reset the visa, you can do so by simply exiting the UK and then returning. This six-month visa allowance (and the ease to reset it) was one of the primary reasons for our staying in England these past two winters.
All Schengen countries (Scandinavia and all EU countries with the exception of the UK) restrict visitors to a total of three months out of six. Once you’ve spent a cumulative 90 days you must leave the Schengen area for three months before you can return for another three months (90 cumulative days). For long-term visitors, such as cruisers, the three-month restriction doesn’t allow a lot of time for slow traveling by boat, or for finding a place to winter aboard. However, it’s not as if the good ole’ US of A makes it easy for visitors either, so fair is fair.
On the other hand, JUANONA isn’t affected by the Schengen treaty. And, she can stay for up to 18 months in the EU without paying the value-added-tax (V.A.T.). That V.A.T. exclusion can be reset by simply documenting entering the waters of a non-EU country. Thankfully, Norway isn’t in the EU, which is why these past two summers made it extremely easy to reset the tax exclusion. (Brexit will add an interesting twist to how non-UK cruisers and boats will be treated.)
Anyhow, that’s what we juggle when determining where, when, and how long we cruise in certain areas over here. Now that I’ve tangled your mind up with that bureaucratic rope, I’ll stop nattering on.