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The Frisian Islands


Date: Monday 27th to Friday 30th May

Distance : 229 miles.

Weather : Fair, NE, mostly 10 knots

We were planning to lock into the Nordsee canal and stay in Amsterdam for a few days, but the weather was fair, so we thought we would make the trip across the top of Holland and Germany to Cuxhaven.

Left Ijmuiden intending to head for Den Helder, but just before we left, and old salt said that he was heading for Vlieland (where?), due to benefitting from the double tide. Out came the almanac....

Somewhere off Den Helder there was a bang. We still don't know what it was but deduce we must have hit something under the water. It's rare not to be able to see anything on the surface (at least round here) but we couldn't spot anything. We may find out when we haul the boat....

Vlieland MarinaArrived late at Vlieland and guess what - packed to the gills. Rafted up to a very nice man who explained that this was just before the long Dutch Bank holiday, and had we come tomorrow, you would have been able to walk across the boats. Vlieland turned out to be very nice and worth the visit.

The following day we crept out at 6AM for the long trip to Norderney (motoring - NE breeze on the nose). We decided to go for Norderney because last time we stayed there we didn't get off the boat, and we'd had enough of Borkum. It turned out to be a much better choice.

We arrived in Norderney at around 9PM on the eve of the Bank Holiday - 'Men's Day'.Norderney This seems to be celebrated in Germany by blokes peeing of the back of the boat - even in the Marina. Another feature seems to be raucus laughter - mainly from the women. Its as though they have to prove that somethings funny. Odd.

After a day off, we headed for Cuxhaven via the notorious Elbe estuary. Just about everything was wrong. Tide, Wind etc. So we left late, to try and get the tide gate (still arrived too early for it) and in the event, the wind shifted and we had a glorious sail in about 16-18 knots from the Light Vessel in to Cuxhaven. Arrived at about 10PM, but guess what - packed (all the Hamburgers go to Helgoland for the Weekend, and Cuxhaven is the staging point.) Rafted up (again) to a very nice man in a Fisher.

One impression, is that since our last visit, many more Germans speak English. Delightful, but embarrassing...


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