Where to now?

Day 6

Last time we wrote we’d had to put into Ijmuiden instead of Den Helder. So where to now?

Despite our late arrival into Ijmuiden we were up to catch the 8am tidal lift along the coast. We just had the small matter of paying for our overnight berth. That done, in very shallow water, we were off, along with a flotilla of other yachts, leaving the breakwater about 0840am.

Leaving Ijmuiden

Suzanne was very tired and grumpy, and went back to sleep out on deck for a few hours, in her fleece despite the temperature being 22 degrees that early in the morning. Clearly we were in for another hot day, so the bimini was raised once again to give some shade.

Unexpected visitors

As the temperature continued to rise, so the wind reduced. At around 1130 Suzanne spotted a very large rib approach and stop at a yacht behind us. After a few minutes it headed towards us. We were about to be boarded by the Dutch authorities!

Our friendly boarders

The rib held 4 men, 2 of whom stayed in the rib, while the other two came on board. They introduced themselves as representing customs, immigration, the police and the coastguard. One asked to see our passports and the other to see our boat registration papers. We offered them a drink, which they declined, but they were happy to chat and have their picture taken.

Excitement over we settled down to a lunch of freshly baked ciabatta rolls with cheddar, crisps and fruit. We spotted a shoal of fish making the sea boil with their movement, lots of terns and the odd solitary seal.

A change of plan – again

We reviewed our plan to go to Den Helder, a large naval base. Suzanne had looked through the various cruising guides – the highly recommended Cruising Association Almanac and Brian Navin’s Cruising Guide to the Netherlands – led her to suggest we tried Oudeschild on the island of Texel, opposite Den Helder, one of the Frisian Islands in the Waddenzee.

As we entered the channel between the two, we spotted our first submarine. It wasn’t hard to miss- it was surfaced and looked as if the crew were all standing on it! We also had to pass a commando vessel, Johan De Witt, a landing platform dock, partly submerged. Interesting story about Mr De Witt, murdered and eaten by his own Dutch people!

Spot the submarine

We also encountered our first of the Dutch sailing barges or dutch leeboard yachts. Beautiful wooden sailing vessels, with a leeboard, instead of keel, hanging on the outside of the boat, looking like a strange kind of oar.

As we entered the harbour we were greeted by a 3 masted tall ship, and as we swung to starboard (right) we noticed people jumping in from their barges into the water. Not something you see everyday in the UK.

Befuddled by box berthing

We passed lots of local boats with men sitting drinking, and as we approached the marina, we were pointed towards the far end. As in all the other Dutch marinas, the pontoons are divided by length of boat, and the 12 to 15 metres were right at the back. Except these weren’t pontoons, these were the dreaded box berths.

As we slowed down, the heat struck us. Still dressed in our cold weather gear, suddenly we were sweltering. Then we clocked that everyone else was in their bikinis and shorts. ‘Lassoo the post’ Andrew cried. Slightly bewildered Suzanne used her bowline tieing skills to create a large lassoo, and threw it at one of the posts as we past. It missed. Suzanne then thought getting onto the swim platform might make it easier to get the other side, as the stern of the boat drifted towards it. But by the time she got on it, the boat had moved away too far.

Crystelle Venture in the dreaded box berth

The boat shifted and moved and we ended up in the next berth – thankfully empty. No-one came to our aid – which was unusual. Finally we got her settled, but it was not our finest hour.

It turns out the heatwave had driven the Dutch mad, we were told when we checked in for two nights at Waddenhaven texel. (They also gave us a free cake, to compensate for any disturbance from the diggers busy working on the sea wall.) Unable to move in the heat, except to rollover and dive into the marina water to cool off.

never turn down free cake

What did we do? We went for a walk to find the nearest chandlery, our only concession to the heat being to buy an ice-cream en route. The first chandlery was newly fitted out and had air conditioning, which we wallowed in for a time. Andrew bought our missing German charts, but declined to buy the one that turned out to be over 80 euros.

For the first time our pre-loaded currency card, Caxton, didn’t work. Slightly embarrassing. But neither did any of our other UK bank cards. Luckily we had enough euros. We had the same issue later in the Spa supermarket. Turns out that Maestro is the thing in the Dutch islands. Without maestro you need cash.

We then found our perfect kind of chandlery, all sorts of useful items you never knew existed or you needed, and a really helpful knowledgable owner – Ferry Valk.

Andrew found a converter to use camping gaz bottles on our system so if we should run out of our UK bottles we could still buy local gaz. We also found the missing charts, at a better price – and a ladder to get on and off at the bow of the boat. Eyewateringly expensive – but needs must. We also bought a new handheld VHF radio with the missing and elusive channel 31. If you are ever in Oudeschild, checkout Watersport Texel, Watersport en camping-shop, Heemskerckstraat 2. Bet he has what you need!

Our daily stats

Today was a lovely sail, not too long, not too short, some decent wind and sailing and arriving in time to potter at our location. We sailed for 7 hours, made 40 nautical miles, and averaged speed of 5.5 hours. We added only 2 engine hours and used only a gallon of fuel.

Our sail from Ijmuiden to Oudschild, Texel


You can hear more about this leg of our trip in Episode 11 of our podcast – ‘Submarines, boarders and concrete sheep’ which is available from 24 July. You can see previous episodes of ‘2 in a Boat’ and what’s coming up here.

2 in a boat – our podcast!

2 in a boat is our podcast that brings you the sailing and travel world of Suzanne and Andrew on their aged yacht Crystelle Venture.

Join us

You’ll join us along the way as we prepare for our longest sail yet, from Dartmouth, UK to St Petersburg, Russia. Our route takes us across the North Sea and around the Baltic this summer, a round trip of about 3000 nautical miles.

With a fab intro music written by our talented nephew, Joseph Turner, and artwork by our equally talented daughter, Jessica Caballero – it’s something of a family affair.

The novice and the old salt

The novice and the old salt. All the gear and no idea? What on earth (or on water) could go wrong…? You’ll have to tune in each week to find out how we’re getting on. It’s available from all good podcast sites, Apple Podcasts, Google podcasts, Anchor, Spotify, Breaker, Pocket casts, Overcast, and Radio Public, so hopefully one of those will do it for you!

Crystelle Venture at Darthaven Marina, Kingswear, Devon

We’ll link to each episode as it goes live here, and if there are any show notes, we’ll include them here too.

We’ve now decided to publish our podcasts on a Sunday and a Wednesday – around 6am. So don’t forget to check for new episodes!

Please let us know which is your favourite episode and if you have any questions you’d like us to answer in podcast.

Episode 1 A week to go

Live date: Sunday 16 June

Recorded: Saturday 10 June

Join us on a wet Saturday drive down to the boat – with a rather reluctant Andrew behind the wheel.

Episode 2 – The night before departure

Live Date: Thursday 20 June

Recorded: Sunday 16 June

Join us on a wet and windy Sunday evening in the saloon of Crystelle Venture – slightly tired after all our preparations, and excited too to be setting off next day.

Episode 3 – Dartmouth to Portland

Live Date: Sunday 23 June

Recorded: Monday 17 June

Finally, we are off! Not to France, but the first leg of our journey along the southern coast of England.

Bonus Episode -3a – In the boat from Dartmouth to Portland

Live Date: Tuesday 25 June

Recorded: Monday 17 June

Warts and all live recording of our time sailing across Lyme Bay to Portland. Ever wondered what goes on during those long hours in a small cockpit on a yacht? Now’s your chance to eavesdrop and find out what Andrew and Suzanne get up to!

Episode 4 – Enroute from Portland

Live Date: Friday 28 June

Recorded: Wednesday 19 June

Join Andrew and Suzanne as they podcast from Crystelle Venture as they sail from Portland towards Dunkirk. 

Episode 5 – Why we dove into Dover

Live Date: Monday 1 July

Recorded: Thursday 20 June

So last episode we were on our way to Dunkirk.  But did we get there? Find out in this episode of Two in a Boat.

Episode 6 – Departing Dover

Live Date: Wednesday 3 July

Recorded: Friday 21 June

Finally ‘Two in a Boat’ are set to sail to France.  Just where will they end up this time? 

Episode 7 – Footfall in France

Live Date: Sunday 7 July

Recorded: Friday 21 June

Finally Suzanne, Andrew and Crystelle Venture make footfall in France.  But how did the channel crossing go?  Was it all plain sailing?  Download this latest podcast to hear how it all went.

Bonus episode – 7a – Deceptive Dunkirk

Live Date: Wednesday 10 July

Recorded: Saturday 22 June

Enjoy this bonus episode with our sailors first morning off on the other side of the channel.  Join them as they discuss the delights of Dunkirk and bothersome Belgians.  

Episode 8 – Adieu Dunkirk

Live date: 14 July

Join Suzanne and Andrew in the cockpit of Crystelle Venture as they motor sail from Dunkirk.  Does what happened in Dunkirk stay in Dunkirk?  Listen in to find out.

Episode 9 – Chatting in Cadzand

Live date: 17 July

A week after setting off from Dartmouth, where have 2 in a Boat found themselves?  Find out as they chat in Cadzand.  

Episode 10 – Decisions, Decisions

Live date: 21 July

Wind shift not in your favour?  You have three options – which one are you going to choose?  Listen in as our 2 in a Boat, Suzanne and Andrew, sail up the Dutch coast.

Episode 11 – Submarines, boarders and concrete sheep

Live date: 24 July

Just where have our 2 in a boat washed up now?  They’ve spotted submarines, been boarded by the Dutch authorities, and now want to buy concrete sheep.  Listen in to find out what on earth/on sea, has been going on.

Episode 12 – Slow is pro

Live date: 28 July

Settled into their island berth Suzanne and Andrew discuss the various tactics to mooring up in a box berth, being the only Brits in the village and other such nonsense.  

Episode 13 – Casting my account to Neptune

Live date: 31 July

A hard day and night’s sail and our 2 in a boat are reliving the tale.  Just who gave their account to Neptune, and just what did it consist of?  Find out in today’s episode of 2 in a boat.

Episode 14 – Beating the boat from Borkum

Live date: 4 August

Learn about beating, VMG, and horny Borkum in today’s new podcast from 2 in a boat.

Episode 15 – Borkum, bikes and boys

Live date: 7 August

At last our 2 intrepid sailors have made their way to the gateway to the river Elbe and the prospect of the Kiel canal looms.  But what are our 2 in a boat talking about?  Borkum, bikes and boys! Listen in to hear about their journey from Borkum to Cuxhaven, and all manner of other discussions.

Episode 16 – Cracking the canal

Live date: 11 August

Today is the day our 2 in a boat face one of their biggest fears, and most anticipated parts of their journey to the Baltic – going into the Keil canal (NOK).  Find out how they got on in today’s episode.

Episode 17 – Happy in Heiligenhafen

Live date: 14 August

Join our two jolly sailors as they celebrate crossing the canal, and their tricky entry into heavenly Heiligenhaven.

Episode 18 – Fingers crossed (we don’t hit the bridge)

Live date: 18 August

Fearless?  I don’t think so.  Hear about Andrew’s fear of bridges and bears as they arrive into Warnemunde, the starting point for their Baltic rally.  

Episode 19 – Blowing old boots to Bornholm

Live date: 21 August

Today we find our 2 in a boat preparing for the first official leg in their Baltic rally – from Warnemunde, Germany to Bornholm, Denmark.  What have they done in the past few days and what are their thoughts on the rally?  Join them on Crystelle Venture to catch up with our 2 in a boat.

Episode 20 – Sunshine on a cloudy day

Live date: 25 August

Join Suzanne and Andrew, newly landed on the island of Bornholm in Denmark after their overnight sail from Germany.

Episode 21 – Bandidos, hoards and painted stones

Live date: 28 August

Our Baltic wanderers talk about the first two islands they’ve visited on their trip, Bornholm in Denmark and Gotland in Sweden.

Episode 22 – Loving Latvia

Live date: 1 September

Our 2 in a boat make an unscheduled stop in Lativa – and love it!  Find out how our intrepid Baltic explorers got on in one of the smallest Baltic countries.

Episode 23 – Talking in Tallinn

Live date: 8 September

This episode finds our 2 in a boat talking tales of travel in Estonia, as they find themselves in the capital city, Tallinn.

Episode 24 – Thoughts on Tallinn

Live Date: 11 September

Our 2 in a boat are all Tallinn’d out!  Hear them chat about their time in the Estonian capital – we’re talking showers, submarines, and chandleries of course!

Episode 25 – How we almost joined the Russian navy

Live date: 15 September

Our haphazard sailors almost join the Russian navy, are boarded by sniffer dogs and eventually find themselves in St Petersburg. 

Episode 26 – Tall tales of Russian sailing

Live date: 18 September

Talking fried egg sandwiches, touring St Petersburg and the terror of anchoring at night

Episode 27 – Where the devil does his washing up

Live date: 22 September

Time for our 2 in a boat to start recycling their Scandinavian jokes.  When and where will it finish?!

Episode 28 – In search of vikings

Live date: 25 September

Join our 2 in their cockpit as they’re under sail making 7 knots and looking for Vikings.

Episode 29 – Think we’ve found our viking!

Live date: 29 September

Our two touch bottom, again, visit the old capital Turku, and discuss cake gate. Find out how and why in today’s episode.