When I was wee, my Grandma told me that if March comes in like a lion (stormy, wintery and generally nasty weather) then it was duty bound to leave like a lamb…
She’d obviously never been to Amsterdam!
Here we are just days away from leaving Sixhaven Marina and freezing easterly winds are lashing the city, bringing the overnight temperatures to well below freezing. I know it has been bad also in England, but the abundance of water and the flatness of the Netherlands, adds to the misery of De weer slecht. (Bad weather).
Most of us liveaboards are heartily sick of it by now as the first of April laughingly heralds the Summer Season for sailors!
Well, it means that the mooring fees come in to full force and the overwintering rate is over. In real terms there must be an exodus from Sixhaven, and for me that means into the adjacent canal and up to the Florapark after the second sluis.
Even the short run up to the Florapark needs to be prepared for; so I have been busy changing the engine oil and fuel, and oil filters, as well as renewing two hydraulic steering pipes that had ruptured due to me dropping a heavy steel vice on top of them!
The Florapark is a free stretch of canal which is used by a rag tag of folk during the summer. Various anarchists and liveaboards populate it, so it can be a bit rough. I shall be going through with a couple of locals who assure me they will look out for me. Needless to say, I am a bit nervous!
At this point one may ask: “Why are you staying in Amsterdam? I thought you were leaving the Netherlands after winter?”
And there is the reason! It still is bloody winter!
Fear not though, dear readers… The Viking Queen will leave as soon as the ice further north melts and the Baltic Sea becomes navigable. Then ‘Free’ shall be sailing into the German Bight and to the Kiel Canal… the gateway to the Baltic!