First Sea Trial: Amsterdam to Hoorn

Now the posts are coming faster, mainly due to the amount of activity, preparing for the voyage north.

Please be patient, for once I leave, there will be fewer; this is due to the lack of time and nature of sailing (hard work and lots of sleep!). Yes even old hippies get tired!

This weekend ‘Happy Six’ and ‘Free’ sailed up to Hoorn in the north of the Markermeer. We left Amsterdam in the morning and were blessed with favourable westerly breezes all the way to Hoorn.

Carro's photograph of me tying up 'Free' in the Oranjesluis. This connects the Port of Amsterdam with the Markermeer.

Carro’s photograph of me tying up ‘Free’ in the Oranjesluis. This connects the Port of Amsterdam with the Markermeer.

There is always safety in numbers on Sea Trials. If one of us breaks down, then the other can help and vice versa. There are so many possible failures, such is the nature of seafaring in general and sailing specifically. My mind returns sometimes to the May of 2011 when on trials in the Blackwater and I was taken out at two in the morning by Thames sailing barge ‘Thistle’. There is nothing more lonely and frightening than being alone when something major happens.

Carro and Dan's turn! Waiting for the sluis and looking relaxed and contented.

Carro and Dan’s turn! Waiting for the sluis and looking relaxed and contented.

After negotiating the Oranjesluis we were soon both under full sail and heading north east towards Marken where we were due to turn nor’westerly for the run up to Hoorn. Obviously, ‘Happy Six’ is the faster boat so it wasn’t long before they left me behind; however, we remained in VHF radio frequency.

'Happy Six' and 'Free' under full sail at last!

‘Happy Six’ and ‘Free’ under full sail at last!

For the rest of the afternoon ‘Free’ sailed ‘close-hauled’ (as near to the wind as possible before luffing up, when the sails start flapping.) It was quite exciting as I reached over six knots; very fast for a motor-sailer. Coming abeam of Edam I had to lower the staysail (the middle sail in the picture). This was due to there being too much wind, putting ‘Free’ under stress. Obviously, spilling some of the wind takes the pressure off the sails and rigging; the higher the wind, the less sail area you need. The skill of sailing is to judge how much sail to have out in varying conditions.

As the sun began its descent I made radio contact with Dan on ‘Happy Six’. They were already in Hoorn, waiting for me. I eased ‘Free’ into the anchorage and spent the night at anchor.

Finally anchored off Hoorn after a lively sail.

Finally anchored off Hoorn after a lively sail.

As the evening enveloped Hoorn, I rowed my tender over to the town marina to visit Carro and Dan and we had tea… three vikings together! A wonderful day of sailing and good company.

The following morning I left early under engine and what a difference a night can make! Poor visibility and a strong sou’ sou’ easterly wind invalidated any attempt to sail, so it was the trusty old Polly Perkins to the rescue. As this was a sea trial it was a very useful return to Amsterdam with the chance to monitor my engine. I left with navigation lights on and the radar operating, due to the poor visibility. Eventually the sun chased the fog away and I arrived back in the Dam just after midday.

A wonderful weekend and a valuable sea trial!

Advertisements

About Viking Queen

I am a sailor and I live on my boat 'Free'. I have no home but originate from Tyneside. I have no allegiance, just a desire to do no harm and live with courage and an open heart.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to First Sea Trial: Amsterdam to Hoorn

  1. christian says:

    glad that she passed her first sea trial, she looks so fresh and clean – what a lovely way to finish with a hot mug of tea.
    C x

    • Viking Queen says:

      Hi Chris,
      This is the nice bit after the hell of winter! Leaving soon… around the 27th. Hope all is well with you and the boys. Px

  2. Penelope says:

    Well done Poppy! Get a bit of wind in your sails and tighten up your luff.

    • Viking Queen says:

      You know the words Pen! Wanna crew for me? Thought not!!!!!!!!! Hope you guys are enjoying dear old Brum!

  3. rollinwithcarro says:

    I just loved that weekend, looking forward to the next one.

  4. Viking Queen says:

    It was wonderful. Hope you enjoyed Sweden!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s