Crews bid each other farewell after a long passage from Goes

Wednesday 16th August

Day 12

Position – Nieuwpoort, Belgium

51°08′. 598 N 002°44′. 324 E

It was a long passage for crews today. First boats had to be disentangled from the web of warps at Goes, and then proceed at a stately 5 knots down the Goes canal. Then it was a brief sprint before coming together again to navigate the ship canal that runs down the Beveland Peninsula.

Once through this, it was plain sailing. The conditions that accompanied the fleet down the Dutch and Belgian coasts were superb – small swells and sun. Those boats that could open up did, and made a great sight as they accelerated away from the last lock of the ship canal.

Calm Voyager got to Nieuwpoort first, followed closely by Wayward Angel and Yoo Hoo. There were the usual queues for the two fuel pontoons in the harbour, but after this, the only thing to do was sit back, soak up the sun and wait for the displacement boats to come in.

Kim, aboard Formanda, arrived at around 7pm and immediately met crews for a briefing. His weather call once again turned out to be spot on, with locals telling us to get out tomorrow, or wait until next Tuesday.

So tomorrow, Kim will lead the slower boats across the TSS, while Calm Voyager escorts the quicker members of the group. Once at the coast, the fleet will break and make for home ports.

Tonight in the yacht club, there were many fond farewells. Kids exchanged email addresses and adults clinked glasses. It’s been a great trip, a little wet at times, but it was never bad enough to dampen anyone’s love of boating.