Day 13 – Holland

Against all odds the fleet reaches Goes

Goes 51° 30.363N 003° 53.415E

Well, I’m happy to report that the fleet is now in Goes.

It’s been a pretty stress-free passage from Willemstad for everyone. The first boats set off at 8am with the rest of us following shortly after. Thankfully, the winds had died down substantially; there was still a bit of a pull, but nothing we couldn’t handle.

Joe from Ironic joined Neale and I aboard Blue Fin again and proved very helpful. We were surprised when we arrived at the first lock to see a green light beckoning us in and even more surprised to find the rest of the fleet were also in there – a nice change from the other day.

The other two locks took a little bit longer to get through but the wait was minimal. Once through the locks we had three lifting bridges to deal with, which required a little patience but we’re well versed in this Dutch waiting game now so instead of stressing we used the opportunity to make a sandwich and have a cuppa – how very un-British of us.

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The Havenkanaal, which leads to Goes is very picturesque, and weaves through a mix of pleasant countryside and sleepy traditional towns, a scene that perfectly matched my expectations of Holland, more than anywhere else we have visited on this trip.

By the time we’d reached Goes, the harbourmaster, Cornelius, had cleared the basin for us so Claire and John were able to get everyone moored up with relative ease.

And before long everyone was relaxing and the drinks were flowing, with Job Done being the unofficial party venue, before the party moved on to Ironic where the MBM crew were given a much appreciated but very unexpected thank you gift from the fleet, handed over by Michael fromElusiff.

And Rosie also gave us a surprise visit after grabbing a taxi from Delta Marina where they are waiting to find out what is wrong with their engine. We wish them the best of luck.

Unfortunately, after looking at the weather the decision has been made to leave in the morning to pass through the bridge at 8.50am. The plan is to return to Nieuwpoort ready to make the passage across the Channel on Saturday.

Caption: An embarrassed looking Claire and Neale accept gifts from the MBM fleet


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