Friday 22nd July Ref: 2016/33
This was a textbook cruise in smooth/slight seas from IJmuiden to Lowestoft, after which we moored up at the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club and I treated the ladies to a fine meal and nice experience in their historic dining room. I had chosen today to take Lady Martina back to Norfolk as it was predicted to be the first of three very fine days that would be suitable, with light winds and better visibility than the others. It had represented a bit of a scramble for Ines to be ready and delivered to Ijmuiden but she had made it and we were all ready and set to go, after enjoying nice drinks and a chat, because I had prepared the boat’s navigation plans and engineering checks in good time earlier.
Ines and I rose at around 7am and Kathleen, with some reluctance, a little later and so I tended to the fenders and some of the deck work, leaving Kathleen to concentrate on the flasks of drink and sandwiches such that we were ready to leave by my planned time of 8am local time (6am UTC). The weather was as predicted but there was a residual swell and half meter wave pattern from the north-east and we proceeded west and that made the first third of the voyage a little more uncomfortable than it might have been.
We all coped well with that, but I then became aware that Ines had previously suffered from travel sickness as an air hostess and so she needed a little help and encouragement coping with the vessel movements, which were yawing a little. I kept her busy and focused on the horizon and she survived without being sick or feeling too bad and both her and Kathleen had periods of sleep below as the very long and somewhat tedious eleven to twelve hour voyage took place. However, at sea, boring is good for it means no problems, danger or inconvenience and so we relentlessly made our way across the North Sea until we spotted the Norfolk coast and approached Lowestoft harbour. As she is assisting Brooms with their marketing plans on the 'Continent', Innes was pleased to be brought across conveniently and accommodated but, additionally, it was her first sea experience having previously, like so many Dutch sailors, only cruised on the inland rivers and meres.
I slipped into the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht club marina and telephoned for permission to moor and was advised to raft up on the visitor’s pontoon and I spotted a newer-style Broom 42 and easily tied up against it. The owners were not on board and had left chains up on the walkways and an obstruction on the forw’d deck but I had the club's permission to raft up and so pressed ahead, got the hose and proceeded to get the ladies to scrub the boat as I supervised the rinsing hose.
There was a Dutch boat next to us and Ines helped me chat to them. It was unusual to see a motor boat from Holland making the trip over and I congratulated them and said so. I then treated the ladies to a drink and meal at the clubhouse and we all used the Lady Martina shower and changed for dinner and so I was very flattered to have the two ladies for company; leaving our new Dutch friends to ask subtle questions to try and understand what was going on!
We all enjoyed the experience and then the girls had a whisky before bedtime before we all turned in to sleep at the end of a very satisfactory but tiring day.
21-30 degC, 84-21%RH, 1016-18mb slowly rising, good to mod viz, smooth/slight sea with slight swell bright, sunny and fine with a F2 6-9kn NNWly soon going NNEly slight breeze