Strong winds on the meer today sailing from Hoorn to Enkhuizen gusting to 25knots so a quick sail and lots of boats out and about (this being the last day of the long weekend).
There is a lock to pass through separating the Markermeer from the IJsselmeer before coming into Enkhuisen and we were last to enter behind a house barge and two other yachts. Of course, murphy’s law just as the we were all entering the lock the wind came up and started gusting strong and for those of you that don’t know yachts are really quite hard to steer when moving slowly (trying to be accurate), or tight manoeuvres in strong winds, the wind will catch the mast and the sail bags (even with no sail up) or the hull and overpower the direction of steering and pushing the boat with the wind.
Well the barge entered the lock and tied up to starboard, the two yachts in front of us each with crews of 6 people (yes 6 people, that’s 1 person steering, 1 person on each line, forward, centre and stern and a couple of spare people to fend off the wall) entered the lock to tie up on the port side (correctly as you would rather get blown off the lock walls than into them), well both yachts came along side and neither managed to get any lines on (all 3 linemen missing the bollards) before being blown sideways across the lock and into the barge, one of the boats almost turned a full 180 facing back the way he came, the only thing stopping it being the barge as he was now almost wedges between the lock wall and the barge – across the lock. Phil and I am came in and I got a line on quick smart and we were safe and secure tied along port wall watching the calamity in front. They eventually got a line on to port and slowly pulled themselves back in.
Meanwhile the second lock running parallel had a boat enter from the north (travelling in the opposite direction to us) and exactly the same happened, a crew of 6 and they hadn’t tied off before being blown across the lock, they managed to then get a stern line on but the bow was turning across the lock. Damn wind! We gave them all plenty of space and made sure they were well gone before we pushed off the leave the lock. So easy for it to become a dogs breakfast and I guess one day it will happen to us, fingers crossed it doesn’t however. We have a good plan, well practiced after all the locks and bridges we have negotiated in the last 1.5 years. Phil is good on the tiller and engine and I am good on the lines, we know as long as we get a centre line on we can motor forward or back to control the stern and bow to come along side (rather than drift out to 90 degrees off course) or if berthing I make the leap of faith to shore with a line. We also know that it’s sometimes just shit with wind pushing you away, or no cleats to tie off to and you have to just have to do your best.
We could see lots and lots of mast in the town quay and the other yachts that we now didn’t entirely trust headed in there so we kept going to the northern marina which also had an anchoring bay in the hope that it had trees to shelter from the wind and we could anchor. We won on both accounts, being as windy as it was there were only two other boats on anchor and plenty of room of us behind the tree’s where the wind wasn’t reaching. Anchor is was.
We were anchored in the bay that contains a very well known Dutch Museum, which is actually set up as an actual (functioning) traditional Dutch Village from back in the days before technology, and before the floods. They have rescued many original houses from that era and relocated them all to this village museum and recreated a genuine village. It’s amazing. They have a local rope maker set up in the lane with his wheel and hooks making rope, they have a basketmaker, fishermen and boats, sailmakers, barrel makers, blacksmiths, cheesemakers, sweet shop, dairy, farm, school rooms, chemist, and much more. I guess it could be similar in many ways to Sovereign Hill in Ballarat Victoria back in Australia. Anyway we took the dingy across to shore and found ourselves in the middle of the village. Lots on display, many characters dressed and acting in the trades of the day. We pretty much spent the whole day wandering and exploring this great set up. We even lashed out and brought lunch there (as we had inadvertently entered for free by taking the dingy to shore and missing the entry gate and fee).