Helen and Nadine set out to sail The Netherlands part 2…

Last week, Helen set her first frightening steps on board of a sailboat. Nadine tested her thoroughly on her skills to stay onboard in the middle of swirling waves and wind speeds of 6 Beaufort, while sail wrestling. She survived and on sail day number 4, she was still there, ready to hoist the sails.

Not much later we were on the middle of a lake, doing nothing. 6 Beaufort was levelled down to absolutely zero and we weren’t going anywhere. Whatever we tried, it was pointless. While Helen was testing the batteries of her Apple equipment (spoiler: this was very disappointing), Nadine tried to get the boat moving by the power of her mind. It worked, 0.2 knots, 0.3 knots, we were definitely moving, and floating into a (random) direction. Helen rebranded the sailing boat to floating duck, and felt really content with that accomplishment (she definitely didn’t put the bar high there). It felt like an eternity before we reached the harbor; in real life it did take a really, really long time.

Our place in the harbor was right next to a luxurious vessel. Hungry of doing nothing all day, we quickly prepared our homemade Poké  Bowl (rice, fish and a lot of veggies), while glancing at our new neighbors.  Their luxurious vessel transformed into a floating restaurant including conceited cooking. Cocky conversations were supplementary. Not really impressive in our opinion.  Instead, we focused on our down-to-earth dinner and “cooled in the channel” wine.

The conceited floating restaurant had a clear no-humor-policy and the visitors looked terribly bored. They were definitely more interested in our conversation and couldn’t care less about their host. In the meantime, we were trying to solve our tap issue: even though we filled up a tank, we did not have running water on board. The answer was easy: we filled A tank, but not the RIGHT tank; in fact, we filled the WASTE water tank. Once we realized this, we simply could not stop laughing. The conceited floating restaurant visitors joined in. The host however, said this would have never happened “if we would have had a man on board the ship”. Say what?!

Karma is an absolute bitch, and apparently takes the shape of a duck. Said duck decided to stalk the floating restaurant for the rest of the evening and at one point started nibbling the host’s leg. Revenge of the Ducks!

Our next sailing day went pretty well and before we knew it, we already arrived in a cozy harbor.  Right in front of us, there was a restaurant next to the water. Considering our options to be really lazy, Nadine abruptly pulled out of the concept of spending our evening at the restaurant. It turned out, she had seen the -not-overly-emancipated-host! Out of all places, we had managed to sail straight into their one and only shore-based restaurant.  Even the host walked out to welcome us. Kudos for the “it’s a small world after all” reminder and for how we managed the (again) cocky conversation.

With another weekend of sailing ahead of us, Helen was getting the hang of sailing! After a little fieldtrip (gay pride), it was time for us to hit the road euhhh water again, on our way back home.  Every day, Helen started with a hangover. Not due to the wine, but due to her new habit of getting out of bed and out of the cabin with a head bump (she was seeing stars multiple times per day, regardless whether it was day or night). De way back home was long and miserable. We were extremely miserable with the millions of flies who had decided to catch a ride. The horror!
The pillow could not live with the prospect of a million flies around it anymore and decided to fall overboard. In an attempt to save its live, Nadine turned the boat and Helen used a hook to try and catch it. Leave no pillow behind! Helen was laying face down over the railing, stretching her arm to reach the pillow, while all of a sudden, she realized she was not alone (eerie music in the background playing). Something was approaching her from below (tum tum tum tum). She quickly saved the pillow out of the approaching tentacles of the huge jellyfish. He was safe. We were not though: we were completely outnumbered and surrounded by a huge amount of jellyfish. Their heads were glowing in the water. We enjoyed the spectacle around our boat. We did warn them not to come too close, but I’m afraid some of them insisted on meeting our propeller.

The seal Helen assumed to have head bumped last week, put his head above the water to wave us farewell. Apparently, he had recovered from the imaginary concussion. It was time to get some much-needed rest and we quickly left the harbor to go to our own, nice, soft, head bump free bed.

Sweet dreams!

Helen and Nadine



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