Finally we were able to make our first move, which was to head up to Ijmuiden, which sits just behind the big locks that lead into the North Sea. Our first stop was the chandler since the skipper had insisted we have all the necessary wet weather gear. Half an hour later and a big dent in my credit card I was fully kitted up, having bought waterproof trousers, jacket, boots, lifejacket, thermals, harness and even a sailing knife, just in case I have to cut myself free from a capsizing boat.
When we arrived in Ijmuiden the crew was keen to get ashore as we’d not left the boat in the last five days, despite not actually being on the water! Having been to Ijmuiden a number of times before Tim took Jason, Michelle and myself to a coffee shop where we bought the obvious and checked our emails. This was to be the one and only time I could get online so if you’re reading this and haven’t heard from me, this is why.
In the evening we had a fair few people on board for a leaving party, including some old friends of Paul’s and some biker friends of Esther’s. The crew was ordered to buy Chinese for the guests so off we went into town again, via a bar for a quick drink. Putting the 180 Euro bill on Michelle’s credit card we took the Chinese back to the boat and served it up to a very ungrateful and unfriendly bunch of Dutch f***ers who neither thanked us nor offered to pay for the food. Instead they just sat there and drank all our beer.