Saturday 30 th April
Today is the day, the first phase of our journey is about to happen.
Because we have to pass under two bridges and since it is a 4-hour sail up to the Maasmond before we are at sea, we decide to sail to Schiedam today. As it happens, we can sail from Schiedam any given moment or time and we won’t be dependent on bridge-opening times. Previously, we had had contact with the harbour master, but he still called us about 10:00 to ask what time we were expecting to arrive! We say goodbye to Dennis and his wife at the harbour office, turn in our passes and pay the last electricity bill of 4 months. Kit has a sense that something is about to happen and is as fidgety as we are. We don’t allow him to be on deck without his lifejacket anymore, but the moment we fetch it, he takes to his heels. And when we start the motor, he ducks under the cabin table, we won’t see him for a while! Mister Kit does NOT like this sound and moreover, everything vibrates, something he cannot appreciate, so we think it is going to take some time for him to get used to! Always an exciting moment, sailing out of the harbour. At 13:00 we contact the bridge tender, we cast off and leave, on our Pegasus, City Marina of Rotterdam. We are waved off by Thea and Peter, who have been living on their boat for some years. The Erasmus Bridge opens at 13:30, which compels us to sail a few rounds before we can get through. We are in our element, we’re sailing again! There are always people ashore, watching the boats on the river, but what we didn’t know was that this time there were acquaintances of ours. My dear friend Johan and his wife Annelies were on the quay, mentally waving us goodbye.
If we only had known…
After the Erasmus Bridge it is only an hour to the Schiedam Marina (JCS).
We contact the harbour master to announce that we are nearly there and he is already ‘waving us in the right direction’ where we can berth. The boats lay with their noses to the pier and their rear between two poles, with lines to fasten your boat at the back. The lines are attached to a ring that goes up and down on the pole with the tide. Only when we lay quiet and easy, Kit comes from under the table. He looks around with wide-eyed astonishment: the “outside-world” looks completely different??!! He switches from curiosity to distraction. I think it will take Kit a while to adjust himself to our nomadic life.
Getting off the boat at the front peek to the pier is a ‘glitch’.. It’s not easy, but with the help of a stepfender and Fred, I get the job done. So the first part of the journey is done, we have moved to Schiedam.
Tonight we’re having dinner at the restaurant “de Beren”, about under a 10-minute walk from the boat. This is a genuine family restaurant and because it is Spring-holiday, it’s very crowded. We tuck into an elaborate meal with a good many glasses of wine. We even call for a second bottle and take the opened bottle back ‘home’, which is our Pegasus, our new home! Tired, but satisfied we walk back to the boat, rolling on to our bunks. Unfortunately, we don’t sleep too well because of all the noises and the pulling and squeeking of the mooring lines. Kit does not seem able to find his way either and rises early, asking attention constantly. He does this by shoving his tray with dry grains to and fro…
We try to extend our nap for an hour more. Today is a beautiful sunny day and so a good day to do some chores. Fred connects the antenna cable of the SSB ( We installed this recently anew). The past few days, Fred had started cleaning the boat ( it was quite necessary by now..) and goes on with it.
I throw myself on dismantling, cleaning, greasing and reassembling two of the many winches. Now and then I ask Fred for assistance, since some parts are really deadlocked and he has more strength than I. It is quite a job, but at the end of the day we have two more well running winches!
Kit comes to look in every now and then and it looks like he is going to jump off the boat. So back into the lifejacket! Since he absolutely hates this – it restrains his freedom – he stays below deck, sulking. The boat looks much cleaner at the end of the day. We hang out our sailing gear for a bit of air – after a year in the cabinet everything smells a little stale.Maandag
Last night was better, we are slowly getting used to the sounds. Because the sun rises earlier and earlier, Kit has set his biological alarm clock about THREE hours forward! He usually now wakes at 5:00! As soon as I have given him his dry grains, he starts eating and a few moments later plumps down on our legs in bed. We want to leave before 10:00, so OUR alarm clock is set at 8:00, to give us enough time to shower. We hand over the keys to the extremely friendly harbour master, who wishes us a ‘bon voyage’. After breakfast, we take the covers off the roll jib and the mainsail, attach the sheets and the lifelines (safety first), make sandwiches for the trip and then it is high time to leave this harbour. We start the engine (and Kit immediately disappears) and reasonably easy Fred sails out of the harbour (I found it too tricky, i.e. too narrow).
It is sunny, but quite chilly on the water, so on with the sailing gear. It is about a 3-hour sail to the Maasmond and out of the estuary. We have the current against us, but with the jib on we are getting a speed of 7 knots! We feel so good, on our boat and on our way to a new way of life!
At 13:00 we arrive at the end of the Nieuwe Waterweg and sail northward, direction Scheveningen. At the beginning, the waves do trouble us ( the area in between the river and the sea), but after half an hour on the motor, we go on just on the jib with a nice wind in the back. We can see Scheveningen from afar. It is not very far now, only 2 hours to go. It feels good to be on the water again and Fred and I enjoy the sun, the wind, the sailing and each other immensely!
Even Kit comes out now that the motor has been switched off and the boat sails quietly.
He is gaping at the waves with their white crests. Everything is new to him. With the sun on our snouts we slowly turn to red, that is, I am, Fred always turns bronze almost instantly.
Nearby Scheveningen we start the motor again and navigate into the marina. We berth the Pegasus next to a big (and as it turns out later, brand-new) boat at the pier. We are tired of a being outside all of the day and shuffle along the long looooong jetty to the harbour office. In Scheveningen you have to walk about 500 metres before you arrive there. We really have to pay dearly for a week in this marina! We contacted the harbour master earlier about the moorage. As it happens, we want to berth in front of the restaurant where we will have our farewell drink with our family and friends.
This is not possible at the moment, but maybe tomorrow; he will let us know. Fortunately, the harbour master takes us with him in his dinghy to the other side, that saves us another walk.
Now all we have to do is some shopping for dinner tonight. An hour later, we lay draped over the cabin couch, with sleepy eyes, enjoying our prawn cocktail and a glass of wine. After dinner a spot of television and then we tumble into bed, at 22:00, which is terribly early for us….
Our neighbours informed us that they were planning to leave at 8:00. No problem, of course, but silently I hoped to sleep long this morning. Kit doesn’t help either, poking about at 5:00 in the morning. After breakfast, we give our neighbours plenty of space and moor the boat to the pier. After an hour or so, it appears that a number of boats that laid before us has left, so we move on up along the pier, to get a little more sun. It is a lovely day, blue skies and sun, though still a little bit chilly. We are engaged in transferring important documents, that are on our pc’s, to the server, so the pc’s are making overtime. I also have a date with a very good friend of mine, who will come accompanied by her husband to say goodbye to me today, because she can’t join the farewell party on Saturday. Anneke used to be my colleague (1992-2005) and we have stayed good friends ever since. Ad, her husband, had not yet seen the boat, so this was a good opportunity. We went out for lunch together and could eat ‘al fresco’. Wonderful sitting there together, as it might be some time before we see each other again. At parting I had to shed a few tears and this only goes to show how important some people can be in your life. Thank you so, Anne, for being there when I needed you, for the hours of gabbing or our attempts to do some exercise! We won’t lose sight of each other and will whatsapp, mail, call and skype! Back on the boat Fred calls the harbour master and it turns out we can relocate to a place in front of the restaurant! As we are en route, we navigate alongside the filling station to fill the tank with a 100 litres of diesel ad € 115, so we can go on for the time being. Fred navigates the boat to its new place and parks her admirably! `We still have to do some shopping this evening and Fred goes to the supermarket. In the meantime I adjust the new Pegasus flag to the mast, now we are recognisable. Then I throw myself back on the pc and meanwhile write a log for the website. Kit actually puts his nose outside, while we are there. It’s Fred’s turn to cook today and we are having pita bread and shoarma and salad. Kit jumps at every sound he hears and then flies into the cabin. Once inside, he nestles himself behind the window on the ‘sill’, and watches and wonders. After dinner we watch some tv, but we go to bed rather early. Tomorrow it’s getting even warmer and I’m going to take on the two big winches.
Today the first of the large winches. Dismantling, cleaning it of all the encrusted grease and dirt… it takes up more time than I thought. In between I take pics, because you never know how such a gadget is put together and if you can get it back together again..
Our rear neighbour is a young bloke on a sportive boat and he is also quite a busy bee. In the near future, he is going to sail, together with his girlfriend, for 10 months. Mutually we lend each other’s tools. He gives me a special cleaning fluid and an aerosol to clear grease away easily. Super duper stuff! Now to grease the winch again and oil it and then put it back together again. Steef (my eldest) calls, they want to come over, before the farewell party on Saturday.
In the morning we do a few errands and clean the cockpit a little more. Fred degreases part of the right side of the boat, at the nose, so that we can – together – paste the new logo on the boat. We only do the right side of the boat, because that is what we can reach easily well. The other side has to wait and anyone who ‘watches’ won’t see the other side. After some fitting and adjusting the sticker is in its place! Now Pegasus will be even more recognisable! We remove the stickers on the rear side and replace them by new ones. We also put a sticker on with our home port, Rotterdam, a very familiar name abroad! In the afternoon, Steef, Mylène and little Bobby, my granddaughter arrive. I’m so glad I can see them some more now. Bobby is just about 6 months old and can sit up quite well. She looks around inquisitively with her beautiful blue eyes. Mylène wants to climb up the mast to enjoy the panorama. No problem, Fred heaves her in the “bosun’s chair” up to the first spreading. This is as high as she gets, since she suffers from fear of heights. My compliments, Mylène, you did it anyway. Great to be able to cuddle my little granddaughter a little bit more. She smiles sweetly and is a cheerful child.
Today we pass by Ingrid’s house (Fred’s sister) to see if we’ve got mail. It is about a 15-minute walk from the marina, a nice stretch to wear in our new walking boots. We do some errands on the way. At our return we tidy up the boat as much as possible and set everything ready for our departure. We print a list of the stock we have on board. In this list we have specified where we stored it, which is quite handy when your advancing in age…ahem! In the afternoon we suspend the flagline, red, white and blue from front to rear in the mast. Now our boat can’t be missed by anyone!