October 2020

Film Star with a Bottle of Champagne in hand

She  looked like a film star as she walked down the floating pontoon  to the boat. Bottle of champagne in hand, dark glasses and blond hair, my mum at almost four score and ten  (That is almost ninety and our most senior visitor to date) looked the part as she skipped aboard the Ocean Deva, named partly after her  - that is the "eva" bit of Deva. Working her way down the steep steps from the cockpit to our deck saloon living area with ease and with the Champagne to "christen" our vessel. We did manage to wrestle the bottle out of her hands and pour the contents into glasses, rather than have the bottle smashed against the bow. After all, we are into re-cycling and not wasting precious resources.

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This was her first visit to the yacht and it was really great for my mum to see where we live and why we enjoy it so much. Kathy and Jonathan were staying onboard this weekend, so it made for a great moment on the boat  together and followed with a lovely lunch .

We plan to have the next visit on the boat with my mum next summer, probably in Croatia where we can get some more family members together.

September 2020

Stuart – from Amsterdam to Cowes (10 days)

 

As Peter and I are still at the beginning of our sailing career, we thought it wise to bring along a set of extra eyes and hands. Now we knew that there were a couple of websites out there that bring boat owners and sailors together. We liked the way findacrew.net operated and filled in the long list of our wants and not-wants. Voila…there was Stuart with a 92% match rate. We got into contact with him and we all agreed that he was the right man for the right job at the right time.

Stuart had just sold his beloved Beneteau 38 and until the delivery of his brand new Hansa 458 he was without a boat. Hence joining us was a great way for him of getting used to a larger boat.

 

Stuart took the train from London to Amsterdam where Peter waited for him, and together they took the ferry to the other side where Ocean Deva was ready to welcome him.

 

Of course, you never know how these things will work out, but it clicked straight away. Stuart’s many years of sailing was very valuable. He also was a great support & sport to me during the evening watches and kept me calm when I had a couple of “exciting” moments… 

 

What we didn’t know is that he is an excellent cook, great croissant hunter and an admirer of our Ocean Deva.

 

Stuart THANK YOU! We both enjoyed your participation, hard work and camaraderie. We learnt a great deal from you, appreciated Monica’s contribution and hope to welcome you back soon!

A Swedish line up in Cherbourg and what about black sheep?

We have had quite a busy time in Cherbourg with visits from friends who we have recently made at other ports. The American Hokule’a catamaran (we met them while waiting at the locks of IJmuiden and then again in Dieppe) arrived a few minutes after we did on Sunday morning. Caroline and Alan came by to ask for some tips from Stuart to help them on the next leg of their journey.

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We moored just in front of  the  Swedish “Salsa” who we met in Middleburg, Zeeland about 2 weeks earlier. We enjoyed an evening of drinks with Charlie and Lasse in the warm evening sun. It is always great to meet like minded people who love each other and are happy to share their plans and ideas as they make their way down the coast. We expect to see them again in Lagos, Portugal, where we both plan to spend the winter. 

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We also had Florence from Marseille moored up in front of us with her Swedish Sailboat - a Farr 55 - “The Black Sheep”.  When we asked why such a choice in name, she said that they always felt like she and her husband were the black sheep of their respective families. I think we all do to some extent as we are doing such different things from the normal –  but black sheep are doing well !

Florence was very interested in seeing our boat as it is like a slightly smaller version of theirs though from a different manufacturer. With hubby away on business Florence came to join us for drinks and dinner and as Stuart was cooking, she was in for a some good food.

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What a beautiful sight to see this Swedish line up !

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True Grit on the boat

 

It is always great to share knowledge and information between boat owners – where are you going, where have you been, what was it like. There is so much to learn from each other and Grit and Thomas kindly shared a lot of information about Dieppe, our probable next port and their last port. 

They gave a list of restaurants and described the town in a way that made us think it was  well worth visiting – and it was.

As one thing inevitably leads to another, the night before we left we shared a bottle of wine, some Dutch Gin and a few beers along with sailing stories and information about Contest boats (they own a Contest, The Black Pearl). We had a lovely evening as we got to know two like minded people and look forwards to crossing paths again. 

They actually gave us a really good view of Dieppe, without mentioning the difficult parts – i.e. getting there through the busy Dover Straights, strong tides and tough winds during the night. After we had arrived, Grit did mention that they also had some similar difficult times on their passage in the opposite direction !

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With the bright lights of Scheveningen in the background and a lot of bottles on the table, it looks like quite a party !

This is just what we need before a 200 nauticle mile, 30 hour journey.

Our most fluffy and furry visitor to date…

 

As the sea locks of IJmuiden were temporarily out of order due to a stone in between the lock doors, small vessels started to accumulate and we had to wait for around four hours. 

We had to moor up against a brand new 42-foot Lagoon Catamaran and on our other side a young Norwegian couple moored up. Within seconds their cat Floki – a real Viking warrior – jumped ship to join ours. Too curious for his own good, the owner came on to make sure that Floki returned safely to his Viking ship.

 

Personally, I think that Floki the cat looks more handsome that Floki from the series The Vikings… What you think? 

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Age, it is just a number; our eldest guests to date…

 

I just received a message from the Miele app that my washing load was dry. Walking over the jetty towards the laundry area, I see an elderly couple coming towards me. I was saying to myself: “Better give these people some extra space before they fall into the water.” Suddenly I hear my name. Once again, I look at the couple and realise that I know these people… Suze & Jan, my aunt and uncle.

 

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They managed to sneak through the secured gates of the marina. As they couldn’t find the harbourmaster for directions to the boat, they decided to walk along the different jetties to find us. Not an easy job if you have 200+ boats.

 

Anyhow, their timing was great as Peter was just making a coffee. Once on board they had “the tour”, a coffee with a typical Dutch cookie and before we knew it, it was time for them to take the ferry back to the Central Station.

What a great and wonderful surprise! 

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Having just arrived at Sixhaven in Amsterdam opposite the Central Station, Maureen took the metro and ferry to the IJplein straight after work. Walking a bit wobbly on the jetty and one big step forward to get onto the boat, she was finally on board.

 

Maureen, like me, lived in the Algarve for many years, where we regularly went to the movies together. She also visited us in Oman in. Since 2006 she has been back in the Netherlands and set up her new life again. A couple of weeks ago she was offered a new job and it was good to see and hear how happy she is with this new opportunity!

The Sixhaven is next to the old Shell building, where you can challenge yourself with some crazy swings on the roof. A few years ago, Maureen and I went there and we gave the swings a big miss and decided on a less challenging photo shoot instead.

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Thamar has gone through a number of significant life changes over the last 5 years since she came to visit is in Abu Dhabi. Changing from corporate management in the Oil & Gas business to a hard-working Yoga Teacher whilst on the road for finding her way towards spiritual enlightenment. 

When Thamar came to Abu Dhabi, she brought us a lovely painting of turquoise and blue turtles (painted by herself) that has been a point of prime focus in the places where we have lived. We are often the last people to realise the influence we have on others and Thamar was surprised and pleased to hear that her painting affected our choices of colour in our various houses. This included the purchase of a turquoise and blue rug and a whole room painted in tones of blue to match and bring out the colours from her painting

Lucky for us that her yoga brought her to live in Zandvoort, just a stones’ throw away from IJmuiden Marina where we are currently berthed. Arriving for lunch with a chilled bottle of bubbly, she was very welcome. 

Having seen Thamar on the beach, doing her yoga, I thought it would be a great opportunity for a yoga lesson on our boat. The lesson being extra difficult with no flat surfaces and a gently rocking deck as a consequence of the pleasant Dutch weather. The sun did eventually come out and added some warmth to the hard-working girls.

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Once the workout was complete, we could relax with a glass of the bubbly and chat over times passed and plans for the future. 

We love the visits of our friends when they can come by – you are always welcome !

Our Second Youngest Visitors

 

One of the reasons for sailing to Zeeland was to try and catch up with some of Ingrid’s close family in the area. Rosaly, who is Ingrid’s niece lives in Goes and Middelburg is just half an hours’ drive from here – so this was an ideal moment to catch up and see each other. 

At almost 24 years old, she is the second youngest visitor that we have had on the boat and the youngest neurosurgeon’s assistant in the South of The Netherlands – not just a pretty face !

Her partner, Marvin was a real marvel as he helped us sort out the code required to post our real time boat location onto our web site. This was something that us oldies could not work out well between us, even after several hours of application. With a little encouragement and prodding in the direction we wanted, Marvin managed to get us sorted in just one hour. 

It was a delight to catch up with them and have them as our guests for a few hours. Unfortunately, their new arrival to the family needed attention and the baby rabbit named Odin needed feeding, so they had to leave us to fulfil their other obligations. 

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August 2020

Our youngest visitor

 

Chloe, aged 3 years and 5 months is the youngest visitor we have to date. She quite liked the captain and is clearly a budding helmsman for the near future. Her parents are a part of our most special long-term international friends. Knowing Elham from working together in the Middle East for more than 18 years and Peter from when he gate crashed our wedding party on the evening of 12-12-12 in Medemblik.  It is quite amazing how relationships are formed and developed - now they are married and have a child ! 

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Elham and Peter came to visit us from Maastricht in the Deep South (of The Netherlands), after we have sailed down from Scheveningen to Stellendam – this was our closest point of approach for the last 5 years and so it was great to have the opportunity to meet up and catch up with each other. 

 

It was probably the worst day of the Dutch summer with swathes of rain and cold winds that brought the feel factor to 12 degrees and rocked to boat to make us feel we were well out to sea and not just tied up to the jetty. 

 

However, all sailors know that “bad weather” does not exist and it is only bad clothing. Having set off in the warm sunshine the family were not too well prepared for the Zeeland extremes. Fortunately, all that was required was warm soup, hot coffee and a warm welcome. The perfect ingredients for a lovely afternoon and a strengthening of a bonds of friendship that cannot be broken. 

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What has a Dyson Vacuum Cleaner, a bottle of rosé and dinner got in common ?

Well, one thing leads to another when you lend a super Dyson and you end up having drinks and dinner with new neighbours !

The great thing about being on a boat in the marina is that you end up with different neighbours every time you move. These neighbours are from all over the world with a different background but are often like-minded, with stories to tell and experiences to share.

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Our most recent neighbours and visitors are Jill and Jørn from Norway on the sailboat Ticora III. (Follow their stories on www.syricora.com). Though they are a year ahead of us in their preparations to sail around the world in the next 3 years, it was amazing to hear how their journey of choosing a boat and getting started on this adventure is so similar to ours.

We talk, learn, pickup tips and ideas as we exchange thoughts and viewpoints. What a great way to build relationships across international divides. 

Dennis, almost as charming as Desiree and from the same company when I worked here in The Netherlands came to visit early on Saturday morning.

There was just enough warning time to get dressed, get the coffee on and make a quick visit to Deen to get some cakes.

 

We managed to sit out in the sun for half of the coffee, when some (unusual) horizontal rain gave us the idea to go below and watch the world and rain from our comfortable sitting area. 

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The Wicked Witch of Hypolytushoef - it is hard to imagine that someone who is so charming (I suppose there is the problem) as our supermodel friend, actress, singer, dancer and sales manager, Desiree, takes great pleasure in frightening innocent little children as she easily assumes the role of the Wicked Witch of Hypolytushoef.

As we are not little children, we are not frightened so easily and it was great to have the visit of such a famous person to our humble little sailing boat. We also talked about times past and plans for the future. Your cabin is waiting - and this is always a safe refuge for someone who lives and works below sea level in The Netherlands.

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Kathy - Peter's sister enjoyed a well deserved rest with her favourite book and a glass of Rose. The warmest weekend of the year even made her swim in the IJsselmeer.

Jonathan - our brother-in-law - had waited since last September to join us. Kitted out with new bad-weather sailing gear, only to buy a pair of new swimmers in Medemblik to beat the heat! (Photos with held)

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Our friend Triny, from Medemblik and Deep Drill came to visit us on one of those warm balmy Dutch evenings. We drank cool drinks on the deck where we managed to pickup a little evening breeze and talked about times past, times to come and future dreams. 

It was almost like being in the Caribbean as we watched the sun go down over the horizon - not bad for 53deg. North.

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July 2020

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Jolanda - Ingrid's sister - joined us on the 23rd of July on our maiden trip to Mandal in Norway. On this trip she not only celebrated her 60th birthday but also her Royal Distinction.

Johan - retired marine- supported us on or maiden voyage to Norway. We hope he had a relaxed journey with us.

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Joanna, our daughter, had a three-day pit stop on her way to Berlin. We hadn't seen her for over a year as she enjoyed a working/adventure year down under in Oz.

After 8 years she brought our wine that we received as wedding gifts in 2012. Needless to say that we enjoyed a good "red" together.

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Marsha & Timo - our first visitors this year. Peter said: "Marsha is here!" I looked out of the window and saw nothing, so I said: "What do you mean Marsha is here! I cannot see her anywhere.". Only to realise that she and her boyfriend were doing a fantastic balancing act on their SUP's at the bow of the boat. What a great way to visit your friends!

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