When I reached Harlingen I was exhausted. And there was still some way to go before I cold quit rowing for the day. There where a few ports in the town but I didn’t knew if I could stay at any of them. There was also a camping ground outside the town but I knew that it wasn’t open at this time of the year. Well, one of the ports would allow me to stay – I was sure of that.
But which should I try first? If I would take the northern canal, I would get to the port I would like the most. Close to the sea, right next to the lock, near the old part of the town. But if I couldn’t stay there, I would have to row back against the wind. So the Southern canal? But if one of the ports there would allow me to stay, I wouldn’t check the one I would prefer. What should I do?
I decided to take the risk and rowed on the northern canal. No Risk, No Fun.
While rowing westwards, I saw once again some nice sailing vessels. There were a few tall ships tied to the shore. What a nice view I had from the water…
While entering the port I realized, that it would be hard to out up my tent around here. There is almost no grass and the few green places aren’t big enough for me. But one place would be possible: it’s kind of a parking place right at the entrance of the harbor. From here, I can see the lock. It would be so easy, just rowing there, into the lock and I would be out there. At the sea. What a dream. But I wouldn’t follow the call of the sea anymore, even so I would have loved to. For once, my little girl wasn’t seaworthy enough. Especially with conditions like the one right at this time. Also I just couldn’t believe they would let me through the lock just like that. But all that didn’t even matter – cause I still didn’t know if I could stay!
Like a chicken, I run around the port, looking for the harbormaster. There are many boats in the water but I just couldn’t find him. After some time, I gave up and just called the number I found at the door of his office. After a few seconds, he answered the call. With some mix of German and English, I managed to explain him that I was the harbor – with an open sailboat and a tent. And that I would love to stay there. He told me hat he had to see this before he could give me an answer. I just should wait.
A couple of minutes later, an older men came to me – the harbor master. He almost didn’t believe me, that I had came here with my little girl and that I had been cruising around Frisia with her, sleeping in a tent for a week. When i asked if it would be okay if I would put up my tent and tie BEA next to it and stay a few days, he smiled at me. Sure – no problem! When I wanted to pay, he refused. I just should enjoy my stay, the toilets would be open but the shower would be closed. If any problem should appear, I just should give him a call.
It was just great. I had a shower yesterday – so the closed shower wasn’t a problem. I could go on without a shower for a few days – I wouldn’t take a bath in the canal in the middle of the city. And warm toilets? That was real comfort! All this and this great location in the middle of a town like Harlingen for a few days for free? Well, that was definitely something to be happy about!
While I felt happy like a child, the harbormaster said good bye and left.
I got into my little girl, rowed her to the berth. Putting up the tent wasn’t easy – the bottom was very hard, it was almost impossible. But only almost. I had to improvise, but at the end, it worked out.
Now, I went into the town. I chose to walk quite fast. My goal was (at least to me) obvious. The Sea. I wanted to get to her. But I have to admit, I hadn’t a clue where exactly I where – or what would be the best way to go. Even so I wanted to get to the sea as fast as possible, I had enough time to enjoy the old town of Harlingen. Suddenly, I knew where I was. I had been here before – last year. Now I knew how I would have to walk. On the one hand, this was a good thing. Now I knew where I was. But on the other hand, once again, I had to make a decision. Should I walk out of the town, to the dike, where I would have a great view over the Wadden sea? Or to the veer port? There, the view wouldn’t be as good… but it was the closest place from where I could see the sea.
Passing by beautiful houses an boats, I walked towards the sea. I had made my decision.
Then I’m there. Even so, it’s not the perfect view – I have chosen the veer port – I’m… peaceful. Happy. I feel alive. But not in the “Scream it out” kind of way. It was a very deep feeling, inside of me, You probably couldn’t see it from the outside but inside of me, it felt like everything would be all right in this very special moment. I was where I was meant to be. This was the place, I should be.
Last year, the feeling was different. Louder. But not better. Now, it just was different. Last year, it was like… I have no clue. Really, I don’t know how to explain it. But, both where great feeling. Maybe it’s like if you meet a nice girl. First, it’s all-exciting. But with the time, something deeper starts. Something… bigger…
Now I know: This is the reason, why I did all of this. Why I sailed and rowed my way through Frisia, slept in my tent even so, I had to get the ice of it in the morning, Now I’m finally at home. Well almost. Now, standing their just meters away from the sea, the call of the sea was louder then ever before. Every part of me wants to get out there. Out, out to the sea. Sail. Take a breath of the air out at sea, feel the waves, playing with my boat… Just being out there.
I knew: One day, I will be out there. Sailing. Enjoying it. Being with her. With the sea. This is home; even so I grew up hundreds of kilometers away.
It was hard for me to turn away. Why? I don’t know. The view isn’t that great. A part of the port makes it hard to see the sea. And still… there she is.
Somehow I managed to get away.
My next stop was at “Molly’s. I have been there last year. They have the best fries and really nice personal. The woman giving me the fries wasn’t the same as last year – but still, really nice. A nice, good looking women, giving me a smile and some fries – what could a men after one week of sailing almost all the time alone, with cloth and body in a worse state after the last week ask for more?
Well, I can tell you: The sea. I said good-bye, gave her a smile and went, once again, towards the sea. The second I came there I slowed down. I’m on the dike, protecting the port. The view from here is… magical. I almost didn’t hear the people walking by, greeting me. Somehow I still managed to greet them back, without thinking about it. All my thought was out there – with the sea. Some clouds are at the sky but that didn’t hut the picture. It’s great to be here. How often did I stare at the picture in my apartment while winter (oh, wait – it’s still winter!) of the sundown over the sea? Hundreds of times… and now being here…
On my way back, I realized how nice everybody was. Everybody was smiling and greeting me. How that? I’m not used to that, it’s way to rare in Germany. But that didn’t matter. I was just happy about it.
On my way back, I lost orientation – once again. But that wasn’t as bad as it sounds. Harlingen is beautiful, even (or especially?) at night. And now, after being at the sea, I took my time for this beautiful city.
Later, just a little bit before I fell asleep I heard a yacht leaving the port. What would I give to be on board. I’m tiered – but for this, I would have all the strength necessary. But, of course, that were just thoughts.
While writing some notes, I realized a wired thing. All the time, I had written normal sentences. But now… I just wrote the absolutely necessary words. No “And” or “or” or anything, that wasn’t absolutely necessary. And still, I wrote for pages about this one day.
Before falling asleep, the pictures of the sea in my mind, I realized one thing: I’m crazy.
All event’s happened on the 13th of March 2015