Leaving Koudum, I saw a couple of sheep. Somehow fascinated, I looked at them eating grass. I don’t know why – but this one kind of got my fascination. I tried to get there attention with some “Meeeeh Meeeh”, but they just continued eating grass and looking at me like if I would be crazy. And I looked the same way back at them.
Soon after, I found a sad view. Hundreds of boats, standing on land. On land! Under a beautiful blue sky with such nice conditions like right now… sure, it was early in the season – most people would say that the season hadn’t started yet, but still. It would have been nice to see at least some boats in the water. That’s where they belong.
Of course I knew, that this was normal. But I wasn’t used to this.
Looking back, I saw some dark clouds heading in my direction. Great. Just what I needed…. Not. But since I almost reached the channel heading towards Workum, this made my choice quite easy. Maybe the clouds would be away soon. But maybe this was the weather for the rest of the day. So I decided to get as fast to the Groote Gaastmeer as possible. That meant the shortest way – and this was cruising over De Fluezen. And, if everything wouldn’t work, I could stay on one of the Marrekrite islands. There was more than enough place for me to put up my tent. It wasn’t exactly allowed, but in case of emergency, this would be okay – I guess. And: How big where the chances of anybody being there – and being bothered by me, staying there in the offseason? Almost zero.
But this was just an emergency plan – I would prefer to get to those berth at the Groote Gaastmeer.
At the time, I reached De Fluezen, the clouds arrived. Of course – what else…
I don’t want to be all negative – but why did they have to appear just when I rowed out to the open water? It’s not like they would have been kind of scary… ok, they were scary. It was like if the weather wonted to tell me something like “Sebastian! Why the hell do you do this?”. Just bad I didn’t know what it was talking about – the voyage wasn’t an option. It was just to beautiful around here – and I had way to much fun.
Just to be safe, I got into my warm and waterproof sailing cloth – I had already worn the shorts. You never know – and I really didn’t need any water, no matter if from the sky or the lake.
It’s not that warm… Especially now with all the dark clouds.
To all the trouble, the wind got suddenly strong. And – of course, it was headwind. But seriously – has anybody ever rowed a inflatable sailboat without headwind? Even after turning around 180°, I almost every time still have headwind. At least it felt like that to me.
If it would have been only the wind, it wouldn’t have been a problem. But, like always, with the wind, waves appeared. They took BEA all the way up and down. Like the little warrior she is, she worked all the way up the waves. (At this point: Please, some respect for my little girl. She did a great job!). Just after reaching the top of the wave peak, it got down. But not like it got up – no, the bow just fell down the peak with some loud noises, making the water flying through the air. And getting my sailing cloth all wet. Luckily, it was waterproof – otherwise, this would have gotten really cold.
By time, I realized that I had gotten away from the shore. If I would fall overboard now, I couldn’t swim to it. Not with the water just a little bit over 0°C. I would be frozen before reaching the shore (alive). So it was a good thing this wasn’t the plan. But still, I was even more careful than usually.
Just one moment later, I realized something amazing. They beauty of this landscape was breathtaking. Sure, on one hand, the clouds sucked. But after thinking about it… what they did with the landscape around here was just unbelievable. If the sun would be shining, this area would be nice. But with the dark clouds, it was like magic. De Fluezen, empty, no boat as far as I could see, the shore with all the stones and reed. Everywhere waves, some of them even starting to become white. Seeing how the wind was blowing over the landscape, forming it. The dark clouds lying over everything… It was a wild landscape. Scary – maybe. Wild – for sure. And: Absolutely, totally beautiful. I loved it.
With all my strength, I rowed ourselves south. Every wave wanted to be fought, always hard work.
Just meters away from the point where I wonted to leave the bay, it got almost impossible. The waves and the wind got stronger and stronger, as strong as yesterday when I got in all the mess before I had to take BEA out of the water… Or well, almost as strong. It was still possible for me to hold my position, maybe even get a little bit further. But it was like if we would stand still.
Over ten minutes, we just made a couple of meters. This was frustrating. Even with all the beauty around here – I wonted to get forward.
Rowing… wums…. Rowing… wums… rowing…
Suddenly, we made it. We where out of the bay and on “open water” – as far as you can use those words to describe a lake. And – of course – there was no more headwind. And the waves and the wind wasn’t as strong either.
Now I felt something diverent. I had to get ashore – fast. I had to… pee. One liter of cacao has run through my body and wanted to get out now. As fast as possible. Best would have been ten minutes ago. Or an hours. But I had been rowing – and hadn’t realized how much water wanted to leave my body. But now I did.
I looked at my chart for the next berth – the shore was full with reed, I couldn’t get there without destroying it.
So I decided to row to the next Marrekrite Island. The next possible berth for me. And the next point where I could get ashore. And pee.
The events happened on the 9th March 2015
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