When I got up early in the morning, I was happy. Everything was great. Being at the sea had destroyed the last of my bad thoughts. It was great to be here.
With a big smile in my face I left my tent. I was looking forward to the rest of the voyage. But for now I would stay in Harlingen. Not just that the wind was blowing quite strong, there were grey clouds all over the sky. While slowly walking through the old town of Harlingen towards the supermarket, I enjoyed the old buildings around me. I had no more bread – and, at least to me, supper wasn’t an option for breakfast. No, I wanted something sweet. And also something with good Netherlands cheese.
Soon after entering, I left the grocery shop. To soon, I had forgotten the bread. Well, at least I had some roll. For now, that’s enough – but I know that I have to buy the bread later today.
When I was ready with breakfast, I looked at my clock. It was around low tide. Perfect time to explore the wadden sea. No – not with BEA. She has to stay in Harlingen. Even if the weather would be better, this wouldn’t be an option. No, BEA wouldn’t have to sail out there, on the Northsea.
Instead I walked with my gumboots through the city towards the sea. When I reached the dike, I was surprised to see that I wasn’t the only one who had decided to explore the wadden sea at Harlingen today.
Carefully, I set food into the mud. I sunk in a little bit, but that was it. It had been a long time – so long, I had no idea how long – since I had set food into the wadden sea while low tide. Last year, all I did was to touch the water while high tide with a toe. Happily I walked around, enjoying the atmosphere and taking pictures. Especially the birds had some interest in me and came very close.
From one second to another, the mud changed its mind. I sunk in – not a few centimeters, no, I sunk in until the mud was higher then my knee.
What now? My first try, just continuing as fast as possible wasn’t a good idea – I sunk in even more. So I took a deep breath and started thinking.
As long as I stood still, everything was okay. It would take hours before the water would be back – I had time. There was no reason to worry… Yet. To be safe, I took my cell phone out of my pants and put it into a higher bag of my jacket. Safe is safe.
Now I started thinking. The easiest thing to do would be to get rid of the gumboots and then to crawl back. But, like I said – there was more then enough time left. And this definitely wasn’t a good idea since I would lose my gumboots. And I really could need them for the rest of my voyage. With the right strategy, I managed to get one foot – with the gumboot on it – out of the mud. It war really hard, the mud had started to close over the gumboot, a bit was already inside. A few minutes later and it would have been impossible.
When I tried to step forward, I fall down. Well, nothing bad, I just knew that I would have to wash my pants when I’m back in the harbor.
Another thing was way worse. Before I managed to get the second boot out of the mud, the first one sunk in once again. Not as bad as it had been before, but still..
Somehow I manage to make a few steps, move maybe four to five meters before I need a break. The first meters already coasted me a lot of my strength. But I had to repeat it several times. With every step I made, I sunk into the mud and to make a step, I had to get me out of the mud… Exhausting. It came the point when I had to make a real break – not just a few seconds, but a few minutes. I wasn’t walking ON the mud anymore – I was walking through it! I kind of kneed into the mud. This way, I wouldn’t sink that much into it – and, to be fair, I almost hadn’t the strength left to stand.
Even with everything, it was beautiful around here.
After a couple of minutes, I continued walking. Getting out of the mud was way easier now. Was it cause I had kneed? Or cause of the break? I don’t know.
But still, it was really hard to get forward. I had to fight for every step and by this time, the gumboots where wet inside. This might be not nice while summer – but with temperatures around 0 degree Celsius? It was fucking cold!
Suddenly, there was something.
I was very surprised when the ground got hard under my boots. It was still a got way to the beach but now, I didn’t have to fight for every step anymore. Yay!
When I looked back, I realized how far I had walked through the mud. It had been really exhausting, I felt like all my strength would have left me.
Walking towards the beach, my whole body was shaking. Not just cause it was cold but cause of a lack of power. From time to time I sunk in, but not that much. Just my feet. After sinking in until or even over my knees, this wasn’t much.
But when I reached the beach, I saw a group of young (and good looking) women, which where saying something to me. In Dutch.
All event’s happened on the 14th of March 2015