Consequences of Single-Handed Sailing

I got ready to dock BEA while the two motorboats came closer. This wasn’t that much to do: I just got the line ready and removed a knot out of it. Docking BEA is as easy as it gets. Just sailing to the berth, waiting still the touches the berth, then jumping ashore and tying her to it. That’s it.

I just got ready to jump ashore when the two motorboats passed by. Behind them: There waves. Usually this would have just been not comfortable. But with me, standing and just trying to get ashore, it was dangerous. We got jarred and I almost fall overboard. Almost – I somehow managed to stay aboard. But still… I looked after those two boats with a mad face. While summer, this wouldn’t have been that dangerous. But with water temperatures just a little bit about the freezing point, falling aboard would have been really bad.

But, however, there was nothing I could do about it. I had managed to stay aboard – and this was the one thing that mattered.

And it was beautiful around here. I really like this berth. It’s on a nice spot, on one side the canal, on the other De Morra. I can walk to Koudum and buy some groceries later.

But it’s also not even the slides bit protected against wind. So I had to made sure that the tent wouldn’t just fly away while I was putting it up. Still, the tent – or should I say the wind? – decided in which direction the tent stood. But at least I had decided where.

There is still some time till evening and I want to try some groceries. Also it would be nice to give Koudum another shot in convincing me that it is a nice town to visit. The sun is shining, I had a beautiful sailing day. I’m happy.

But after the past hours I felt good to use my legs a bit.

Last time, I had just walked passed a construction side and to a grocery store. So it was no wonder that Koudum hadn’t made the best impression to me.

This time I had time. And so instead of just running through the town I walked slowly by those old building and past a church.

It seems like if Koudum wouldn’t be as much of a touristic place as the last towns I had visited. It was clean, quite. Probably a good place to live. There where some people on the streets, smiling and laughing. Nice.

After some time I found the grocery store. I had thought about asking for the way – but hadn’t seen any reason for that. After all, I had the time to look for it myself. And it was a good way to just explore the town.

Beside some other stuff I bought a shandy. Even so I hadn’t found a good alternative for pasta, this was at least something to change it up a bit.

On my way back, I walked behind two young woman. To be clear, I didn’t follow them. They just walked exactly the same way as I did. In the same speed – but a little bit in front of me. There where in a good mood, talking loudly, laughing. And cause of the wind, I heard every word. It somehow felt wrong, listening to them without them knowing. Even so I understood nothing – they spoke Dutch. But still… Maybe they were talking about something private. But what should I do? I wanted to get to BEA. I wanted to get there to make dinner and eat something. And wasn’t this kind of crazy? It wasn’t like if they would have been talking quiet. And I wasn’t trying to hear them. I just did.

Suddenly, I saw something at the berth. It looked like if another tent would stand there. Not just mine. But no, this was crazy. It was winter. Even just one person camping was crazy, but two, totally separate people camping outside and just by coincident camping on the same berth? No, this was to much. So I just continued walking towards my tent – behind those two woman. They had nice voices. And they seemed to be so happy…

Okay, this was to much. I definitely hadn’t spent enough time with other humans while the last days. Way to less. To be fair, had spoken like… 10, maybe 20 words while the past days with other people.

Once again, I looked towards the berth. There was something! Definitly. Even so just the idea of another camper seemed to be crazy, there was someone. Or something.

I moved faster, almost passed by the two woman.

There really was a tent. Or no – not a tent. Just a tarp. Of cours also a sleeping bag. But this was even less protected then my tent. There was almost no wind protection. This was… crazy.

Next to the tarp stood a canoe. But where was the canoeist? I couldn’t see him. But I definitely wasn’t alone on this berth today. And I hadn’t washed myself since…

I started thinking.

Not in Workum, not in the middle of the city. And I had left Witmarsum early, there neither. Harlingen? No, Harlingen was, once again, a city. I definitely hadn’t washed myself in the canal in the middle of the city.

I’m a little bit discusted by myself. I hadn’t washed myself since Easterlittens! That’s more then a week.

I grabed my soap and towel and started washing myself. Sure, the canal water was cold, just a little bit about freezing point. But it wasn’t exaptable that I hadn’t washed myself for over a week. This was just… wrong. By now, I had to smell like… well, not good.

Even so I was shaking afterwards, I was happy. It felt like if I would be new born.

Two, three days without washing myself while sailing alone. No problem. And that I didn’t want to jump in one of those canals in the city’s still made sense to me. Also, the temperatures made it easy to forget about washing outside. But at some point, it was necessary. And I had passed this point days ago!

 

The canoeist still wasn’t there so I just cooked for myself. Since those wired time when I was walking behind the woman I had known that it was time for some conversation. I really like single-handed sailing. But this was getting a little bit to crazy.

While I ate my pasta and drunk my shandy, I watched the sunset. It was beautiful. Like a dream. This was one of those moment. I was alone. It was quite, just the sounds of nature surrounding me. But at the same time, I wasn’t alone. All those animals ans plants, the nature were there. And than, there was BEA. With time, BEA had become more then just a boat to me. I had long conversations with her. With my little girl.

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It was beautiful around here. The last day of winter. Tomorrow would officially be the first day of spring. But it was still winter. And I was happy.

But when I went to sleep, I couldn’t help myself but to ask who the canoeist was.

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All event’s happened on the 19th of March 2015

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Sebastian

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