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Vlissingen, Holland, July 16th - 24th 2008 (by Dagmar) Site still under construction!!!!
In beautiful calm weather we left Cherbourg in France towards Holland; our final destination. The closer we came, the more excited and nervous we got. So close to be united with family and all our friends after 3 years on the water.
We decided not to stop in Belgium, but go straight to southern Holland instead and rest there for several days, before we would continue further north. As the next two days and nights would show, we would be definitely ready for that. We had a very tough time getting through the English Channel. The weather turned, got it very cloudy, rainy and then the fog started. We motor sailed very close or even in the shipping lane. All kinds of different vessels, container ships, freighters, speed ferries, fisher boats with huge nettings at both sides ..... ....were passing us. We were so happy about our radar system. So we hoped to see all ships we couldn't see in the fog, at least on the screen. But nevertheless, we had one very close encounter with a huge container ship, popping out of the mist very close to LUNA. We did the night watch together, one of us checking the area around us very closely, the other one sitting in front of our chart plotter checking the radar. Oh, were we tired the following morning. Very early the next morning we went through the lock in front of Vlissingen harbor, happy to be safe and well protected and to get some days of rest.
The little marina there was just perfect for us. We got 12 hours of sleep every night, had an "Albert Heijn" supermarket close by for all the goodies, a great area to do lots of sports like running and biking and Soleil could use her scooter every day.
The swan family with 4 little ones, one was a black swan, was very happy that Soleil was around to feed them.
Soleil and I finished her 4th Grade class very successfully. So from now on she had Summer Holidays. She enjoyed staying up late, scootering back and forth to town, and some times going to the movie theater. We watched the new "Narnja" movie, "Indiana Jones"......
After the movies, we strolled through town, eating ice cream, passing by the statue of the fisherman, who was rescuing the shipwrecked sailors.....strolling over the fair......
Stellendam, Holland, July 24th - 25th 2008 (by Dagmar)
Leaving early in the morning of July 24th, we sailed straight to Stellendam further north, where we had to go through locks again, to stay for one night in the marina. The locks here are always very exciting. Lots of yachts are going in, tight to both sides and rafted to its neighbors. In this lock one sailor didn't pay attention to his ropes, while the water went down quickly, didn't loosen them up quick enough; so the sail boat tilted to one side, the mast leaning over. But luckily the lock master called him over loud speaker. So he was just in time before that turned out to become very dangerous for all of us.
Europoort, Holland, July 25th - 26th 2008 (by Dagmar)
Now we were very close to Scheveningen. But still, it was 25sm away. The whole last 6 weeks we planned to be on time. We knew by Saturday, July 26th, 12 o'clock, we had to enter the harbor of Scheveningen. So we decide the morning of July 25th to motor sail just 15sm further north and to anchor in the bay in front of Europoort/Rotterdam. We spent a lovely afternoon there, close to the beach, in relatively calm water. But then at 10pm the wind started. 20 - 25 knots. That was to much. The waves would increase shortly. That looked like a very uncomfortable night. So we changed plans again, pulling up the anchor and letting it down again, just 3 miles up the coast, around the first light house in the channel of Europoort harbor. But we didn't really know, where we got into this time!!!! As the bay there was very narrow, on three sides surrounded by either beach, the light house tower or a rock wall, we had to set our anchor alarm. Due to the strong current and the tides we turned around in circles the whole night, forcing the anchor alarm to get off almost every hour, as well as Bart to get up to reset the alarm again.
You can imagine, that by next morning we were very happy, that it was finally July 26th. Before we could heat out for Scheveningen, the Port Police showed up, asking us, since when we would have been in this bay, why and if we have called Port Authority on Channel 03 to inform them about our position and intention to anchor here for the night. We were in trouble. But Bart told them, that we came yesterday into the bay just before nightfall, to find shelter from the heavy waves. Soleil and I came up the stairs, very cheerful telling them, that we were on our way to Scheveningen, and that we successfully sailed around the World..... They congratulated us, passed down a folder with information about the port and wished us a safe trip.
The sky behind us was very dark, rain clouds, thunder and lightning were chasing us on our way to Scheveningen. ...A very noisy reception....But luckily no raindrop fell.
Arrival in Scheveningen, Holland, July 26th 2008 (by Dagmar)
When Scheveningen came out of the morning mist, it felt like a magic moment....The finish line on the horizon... I couldn't believe it...after almost 3 years we were back, a strong family of three made it around the World, with our sailing home and fourth companion - LUNA. We really did it... .Bart, a great sailor and captain, junior captain Soleil and myself, a sailing rookie 3 years ago.
After 30.000 miles and almost 40 countries we will leave the open ocean behind us. We will never forget all the precious memories, all the different cultures, all the local families, who welcomed us on their islands, in their villages and homes, who shared with us their every day life. This will always stay with us.
My knees were shaking already and that wouldn't stop for the next hours. We were so so excited. Soleil was jumping around on deck the whole morning, an excited kangaroo....
The sea was flat like a pancake, when we motored towards the harbor, busy decorating LUNA with balloons and all flags of the different countries we visited.
This will be a very unique day for us - A once in a life time moment. We have the feeling, that we achieved a lot as a family and as best friends of each other, a companionship and bond, that will ever be remembered, the most intensive time you can spend together, and we are very grateful, that we had the opportunity to do that.
We knew, Bart's father Ernst and his wife Joke, would welcome us outside the harbor with their sailing boat, and old traditional Dutch "Lemster Aak", joined by family and friends. Soleil and I checked the horizon towards Scheveningen with our binoculars...
...And there they were coming...Soleil was jumping up and down, holding tight at the Genoa ropes. I had tears in my eyes. What a moment. Family and friends were joining them on their boat. Their friend Henk was in the life guard dinghy passing us Dutch leis, Joke made with flowers and ribbons in the traditional Dutch colors: white, red and blue.
My sister Bea, with husband Marcus, and children Kim, Nils and Liv have made a very colorful "Welcome LUNA" banner. My windsurfing friends from Muenster, in Germany, were waving with their children. Our Dutch friends Hizkia and Leonor, with Leilani and Noni, were standing next to the first light house we passed. My mother-in-law Meke, was standing on board waving a bouquet of sun flowers.
Soleil was busy blowing the conch.
Decorated with leis we entered the harbor channel.
Bart's uncles Erik and Rene, with friends Loes and Jan were shooting this pictures.
Christoph Buchholz caught us on the following two pictures.
More family and friends awaited us at the dock inside the harbor. What a welcome!!!!
I was shaking so much, ...crying. The welcome was really unbelievable. Bart and I talked in the morning about it, guessing, how many people would be there. But couldn't imagine the crowd, which made us the greatest reception, we could ever wished for. Even if there were still school holidays, more then 70 people were expecting us that day. Look at Soleil. She was so proud, so excited.
Bart's Dutch friends came with big bundles of balloons. 40 in total, one for each country we visited, connected to them were cards, congratulating us on our achievement and asking the one, who would find a balloon to send a note to our e-mail address. What a great idea!!!!
The two boats berthed alongside the dock under the applause of friends and family. A very touching moment.
Bart's mom Meke and sister Nicole, as well as my sister Bea, were one of the first ones to congratulate us. I was very sad, that our mom Marga wasn't here. She died of cancer on December 29th, after a very short and painful fight. She would have really loved to be here on our special day.
Bart's grandma and Soleil's great grandma, Ado, 88 years old, and still going strong was there, too. She even joined Ernst, Joke, Meke, my sisters family and friends on the boat, when they greeted us outside the harbor.
My sisters oldest daughter Kim was very excited that she would stay the following week with us on LUNA. Bart's friend Erik came with son Emiel. My uncle Walter and wife Evelyn, came all the way from Bonn in Germany.
My father-in-law Ernst was the head of the whole organization, supported by wife Joke, Bart's sister Nicole, with husband Christiaan and Bart's mother Meke. Thank you so much to all of them.
Time for letting the balloons rise up in the sky.....
Tom and Petra's private harbor in Lelystad, here with sons Ties, Hidde and Siel, would be LUNA's final destination in the following week. Soleil got company from her cousins Nils, Liv and Kim.
Leilani, Hizkia, Noni and Leonor made it to the harbor by bikes after welcoming us at the outer light house. My German windsurfing friends baked a wonderful "Welcome cake" with a colorful decoration.
More family and friends to greet: Loes, Henk with family, Loes and Jan, Mariska, Jantien and Norbert...
The cake decoration was amazing: LUNA and a picture of us and our trip around the World.
Champagne was waiting for us, cakes, sandwiches, soup......
We got so many wonderful flower bouquets, that LUNA was decorated for a whole week.
Bart's sister Nicole and her husband Christiaan were the hosts of the following party at their house. Chef gourmet cook, my father-in-law Ernst, with family and help of Joana and Theo, made appetizers and a main course with dessert to follow; Joke's famous chocolate mousse.
Thank you very much to our families and friends for making this day so very special and unforgettable. For all the wonderful presents and flowers we got, all the hugs and kisses, all the photographers, who sent us this memories of an unforgettable day.
Scheveningen, Holland, July 27th-29th 2008 (by Dagmar)
After the day of our arrival we spent 3 more days in Scheveningen: sleeping a lot, relaxing and having fun around the harbor and on the beach. Kim, Soleil's cousin and my godchild, was joining us for a week onboard LUNA.
A huge hill of sand behind the harbor docks was taking Kim and Soleil's full attention. The built a working place over there, greeting different kinds of art work out of clay.
One day was even a beach day with fun on the boogie boards. Kim's first time. She did great and loved it.
Bart's family and cousin Lars passed by for coffee and cookies. Bart's mom Meke stayed with us for the following 3 days and joined us until Lelystad.
Scheveningen to Amsterdam, Holland, July 30th 2008 (by Dagmar)
In the morning of July 30th we left Scheveningen for Amsterdam. We motor sailed up the coast, as it was hardly no wind, up the Nordoostzeekanaal towards Amsterdam. Big cruise ships passed us, freighters and container ships.
We rafted next to my father in laws boat in one of the canals in Amsterdam. From there it was just a 5 minutes ferry trip into town. It was already late in the day, but we still had the whole evening to explore Amsterdam.
Not to be missed in Amsterdam: the Dutch cheese shop, a big cuddly in orange t-shirt ( the Dutch national color), a Ben & Jerry ice-cream, a juggler on the street...
.....and sitting in an oversized Dutch wooden shoe.
Holland is known for bikes, bikes, bikes.... People cycle a lot in Holland, to school, to work, for shopping... You will see the most extraordinary bike models here. Little wooden boats were bringing tourists through the typical Dutch canals, called "grachten".
Amsterdam to Lelystad, Holland, July 31st 2008 (by Dagmar)
July 31st: Bart's and my 10th wedding anniversary. Soleil with the help of grandma Meke, made a delicious breakfast for us. My in-laws Joke and Ernst had a wonderful bouquet of flowers for us.
In Amsterdam our friends Ivo and Belinda, with boys Kane and Ben, and Ivo's brother Rob joined us for our trip to Lelystad. We met them when we lived on Maui. Belinda is American and Ivo Dutch. His parents still live in Lelystad. They are here to visit them for 3 weeks. So we would have plenty of time to see them, while they were here in Holland.
Kane and Ben did great onboard, steering LUNA, and watching other ships pass by.
As we were not making a lot of boat speed, the girls jumped overboard, holding tight to a rope in the back. Even Kane tried that, and loved it.
All kids as crew members had to help while we went through the locks to get closer to Lelystad.
On the bridge of the last lock, Trudy and Theo, Ivo's parents were welcoming us.
Arrival in Lelystad, Holland July 31st 2008 (by Dagmar)
Here we were now: in Lelystad, in the private harbor of our friends Tom and Petra. This would be LUNA's final destination. We were welcomed by Tom's parents Tom sen. and Franka, his wife, as Tom and Petra were on holiday on Schiermonnikoog Island with their three boys.
Last modified: September 02, 2008