Delivery Halmstad - Oostende

With 6 crew members altogether we started the adventure of sailing the Tomidi home after the last leg of the Tall Ships Races 2011. We were an international crew of various ages, backgrounds and sailing experience; Jiri (Check Republic, 64 years young, never sailed on the North Sea), Sabine (Belgium, experienced and since revealing the age of woman is not done, let’s state she is an adult of middle age), Robin (Belgium, 17, some experience), the son of our Captain, Tom (Belgium, 31, experienced), the captain himself (Dirk, sailed the Tomidi solo so very experienced), and me (still proud to be Dutch even after all the comments of other not be named crew members....Dirk). I already had some experience with sailing, though I had never sailed the ocean with a “small” boat like Tomidi.
The day before my boarding, the Tomidi was awarded several prices at the last leg of the Tall Ships Races. This showed she is fast boat, and I just hoped this would not imply that my holidays would be ended earlier than expected. Luckily, it did not!
Those who win prices should celebrate that and therefore some crew members were still asleep when I arrived at eleven o’clock in the morning. Luckily there were large festivities ashore for the Tall Ships Races and after dropping my luggage and saying hi I went back onshore to explore. Later that night I choose a bunk (actually I picked a whole corner; since we were only with 6 there were bunks available to store luggage instead of putting it away in the front cabin). We set sail the next morning in the parade of sails. I was glad to take a snapshot of the ship I was previously sailing on, the Eendracht, and soon afterwards we went our own way and set sail to Hals, Denmark. Late at night we arrived and early the next morning we got out of bed. We would not sail that day, as we would navigate through a narrow fjord. We stopped in at the city centre of Aalborg (the second largest city of Denmark) for groceries and a beer (on a Belgium ship having a cool cold beer is a must haha) and continued to Logstor. We were glad when Tomidi was safely fastened as it was a difficult manoeuvre with storms and strong current. Dirk shouted we only had seconds to make the right knots, and everybody should keep their focus up. But when she safely tied to the shore, we had a drink and easily forgot about the moments before.
Jiri took an open air shower the next morning (I still admire him for that, to me it was cold windy morning so showering outside did not appeal to me at all) and we could continue our journey as motor vessel. Our goal, to get to the end of the Limfjord, was reached and as we arrived in Thyboron we were daydreaming of a nice steak or fish. Unfortunately, we were too late... at 2100 all restaurants closed. Luckily Tom found the energy (and ingredients) to prepare us a nice dish after our visit to the pub. After a long day on a boat a warm dish prepared with love is praised by all J
The first day on the North Sea we enjoyed good wind, good weather and good conditions in general. We started the watch system as somebody needed to steer the boat at night. I was lucky with such a crazy (in a nice way of course) watch team with Robin and Dirk. Of course many comments were made about my Dutch roots (I cannot say they were all false) but also we laughed about the crazy faces of Robin and practised the crazy monkey dance. The latter is only to be performed by our watch of course.
As the Dutch dunes of the northern Islands came in sight on the third day on the North Sea, and I tried my best to “smell” my Dutch land. I joked about the lack of rain and thereby implausibility of the land in sight being Dutch, which was replicated by nature immediately: we had rain. We had wind (from the wrong direction) and we had traffic jams (okay, not really, but we needed to watch out for all the others ships not coming too close). I am still so happy (not!) that we enjoyed (not!) the showers that night; what would a sailing trip on the North Sea be without storm... we arrived in the early morning of Sunday and after a visit to the bathroom (yeah! A private toilet that does not rock on the waves and a free warm shower), a little nap and a roundup dinner, I had to depart the Tomidi to get back home.
After a whole week onboard we got close as crew and it felt unnatural to leave my bunk and say goodbye. Though, I look back on the journey with warm thoughts and the good memories will hopefully be immortal by this blog.
A big thanks to Dirk, Tom, the crew and of course our lovely lady Tomidi.

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