Maiden Voyage: Lauwersmeer
Day 3 – Saturday, September 7th
We woke up early. I head to the nearest toilet as the sun was rising, armed with a tea kettle. The day can’t start without green jasmine tea! The sunrise over the marina is gorgeous. Angel comes up behind me a few minutes later as I am taking of photo to capture the moment. He reminds me that we need to hurry. Back at the boat, we start our day with tea, cereal, yogurt, and muesli. There I much to do and unpack, plus cleaning, but most importantly, we need to make it to the boating goods store across the Lauwersmeer lake, it was a 1.5 hr drive and the store closed at noon on Saturday and was closed on Sunday. Angel was preparing the boat for our departure and cleaning the exterior, I organized some of the luggage. We encounter our first problem, which was that the toilet wasn’t working. It was an issue that required Angel to remove all the cushions and investigate before we left for the boat shop because if we needed parts that was the place to go.
Gabe and I left him to his devices, while he was fixing the toilet issue. I was hoping that it wouldn’t be serious. I can’t live without a toilet. Having to use a bucket on deck was a deal-breaker for me. Gabe and I head to the main facility building to go to the bathroom and clean up our breakfast dishes. While we were exploring the marina on route to the main building we saw a see-saw and I promised Gabe when we finished we could give it a try. I told him that I was so heavy that I could launch his 27kg frame right up in the air. He wasn’t deterred. True to my word, we spent a few minutes playing and he did go flying. Angel said that he needed 20 minutes, so we hurried back, but apparently, we took so long and there was no way that we would make the boat store.
We were still going to take the trip, regardless of the boat shop. He was nervous pulling out of the marina. I was in the front to push off the other boats in case we got too close. Off we went. I was nervous as well and a bit spastic about the whole situation. I didn’t know how to move, where to sit, how not to be in the way, but I was eager to learn. After the horrible night or rain, the sun was shining, the skies were clear and we were driving our own boat.
We arrived after noon in Lauwersoog, it was a nice marina that is just before the gate that lets you out to the North Sea. I attributed the cold night air and winds to the proximity of the sea. I missed the Bulgarian summer weather, although our daughter Maya would be in cold heaven. We parked the boat at a free dock that we could stay until 19:00. We secured the boat and our belonging sand headed out exploring. We seem to be in a port, which is mostly industrial, but there are two restaurants, where we would get lunch. The first place, which looked nice, is self-service, but we are looking for a sit-down place with service, so we leave and try the other one, which apparently is also self-service. The menu is the same in both places essentially, so we stay in the second place. Restaurette Schierzicht. I am beginning to suspect that Holland is not a very service-oriented country. Is because they are frugal and would rather not pay for the convenience of table service? This is most annoying. The portions were huge, but so are their prices. This is going to be an expensive trip.
During lunch, we decided not to return to the marina, but dock on a small island and explore the lake area. Angel knows where to go because he and Gijs stayed there on one of his previous trips. We arrived at the spot, LM63 near Oude Robbengat. We tied off near the protruding docks and set out to explore the path. Gabriel asked if we can start a campfire, but we were unsure of the rules. Armed with Google translate, the signs say, maximum stay 3 days, to clean up after yourself and respect nature. I love that our cell phone plan in Bulgaria included a decent 3G plan in all EU countries. We set off to explore that island but, after romping through the high marsh grasses we felt like we had hit a dead-end and went back. It was almost dinner time, so we decided to have some hummus and carrots to counterbalance the very filling, meat and fried food-laden lunch with some lighter fare with some rosé from Chateau Burgozone. It took time to photograph the wine per my arrangement with the company. They mailed me two cases of wine and I would take some interesting product shots from our travels in NL, BE and FR. All are countries where their wines were available. This worked fine for me but gives me a little project besides writing and reading of course.
Our second night on the boat, things were beginning to fall into place. I could almost envision how to organize our nautical home. It was a work in progress. The best part was the night sky, clear and amazing. The stars were unobstructed, unfortunately, it was too cold to go outside and enjoy them plus, I misplaced my glasses; I must get contacts. Before bed, we tried to watch a movie on Netflix, but my computer wouldn’t display the image properly. I had my motherboard replaced and only picked it up on Thursday, the day we left, so I might need to do some updates. I really hope it is an easy fix. I would have if I couldn’t use my computer to write for the next month.
Day 4 – Sunday, September 8th
We slept in on Sunday morning. We were very slow to start and I was eager to test out my new kitchen with scrambled eggs, bacon, and toast. It was a lot of getting used to it. My stovetop and counter were the same. I needed to fully prep my ingredients before opening the lid to the stove. Once I was ready, I added the pre-chopped bacon to a cold skillet to render the fat, then I added the onions to soften in the bacon fat and then I added the seasoned scrambled egg mixture. The tricky part was the toast. The bread slices were large and moist, soft, chewy and not like my toaster slices in Bulgaria. The end result was burnt edges and surface area, but not crunchy, how I like my toast. Regardless, it was nice to have a hot meal that I cooked. I needed to be in the kitchen and this was a good first attempt at boat cooking.
After cleaning the dishes, we prepared to head back to the marina, but the engine wouldn’t start. The battery was dead, so we hooked up to the reserve battery and it started right up. I hadn’t showered since Friday, which might not seem like a long time, but for me it was. The facilities also had laundry, so I packed up our small boat and the newly purchased pillowcases, along with our towels and toiletries. Angel and Gabe would join me later. I have a thing about public and communal toilets and their level of cleanliness, not because the marina had shitty staff, but in general, most people are disgusting and don’t leave things how they found them. You know who you are… The facilities at Yacht haven Lunegat were quite clean. I was happy.
On Angel’s previous trips to the boat, he had not attempted to use the coin-operated shower or laundry, so I brought a few Euros to see what it cost. I got to the facilities with our dirty laundry, my computer to try and fix the issue that we were having with Netflix and take advantage of the free WIFI and start writing about our aquatic adventures. The shower was clean, I put a Euro in the slot of the coin-operated shower. It had a start and stop button, which I assumed would allow me to wet myself, latter, pause and rinse, which seemed like quite a cost-saving feature, although and a long scorching hot shower would be ideal. There were no prices listed, so I put in the first Euro and no response, so I added a second and six minutes popped up. That seemed plenty. The water topped out at 38C, but I guess I could live with that. After my shower, I set about to start some laundry, but I realized that I left my detergent pods on the boat, so I called Angel and Gabriel to come and shower and please bring me one.
I found a nice picnic table outside the facilities and set up my computer and opened a new document Maiden Voyage, but I didn’t get very far before they arrived. I went back to the laundry room. There was a sign on the dryer that said 15 min = .50Euro, I shoved all our clothes and stuff in to the washer with the pod, for the second time, but I didn’t see a sign on the water for the Euros only something in Dutch, which I translated to mean, see the harbormaster for tokens to operate the washing machine. Fuck, now I am getting frustrated. It is late-afternoon on Sunday and no laundry.
So, I went back to the picnic table with my computer to connote writing and wait for the boys to finish showering. When there were done it turns out that 2 euros gave them 12 minutes of shower time, but the start-stop button wasn’t working in their shower stall, so Angel wasted most of his time cleaning Gabe. I was seriously pissed off that we had been ripped off.
Marina 1 – Me 0
While they were showering, I was also trying to update my operating system. Apparently, this was why Netflix wouldn’t play. Only with the WIFI speed, it would take two hours. I told them that I would wait and write, but Angel suggested walking back to the boat since the WIFI signal reached us. So, on the way back to the boat, the download stopped, even though our boat was directly across from the facilities, we needed to make a large U-turn get back. Once we got back to the boat, I had to start the download back from the beginning, only now it was 4 hours and at some point it just stalled. Angel suggested that we grab a bottle of wine, UNO cards and hang out back on the picnic table. I thought this would be another good opportunity to take some more wine photos.
We spent two hours waiting for the OSX Mohave to download and had some killer UNO matches. Gabe had a blast and it was an amazing family moment, minus our girls. This was what the boat was supposed to be about, being together.
Back at the boat, we had pasta, with jar sauce, which I beneath me, but I told Angel that I would try it. It was through the process of making the pasta that I realized we had forgotten to buy a colander. The lid was not sufficient to keep the noodles from going into the sink and down the drain. It would be a big problem if we clogged the marine sink. All in all, it was tasty, but nothing compared to my sauces. After a full day and two bottles of wine, we were all wiped out.
By clicking submit, you agree to share your email address with the site owner and Mailchimp to receive marketing, updates, and other emails from the site owner. Use the unsubscribe link in those emails to opt out at any time.