Plan 32 B

Over the years our sailing trips  have seldom turned out in the way we originally envisaged . Bad weather, changing forecasts  and a multitude of chance happenings mean that yesterdays plan has to be modified in the light of today’s headwind or toothache or delightful anchorage, and tomorrows plan may well also come a cropper when it rubs up against reality. Our trip so far has been a classic example of this with twice daily perusal of the weather charts , much sucking of the teeth and examining the different ways North, and each time we come up with a solution it HAS come a cropper.

Do we go up the English coast and across the top from Shetland? Mmmm, that’s a shallow coast in NE winds with lots of fog. The next plan ( 2A) is to take that nice E wind to Texel and then choose between the N sea and the Baltic. Then the sat phone needs repairing , so on to plan 3 which is to go and see Bryony for a couple of days by which time  a NW wind  looks like it will put in an appearance. The only trouble is that when we get back the satphone has gone into delivery limbo so we miss our NW wind but decide to relax in Suffolk and enjoy the weather til it comes. Oops , we left the ships papers at home , but luckily still have the hire car so we pay a lightning visit home and plan 4 is hatched ( up to Lowestoft and take the next NW shift). Now we are really irritated as the couriers still can’t find the satphone so we picket their Ipswich depot and dig it out for ourselves , missing a tide and another weather window in the process .

That’s when we decide to  go back to trusty old plan 32B.

Plan 32B can be summarised as “ Sod it , let’s leave now and visit Jaap” It takes no account of tides, weather or the accumulated wisdom of years . Over time  it has brought us a lot of discomfort , some excitement , but mostly a lot of fun although this was not in immediate evidence as we thrashed to windward in 18 knots against a south going tide and typical short E coast chop. Luckily the wind dropped to 10 knots, at which point beating becomes quite bearable although the 120 miles to Ijmuiden ( NE and exactly where the wind was coming from!) wasn’t counting down very fast. Eventually the wind dropped away to nothing and we chugged our way across to Holland which is why I am writing this in Amsterdam, suffering from Museum feet and a round tummy from too much Appelgebak. Jaap and his family are due to visit us at the weekend, and then it will be back to formulating plans 5 , 6, 7 and beyond.

Actually the weather looks good for a dash to Stavanger in 5 days time – or should we go via the Baltic, or maybe inland……….?


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