It’s Monday and we prepare to enter the canals at Vlissingen on the other side of the Oosterschielder. I’ve been obsessing about running out of fuel since we left Oostende. Anne is not and needless to say she is right! We fill on the fuel pontoon and only manage about 30 litres and that is after 15 hours of steaming! We are burning about 2 litres per hour so with a 90 litre tank I need to chill a bit! That means we have come all this way from Dover on just £36 of fuel!
At 1140 we leave Breskens and motor to the red channel marker VH2 on a bearing of 330, then change on a bearing of 000 towards the north cardinal buoy marking the edge of the Hooke Platten sandbank. Once there we turn on a bearing of 090 down towards the yellow ARV3 buoy which marks the safe crossing point for small craft into Vlissingen.
On entering the harbour, I called up the lock on channel 18. We were given permission to enter the small boat lock. This is a very deep lock!
On the other side we entered a large basin with a huge super yacht boatyard. We approached our first bridge and called the bridge keep on channel 22. He told us that it opens every two hours, the next time would be 1242. It was 1235 and we were in luck! Suddenly I was dodging 5 other waiting yachts who suddenly appeared!
Once in the Kanaal door Walcheren we had 4 other bridges to pass through before Middelburg. The only drama was that a bridge almost closed on us! This gave us a bit of a fright so for the next 3 bridges I stuck to the stern of the boat ahead like glue.
After 4 miles we turn to port and into Middelburg and moor at the visitors pontoon outside the harbour master’s office. We were give box berth 14 – our first box mooring! Fortunately we have help, lots of people mainly out of self interest to protect their own boats!
Wow! We are safely moored up in the middle of a Dutch town!