As I write this, it is a beautifully still and peaceful evening on the 31st July. We are moored along side on the visitor pontoon at the Marina at Oostmahorn. The place is very quiet with a very relaxed harbour master who said yes just leave where it is, there is water and power.
Oostmahorn is famous because it featured in Erskine Childers 1903 novel, ‘The riddle of the sands’ which I am currently listening to and is claimed to be the first spy adventure story.
We left our countryside berth at Miedum at 0930 in a flurry revs, diesel fumes and one of our new fenders disappearing off behind us down the canal! I am still not sure how I managed to completely cock up a simple departure from a nice flat landing stage with even the wind blowing us off…..but I did and added a few more scars to Grace! Oh well they will polish out in Sweden!
Moored at Meidum
We continue down the Dokkumer Le towards Dokkum where after handing over 5€ into the inevitable clog we entered the old moat around the town and moor up between two windmills.
We found a space on the starboard side but Grace sat quite far out! The wind must really be very strong and both Anne and I pulled on the bow line to work Grace in. At least she will be easy to get off when we want to leave…….
After a very pleasant lunch we return to Grace, release the lines and expecting to drift lazily out into the moat but nothing happens, plenty of power and a good shove with a boat hook but nothing happens we are not moving, this is very puzzling! I call out to a couple of old guys sat in deck chairs drinking beer and eventually they understand what I want and they come to help us. Together pushing and with the engine full ahead we slowly begin to move then suddenly we shoot free, one of our helpers does not step back quick enough and wobbles in mid air before his friend grabs him and pulls him back! We yell our thanks and head off! It is only while we are try to figure out what went wrong did we realise that we had run aground and got stuck in the mud!
Once through the 6 bridges at Dokkum we continue into the Dokkumer Grutdjip, then past Engwierum and through the Willem Loresluis and on into the Slenk.
Sailing across the Slenk
The Slenk is a wide but shallow lake that leads north up to the dyke adjoining the Waddenzee, the North Sea, Oostmahorn and our Marina.