Leaving De Lemmer

By |Published On: May 13, 2023|Categories: Europe, Netherlands|586 words|0 Comments|

Today was the day.  After four months of boat work, family and friends, and hanging out in the Netherlands, today was the day that we said that there had been enough boat work done, that family and friends would be seen again later in the year, and that the Netherlands would have to be seen in a different fashion.  So, we put the finishing touches on tidying the boat up and at midday we left the Watersport Centrum Lemmer and headed out into the IJsselmeer.

Yuma ready to go


A clear blue sky, warm sunshine and 10 kts on the aft quarter made for a lovely start to the day and enhanced the feeling that, after a four-month break, things had started moving again. We were heading off and we wouldn’t be coming back to Lemmer. Such a nice feeling.

Not to suggest that our four months in Lemmer weren’t good. We had needed a base for planning boat work, doing boat work and coaxing others to do boat work. We’d been able to get in a lot of family time and family obligations (thanks to the loan of a car from F’s mother). And, we’d been able to see a range of places in the Netherlands (that car again). It was a good place to do those things, a great harbour and a nice little town but we’d been there long enough.

We had a pleasant couple of hours pushing westwards with easy sailing and lots of company on the water. Our light mood was chilled when, as we were approaching the Vrouwezand, a Mayday call came in over the VHF – Man Over Board, couldn’t locate him, assistance please. We plotted their position but they were on the other side of the IJsselmeer and we couldn’t really be of any assistance.

As we came clear of Stavoren we copped the full force of the wind and our pleasant 10kts on the starboard quarter turned into a colder 15-20kts on the starboard bow. Time to reef. The heady got sheeted in, the traveller went to leeward and the main sheet went out until the pressure came off and we could put in the first reef. Then the heady got wound back in until she was comfortable again and we trimmed her up and choofed along at 7kts.

Once on the other side of the IJsselmeer we assessed our destination for the night. To our southeast was the nature reserve, De Kreupel. Back on the other side was the Vrouwezand. Both spots offered shelter from the chop if not from the wind. We did a pass of the leeward side of De Kreupel, recognised the smell of seabirds, and decided that that would do nicely and headed in to anchor.

Over the radio and the internet it became clear that the Man Over Board situation did not have a happy ending. The victim was hit by the boom and wasn’t wearing a lifejacket. He went straight in and straight under. Another crewmember jumped in to try and save him to no avail and had to be recovered himself. Multiple vessels, an airplane and a helicopter all joined the search but found nothing.

We are now sitting at anchor with bellies full of dahl, a beautiful sunset and a boat that is moving with the wind and waves. Now that is a nice change after months of marina calm waters! It feels like we are back on the Great Barrier Reef.

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