Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Edam to Hoorn

Tuesday, 5th August

Today is another race day with a three-leg course on the Markermeer and quaintly named Hoornse Hop, a course distance of 12 Nm which takes us from Edam to Hoorn, the town that gives the name to Cape Horn (Kaap Hoorn) due to the exploits of the Dutch East India Company. The organisers have requested that we try and bunch up for the entry into Hoorn as the local press have taken an interest in our cruise and would like to get film/photos of the fleet entering the harbour.

The course is set from harbour entrance to harbour entrance via the yellow "Sport" buoys.

The enjoyment of the previous evening is in evidence as A) I don't have to queue for the showers in the morning and B) the 09:00 briefing has a somewhat laid back (laid out?) start as several skippers (and organisers) have difficulty leaving their bunks in time. After a lot of banter a start time of 11:00 is agreed allowing time for crews to recover and socialize. Then follows a major traffic jam in the small harbour and restricted channel as the fleet gets underway, naturally the boats on the outside of the rafts are last to be ready! The local weather forecast is predicting winds of F1-3 variable to start with becoming F3-4 SE, and a slow first half of the race ensues but picks up pace later as the wind rises. Hyrst goes well in light winds and I actually make some progress through the fleet, but the size discrepancy of the boats soon has us spread out once the wind increases and we return to the tail end. The press get their photo opportunity as the compact harbour at Hoorn causes the fleet to queue for berthing although the smaller boats can work their way past and into the east basin. I moor Hyrst on an "alongside" pontoon at 16:45, with no rafting!

Outbound from Edam and Hyrst is holding off some of the opposition.

The gaffer fleet underway for Hoorn as seen from my usual position bringing up the rear.

The smaller gaffers in the tranquil inner reaches of Hoorn harbour.

The Cat Boat in the foreground acquitted itself well and also hosted a crew of four. Crossing it over the foredeck was a challenge in a raft!

Hoorn proved to be an attractive and interesting town and rewards some exploring on foot.

Met the intrepid cycle explorers Dave and Kay outside a harbour bar (surprise) so joined them for some refreshment en-route.

For those who arrived early enough a vist to the local classic working boat exhibition was available including a sail on a "botter", unfortunately I missed that. The evening saw another enjoyable social event held in the local yachtclub, with our own accompanying chef producing yet another great meal and a band laid on to entertain us.

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