Oudeschild Harbour, Texel
At last summer has found us with some pleasant sunny days. Last weekend at Den Helder were very successful and interesting with Duyfken being paft of the National Fleet Days with the Navy. Large crowds visited the Navy yard to view warships, watch the various sea, land and air displays put on by the marines and navy and of course to come aboard Duyfken. There were lots of bands, food tents and other activities making it a real festival. I was fortunate enough to receive an invitation to both the opening and closing ceremony, the first being a concert by the Royal Marines band and the latter a military tattoo with various marching bands. I must offer a word of thanks to all the Navy, it was great visit to Den Helder and we received a lot of support and assistance. In particular to John van Zee who always sorted out our problems with patience and good humour, despite his very busy workload for the Navy Days. Sailing day last Monday found us with a Northerly wind, a dead head wind for the passage up to Texel. However with both time and tide in our favour, I decided that we would beat up the Texelstroom and give both the permanent crew and the volunteers some good sail handling practice. But first, a photo opportunity. To commemerate the Navy days, a medallion had been struck with Duyfken on one side and the the new frigate, Seven Provinces, on the other. As we left Den Helder, we passed close alongside the frigate while the press boat took a series of photos. It must have looked impressive, a fighting ship from the 16th century next to one from the 21st. Once clear of the harbour, we got under topsails and courses, standing off on the starboard tack. A lot of work for all hands followed for the next couple of hours as we beat our way north, going about every 10 minutes or less, I think a few blisters came up as hands were constantly hauling on braces, sheets and tacks. The ship loved it, making good ground to windward - working her way purposefully into the force 4-5 N'ly, the fair tide cutting down any leeway. The weather, after a bit of a grey start to the day, came out fine and sunny, so much so that Wendy, a volunteer from Australia, out here for a few weeks to give us a hand, got a little sunburnt! She of course does now not believe any of my reports now of the the previous rain and cold. We lost the flood tide just as we got up near the harbour entrance, so sail was handed and the motor was used for the last half mile or so to get us in. The ebb was setting stongly across the entrance as we made our approach but apart from one moment when we suddenly lost the tidal effect just outside the breakwaters and had to use some lively helm and engine movements to correct a sheer, we entered Oudeschild with no problems and were soon alongside our regular berth in the southern basin. The fine sunny weather and holiday crowds have meant good visitor numbers over the past days, hopefully this will continue for the rest of the season. The work continues however. Tarring and setting up the rig is going ahead now that it has all dried out, the old topsails have been sent up to replace the newer ones, saving the good ones for future voyages. The old suit are more than adequate for the passages we are doing here this season. Barney is finding muscles that he never knew existed as he adzes away at the new mizzen yard - a smaller mizzen has been made to better balance the ship and make it easier to handle and it was decided to make a new yard rather than cut down the old one - it is a good lenght to use as a spare main or fore yard if we were to carry either of those away. Our new Mate has started now - Janine Osterloo has joined us, bringing experience from the replica Delft and jacht Half Moon. Until she started we have had some relief Mates from the Navy - Bo, Gerard and Otto have done a great job, their help has been invaluable. Now that Janine has started, I am able to have a bit of a break, taking a very welcome few days off. As people join, so others move on and Heidy has now left us after being involve in both the first and second voyages. Her contribution to the ship has been enormous and we all wish her well for the future. We are in Texel until Monday, then another visit to Hoorn, followed by a week at the Zuider Zee museum in Enkhuizen. Hopefully the sunny weather will continue.
Master - Duyfken