Zuider Zee Museum, Enkhuisen
I am very pleased to be able to report that the summer weather has in fact continued following my last report, with fine, warm, sunny weather bringing out a fine collection of very white arms and legs as everyone climbed into T shirts and shorts. My apologies for the lack of reports on the web site, there was a delay in getting my last entry, Day 442, posted, but it should be there by now and that and this one should get us up to date. I have been having a very welcome few days off, recharging the batteries after the recent hectic weeks, returning only to sail the ship to the next port. When we left Texel on the 22nd, we again used the tide to our advantage, the ebb helping us as we stood down the Texelstroom close hauled to a fresh W'ly breeze. Under courses only at first, we set the main topsail as we braced square and turned into the channel leading to Den Oever, making 6 knots or so through the water, easily pushing against the last of the ebb. Sailed right up to the entrance before handing sail and having a trouble free run through the locks into the IJselmeer. Once through we got under sail again and made good time as we stood south, full and by on a starboard tack towards Enkhuizen. We were not expected in Hoorn until the following morning but were able to spend the night at Enkhuizen, our berth there becoming a regular port of call. Alongside there in time for dinner, my luck holding this time as the ship came in nicely with no fuss or bother and went quietly starboard side to. After a quiet night for all hands we got under way again at 0800 the next morning, proceeding through the locks again (I am going to count the number of locks and bridges we have done at the end of the season!) and stood out into the Markemeer. A SW'ly headwind this morning, but once clear of the approach channel we got under topsails and foresail and I intended to at least try and beat down part of the way. Without the mainsail set she missed stays when we tried to tack the first time and had to wear ship. Running out of time for our planned arrival time at Hoorn, I reluctantly got under power again for the last few miles and after trouble free operation of the 16th century gear (including the old sails which are showing a lot of wear and tear but nevertheless holding up and doing the job) it was the modern gear which let us down. Pushing on to meet the ETA, the port engine overheated and we had to slow down with a mile or so to the entrance. Worse was to follow, the hot exhaust then burnt through the control cable, meaning I had no control of the engine from on deck. Because it was the engine side of the cable that had melted, meant that even the emergency controls would be useless and I was faced with the possibility of having to get into a very tight harbour with only one engine. Duyfken does not manoeuvre well at all on one screw and limited rudder angle, and I got the tug Avontuur, who had come out to escort us in and assist in the inner harbour, to take a headline before we entered the breakwaters and help with the steering. I was moderately confidant of getting in because I had received assurances that the harbour basin would be cleared to give me room to work into the berth. This was in response to my concerns after touching the mud last time and taking a big sheer - I was not confident at all of not hitting another vessel if they were berthed there and the same thing happened. Some excellent work by our two fill in engineers, Cian and Kirk, saw some control restored to the port engine and we got our manoeuvrability back. However I had to contend with passing orders to the tug, passing orders to Cian to drive the port engine via the emergency controls in the cabin, passing the orders to the helmsman and controlling the starboard engine myself as normal. A lot for my small brain to cope with. Entered to outer harbour successfully and lined up for the narrow opening - I must admit I was a bit tense and the resultant raising of my voice volume could probably be heard all over Hoorn. Duyfken responded to the challenge, once again coming through the bridge without touching but my confidence was dealt a bit of a blow when I suddenly saw, having already committed to entering, that the harbour was not cleared at all, ships in the swing basin and along the approaches to the pontoons. Up went the adrenalin levels but with all the crew right on top of their jobs with lines, fenders, helm and engines, we swung in the basin - the mizzen yard just going clear of the vessels astern - and crept up to the berth. We touched the mud, she took a sheer to starboard but some lively helm and engine movements and timely action from the tug got her stopped and straightened, Avontuur hauling her the last little bit onto the berth. My relief at getting in safely turned somewhat to anger and I'm afraid I was a bit vocal in what I considered a bit of deception in getting us in, telling us the harbour would be cleared when in fact it wasn't. Time to go on leave again I think, leaving the ship to Janine for a couple of days, while I calmed down and had a break. I am sure quite a few people breathed a sigh of relief that I was off the ship for a while. Janine, Phil, Cian, Barney and a good team of volunteers took advantage of the good weather and got through a good bit of maintenance work, the ship in good shape when I returned last Sunday. Monday 29th saw our departure from Hoorn, our final transit of the narrow harbour. Once again we used Avontuur on headlines to help keep us straight as I came astern down the harbour. With little wind on a hot afternoon (the summer weather mercifully hanging in there) she swung nicely in the basin and I made it 6 out of 6 for getting through the little bridge without touching, and we put to sea. We got under all sail (plenty of eager volunteers as usual) and despite the light headwinds, Duyfken worked quietly to windward, tacking slowly but easily as we headed for Enkhuizen against a light N'ly breeze. On a pleasant, sunny afternoon plenty of small craft came in close to see a VOC jacht under full sail and I thought at one stage that some of our crew were taking a close interest in a speedboat only to find that it was the crew of topless beauties aboard that had caught their eye. Slowed up Phil's seamanship lesson on using a leadline somewhat. Up to the locks again at Enkhuizen at 1900, where we picked up a pilot to take us to the Zuider Zee museum, the channel in there being shallow and unmarked. No trouble though, there was more water than expected and we got alongside safely at 2000. Another stay of a week, this museum looks very interesting, old traditional houses, shops and boats - I will give a fuller description in the next entry.
Master - Duyfken