Since the last journal entry, the hectic pace has continued. The remainder of our stay in Middleburg saw continued large numbers of visitors to the ship. Our organizers, Jaques v.d. Burg and Rudi Outernars had worked tirelessly to ensure not only our smooth stay in the port but the successful running of the whole festival. All sorts of bands and performances took place over the weekend, including a couple of sets by Barney singing a few of his songs, including the very popular èBallad of the 'Duyfken'î I remember him singing that when we departed Fremantle back in April 2000, so it was good to see him play it live again here on the other side of the world. One of the leeboard barges, èAnna Catherinaî, which was built in 1892, had their own display aboard of traditional fishing boat models and old prints and paintings of the early days of Middleburg and surrounding areas. We were shown enormous hospitality by everyone there. The crew of the cadet ship Zaandam provided meals for our crew, including a dockside barbeque that was well received, and having to put up with our requests for meals at odd times and with our crew eating in shifts. Lt Cdr Groenendyk, commanding officer of the minehunter HNLMS Harlingen, and his crew treated us to morning coffee that stretched into lunch and then into afternoon drinks. A local couple, Mar and Lenie, knowing the conditions aboard, offered their shower to anyone who needed it. Monday morning, 13th May, was departure day, following a short shift around to the fuel pontoon for bunkers. Construction work was going on at the first bridge, which caused a further delay, but by 1145 we were on our way, back down the canal to Vlissingen. A team of volunteers are aboard to supplement the crew for the run to Rotterdam, including a couple of Navy blokes helping us as far as Vlissingen. Just a little different from the conditions they are used to aboard Harlingen. We had a short wait at Vlissingen, waiting for high water to lock out in order that we can use the ebb to take us to sea. In company with Harlingen, we locked out at 1500 and with a moderate SE breeze blowing, immediately got under fore and mainsail and stood to sea. A different sort of sailing now for the crew, they are used to having plenty of time and plenty of sea room over the past year. Now, in tidal and often congested waters, we need smart and prompt sail handling to manoeuvre the ship ú I think a bit of intensive sail drill on the next leg will be in order. We have plenty of time to get up to Rotterdam, so I intended to go under easy sail for the run up the coast, but the strong tidal flows that we encountered in the approaches made us need a little more speed to hols our track, so the topsails were set as well. Later they were taken in again, as was the mainsail and we first stood out o the NW to the Steen banks before turning to the N and running for the Hook of Holland, the entrance to the river Maas and the port of Rotterdam. The first part of the night was quiet as the speed slowed right down pushing into the south going tidal stream. Things got a little more lively later though ú about 0215 a front came through with a squall of about 35 knots from the SW and we took off at about 6 knots, running before it under the foresail only. I didnït want to arrive at the entrance to river before daylight, so once again we had to try and slow down. Firstly I eased the sheets right out but it scarcely checked her speed, clewing up the lee side of the sail helped a little. We then had a close quarters situation with a trawler who made the sudden discovery that there were more fish under Duyfkenïs track and altered course across our bow. I think he misjudged our speed a bit, but a bit of furious manoeuvring took us clear around his stern. The change brought some thick weather, making it hard to pick up the entrance marks, but the steady stream of ships in and out gave us something to aim for. We were up to the entrance just as the first of the daylight was breaking through the grey murk, but the strong N going tide across the entrance caused a few problems and I was unable to hold her on the approach leads. Traffic control was not happy with us, and with us dodging the inbound ferries on our starboard hand and outbound ships to port, I got under power to hold her up to wind and tide. I was hoping to sail in, but the sheer amount of traffic that uses this port made precise course keeping fairly important. Once inside into calmer water, we handed the foresail and made our way slowly up the river. I say slowly because we were pushing into the tide, bringing our speed down to about 2 knots. Squalls and showers kept sweeping through and maybe it was because of the cold that I have managed to pick up somewhere, but I was frozen ú 3 jumpers and an oilskin coat not keeping out the chill. But what a port! Barges, tugs, large Ro-Ro ferries, tankers, bulk carriers, high speed catamarans, harbour patrol craft, general cargo ships, container ships, refrigerated cargo ships - the list goes on ú lining the river at berths working cargo and constantly on the move in both directions. The amount of trade that comes through here must be phenomenal. Ed was working flat out on the VHF radio, reporting in to the various traffic centres up the river. By lunchtime we had reached our temporary berth at Lekhaven, to wait for our official arrival time at the Delft shipyard. Departing that berth at 1530, we cruised past the Imtech building, flying their flag ú this is Jaques company and he was keen for all his company to see us go past. That was easier to write than it was to do ú the wind had freshened considerably since we berthed and it took all our engine power to come astern out of Lekhaven and then swing her around. Running downwind was easy but when it came time to turn across the river, we had a few problems again. Getting the ok from traffic control to cross the river and come back up the other side, I gave her full helm and power to make the turn. An inbound barge however decided to upset things by trying to cut ahead instead of passing under our stern and it was s full astern on both to prevent a collision. Having avoided him we were now sweeping down the river, stopped and out of control, before some more nervous manoeuvring finally got us lined up again, the engines certainly getting a good work out today. A slow push against wind and tide until we were finally berthed at the èDe Delftî shipyard where another replica is being built. This will be a big project but I think I will save the story of that for another journal entry. Today, 15th, is a much more pleasant day, with warmer weather and less wind and we have a steady flow of visitors to the ship. Also with us here is the Navy and Marines display, who have been with us at each port so far, and another minehunter, HNLMS Urk. Already they have set out to equal the Harlingenïs hospitality, with offers of meals, drinks and use of facilities aboard. Now that we have got the ship back into èmuseum modeî again, the maintenance work can continue again, with crew settling back in to a regular working routine.