After a week of good crowds at the Zuider Zee museum, we departed our berth on Monday morning last. It was a bit of a tight squeeze getting out - I could not steer directly from the berth to the entrance because of shallow water and a big barge, waiting for the berth, and a Norwegian yacht at anchor, restricted my manoeuvring room in the basin. Very little wind meant I was able to position her carefully without fear of making much leeway and we managed to get out by passing very close astern of the yacht at very slow speed. I think that we passed close enough to block out the light into the cabin of the yacht, as a couple of people suddenly popped out of the hatch, blinking in surprise as our hull slid slowly past. Once out, we motored the short distance up to the locks and once through there, we made sail while still in the approach channel and stood away south to Amsterdam. Under all sail, we had only bare steerageway in the very light westerly breeze. Unsettled weather was all around us, thunder and lightning just a few miles away to the east over Lelystad, with a covering of grey cloud overall. Although the storm activity was away to leeward, I kept a weather eye on it, in case of windshifts or squalls. Sure enough, the breeze hauled slowly around to the south and then left us, the ship becalmed with the rain commencing, the darker cloud moving slowly towards us. A bit miserable, standing out in the rain with the sails hanging straight down but after about half an hour, I felt the first puff out of the north. Calling all hands, we quickly squared the main yards and with the fore course and topsail coming aback, the yards still braced up on a starboard tack, we braced to head off and filled away to the south again. Thankfully, there were no squalls, the rain passed, the breeze settled down from the WNW again and we made good progress through the remainder of the forenoon and into the afternoon. Late in the afternoon, the breeze fell light again, but Duyfken goes well into light breezes, continuing to steer well except for one period of about 15 minutes when we were becalmed again. Once again, though, the breeze filled in again and backed enough to allow us to lay the Pampus channel, and we managed to sail all the way up to the approaches to the Orange Locks, being passed by lots of traffic also making their way towards Amsterdam. Handed sail again and under power again for the last couple of miles, we got through the bridge and locks to enter Amsterdam harbour and proceeded up to the berth that the harbour master had kindly given us for the night outside the harbour authority building. We got alongside just before dark and thankfully just before the next rain showers moved through. So that is it for the Ijselmeer for Duyfken - we now have had some good sailing there, a few run-ins with the shallow water and visited some interesting ports around its shores. I think all the crew are pretty proud that that it has been the first time in a couple of hundred years that a VOC ship has been under sail on this inland sea. After a quiet night in Amsterdam, also our last visit to that famous port, we set off again first thing the next morning to continue along the North Sea canal to Ijmuiden. With no wind at all, we had to do the eleven miles or so under power, but with plenty of volunteers aboard, we had hands enough to give the ship a good clean up and get her set up again in "museum mode" for our arrival in Ijmuiden. With the rain commencing again we came alongside our berth, close by the southern most set of locks, late in the forenoon. We will be on display here for the next week, unfortunately, we look out on not the most scenic of views -- the other side of the canal being a heavy industrial area, with plenty of smokestacks, ore bridges and berthed bulk carriers. Having spent many years in ships carrying coal and iron ore, I prefer not to look in that direction.
Master - Duyfken