Back in Holland/Meppel

After travelling the rusty red and ochre coloured shores of Western Australia it is quite surreal to be back in the land of windmills, green meadows and canals.

Here in Jachthaven Meppel where the Freshwater was in dry storage over winter it’s all about boats. On our arrival the Freshwater was sitting in prime position to watch boats being towed across the yard, lifted and lowered into the water while on the bank opposite huge freight containers were being loaded onto 100 metre long barges.

Getting on board, we felt immediately "at home" again! All the important work we asked for had been done by Marcel and crew. The Freshwater looked shiny with a new coat of paint and the arial bar we had to climbed over for the past 7 years, whenever height restrictions made lowering it necessary, had been removed. We are also now the proud owners of a push button toilet and no longer have to suffer RSI from pumping the manual one! New windscreen wipers are another big improvement I am excited about! For too long it has been me with the squeegee doing the job and getting drenched while Austin commanded “left/right” from underneath the canvass roof. I am almost excited about Tuesday's forecast for rain! 

Yes, and of course we didn’t forget to have our “safe arrival” drinks on our first evening, Jane! We shared it with NZ couple Tracey and Mike, followed on by drinks on board of Aussie Judy and John's new boat the next night, and the next…..

In the meantime we cycled a few times into town. The nicest route to the historic centre leads across a couple of lift bridges and passes the restored windmill “Molen De Weert” and the municipal harbour. There is great shopping in town, but I don’t know why on our cycle back to the Jachthaven, loaded up with all kinds of solid and fluid nourishment, the Dutch wind tends to turn against us. Time to get our flaccid calves back into shape, I think! 

The weather so far has been sunny and warm, and we are enjoying the long daylight hours.

© Austin Robinson 2019