News archive 2004

News archive 2004

News archive 2004

31 December 2004

Dec 22, 2004 17:46 GMT
51°54.4′ N, 004°28.7′ E.
The rain kept falling, but we worked hard today. The sails are back from the sailmaker and have been fastened. Tomorrow, Thursday, we have to sail another daytrip. Today there was too much wind to hoist then new mizzen, but maybe we will be able to have a look at it tomorrow. The strengthenings in the corners are of a different design and we do like to try them out.
Next week we will take a break; the office will be closed as well. After New Year we will start the work at the stays.
We all, crew and people at the office, wish you a merry X-Mas and a prosperous New Year.

Dec 15, 2004 21:00 GMT
51°54.4′ N, 004°28.7′ E.
During the last couple of weeks we did not sail. We have used these days to do some of the jobs that were left over after the period at the wharf. Our German carpenter Alex, together with his colleague B-lex (Tobias), re-did the carpentry in the crew’s quarters; this had to be done anyway because some conduit-pipes had to be renewed. The new carpentry resulted in more space in the berths.
The wooden covers of the entry doors have been renewed and in the galley some new lockers have been built. And then all these small maintenance jobs: loose lightbulbs, fans that had to be cleaned, etcetera. In the coming week we will fasten the sails again, a short sailing trip coming up.

Nov 30, 2004 18:00 GMT
51°54.4′ N, 004°28.7′ E.
We liked it there, in Stellendam. Early this morning the dock was flooded, and we were able to sail out and go back home. At 15:00 we moored in Rotterdam.

Nov 24, 2004 20:27 GMT
51°80′ N, 004°03′ E.
A bit later than expected, the ‘Oosterschelde’ was careened in the repair dock of the Padmos firm in Stellendam. The weather was great for this. For us it was the first time on this place. We have been welcomed very cordially by the people here, and the firm looks sound. The yearly inspection of the hull brought no surprises, although we saw some increase of the tolerance in the gland, enough to decide a replacement. First the propeller has to be removed, the rudder too as well as the propeller shaft. If no other things surprise us, the ship will be back in Rotterdam next week.

Nov 19, 2004 08:04 GMT
51°54.4′ N, 004°28.7′ E. Compass 199. 0 knots.
The main engine is operational again. It had to be: after the weekend the ‘Oosterschelde’ will go on the slip in Stellendam. If the weather is favourable, this will only take a couple of days, cleaning and painting the underwater hull being the only job we have to do. The damaged sails have been repaired, but we will have to replace the mizzen sail.
The new edition of Oosterschelde-News was in the mail this week; we offer this in PDF format (743 Kb).

Nov 10, 2004 07:41 GMT
51°54.4′ N, 004°28.7′ E. Compass 199. 0 knots.
The ‘Oosterschelde’ lies quietly in the Veerhaven harbour, but her crew is busy. All the sails that were damaged in the storm, have been transported to the sailmaker. The engine’s coolers and pumps have been removed, to be cleansed and repaired. To replace a Simmer-ring between the reversing gear and the engine, we even had to move the block a bit.
At the office we have been busy as well: we moved within the same building, and the new rooms had to be furnished and their lay-out had to be adjusted. We also prepared a new edition of the Oosterschelde News magazine, which we expect to be mailed next week.

Nov 3, 2004 15:31 GMT
51°54.4′ N, 004°28.7′ E. Compass 199. 0 knots.
Home again. Yesterday we arrived in Rotterdam at 18:00. The log of our rather new GPS compass, that we installed in Bilbao a year ago, appears not to be able to display more than 10,000 miles; we enter the Veerhaven with a steady 9,999.99. Pitching against a cold NE wind we sailed the last part of this Bilbao voyage. For a time we had our 12 year old foresail and our spare schoonersail of that same age, to support us. They function well, although the schoonersail does look a bit odd on the mizzen. On the Waterway we remove the sails and prepare for the upcoming period of maintenance. That implies going on the slip, and a overhaul of the main engine.

Nov 1, 2004 19:16 GMT
50°52.57′ N, 000°56.92′ E. Compass 041. 4 knots.
During the first day we sail well, in an angle against the strong wind and the high waves, towards the deeper and wider waters of the Gulf of Biscay. During the morning-watch we enjoy a lunar eclipse. The crew members are steady doing their jobs. As to be expected, the wind increases. Lifelines and nets are set up, the hatches are covered with the tarpaulins. The storm-foresail is attached. On the lee side of the deck it is hard to stay dry. At one time we roll heavily and a little while later the cook comes up reporting water coming out of the woodstove door; we had forgotten to close off the stove-pipe. The wind is doing 9 Bft and more. Near the sheet corner of the mizzen a small tear appears. Before we are able to lower the mizzen, the back leach tears apart. During the lowering a small tear is seen in the main sail. With considerate difficulty we get it lowered. We start the engine and motor-sail on, with a twice reefed schooner sail and the storm-foresail. It takes till Friday to reach a calmer area, at the entrance of the English Channel. In the lee of the English coast, where we are now, everyone can get dry and have some rest. A spare schooner sail has been hoisted as the mizzen, but there is not much sailing to do; the wind is not strong anymore but it is dead against.

Oct 27, 2004 22:09 GMT
44°13.02′ N, 004°08.91′ W. Compass 325. 5 knots.
We left Bilbao this morning with 9 crew and 4 passage workers, prepared for heavy weather, on our way home.
Volunteer-sailor Sparks reports: “Monday Oct 25: In the morning we have some more groups of children visiting us. Noisy and well disciplined. In the afternoon we prepare for an evening party. Lots of work, we have to move a lot of furniture. Tents, stages, theater lights and sound, camera crews and many meters of red carpet. The host is a soccer broker and we welcome some famous soccer players on board. At 03:00 all is over. Tuesday Oct 26: The day before departure. Many visitors, and they all are impressed. Many questions regarding the mast height. In the afternoon
the last groups of children arrive, we had some 1000 in all, and we’ll miss them. In the evening one of our Spanish guests throws us a dinner. Wednesday Oct 27: The day of our departure. Bilbao’s hospitality make us a bit melancholy. Basques are very helpful and hospitable. Good people. We cast off at 11:00, the last group of children and some new-made friends wave goodbye. There is a strong wind and the weather reports are not very nice. We prepare for bad weather by setting some reefs. At 15:00 we are out at sea. At 19:00 we meet some whales. At 20:00 the wind shift 180 degrees and a few moments later disappears altogether. We’ll have to wait and see.”

From the shipping company (Oct 26, 2004)
The preliminary programme of 2005 voyages for individual passengers is at your disposal at the page Programme.

Oct 24, 2004 20:39 GMT
43°16.01′ N, 002°56.90′ W. Compass 173. 0 knots.
We are not just open for the museum visitors this weekend. We also make daytrips on the river. The ship all filled up, half of the passengers being children. On both shores people wave, bicyclists ring their bells, cars and trains hoot. Children on board send their greetings back by ringing the ships’ bell or playing the piano. And the crew adds to this the sound of the fog-horn and the gun. We hoist the main sail, the foresail and the topsail. On Saturday we were able to sail to the end of the river. But the winds between all these mountains, bridges and buildings can be treacherous. That was what the crew of our wooden boat experienced, when they capsized after some tacking. We had to pick up them and the boat with the dinghy and we hauled them alongside. No further problems, and we all had some good laughs. The passengers of that trip thanked us for this exquisite show. But the Nervion water had been cold.

Oct 21, 2004 11:48 GMT
43°15.99′ N, 002°56.91′ W. Compass 355. 0 knots.
Volunteer-sailor Tino reports: “For 5 days we are in Bilbao now. After our arrival we cleaned the whole ship and made her ready for the visitors. On Monday the children came, in school groups. Group after group came on board, with lots of noise and laughter. They learned to do some knots, we explained where we came from, why we came to Bilbao, which part was the front of the ship, where the helm was located, and finishing off each visit the crew performed a sail hoisting show. In the meantime the ship is also open to the public that visits the Maritime Museum, and we are also busy doing maintenance work. The crew also has a chance to visit Bilbao, to go to the Guggenheim museum and visit the nice tapas bars, shops, markets and pubs.”

Oct 18, 2004 16:26 GMT
43°15.99′ N, 002°56.91′ W. Compass 355. 0 knots.
We anchor near Le Palais late in the evening of Oct 14. The next morning we moor at a nearby deadman. On foot, by scooter or by bicycle we explore the island, worthy of its name, and the old town of Le Palais. In the dusk we leave the island, to start our crossing of the Gulf of Biscay, some 250 miles in front of us. The sky is clear, sometimes there is a cloud with a squall. A steady and strong westerly makes us sail with headway on the swell. Sailing like sailing ought to be. In the evening of Oct 16, a first reef in the gaff sails, we get close to doing 12 knots. We have to slow down, because of all the appointments that were made with the pilot and the museum. Lessening sail is not enough to slow her down. We race towards the high coast; just the last couple of miles before the entrance the wind is down, and we motor into the Rio.
So, yesterday morning we arrived in Bilbao and moored in front of the Museo Maritimo, Our Spanish guests are almost home, and the other guests will take some time to explore the area and eat some pinchos before the fly home. In the meantime, on deck and in the saloon we have a tour of 4 and 5 year old little Basques.

Oct 14, 2004 13:50 GMT
47°37.16′ N, 003°49.73′ W. Compass 087. 6 knots.
Volunteer-sailor Jim reports: “As expected, we arrived at Camaret-sur-Mer on Oct 12 at 17:00. As long as we could we kept all sails up. We just needed the engine to back up a bit at the end, when we had to moor at the breakwater. A beautiful berthing place, the ship was visible everywhere.
We left on Oct 13 at 14:00, on our way to Belle-Île. We had to use the engine to go against the wind in the first leg. At 21:00 the wind increased to a near-gale, which slowed us down and it took a long time before we could set a course with free wind. Which happened at 04:00.
At this moment the wind has decreased, the sun is shining again and the sea has calmed down. This morning we had dolphins around us for an hour, a great event. We expect to anchor near Le Palais at 21:00; Le Palais is a sheltered village on Belle-Île.”

Oct 12, 2004 10:45 GMT
48°19.61′ N, 005°04.42′ W. Compass 108. 5 knots.
Volunteer-sailor Tino reports: “After two days of 9 Bft and heavy waves, we decided to go into the harbour of Falmouth, where we arrived on Sunday at 19:00. After having put up the tent against the rain, we had a chance to go ashopre and visit this nice town. After supper (again a lovely meal prepared by our queen of the galley Sabine) we went to the Chain Lockers, a cosy pub, with a group of 12 crew and passengers. During the night everyone had the opportunity to sleep for a long time instead of the 3 to 4 hours when on a watch schedule.
On Monday morning we spent some more British pounds and set sail, all sails, and we went southwards to Brittanny, doing 9 knots. Today, Tuesday, we sighted the French coast and we went around Île d’Ouessant. We expect to arrive at Camaret-sur-mer at about 17:00. The French and Breton courtesy ensigns have been hoisted.”

Oct 10, 2004 01:35 GMT
50°23.23′ N, 002°19.46′ W. Compass 257. 8 knots.
On Thursday evening, after our last daytrip, our 14 Spanish guests arrive. The company is completed by the arrival the next morning of 3 Dutch, 1 British and 1 Belgian guest. We leave at 11:30; no wind, but the forecast promises us a NE. On the river we do our introductory talks, in English; the captain on general subjects, the mate on safety and the bosun on the sailing. They are translated into Spanish. Once we are out at sea, the NE arrives and blows into the square foresail without pausing. Now, in the middle of the night from Saturday to Sunday, sailing near the English south coast, we have a rare NE 7-9 Bft. Because of the rolling, we have connected the life-lines and heightened the rail. Just topsail and foresail make us do 11.5 knots in gusts.

Oct 7, 2004 11:26 GMT
The last couple of days were dedicated to the preparation of our upcoming voyage to Bilbao, Spain. After this period of daytrips in Rotterdam, much has to be stowed again. The rigging, the technical installations and the nautical equipment have been checked. Drinking water, stores and fuel have been brought on board. We will leave early Friday morning. The ship is almost completely booked and more than half of our passengers is Spanish.
Today we will do one more daytrip, to Maassluis. We will be back in the Veerhaven harbour at 18:00. Tonight most of our guests will embark.

Sep 22, 2004 17:00 GMT
Rain, rain and more rain. It has been a wet day. We had to suspend a tarpaulin to be able to work on the renovation of the wheel-house roof. And we tighten all the stays on board, which also corrects a slight bend in the fore-topmast.
Tino and Jim have joined the crew, and they will go with us on the upcoming Bilbao voyage. They replace Dorien and Maus, who have been part of the crew for months.

Sep 18, 2004 14:57 GMT
The fair days in the past week gave us good opportunity for maintenance. All the swivel mountings were
overhauled, and the schooner sail had to go to the sailmaker.
The last days were dedicated to our daytrips, we do two today. Just before a maintenance closure of the big storm surge barrier in the river we slipped through, and lots of other ships hurried too to pass in time. Afterwards the river was very empty.
In the meantime the preparations of our Bilbao voyage have started. Departure is in the beginning of October.

From the shipping company (Sep 8, 2004)
On July 22 we placed two movies on the site of the sailing with the ‘Oosterschelde’, made by former captain Dick van Andel. Now we offer a DVD with the high quality versions of the movies. See the Shop.

From the shipping company (Sep 7, 2004)
As in 2001/2002 our shipping company again offers a number of voyages to the Antarctic on board of the three-masted barque ‘Europa’, from November 2004 until February 2005. The programme is based on the experiences of earlier voyages to the area by our ‘Oosterschelde’ as well as by the ‘Europa’. For more information and a comprehensive description, contact us at the shipping company (+31.10.4364258).

Sep 5, 2004 17:44 GMT
The World Harbour Days are over. Beautiful weather, warm and sunny, many visitors, lots of action in and around the Veerhaven harbour. In a light breeze we sailed 4 daytrips on the river. Last night we had the Lights Parade, like at a naval review all the ships paraded, with a.o. the ‘Helena’.
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday bring us daytrips with groups of handicapped people of the Maaskring. Many more daytrips will be following. In the meantime of course we keep up the maintenance.

Sep 3, 2004 13:47 GMT
51°54.4′ N, 004°28.7′ E.
The big swell increases. Going before the wind, rolling and gybing, we arrive at Lowestoft in the afternoon of Aug 31. Here we mail our last postcards. Hundreds of starlings descend on our rigging. We have dinner together, without the need to hold our plates. Indonesian rice dishes are served. After dinner, at around 22:00, we have to leave. No wind at all, and we do the last 80 miles on engine. On Wednesday afternoon we arrive in Rotterdam, where friend and relatives are welcoming us; they tell us the ship looks great. We say goodbye to our guests.
Today, Thursday, the ship is filled with fresh stores and thoroughly cleaned. We are ready for the next event: Rotterdam’s World Harbour Days.

Aug 30, 2004 22:18 GMT
53°55.14′ N, 000°21.56′ E. Compass 160. 8 knots.
We leave our anchorage at Frida Island on Aug 27 at 09:30. The morning walk we planned, had to be cancelled due to the strong winds. We sail on masts and rigging towards Bass Rock, doing 7 knots. Bass Rock is a granite lump in front of the Scottish coast, covered by a huge colony of gannets. The rock is completely white with birds and their dung. It is rather smelly, we pass on the leeward side, so we are able to get a sniff. Then we hoist the sails and continue along the coast to Holy Island (or Lindisfarne), where we anchor at 17:00 in position 55°40′ N, 001°45′ W. In the evening the wind calms down and we are able to visit the island. The area is a tidal marsh and the island has some beautiful ruins. The next morning brings us the company of a number of grey seals, lying on the dry parts of rocks close by. Most of our guests make a walk. At 12:30 we leave the island and sail towards Berwick-upon-Tweed. Its harbour is a dock, where ships only can enter at the high tide. We enter the dock at 15:10 and a group of swans welcome us. Some of our guests visit the town, some make a walk along the river Tweed, and some visit the pub.
The next afternoon, on Sunday, we leave Berwick at 15:00. We sail out and attract a lot of attention of the local population. Once at open water, we soon have a speed of 9 knots. We will go to Whitby. Earlier than expected we arrive there the next morning at 04:30. We anchor on sail, partly because the motor starter fails. The starter is replaced. Because of the heavy swell at the harbour entrance, we are not able to go ashore in the dinghy. We hoist the anchor and leave, sailing southwards.

Aug 27, 2004 08:14 GMT
56°04.30′ N, 002°46.58′ W. Compass 138. 0 knots.
We have crossed the North Sea and arrived at Scotland. We had many favourable winds with spectacular sailing. The last night we did not have to touch the helm for more than 8 hours. Several occasions of white-beaked dolphins swimming along. Guests on board: 2 oystercatchers, 1 Northern wheatear, 1 dunlin and 1 reed warbler that preferred to sit near the engine room entrance.
Last afternoon (Aug 26) we arrived at the bird and seal sanctuary of the Isle of May, at the entrance of the Firth of Forth. There was a swell, but we succeeded in landing our party with the use of the dinghy, and the local RSPB guard showed us around. Now we are anchored at the small Isle of Fidra (webcam) that we hope to visit early in the morning (Aug 27) when the dew is still on the grass.

Aug 24, 2004 07:30 GMT
57°43.36′ N, 009°23.99′ E. Compass 268, 6 knots.
The previous voyage brought us much headwind. This one is better: we leave the quay of Rostock by sail. Gybing and lowering the gaffs we sail north through the heavy traffic in front of København-by-night. When we near the Swedish coast, the wind freshens up and we race towards our first stop: Swedish Varberg, where we arrive on Aug 21 at 21:15. On the last bit we have to use the engine, for the first time.
We stay one more night than planned because of the severe winds, that make the grass on the fortification walls seem like waves. We have a nature reserve close by, called Getteron; mainly formerly agricultural fields, now frequently flooded by seawater. It attracts many birds. Many stilt-walkers, lots of ducks, geese and birds of prey, a.o. peregrine falcon, harrier and osprey.
Today the wind has died down and we round the cape of Skagen by engine, going from the Kattegat and going into the Skagerrak.

Aug 20, 2004 00:22 GMT
54°05.60′ N, 012°07.87′ E. Compass 307. 0 knots.
Many headwinds on this voyage. When the wind subsides, we leave Gotland at 06:00 on Aug 16, having lots of miles ahead.
Halfway to Rostock we visit the little Danish island of Christansø. It is just 500 meters wide, connected to the even smaller island Frederiksø by a manual foot-bridge that carries 10 persons at a max. It reminds us of fairy tales. It has a special layout and it is very green. The fortification are covered by lichens. On many places we find old water basins. In the vicinity of Rostock we get a weak SE-ly which enables us to sail. In the morning we have to haul the sheets and we tack into the afternoon. In the mouth of the Warnow we lower sail. We arrive at Rostock at 18:30 on Aug 18.
We have loaded new stores into the ‘Oosterschelde’ and the new passengers have arrived. At dawn we will leave and start a new trip, again an interesting nature voyage, this time to Sweden, Norway and Scotland.

Aug 15, 2004 22:56 GMT
57°01.36′ N, 018°22.94′ E. Compass 311. 0 knots.
At noon on Aug 12 we are piloted into the little harbour of Grönhögen on the island of Gotland by a local fisherman. We make a walk to Ottenby and we cross a wall that separates the southern point of the island. The wall was made by order of king Carl Gustav X to keep the game in. There we find many plants that are typical for this limy soil, like ladies’ fingers and silene (Silene nutans). We see common greenshank and arctic tern along the coast. In the trees we discover a spotted flycatcher. A young hawk had captured a pigeon and is eating it in a garden, imperturbable.
north between the 100 km long island of Öland and the mainland, we lower our Oosterschelde pennant at the bridge at Kalmar. The chart puts its height at 36 m, Grönhögen harbourmaster put it at 30 m and his neighbour at 42 m. We sail on to Burgsvik on the island of Gotland, with reefed sails. We arrive on Aug 14 at 11:00. The people there are very helpful. Thanks to them we succeed in renting some bicycles. We use them for a trip through the beautiful landscape to a look-out tower at Inre Stockviken. There we spotted many birds at a shallow lake and a bay (Yttre Stockviken) white-tailed eagle, Montagu’s harrier, crane, red-necked phalarope, Caspian and little tern. We heard a water rail in the reed. Riding back to the ship over small paths in the forest and the fields near Mjolhatte Trask, we saw many orchids, a.o. fragrant orchid, spotted orchid and marsh helleborine, the last one still blooming.
Today we went to the other side of the southern tip of Gotland, one group by foot and one group on the ship. We have anchored in view of the same church of Öja as yesterday, but now from the other side, north of the Faludden peninsula. We haven’t decided yet which group enjoyed the most.

Aug 11, 2004 21:14 GMT
55°22.61′ N, 015°18.71′ E. Compass 022. 2 knots.
Our new guests arrived Monday in the evening. We went to sleep early because of the early start we planned. We left Rostock at 06:20. The first part, till Darsser Ort, we did by engine, later we set sail and set out a northerly course. In the evening we had to use the engine again to do the last 60 miles to the Danish island of Bornholm, south of Sweden’s southern tip. We arrived at Nexo at 10:30, where we meet a welcoming harbour master. Exploring the island, we make a bike ride of 40 km, through the fields in the direction of Ekkodalen in the Almindingen forest. We make several stops to listen and have a look at all the treasures of nature. We find little orchids (marsh helleborine), dangerous mushrooms (Amanita pantherina), see red-backed shrikes and hear common cranes.
Now we are sailing towards the Swedish island of Öland.

Aug 8, 2004 16:39 GMT
54°05.60′ N, 012°07.57′ E. Compass 083. 0 knots.
Early Thursday morning we weigh anchor and sail in to go to Rostock, 8 miles up the river Warnow. Sometimes it is very narrow. Many other ships are present, to participate in the festival Hanse Sail. We say goodbye to our guests and prepare the ship for the 5 daytrips ahead. When we sail out to do the first one in the next morning, we are able to see how many ships take part in the festival. They all have to pass the narrow places and there is a real traffic jam. Once at sea, it is great sailing weather, with lots of sun of wind. In the evening we make another trip. Saturday and today is great weather too, and we all enjoy the sailing.
The daytrips are done now. Tomorrow we will store fuel, water and other stuff. In the evening we will be ready to receive the new guests. Together we will set off for an interesting nature voyage, amongst others to the island of Bornholm.

Aug 5, 2004 07:57 GMT
54°13.54′ N, 011°59.67′ E. Compass 127. 0 knots.
In Ålborg we are moored in the middle of the festivities. An improvised rock-café sounds over our deck. We have a special visitor, P.E. Nielsen, who sailed a a crew member on the ‘Fuglen’ (the Danish period of the ‘Oosterschelde’). He had not been on board for 52 years; he still had very good memories of that time.
The festival concludes with great fireworks on all sides around us; two eyes are not enough to see it all. The next day all the ships sail the Limfjord in a 15 mile parade. As the last ship we sail close to the wind in front of the beach and take the narrow eastern exit at Hals. We slacken the sheets and turn south. In the night we pass the 65 meter high hanging bridge over the Støre Belt, where the NE 3-4 Bft leaves us and we slowly drift backwards on the current. Today, August 4, we take the narrow channel to Nysted on the island of Lolland, and in the afternoon we make a walk between the trees and the houses with their frame-work. A new eastern wind helps us to cross the Mecklenburg Bight to Rostock, where we anchor in the roads at 22:45.

Aug 2, 2004 19:32 GMT
56°44.60′ N, 010°44.79′ E. Compass 139, 6 knots.
Our neighbours departed the race, so we were all alone when finishing at 16:00, which we did at 54°42.8′ N, 007°08.3′ E. Twice a day all the positions were exchanged by short wave radio, so we were able to position them all on our charts. Only a very few ships have reached the original finishing line. We ended being 8th in our A class and 35th over all.
We had to do more than 300 miles to Ålborg, and we had to use the engine. On the next day we dropped anchor 1,5 mile out of Torup for a swim and for a swing at the halyard of the square foresail. We have a visitor, a curious young seal. Just before our barbecue we cross the line between North Sea and Baltic Sea. Neptune, accompanied by penguins, pirate and master of ceremonies, comes on board to baptise those that cross this line for the first time. They each have to pass a personal test. They all succeed, and are given a name by the baptismal. The night is a mix of music, dance, rap and singing, organised by the newly baptised. On the next morning we enter Ålborg. We set our clocks and watches to the middle Europe time zone. For the first time we see other tall ships again.

July 28, 2004 01:12 GMT
54°25.73′ N, 006°22.95′ E. Compass 067. 2 knots.
For 24 hours now there is so little wind that the swell often wrecks our trimming. Sailing this way we had an exciting crossing of the VTS (big ships’ lane).
The finishing time has been advanced to July 28 at 16:00 GMT (GMT or UTC is our ships’ time during the race); the rating will be calculated from the ships’ distance from the original finishing line at that time. Our position now is 9th in the A class and 33rd over all. In a diminishing swell we slowly, cable by cable, get closer to the ‘Kruzenshtern’, thanks to some very steady helsmen. The ‘Kruzenshtern’ (8 in the A, 39 over all) is the only ship that has not been out of our sight since the start.
Our mixed group is enjoying the sunshine and is preparing baggywrinkle at an average of 2 meters per hour.
Andrew says: “I arrived in Antwerp with 2 friends from England to join the ‘Oosterschelde’ for the start of the tall ships’ race 2004. We were amazed by the interior of the ship. The boat is a lot larger than what we usually sail and is a lot more luxurious. Fred, our chef, has produced the most fantastic meals every day and has made fresh bread every morning. The staff always look happy and it is looking likely that we will do well in the race. The ‘Oosterschelde’ looks beautiful with her sails up and although there’s little wind at the moment, we lay on deck watching the sails and the sunlight gleaming off the waves.”

July 26, 2004 10:30 GMT
53°11.64′ N, 004°07.58′ E.
Our starting position was ok. As the last one of the Class A ships we crossed the starting line within the 15 minute limit, which meant a free wind. We reached the only buoy whe had to round (Noordhinder south, at 51°51′ N, 2°28′ E) together with the ‘Artemis’, the ‘Prince William’ and the ‘Sedov’, a great racing moment and an excellent position to take photographs. Some of our guests suffer a bit of seasickness, but they all participate in the sailing. In the provisional ranking we do well: 6th in Class A and 9th over all. During the night we had the ‘Sedov’ and the ‘Kruzenshtern’ in front of us, the two biggest ships of them all. The ‘Sedov’ changed tactics and disappeared from our sight; we slowly close in on the ‘Kruzenshtern’, which is one place ahead of us in the provisional ranking.

July 24, 2004 19:44 GMT
51°21.14′ N, 003°52.08′ E. Compass 255. 7 knot
The festivals in France are over. Time to go back north. During the trip to Antwerp we enjoyed great delivery weather, not much wind and a lot of sun. It enabled us to paint, and the ship will look great during this Antwerp Sail.
Antwerp was thick with ships, all waiting to participate in or watch the start of the STI Tall Ships’ Race to Ålborg. And many Belgians came to have a look at all these beauties. Here we welcomed our new guests, a very mixed group with many youngsters, eager to help and eager to climb the masts with us.
During the parade out of Antwerp we had all sails up, on our way to Zeebrugge where the race will start on Sunday, at 11:00.

From the shipping company (July 22, 2004)
Our site has a new menu item: Movies.
Starters are two short introductory Oosterschelde-movies by former captain Dick van Andel, one about travels and one about daytrips. Both are provided in small size for phone connections as well as in large size for broadband.

July 19, 2004 16:33 GMT
48°48.69′ N, 004°17.12′ W. Compass 058. 9 knots.
We have left Brittany and are on our way to Antwerp, for participating in Sail Antwerp and the start of the STI Tall Ships’ Race. No wind at all. It gives us some time for painting. Douarnenez was very convivial, as usual. Walking a gigantic gangway (because of the big tidal fall), many people have visited our ship.

July 16, 2004:
48°05.74′ N, 004°19.35′ W.
In Brest anything that sails has a number. The ships have it in their rigging or on their hull. The ‘Oosterschelde’ has number 17, a papyrus canoe from Ethiopia has number 1964 and this is certainly not the highest number. Thousands of ships and boats are doing their very best in showing off or in sailing around in the bay. From the walls of the fortress one can see all over the bay, white with sails. Especially the Breton sailing boats seem to be proud of their home waters. All these ship and boats today sailed to Douarnenez, along the rocky coast of the Crozon peninsula. There is no wind at all, sails are flapping, engines are running and those who have no engine, are towed. On the horizon the multitude of masts is like the hairs on a steel brush. Navigator, look-out and helmsman have to be very alert, Now we are moored in Douarnenez, to participate in another festival.

July 12, 2004 09:57 GMT
48°21.69′ N, 004°30.11′ W. Compass 240. 3 knots.
In the past weekend the ‘Oosterschelde’ was moored at the quay in Brest. Hundreds came on board as guests of Crédit Agricole, who had commissioned the ship. In the evening their more important customers came for a cocktail and snacks. For the crew this was a opportunity to do some work in the rigging and the main engine room.
Right now we sail a daytrip on the Rade de Brest. A moderate NW-ly permits us to set all sails. Around us all kinds of ships and boats, many of them Dutch. The most beautiful are the bisquines: the ‘Cancalaise’ and the Granvillaise’.

July 10, 2004 08:22 GMT
48°23.01′ N, 004°28.64′ W. Compass 218. 0 knots.
After a fantastic day and night of sailing, doing 10 knots in a small rig, we arrived at Île d’Ouessant. The wind disappeared and the strong currents carried us through the Chenal du Four. Then a light breeze came. Surrounded by small craft and a tv helicopter we sailed before the wind on the Rade de Brest. Still sailing we entered the harbour, and after some manoeuvring we moored at 18:00.
Early this morning our guests left to go back home, and the catering crew is ready for the Brest 2004 Festival that is about to start.

July 9, 2004 01:12 GMT
49°03.52′ N, 004°31.94′ W. Compass 214. 7 knots.
The gale has died down. In the afternoon the wind turned to NW, about 6 Bft. We have left the British coast and go a straight course towards Île d’Ouessant. This afternoon we did 10 knots. Before entering the night we took some sails away, but our speed is still high. If all goes well, we will arrive according to schedule: Friday at the end of the day.

July 8, 2004 09:20 GMT
During the night the wind went from NE to SE and our safe anchorage turned into a lee-shore. So this morning we decided to leave. The forecasts still are bad (cyclonic 8 Bft becoming NW 6-8 Bft), but conditions up till now are reasonable.

July 7, 2004 14:20 GMT
50°37.69′ N, 002°20.57′ W. Compass 175. 0 knots.

July 7, 2004 14:20 GMT
50°37.69′ N, 002°20.57′ W. Compass 175. 0 knots.
This morning at 07:00 we left from our anchorage at Cowes. The weather forecast was bad: NE 6-7 Bft, maybe 8 Bft later. Because we were in a sheltered area, we decided to go. In a weak sun we passed the Needles at the west Solent exit.
Once we were out, the weather deteriorated fast. The barometer dropped 6 points before noon and even close to the coast the waves were high. Extra forecasts mentioned “gale 8, severe gale 9 imminent”, so we looked for a safe anchorage, which we found just east of Weymouth Bay. Everybody now knows what sailing in so much wind means. The crossing to Brittany has to wait. We anchored at 15:15. The ship is rolling considerably but our anchorage is safe.

July 6, 2004 17:42 GMT
50°46.32′ N, 001°17.82′ W. Compass 103. 0 knots.
After we left Dover yesterday at 16:00, the wind ended up coming from SW, again against. During the night the wind disappeared completely. At 04:00 a light breeze, so we set some sail. At 05:00 we had all up and for the first time we could stop the engine. We were presented with a great sunrise and the wind got stronger.
This afternoon we dropped anchor at Cowes on the Isle of Wight, in a well-known strong Solent current.
Tomorrow probably will bring us a NE 6-8 Bft, so we surely will arrive on time.

July 4, 2004 20:02 GMT
51°07.05′ N, 001°19.59′ E. Compass 205. 0 knots.
We had two days of a mix of strong and weak winds, much and little rain, strong and weak currents, all against. We arrived at Dover at 20:30. But all our spirits are high. Tomorrow we will make a walk in the area, and we plan to leave after lunch.

July 2, 2004 23:25 GMT
52°35.64′ N, 003°47.24′ E. Compass 290. 5 knots.
During the two days since arrival in Amsterdam, we have stored and done some minor repairs. With the guests of the upcoming voyage to Brest, we made a tour of the Amsterdam canals. The ‘Oosterschelde’ left at 17:45, went through the IJmuiden locks at 20:00 and now we have been at sea for a couple of hours. The weather is moderate, the forecasts are the same. A few sails, and the engine running slowing. Some thunderstorms and a bumpy sea.

June 27, 2004 13:34 GMT
This year’s Kieler Woche (Kiel regatta week) has been marked by lots of rain and a lot of wind. We used the tent a lot, not against the sun this time but to cover our guests from the rain. One main sail, the staysail and the topgallant were all we needed. The guests were all very comfortable this way. On Saturday we had a windjammer parade; all the ships sailed in a pre-designed pattern through the fjord. Lots of sails and a beautiful sight. The day started with rain and wind, but we were lucky to see the sun come in and the wind decreasing. We were able to make some tacks in the fjord, which our guests liked very much.
Today we left Kiel at noon. Right now we are in the Kieler Canal and we hope to reach the Elbe river tonight at 21:00. After that the North Sea, on the road to Amsterdam.
We had a very successful Kieler Woche. Catering crew and sailing crew did well, and we had a total of 668 people sailing wi
th us.

June 21, 2004 19:52 GMT
The weather in and around the Kiel fjord is varying a lot with many squalls and much sun. Sometimes we have a short and heavy squall, and most of the guests like it. Our catering crew is not that happy with it, but after all these years they are used to this. On Sunday we did a daytrip with passers-by. Great weather and good sailing. Wout and Maurits took care of the soup and the rolls, the rest of the crew took care of the sailing. When we got back, these guests were very satisfied; one finds oneself strolling at a quay side and all of a sudden one is sailing on a beautiful ship in the fjord. What a surprise.
For the rest of the week there are evening- and daytrips. On Tuesday there will be a lot of press, so we might be shown on German tv.
In between we do some maintenance; today we will paint the deck.

June 18, 2004 13:05 GMT
So we left Scheveningen on Monday. In the entrance of the Elbe the wind finally started to blow; we did 9 knots against the outgoing currents. In the Kieler Canal we rescued a small yacht that got stuck in the bank. At 22:00, halfway the canal, we stopped at Rendsburg; we continued our trip at 04:00, to reach the Baltic Sea via the locks at Holthenau. We moored at Kiel at 08:00. The first daytrip was successful and now we are completely ready to have the Kieler Woche 2004.

.June 15, 2004 14:01 GMT
Back in Scheveningen we took a day off on Sunday. The next day we left for Kiel. We were delayed a bit, so we had a tight schedule. On Wednesday we have to sail a daytrip in Kiel’s fjord. But the wind is favourable and the extra power of the engine bring us a speed of 10 knots, so we hope to arrive on time.
Master Jip van Bommel has been relieved by Bernt Folmer. It has been some time ago that Bernt was Oosterschelde’s master but he did not need much time to get accustomed again. Tonight we hope to arrive at the Kieler Canal.

June 10, 2004 15:37 GMT
52°03.1 N, 01°09.8 E.
On June 7 we leave in the night, at 01:30, to go to Scheveningen. Going between Den Helder and the island of Texel we reach the North Sea. There just is a weak SW-ly so we have to use the engine. During the trip we paint the roof of the captain’s cabin. We arrive in Scheveningen at 15:00.
On June 8 we prepare the ship for the ABN•Amro Race, a race for yachts that is held every two years. We will be the Race Control vessel. On June 9 we watch them start the first leg. We arrive at Felixstowe at the same time the second yachts finishes. Since 08:00 today we are in the Ipswich dock, surrounded by the participating yachts. Tonight all their crews will come and have a drink on board of the ‘Oosterschelde’.

June 6, 2004 20:25 GMT
The Friese Havendagen, a sail festival as we like them. It was their first time and enthousiasm was high. They had a mix of nautical and cultural events. No entry fees for the visitors, lots of parking place and free shuttle buses with friendly Frisian drivers that liked to drive and talk.
Today, Sunday, was the last day of the festival. On Friday and Saturday we made some evening trips out to sea, and in the daytime we welcomed many visitors. We met some of our friends from the time when the ‘Oosterschelde’ in the first phases of her restoration had her steelwork restored by Gerard Kroes and his crew, up there in Leeuwarden in 1990. The festival was organised to celebrate the opening of a new industrial zone in Harlingen. On 10 locations some 40 concerts were given by some 200 musicians, and last night we had a wonderful show of sound and light. Everything relaxed, as the Frisians are.
Tomorrow we will leave for Scheveningen. From there the yachts of the ABN Amro Race will start their first leg to Ipswich, on Wednesday. We will sail along as race control vessel.

June 2, 2004 13:15 GMT
Hospitality welcomed us in Oostende. Many well-known ships were there too. Among them the ‘Sedov’, the ‘Mir’ and the ‘Belem’. Our sistership ‘Helena’ too was there; she had done an inland trip to arrive here. The ‘Oosterschelde’ was used for a reception and for some short daytrips, and we were open to the public. Our visitors were all friendly and polite. The weather was great and the festival was a success.
Afterwards we left for Rotterdam, at 18:00 on Monday. Hardly any wind and a flat sea. We arrived at Rotterdam the next morning at 05:30. The rest of the day we used for cleaning, some paint work, storing and having our bile water fetched. Today we do a daytrip and after that we will immediately leave for the sea. Our next arrival in Rotterdam will be on September 1. Our first stop is Harlingen, to take part in another festival, the ‘Friese Havendagen‘.

May 29, 2004 07:55 GMT
This is great weather for sailing, the whole week we have NW-ly winds and this enabled us to sail in and out of the Scheveningen harbour. Each day all the sails are set. Sunny, a bit fresh. People have lunch out on deck, at a place where the sails do not cast their shadow. On Monday and Tuesday we sailed in front of the coast near Scheveningen, on Monday with individuals and on Tuesday with a group. On Wednesday our departure for Vlissingen was delayed by Dutch customs; on the whole world we never met more distrusting custom officers than in our own country. But the weather made up to this and we made a beautiful trip to Flushing, where our passengers had to catch a train to get back. Yesterday, having the wind on the beam, we made it to Oostende too soon, so we made some extra tacks at sea.
Now we are in Oostende, taking part in the festival ‘Oostende at anchor’. School-children are busy answering a nautical quiz and they ask us all kinds of questions. We stay here for the weekend and we are open to the public.

From the shipping company (May 24, 2004)
The shipping company is looking for an able ship’s cook for the upcoming summer season. For contact data, check our page Contact.

May 23, 2004 19:41 GMT
52°05.95′ N, 004°15.72′ E.
The crossing to England was great. NE 4 Bft, all sails up and doing 8 knots. We sailed into the river Orwell, using the auxiliary power of the engine. At 12:30 we were in Ipswich’s dock. In the night, at 00:30, we went out again to make use of the short openings of the dock at high tide. We left Ipswich at 08:00, the wind in the back. Main sail, topsail, topgallant and staysail brought us to Brightingsea at the entrance of the river Blackwater, where we anchored at 17:30, 1 mile out. At 20:10 we hoisted the anchor and started on the last leg, to Scheveningen. First we had a comfortable NW, but the direction changed to NE and we had to start the main engine to assist us. Some 6 miles out of Scheveningen we were able to sail without the engine, and we kept going like this until within the harbour. We made fast at 17:00.

May 21, 2004 01:55 GMT
We left Rotterdam on Wednesday at 20:30. Sailing against the W-ly, we put up for the night in Maassluis. The next morning we left at 06:00 and reached the sea at 08:00. All sails up and slow progress, due to the weak W-ly. Later the wind increased and veered to the north. We tacked at Noordwijk’s latitude and right now we are doing a nice 8 knots in the direction of Ipswich.

May 18, 2004 21:00 GMT
51°54.4′ N, 004°28.7′ E.
Yesterday we had a daytrip out of Maassluis. The weather was very promising and stayed fine all the way. First we sailed to the huge flood doors of the Stormvloedkering, and than we went on to the city using all the square sails and the main sail. Our company was not familiar with the Rotterdam harbour and all the guests were impressed, not just by the environment and the huge ships, but also by the ‘Oosterschelde’ herself.
Today we had a group from the banking world, incl
uding Japanese and Hongkong nationalities. They would like to go out to sea for a while but their number of 42 exceeded the maximum of 36 that our certificate dictates. So we went as far as we could go, and they had a look and feel of the sea.
Tomorrow no daytrip. We have to prepare for the Ascension voyage to England. We plan to leave tomorrow as soon as all our passengers have arrived.

May 16, 2004 21:00 GMT
51°54.4′ N, 004°28.7′ E.
After a crossing with little wind the ‘Oosterschelde’ arrived back home in Rotterdam on Sunday morning. Everyone has enjoyed the voyage.
We had some work to do. The dynamo of the generator had broken down. Several engineers couldn’t find the problem, so we decided to replace the dynamo. We hoisted it to the quay with the halyard of the square foresail. At 20:00 the generator was functioning again.
Sep and Anthony took advantage of the fair weather to make a new stay between the main mast and the fore-topmast. Not the idea of a quiet Sunday, but then we are well prepared for the trip of tomorrow.

May 13, 2004 21:00 GMT
51°29.76′ N, 000°04.27′ E. Compass 002.
After the preparations of Monday night, we left Oostende early in the morning to go to Ramsgate. Lessons are dedicated to crossing the TSS, the traffic separation zone, and to the traffic-regulations. Like at Oostende, we don’t succeed in sailing into the harbour. We have to wait outside for a while, to give way for some in- and outgoing ferries. We dine and spend the night in Ramsgate. The next morning brings a very slow progress to the North, tacking and with the currents against us. We have to use the engine for a couple of hours to get into the Thames estuary, and in the meantime Jip teaches the specifics of setting a route upstream.
At the end of Wednesday afternoon we sail into the estuary, again with all sails set. The evening is beautiful and at midnight we anchor near Southend-on-Sea, just using the sails. This morning we did another 35 miles upstream, all sails up, and we pass points of interest like the ‘Cutty Sark, Greenwich and the Tower bridge. This afternoon, moored at Woolwich (London), we have a chance to visit them.

May 13, 2004 20:18 GMT
The ‘Oosterschelde’ has arrived in London at about 17:00. More soon.

May 10, 2004 21:45 GMT
51°13.5′ N, 002°56.3′ E
On Sunday evening we left Rotterdam with all sails set, it will have been a great sight for those on the quay. We enjoyed a light NW. We arrived at Oostende today, still all sails up. Our 15 guests have made the navigational preparations for tomorrow’s leg, to Ramsgate. We plan to leave at 06:00.

May 6, 2004 07:49 GMT
During the last three days we sailed daytrips with Maaskring people, this time groups of handicapped that are living in a residential situation but under supervision. Tuesday brought some rain and most of them went below deck into the saloon; there they enjoyed dancing to the music of our sound system.
Today we sail out of Willemstad; in the afternoon our guests will visit the Fire Brigade Museum in Hellevoetsluis during a short stop.
On Friday and Saturday we will do two last daytrips out of Rotterdam. On Sunday our guests will arrive for the trip to England, which is also a course in Seamanship.

Apr 28, 2004 20:04 GMT
51°54.4′ N, 004°28.7′ E
Today the ‘Oosterschelde’ and the ‘Helena’ were present at the commissioning of the restored 1903 water-crane near the Harbour Museum. The crane was revolutionary as a industrial development, predecessing the oil-hydraulic cranes. It used a pressure of 50 bar, but today the 12 to 14 bar produced by a pump borrowed from the fire brigade, was sufficient for a demonstration. Wim van Sluis, representing the Rotterdam City Council, mentioned the important role of the downtown harbours in creating the image of the city center. Last year 100.000 visitors came to the Harbour Museum.
Reception of the guests was on board the ‘Oosterschelde’. It is worth mentioning that today some main players in the maritime history of the city presented themselves together: the Harbour Museum, Maritime Museum Prince Hendrik, and our foundation The Rotterdam Sailing Ship.

Apr 26, 2004 13:16 GMT
51°54.4′ N, 004°28.7′ E
Today we sail a daytrip in co-operation with the KCW (Catholic Center for Welfare Promotion). Teenage mothers, aids patients and their buddies, and a group of volunteers. The weather couldn’t be better and everyone enjoys. Tomorrow we will sail another KCW daytrip.

Apr 25, 2004 08:52 GMT
51°54.4′ N, 004°28.7′ E
The season really has started. We have sailed a number of daytrips now. Last Monday, the ‘Oosterschelde’ was used to start the Race of the Classics, a race of traditional sailing ships, crewed by students.
The test to determine the center of gravity was performed successfully on Friday, in the Kortenoodsehaven harbour near the firm of Deutz. The water was flat and there was hardly any wind. A heavy cylinder block served as weight.
The ship is looking well, all the paint work we did is really showing. The restored wooden boat is shiny. The stairs inside and the floor of the galley have been done, and the deck sees a lot of fresh paint too. Our new crew members are becoming familiar with the ship. From now on, we sail almost every day. On Wednesday the ‘Oosterschelde’ will, together with our sistership ‘Helena’, be present at the commissioning of the restored water-crane, at the Leuvehaven harbour.
Yesterday, Saturday, we made a daytrip out of the Veerhaven harbour. In the early evening the sky cleared from the West, and with a little wind we sailed in a beautiful sunset on an quiet river.

From the shipping company (Apr 15, 2004)
On coming Sunday April 18 the ‘Oosterschelde’ is open for the public from 11:00 until 16:00. The ship is at her usual berth in the Veerhaven harbour of Rotterdam. You are very welcome.

Apr 14, 2004 20:07 GMT
51°54.4′ N, 004°28.7′ E
Last week in Maassluis we had planned to perform a test to determine the height of the center of gravity above the keel. There was too much wind to do it, so we will have another try on Friday.
First one has to measure the draught exactly. Next a very big weight is transferred from one side to the other, and the roll this causes is measured by using a plummet. This enables us to determine the center of gravity’s height. This has been determined years ago, and we want to be aware of any changes.

Apr 6, 2004 18:302 GMT
51°54.4′ N, 004°28.7′ E
Yesterday, Monday, brought the first daytrip of the year, out of Maassluis. In spite of the cold and the strong wind (SW 6-7 Bft) our guests showed their enthousiasme by being on deck most of the time. Along with the outgoing tide we motored to Hook of Holland. Just before open sea we turned around, so our buffet did not slide off of the tables. With some reefs and just a couple of sails, we speeded back in on the now ingoing tide, doing 8 to 9 knots.
This first trip didn’t go as smooth as usual. We had to look for some stuff in other places than normal, because of all the maintenance work. And we have some new crew members, so there is a lot to get used to.
Ship and crew enjoyed this trip. The old lady is fresh and new again, and she sailed as she is used to do.

51°54.4′ N, 004°28.7′ E

Apr 2, 2004 09:35 GMT
51°54.4′ N, 004°28.7′ E
We prepare ourselves for the first daytrips of the upcoming season, the first one on Monday. The last paint is applied, and the topgallant-yard has been put in place again.
The ship has been surveyed with positive result and the new sails have been mounted. On deck the restored boat is back in its place; we still have to apply some layers of lacquer.

Mar 26, 2004 17:45 GMT
51°54.4′ N, 004°28.7′ E
The boat is back on the deck. All the sheatings have to placed back and the lacquer has to be put on. The rotten parts have been replaced and the boat looks fine again. Next week we will have some extra crew and, if the weather is fine, we hope to finish the paint work.

Mar 23, 2004 22:07 GMT
51°54.4′ N, 004°28.7′ E
The last bits. It is ‘just’ the painting of the deck that still needs to be done. In the meantime, Alex is overhauling the wooden boat in his workshop in Germany. Maurits went there too, to assist. Part of the bow post has been renewed, as well as 5 plankings on both sides. All the paint has been scraped off. Some ribs had to be renewed too.
She will return as new.

Mar 17, 2004 07:40 GMT
51°54.4′ N, 004°28.7′ E
After this long winter period of maintenance, the ‘Oosterschelde’ herself had to go to work again. In co-operation with KCW (Roman-Catholic Centre for the Promotion of Well-being), our shipping company had invited a group of residents of the elderly-home ‘Steenplaat’ in Rotterdam to a lecture on the history of the ship, and a diner. The shipping company and the KCW shared the costs. Many in the group had themselves been sailors or had to do with ships in another way. It was a lot of work to get them on board and down the stairs, but there were many helping hands. Everyone being served with coffee and a fresh cake, Gerben Nab told of the history, using many slides. Cook Els in the meantime prepared a lovely diner in the galley. The wood stove burned and it turned out to be a nice evening.

Mar 6, 2004 20:58 GMT
51°54.4′ N, 004°28.7′ E
It’s not really a big surprise that the work takes a bit longer than we thought. It’s the last fine details that take more work. Alex last week did the final carpentering, but we are still waiting for the tile-worker and a floor specialist to finish the bathrooms and showers. The new fire-extinguishing appliances have been installed, but here too we have to work on the last details. And we still have to clean and paint a lot, and we hope to have some milder temperatures in the coming time enabling us to finish this.

Feb 26.2.2004 20:54 GMT
51°54.4′ N, 004°28.7′ E
Happy to be back in the Veerhaven harbour again. We still are busy with all kinds of maintenance jobs. We hoped to have it all finished before March but that will not be the case. In the first week of March we will have some extra people on the ship: two carpenters, an electrician and a tile-worker. Many results of the work we are doing will hardly be visible. But as soon as we will have finished painted the decks, the ‘Oosterschelde’ will be a beauty again.

Feb 14, 2004 20:20 GMT
51°54.4′ N, 004°28.7′ E
Visibility at sea was very poor, 1 mile and often less. During the trip we cleaned below deck. This maintenance period made it necessary to clean it all. On the Waterweg we used the sweet river water to clean the deck and the deckhouses.
We were home at17:00, for the first time since we left 3 months ago to sail to Bilbao.

Feb 13, 2004 21:02 GMT
55°22.4′ N, 004°57.0′ E.
Because of the nice weather, we have decide to go to Rotterdam, earlier than we planned. We worked all day to fasten all the stuff that had been untied during the last couple of weeks. Alex is still doing carpenting jobs. Tonight he will return to Germany and he will take the wooden boat along, for repairs in his workshop. Tomorrow morning we will leave at 06:00 and we expect to be in the Veerhaven harbour at the end of the day.

Feb 11, 2004 22:49 GMT
55°22.4′ N, 004°57.0′ E.
Work in good progress. Alex made a beautiful wooden box, to be placed on the deck for the storage of several smaller sails.
Coming weekend has a promising weather forecast for the trip back to Rotterdam. As the Rotterdam sailing ship, we can’t stay away from home too long.

Jan 1, 2004 20:27 GMT
55°22.4′ N, 004°57.0′ E.
The storm of Saturday night was strong, but fortunately we were not out at sea. At the quay, the ship rolled heavily.
The floors in the bathrooms have been poured, and the ship is almost back to its former shape. Nothing of all this hard work can be seen. The new yard has arrived; in the days to come we will fix the clamps and mountings, and then the yard will go up into the mast.

Jan 28, 2004 21:43 GMT
55°22.4′ N, 004°57.0′ E.
Gradually everything on board returns to normal. Three of us are working now, trying to finish all those little jobs that rest. Tomorrow the top-gallant yard will be delivered. The sailmaker called to tell us that all sails had been checked and repaired. On Friday we expect to pour the floor in the bathrooms.
We will stay in Amsterdam for a while. As soon as there is a period of fair weather, we will sail home to Rotterdam.

Jan 21, 2004 18:07 GMT
55°22.4′ N, 004°57.0′ E.
We make good progress. The floors are closed and covered again. The fiber-plates that had covered the woodwork, have been removed, and the inside of the ‘Oosterschelde’ is becoming presentable again. A lot of dirt though, we have to clean all the walls and ceilings, and the smell of the shipyard will accompany us for some more days.

Jan 16, 2004 21:56 GMT
55°22.4′ N, 004°57.0′ E.
We left the slip on the 14th at 16:00, and exactly 24 hours later we left Urk. We spent the night in the small harbour at the pumping-house ‘De Blocq van Kuffeler’ at the west side of the southern Flevo polder. This morning, in a fierce W 9 Bft, we made the last part to Amsterdam, where we moored at the Spoorweg-basin at 11:30. Here we will stay for the coming weeks.

Jan 14, 2004 21:56 GMT
55°39.5′ N, 005°35.8′ E.
In the water again, after 4 weeks on the slip. Because of the stormy weather we had to wait one more day.
So the work on the outside is done, but on the inside we are still very busy. Two tanks had been placed, and the third one had to go in now. It was a very precise job, with just 5 mm tolerance we succeeded in putting the tank where it should be.
In the meantime the plumbers and pipe-fitters were working on the new pipes. Tomorrow that job will be finished too, and then the ‘Oosterschelde’ will leave for Amsterdam. There we will stay for some weeks, during which we will remake the dismounted parts of the interior.

Jan 11,2004 09:05 GMT
55°39.5′ N, 005°35.8′ E.
We didn’t make it. The hull was closed, the rudder ready, but on Friday we did not have enough time to paint it. During the weekend we will put grease on the bottom from the inside, and then the last two (out of 4) tanks will be put in place.

Jan 7, 2004 21:06 GMT
55°39.5′ N, 005°35.8′ E.
The hull is closed. On the outside we have to do some welding. Whether we will be able to go in the water this week, depends on the chances the weather will offer us to put paint on the new parts in the bottom.
We have made many new pipes, for the bilge pumps, the fire-extinguishing equipment etc.; they still have to be zinced, which will take some more days. Of course we can mount them when in the water.

Jan 5, 2004 23:28 GMT
55°39.5′ N, 005°35.8′ E.
The holidays are over. They were nice but it was an interruption of the work. Progress is slow. It is not easy for the crew to start in a dirty, cold and smok
ey ship every morning, and still be motivated after two weeks. Furthermore, not many wharf-people are available, and if they are, they regularly have to switch to other jobs.
There is a big hole in the bottom, but we still expect to hit the water at the end of the week.