News archive 2009

News archive 2009

News archive 2009

31 December 2009

From the shipping company (24 Dec 2009)
The shipping company and the crew of the ‘Oosterschelde’ wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. To welcome 2010, we would like to invite you to our New Years reception. All our regular
guests, crewmembers, inhabitants of the Veerhaven, ex-crewmembers, board of directors, subcontractors, good friends; in short, everyone who has a good connection to the ‘Oosterschelde’ is more than welcome on Thursday 21 January from 15:00 to 17:00 hours.
We would appreciate it if you would let us know that you will be joining us

From the shipping company (14 Dec 2009)
In the meantime the ‘Oosterschelde’ has returned to the homeport in Rotterdam. Today the ship will be cleaned up nicely; tomorrow we have one last daytrip before the season is definitely over. Off course after the trip the maintenance will be continued.

From the shipping company (1 Dec 2009)
Since yesterday morning the ship is back in the water. After a little ‘test-drive’ the ship was moored at the quay in Stellendam. The crew will finish some of the maintenance jobs, before the ship returns to Rotterdam on Friday.

From the shipping company (26 Nov 2009)
Despite the wind the ship has managed to stay in place. However, due to the bad weather of the last couple of days the painting on the outside did not go as planned. Luckily, the work inside the ship continues steadily. A new clinched ring has been placed on the exhaust.

From the shipping company (20 Nov 2009)
At this moment the ‘Oosterschelde’ is in dock in Stellendam. Early yesterday morning the ship left the Veerhaven. Guided by the sun, the ‘Oosterschelde’ sailed over the Oude Maas, Dordtse Kil and Hollands Diep and arrived in the Haringvliet in the afternoon. This morning the ‘Oosterschelde’ entered the dock. Next to the annual  inspection there is much work to be done. The outside of the ship will get a fresh layer of paint. Inside the plumbing and pipes will be replaced. It will be a busy period in dock!

From the shipping company (14 Oct 2009)
The plans for 2010 are ready. In the spring the ‘Oosterschelde’ will be in the Mediterranean for the MIPIM, the Garibaldi Tall Ships’ Regatta and a beautiful spring voyage past Sardinia and the Balearic islands. During the summer the ‘Oosterschelde’ will sail past the Scottish coast, Orkney and the Hebrides again, before participating in the North Sea Tall Ships’ Regatta. Check our program for the dates and prices of our voyages!

22 Sep 2009 16:49 GMT
53°59.69’N, 007°52.33’E. Compass 085. Knots 7,4.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
On Monday we left the Veerhaven and sailed with the current
out towards sea. Between the piers we set all the sails so we can sail fully
rigged past the coast. Slowly the wind is increasing. We are running 5 to 6
knots; so things are going well. Above Texel we turn with the wind on the
quarter. We set the square foresail and take down the fore sail, mizzen and
inner jib. After jibing we also remove the gaff-topsail, another reason being
that the sheet was almost chafed through. Apparently it was twisted at the top.
Today we have been jibing along the Dutch coastal islands. When we sail with
the current we can run 9,7 knots, against the current 8 knots. Tonight around
20:00 hours we expect to arrive at the Elbe. Tonight we will anchor at Brünsbuttel
until first light and then over the Kieler canal, which has been excavated
straight through the German peninsula under the authority of Kaiser Wilhelm. We
will head towards our destination Flensburg, on the border between Denmark and
Germany. It is wonderful to be back out at sea!

From the shipping company (16 Sep 2009)
After returning to Rotterdam the ‘Oosterschelde’ served as the decor for a number of successful receptions and parties. Several companies came on board to experience the World Port Days on our ship. Afterwards, an enthusiastic management team came onboard for a 2-day teambuilding. Out at sea they got to sail of a fully rigged ship and practise some manoeuvres. The past week the ‘Oosterschelde’ could be found on the river as they were sailing with several of our social groups. In between trips the crew is working on the maintenance of the ship. Coming Monday the ‘Oosterschelde’ will leave for a short trip to Germany, where we are chartered for a daytrip from Flensburg to Kiel. We expect the ‘Oosterschelde’ to be back on 29th of September.

From the shipping company (26 Aug 2009)
In the night of 21st of August onto the 22nd of August the ‘Oosterschelde’ arrived in the Eemshaven. The guests left the ship very early in the morning, after which it was time for the festivities of
DelfSail 2009. After the guests for the Sail-In had embarked, the ship sailed together with the other tall ships to Delfzijl. The arrival of all the ships in the harbor of Delfzijl was a beautiful sight. The rest of the festival was very busy, with all the public that came to view the ships and sailing short trips with guests. At the moment the ship is underway to her homeport, the Veerhaven in Rotterdam. We expect her to back in the Veerhaven at 17:00 hours local time.

19 Aug 2009 05:52 GMT
50°00.79’N, 004°12.69’W. Compass 082. Knots 8,4.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
At 06:09 hours this morning, local time, the sun rose and shined upon a fully rigged ‘Oosterschelde’, sailing on a calm sea. We have finally reached the English Channel and we can now enjoy actual sailing. And it was about time, because the wind had been coming form the south all the way from the Isle of Man up to Lands End. We really had to use the motor to get a reasonable speed. The upcoming days will be wonderful for sailing and we are now putting in all the effort to get more speed out of the ship.

17 Aug 2009 05:08 GMT
53°57.96’N, 004°50.95’W. Compass 165. Knots 8,1.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
It has been a while since there was news from the ship. This usually means that the ‘Oosterschelde’ has been very busy. No news is good news would be the right saying. However, we do not want to let people miss out on our adventures:
The final Hebrides voyage ended with wonderful weather and a barbecue on deck, while we were moored in Oban. The next morning we said goodbye to the guest crew and prepared ourselves for the short crossing to Belfast. With an enthusiastic group of Brits on board, it did not take long before the sails were up and the ‘Oosterschelde’ was sailing through the Sound of Luing, towards Northern Ireland. Belfast was the proud host of the finish of the Transatlantic Tall Ships’ Race. Thousands of visitors came to admire the many sailing vessels. The ‘Oosterschelde’ was open for visitors, but was also used for receptions and sailing parties. Sunday afternoon we left Belfast, along with all the other sailing ships. We are now sailing south on
the Irish Sea, before we will take the English Channel. The destination is Delfzijl, for DelfSail 2009.

9 Aug 2009 19:59 GMT
57°00.82’N, 006°15.61’W. Compass 117. Knots 0,0.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
At the end of the afternoon we hoisted the anchor, put up the sails and left St. Kilda behind us. Guided by a setting sun we passed through the Sound of Harris and turned north: in the direction of Stornoway. During the watch that night there was enough to do. Correcting the course during a downpour to pass the buoy, taking down sails, adjusting the sails and rinsing the ship as the sun was coming us. And before breakfast we had already reached Stornoway, where the inhabitants were catching their breath after the ‘Highland-games’ and were preparing themselves for the tattoo. Hundreds of bagpipes were sounded. All competing to be the loudest or the prettiest sounding, which is of course a matter of taste. The next morning found ourselves at the island Rum. We made walks, visited the castle, held a big picnic ashore. We also bought some fresh deer meat, at our local Dutch contact. The weather forecast predicts a northwest wind tomorrow. That promises a wonderful last day of sailing on this voyage on the Hebrides…

From the shipping company (7 Aug 2009)
Today we have put up one more ‘Oosterschelde’ movie.

7 Aug 2009 01:34 GMT
57°48.35’N, 008°33.68’W. Compass 207. Knots 0,5.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
After a fierce passage we finally reached St Kilda today. During the past few days the wind was too harsh to make a crossing. Luckily we were able to shelter in some beautiful bays. First we sheltered at Dunvegan on the island of Skye, where the guests could walk and visit the castle. This castle has been the property to the MacLeod clan sind the 13th century and the current lord is still living there. After this visit we sailed on to the nearby loch: Loch Bay. Here everyone got the time to make a walk or visit a local pub. At 7 o’clock the ship’s horn was sounded and everyone knew it was time to go. We set out a course towards Lochmaddy and the island of Barra, which is located in the Outer Hebrides. Here we saw many desolated lands and small islands. The wind had significantly increased, so after lunch we could immediately make the crossing to St Kilda. We could really notice that it had been very windy the last couple of days: high waves and deep drops, which tested the stomachs of our guests. Fortunately the ‘Oosterschelde’ is a very reliable ship: approximately at 10 o’clock on Thursday night we safely arrived sailing down wind. During the anchor watch, at 05:00 am, it was still cloudy. At this moment the sun is coming through, which will probably make it a nice day to visit the island. The guests can visit the village and prove their strength by standing on the 70 metres high cliff Stac Biorach. Hopefully we will not have much swell today so we can pass the island of Stac Lee. The biggest colony of Northern Gannets in the world can be found there. That promises a lot of beautiful pictures…

5 Aug 2009 07:23 GMT
57°26.75’N, 006°35.70’W. Compass 336. Knots 0,0.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
With a dropping temparture, increasing wind and waves the ‘Oosterschelde’ came sailing into Castlebay. There we safely anchored with two anchors. We took a look ashore. The rugged weather made clear why the pubs are so lively here: while the wind and downpours are raging outside, the local population comes together here with live music and local ales. The next morning we wind decreased and we sailed to Sky. Between the downpours we could see the beautiful cliffs of the island and while we were approaching Dunvegan bay three Minke whales rose to the surface near the ship. We anchored at Dunvegan Castle. At the beginning of the evening the wind was entirely calm and we took the dingy to visit the local seals, which keep themselves hidden in a labyrinth of small islands. Contrary to the predictions the wind increased this Wednesday morning, which gives us a good reason to stay here and visit the castle.

From the shipping company (4 Aug 2009)
A while ago we uploaded a short documentary on the restoration of the ‘Oosterschelde’ to the site.

3 Aug 2009 11:39 GMT
56°46.42’N, 007°05.46’W. Compass 322. Knots 7,5.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
The new guests arrived on board on Saturday evening. After some delicious soup and a sandwich, we all got acquainted.  The next morning we sailed out of the bay of Oban. After the safety-instructions there is a sailing instruction, after which we put up the sails and navigate ourselves into the Sound of Mull. After some beautiful tacks in this beautiful area with waterfalls, we decided to start the engine for an hour and a half and give the guests the opportunity to stretch their legs and get a taste of Scotland. Around 4 o’clock we dropped anchor in the bay of Tobermory. The wind was calm and the sun was shining nicely. After the exploration we enjoyed a wonderful meal with salmon. After coffee and the dishes we were sitting out on deck whilst enjoying the sounds of a guitar, a flute and a small waterfall. Under while the sky turned from pink to purple. Early the next morning the crew took in the anchor. It was still calm and the old lady graciously glided out of the bay in the direction of the Outer-Hebrides. Around breakfast we were at Staffa, where we planned to make a visit. However, the wind increased to 6 Bft., so making a landing was out of the question. We changed course and sailed with the square fore-sail in the direction of Barra. Underway we passed two very special Basking Sharks. A bit further is the passage through the Gunna Sound. It will then be 34 miles to the entrance of Castlebay, our goal for tonight.

27 Jul 2009 05:46 GMT
58°00.57’N, 006°31.34’W. Compass 046. Knots 0,0.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
To stay ahead of the approaching bad weather, we swiftly sailed on to St. Kilda after our walk on Mingulay. However, there was still no sign of any bad weather so our trip to this beautiful rock was once again blessed with beautiful weather. In the evening our plan to take a closer look at the rock Stac Lee was hindered by a small problem with the steering wheel. Fortunately, we were able to fix this during an overnight stay at St. Kilda’s. The morning once again brought us beautiful weather and all the sails were put up. In order to make use of the predicted wind, we sailed through the Sound of Harris towards Loch Dunvegan on the island Skye. On Saturday night we visited the local pub. The next morning we visited the seal colony and the castle. The predictions for stormy winds have not yet come true and we have really been able to sail. Today we wish to visit the Shiant Isles. After which we will head north, to Stornoway, where we will find the coastguard station, which is now broadcasting a weather forcast: ‘…west to southwest, five to seven….’ We think that we will once again have a beautiful day of sailing ahead of us.

23 Jul 2009 14:18 GMT
56°47.04’N, 007°20.21’W. Compass 276. Knots 6,2.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
We left Dunvegan after dinner, towards Rhum. We dropped anchor there at 02:30 and went to bed. In the morning our guest took off for a hike on the island and a visit of the castle. It was built by a much too rich man, who wanted to belong to aristocracy. It had to be pink, so all stones were imported as well as the soil he needed for his plants and trees. All of it says money. And all that for receiving guests during 3 weeks a year.
Just after all were back on board, the anchor started dragging, so we decide to leave after all. To Oban. We sail a lot, sometimes in strong winds, like between Eigg and Rhum. We sailed all night and we dropped anchor in the morning in Craignure Bay, to make a walk around the castle that was used in the movie Entrapment. Then the last part to Oban, where we dropped anchor in the bay.
Jan made a delicious rice table for dinner, and the voyage was sealed with a drink.
After our guests had left the next morning, we went on a cleaning frenzy; before the evening had begun all was shipshape for the next guests.
Because of a forecast of winds of 35 to 40 knots, we left at first light to St Kilda. We just had some basking sharks close-by and we all were watching them in awe. And lunch was interrupted once more, when some minky whales showed up. Whow, tthis will be another great voyage. We expect to arrive at Mingulay in an hour.

19 Jul 2009 14:58 GMT
57°26.82’N, 006°35.78’W. Compass 090. Knots 0,0.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
We just dropped achored at the position and time mentioned above, at Dunvegan. We will visit the castle of the former St Kilda owners, the McLeod clan. Now that’s a difference with the small cleits of the primitive islanders.
The weather has changed into this typically Scottish wind & a low & rain type. But this can’t take the beauty of it all away. The MacLeods certainly knew to pick their spots.
Our British guest Ruth:
"St Kilda
is a remote and spiky group of tiny islands. Set on the edge of the continental shelf some 40 miles from the Outer Hebrides, the Atlantic weather often makes it impossible to get there. But we were lucky, and
sailed in light winds across a smooth sea watching the islands getting ever closer.  It’s a very special place, a World Heritage site on three counts for its cultural and natural significance, and is now looked after by the National Trust of Scotland. People first settled there in Neolithic times and over the millennia developed a primitive self-sufficient lifestyle based mainly on seabirds taken from the
millions that nest on the spectacularly high near vertical cliffs, backed up with a little agriculture and a few cattle and sheep. The small wiry Soay sheep, which still roam the main island, are thought to
be direct descendants of Neolithic sheep. To catch the  birds the men of the community had to become fearless and skilled rockclimbers Inevitably modern life caught up with this simple community, slowly
destroying it, and the last islanders were evacuated at their own request in 1930.Some of us wandered among the ruins of the neat 1860’s cottages, the earlier primitive ‘black houses’ and the hundreds of unique stone storehouses (cleits) scattered all over the hillsides, and tried to imagine how they had lived. Others walked up to the high side of the island to find the cliffs and birds. It looked benign and
idyllic in the bright sunshine but researchers told us that you can’t venture outside in the fierce winter storms.Returning to the ship we ended a fascinating day motoring round the smaller isle of Boreray,
almost inaccessible because of its high cliffs, to see the nesting seabirds there and on the two spectacular rock stacks nearby (Stac Lee and Stac Levenish) which were white with countless birds. It’s the
largest colony of gannets in the world and a quarter of the world population. Force seven gales are forecast, but we have managed to escape! Whether it’s for the wildlife or the cultural heritage, reaching these islands is certainly the highlight of our voyage."

19 Jul 2009 04:33 GMT
57°53.53’N, 006°46.99’W. Compass 354. Knots 0,0.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
Our visit to St. Kilda on Thursday was the focal point of this first Hebrides voyage. We will tell more about that later.
After we left St. Kilda, we went to Stornoway, via the Sound of Harris and a short stop at the Shiant Islands.
We arrived at Stornoway on Friday evening. They happened to have a music and maritime festival at the same time, culminating at the moment we sailed in. Our boat went down and we rowed around in the harbour
The next morning brought a rowing race in traditional fisherman-boats; Lukas and Frianko got the 2nd place and were rewarded with Scottish beer. In the afternoon the ‘Oosterschelde’ functioned as starting ship for some regattas. When we left the harbour that day, a fisherman came alongside to present us with some mackerel. Stornoway has become a place where we made many friends and where we would love to come back to.
This Sunday we lie anchored in East Loch Talbert. Later today we will set sail for Skye.

14 Jul 2009 15:33 GMT
56°57.05’N, 007°29.48’W. Compass 157. Knots 0,1.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
We are anchored at Castlebay on Barra, after a visit to Mingulay in the morning. The dinghy brought us to an almost tropical sandy beach, although the water temperature is rather low. We climbed the island until we reached its western side, with amazingly steep cliffs where we saw all kinds of birds. The sound was like in a swimming pool and the smell like being in a zoo.
Tomorrow morning we will leave for St. Kilda.

13 Jul 2009 18:39 GMT
56°29.80’N, 006°30.64’W. Compass 307. Knots 5,9.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
Monday, 13th of July: the first day of our Hebrides voyage No. 1. Such a great day! After we left Oban, a group of basking sharks showed up in the Sound Of Mull. These harmless giants were swimming right under the surface because of the warm weather, their back and dorsal fin showing. That’s real basking! We used the dinghy to take a closer look.
After they had disappeared, lunch was served, and then we arrived at Staffa, a rock of columnar basalt, in a steep rise from the sea. It also has a huge cave, almost a cathedral. Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Ouverture refers to it. On top lots of puffins, totally unafraid of us and lots of pics were taken.
We now sail into the night, in a calm N-ly. We expect to anchor at Mingulay tomorrow morning, in the Outer Hebrides.

13 Jul 2009 17:00 GMT
56°24.86’N, 005°29.07’W.  Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
The voyage from Aberdeen to Oban came to an end. After a short stop in Tobermory in the sound of Mull, we dropped anchor in the Bay of Oban in the afternoon. Not only our guests are leaving us, also sailor Irian. He changes the ship, after one and halve year, for the nautical college and that a good reason to party. Because of the beautiful weather it became a tropical cocktail party.

12 Jul 2009 15:27 GMT
56°24.86’N, 005°29.07’W. Compass 278. Knots 0,1.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
We have concluded the voyage from Aberdeen to Oban. After a short stop at Tobermory, in the Sound of Mull on Saturday morning, we dropped achnored in the bay of Oban in the afternoon. Not only our guests would be leaving the ship, but also crew member Irian, after serving for 18 months. He will start his studies at the Nautical College. So we had a party, and due to the great weather we were able to make it into a tropical cocktail party on deck.

10 Jul 2009 16:11 GMT
57°00.79’N, 006°15.55’W. Compass 130. Knots 0,1.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
"Whiskey in the morning, Rum in the afternoon".
Late last night we found a great anchoring spot on the southwestern side of Skye, in Loch Bracadale. The next morning we sailed for one hour to the famous Scottish Talisker distillery, where we made a tour and where we of course tasted some whiskey.
Then on to the island Rum. The wind dropped almost totally but we got a bright sun in return. At this moment we are anchored in Rum’s Loch Scresort. A local hunter sold us some deer steaks, while our guests are making a walk. They have no idea what a great dinner will be awaiting them.

9 Jul 2009 15:53 GMT
57°26.72’N, 006°35.73’W. Compass 286. Knots 0,2.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
Tuesday morning it was time to say goodbye to Orkney. Early in the morning we weighed the anchor and sailed through a wildly flowing Westray Firth to sea. The firm northern wind took some cloudiness and rain with it that fitted beautifully with the rugged steep cliffs. We stayed near the coast and after we passed the ‘Old Man of Hoy’ (a high cliff point near the coast), we shifted our course towards the Hebrides. The favourable wind provided a wonderful speed. Everyone enjoyed the passage. After the light summer weather of the past week it was delightful to be able to actually sail. Thanks to our speed we al already arrived in Stornoway in the night, instead of in the morning. Stornoway is a beautiful sheltered fishing harbour and the only ‘city’ in the Outer Hebrides. And once again we received a warm welcome. The entire Wednesday was spend exploring the town and the surroundings. Everyone went to bed early so we could leave again early in the morning. There is still a good northern wind, which is good because we are heading south. Another day of actual sailing! Just after lunch we dropped anchor in a very narrow bay on the island of Skye, to visit Dunvegan Castle. This was the castle of one of the most powerful clans of Scotland. For tonight we will look for another bay. And we will probably set sail again early tomorrow morning.

7 Jul 2009 0:04 GMT
59°14.73’N, 002°51.37’W. Compass 094. Knots 0,0.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
Unfortunately we had to use the motor the biggest part of the voyage from Aberdeen to Orkney. At the end of Sunday afternoon the Mainland (the biggest island of Orkney) came in sight. We moored at the pier of Kirkwall, where the harbour master and some locals welcomed us. In the evening everyone went ashore for a walk or a short visit to a pub. The next day we had more time to explore the island. Some of us stayed in Kirkwall and visited the cathedral and the museum. Others ventured further to admire the ‘treasures’ of the island, which date from the Stone Age. Around four o’clock we left the island and sailed towards a bay of the island Westray, where we anchored. After dinner the guest crew had some time to make a short walk on this beautiful island.

4 Jul 2009 21:16 GMT
57°10.85’N, 002°00.12’W. Compass 038. Knots 4,1.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
We already left Aberdeen and are sailing towards Orkney.
Weather still is excellent. The new guests slowly get adapted to the ship, the crew and each other.

3 Jul 2009 05:59 GMT
56°25.78’N, 001°54.88’W. Compass 359. Knots 5,9.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
With the beautiful weather we had the past couple of days, we have quietly crossed the North Sea with use of the entire sail wardrobe. Once we reached the other side it was time for a short break. So on Thursday morning we decided to call in at Berwick-upon-Tweed. This beautiful town is situated at the river that marks the border between England and Scotland. This area has been filled up with strongholds for the last fifteen hundred years. The harbor was a bit narrow and shallow, but with the use of the high tide we were able enter. We turned out to be a true sight and everyone came to take a look at us and to make a chat. A wonderful arrival! The next high tide would be at 12 o’clock at night, so we in darkness we left Berwick-upon-Tweed for the final 80 miles of sailing.

1 Jul 2009 00:59 GMT
54°21.27’N, 004°11.64’E. Compass 303. Knots 8,1.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
Luckily, the delightful summer weather does not confine itself to land. In the middle of the North Sea we are really enjoying the weather. We are sailing with all the sails up on a smooth sea and we all have sunburned noses. Every now and then, when our speed is a bit low, we are able to catch some mackerel and sail around the ship in the dinghies to make photos. We are now aiming for the Scottish coast just under Edinburgh, with about 250 miles still to go.

29 Jun 2009 22:52 GMT
54°10.84’N, 007°38.94’E. Compass 301. Knots 5,7.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
Saturday was the last day of the Kiel Week. As always it was a busy week. The ‘Oosterschelde’ sailed out everyday with 120 guests, food, drinks, music and more. It was fun, busy and also very exhausting. Soon we will start with our summer program, which we will spend mainly in Scotland. We will sail to Aberdeen. Then we will continue past Orkney to the Hebrides, at the west coast of Scotland. On Sunday the new guest-crew for the voyage from Kiel to Aberdeen arrived on board. They got to enjoy the finale of the Kiel week: beautiful fireworks. The next morning we left Kiel at 5 o’clock, to sail to past the Kielerkanal towards Aberdeen. We had to make a short stop at Holtenau to drop of some life rafts. The sailing past the Kielerkanal went very smooth and at the beginning of the afternoon we sailed on to the Elbe. As the afternoon proceeded the wind started to increase and just after dinner we were able to put up the sails. We are now sailing past the island Helgoland, under full sail.

18 Jun 2009 08:15 GMT
54°30.64’N, 010°14.29’E. Compass 352. Knots 7,1.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
On Monday we unfortunately had to use the engine the entire day to sail. Luckily it was a beautiful day, so we could see the Dutch coastal islands from the north side. Approximately 12 miles for Helgoland the wind turned, so we could actually sail the final miles to Helgoland. Early in the morning we moored in the harbour of Helgoland, so the guest-crew was able to explore the island. After lunch we continued our voyage to Kiel. Once we left the harbour we could set the sails and a few hours later we sailed on to the Elbe. We were able to keep up the sail the entire river, only we had to put in much effort to sail up against the increasingly stronger tide. Around two o’clock in the morning we anchored at Brunsbüttel.
Wednesday morning after breakfast we hoisted the anchor and headed for the locks. We needed the entire day to travel the 98 kilometres of the Nord-Ostseekanal. In the evening we moored at Holtenau, next to some colleague-ships. This morning we left towards Eckernförde. We are now sailing by the wind with all the sails up. It is a wonderful experience!

15 Jun 2009 01:22 GMT
52°36.98’N, 004°30.29’E. Compass 001. Knots 5,6.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
After a busy period with daytrips we left for Scheveningen on Friday evening, to be present during ‘Vlaggetjesdag’. It turned out to be a beautiful day and we sailed past the beach of Scheveningen together with the fishing boats and other ships, while our guests where tasting the ‘Nieuwe Haring’ (herring). Yesterday we had a daytrip for individual guests. Many old friends but also a lot of new people came on board on this rainy morning. Luckily the weather cleared up so we had a wonderful day of sailing. In the evening the guests for the voyage to Kiel arrived. We all got acquainted and after we had dinner together we left for Kiel. We were able to sail until midnight, but now the wind has turned north so we have turned on the motor.

From the shipping company (9 Jun 2009)
After we brought our Belgian guests to Oostende (Belgium) we headed back for Rotterdam that same night. On June 1st, at the end of the morning, we arrived back in the Veerhaven. Until June 13th we will be in and around Rotterdam for several daytrips. On June 13th and 14th we will be in Scheveningen, before we leave for Kiel. Today we are hoping to catch a glimpse of the participants of the Volvo Ocean Race, who will pass by the coast of Hoek van Holland. All the free hours are used to finish the rebuilding in the deckhouse. Furthermore, we are updating the sea-charts and are storing for the voyages this summer. This time we do not need that much as we will be back in the Veerhaven in September.

31 May 2009 01:30 GMT
51°36.68’N, 001°59.02’E. Compass 151. Knots 4,9.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
We are now sailing over the North Sea towards the Belgian coast, under a beautiful star filled sky. We spend past Saturday on River Orwell. Early in the morning we sailed on to the river and after lunch all the guests went ashore for a walk and a visit to the pub in Pin Mill. And we were not the only ones. In the evening we left Pin Mill and for Sunday we are planning to sail across the Belgian coast before we moor in Nieuwpoort.

29 May 2009 02:03 GMT
50°00.60’N, 000°00.91’W. Compass 005. Knots 8,2.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
After we had left the island Ouessant behind us, the wind decreased and we were able to show the entire sail-wardrobe of the ‘Oosterschelde’ to our French guest-crew. With help of the tide we were able to make wonderful speed. Unfortunately, when the tide turned, in the night of Tuesday onto Wednesday, we made very little progress despite the favourable wind and the many sails we had put up. However, the wind kept being favourable for the ‘Oosterschelde’ and our guests of ‘les Amis des Grands Voiliers’. Wednesday night we arrived at our destination: Le Havre. After an extensive meal we organised a small but pleasant arrival-party. On Thursday a giant touring car stopped on the quay and a new Flemish guest-crew came on board. We were able to give our linguistic talents some rest as we welcomed them in Dutch. As it slowly became dark we left, on a smooth sea in the mist, Le Havre and are now sailing towards the Strait of Dover.

26 May 2009 10:52 GMT
48°41.99’N, 004°45.49’W. Compass 050. Knots 4,9.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
We are now sailing by the wind above the coast of Brittany. The past week we have participated in a wonderful maritime festival. We have sailed in the gulf of Morbihan and in the bay of Quiberon. This meant a lot of cleaning and putting up and taking down the sails. With a lot of small boats around us we have manoeuvred us through the narrows, where the water had a speed of up to 6 knots. And we made a big impression with our cannon that we used to fire upon the English ships, to the great amusement of our French guests. Sunday night we left the gulf with 23 enthusiastic sailors of the French tall ship friends. Because we do not always understand each other funny lingual mix-ups occur. The first night we put up all the sails. Then came some big thunderstorms, complete with lightning and thunder, and big showers. The entire night we tacked as soon as the wind changed. On Monday the wind strongly decreased so we started the motor and sailed towards the west, where we arrived at the island Ouessant at half past 7 in the evening. We had a wonderful meal, whilst enjoying some wine and piano music. We brought the guests to the picturesque harbour to stretch their legs. This morning we had a rough departure. The wind was opposite to the current. After a tack we left the island with help of the motor.

17 May 2009 15:58 GMT
47°36.30’N, 002°51.06’W. Compass 194. Knots 0,0.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
Yesterday afternoon we moored at a buoy just north of Île aux Moines, in the Gulf of Morbihan, with the help of some very confusing French instructions. Because we were not done sailing yet, Maarten and Irian gave the guests sailing lessons. It was the final day of a successful voyage. We only had to use the engine between Île d’Ouessant and Belle-Île. The rest of the voyage we sailed with a hard wind in our back, big parts we sailed with only the use of the square foresail and the topsail. On Wednesday we visited Île d’Ouessant and on Thursday we anchored at Suzon on Belle-Île. The next morning six of the guests followed the 12 kilometres long coast path to Le Palais by foot, where the ship would pick them up again. Reefed and cruising we explored the Gulf of Quiberon and decided to spend the night at Île Houat. The captain had just left with one of the boats, with the baggage of four guests. At Pointe d’Arradon, a mile downwind, a taxi is waiting to take the guests to the train station of Vannes. The luggage might catch a spat of water, but not as much as the owners of the baggage who are seated in the dinghy.

11 May 2009 18:52 GMT
50°29.24’N, 000°02.22’E. Compass 243. Knots 9,6.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
After a long period of necessary maintenance we stared the season with a voyage with foster families and children of the Flexus Foundation. After the first waves reached the ship, it immediately became quiet on deck. After a beautiful night and morning of sailing we arrived in Ipswich. There we ate the delicious pancakes that the cook had been baking the entire day. After that we entertained all the guests with a fun game with questions about the ship, guest-crew and other things. We enjoyed a cocktail on deck and after a quiet night everyone had time to explore the town, before we had an ‘abandon ship’ exercise. We left Ipswich, but unfortunately there was not enough wind so we had to use the engine towards Rotterdam. We arrived early on the morning of April 30th, so everyone could still enjoy Queensday.
The following Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we sailed with the clients of Pameijer, one of our social groups. We gave these people some wonderful afternoons with cake, lemonade, soup and sandwiches, while sailing on the Maas. The rest of the week was used to prepare the ship for the voyage to Vannes (France). Sunday morning we sailed with the children and mentors of Big Brother Big Sister. After which we quickly prepared the ship for the arrival of the guest-crew. Around half past 7 in the evening the ship was filled with the guests and their family and friends. After a final check if all the guests were present we set sail.
Now we are sailing with the wind in our backs. Today we passed the White Cliffs of Dover and we are sailing out of the Channel with a speed of 10 knots, with the help of the square foresail, topsail and a reefed mainsail. And this all whilst enjoying the sun, which makes everything very pleasant. This morning we had a small accident: a French lady was tossed over by the rolling of the ship and hit hear head very hard. Fortunately Sebastiaan has mended her and now she is already walking around deck cheerfully and everyone is enjoying this voyage!

From the shipping company (29 Apr 2009)
The sailing season of the ‘Oosterschelde’ has officially started. Last Monday, April 27th, she has left Rotterdam for a short trip with foster families. Yesterday the ‘Oosterschelde’ was in Ipswich (England) and now she is back on her way to Rotterdam. Sebastiaan Eikmans is making his first voyage as a captain on board of the ‘Oosterschelde’. Starting next week, the ‘Oosterschelde’ will be sailing daytrips until she leaves for Vannes, France, on May 10th.

From the shipping company (24 Mar 2009)
The ‘Oosterschelde’ returned to Rotterdam tonight at around 21:00.

From the shipping company (24 Mar 2009)
With a torn fore stay-sail, but still in mint condition, the ‘Oosterschelde’ will already arrive in Rotterdam tonight. Around 17:00 hours we expect the ship to enter the ‘Nieuwe Waterweg’ at Hoek van Holland. There will be an ebb tide, so around 20:00 hours the ‘Oosterschelde’ will moor in the Veerhaven.

From the shipping company (23 Mar 2009)
The ship is making good speed. This morning she passed the Isle of Wight. We expect her in Rotterdam on Tuesday-night.

22 Mar 2009 20:46 GMT
50°07.44’N, 003°29.66’W. Compass 051. Knots 5,3.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
A high-pressure area above England caused eastern winds, so we could not sail the English Canal. With help of the engine we were able to reach the south of Ireland. We decided to head for Kinsale, to wait for more favourable wind. Because we reached the coast of Ireland at night, we decided to anchor for the night in a bay west of Kinsale. Friday morning we weighed the anchor to enter Kinsale. Kinsale is one of the oldest harbours of Ireland and because of its strategic position; there is a fort on both sides of the entrance. Unfortunately there was no room for the ‘Oosterschelde’ in the harbour of Kinsale. There was room on the other side of the river, in the new marina. However, three big yachts had to be moved to make room. Eventually we were in place at the end of the morning, so we could explore Kinsale. We did not have to wait long for good wind, Saturday morning we left Kinsale to head towards Lands’ End. This morning we passed Lands’ End. Today we have enjoyed sailing under a sunny sky and with many dolphins around the ship.

16 Mar 2009 07:52 GMT
44°34.66’N, 020°21.77’W. Compass 056. Knots 7,7.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
We have had some wonderful sailing days. First we sailed by the wind. Later we sailed in close reach. Every now and them we removed the topgallant for an approaching downpour, which did not bring wind but only rain. We reached wonderful speeds up to 9 knots. Due to the different directions of the swell, the waves did not get time to build up and we raced east/northeast, in the direction of Land’s End. On Sunday, during the afternoon watch, we noticed a life raft. Quickly the ‘man-overboard’ button was pushed, the captain was woken up, the motor was started and the topsail and topgallant were removed. We tacked and in less than 10 minutes we arrived at the half inflated raft. After another tack we saw that it was empty and half sunken. However, it was a good exercise! Last week it was very windy, so it has probably been blown overboard. All praise goes to the cook: Anna. She makes the most delightful meals whilst the ship is continuously inclined. Almost everyday we get cake and on Sunday we get ice cream with fresh whipped cream and chocolate sauce. We are looking forward to breakfast, with the fresh baked bread!

13 Mar 2009 GMT
38°54.71’N, 028°18.36’W. Compass 037. Knots 6,2.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
Guest-crewmember André Manders:
‘Tuesday moored at 14:00 hours we moored in Horta, the capital of the island Faial on the Azores, with beautiful weather. We were able to sail al the way up to the harbour. Café ‘Peter Sport’ had a big increase their income that day. Wednesday we endured a storm, so we were glad that we had a spot at the quay. Extra ropes were necessary to keep us in place. The next day the crew did all kinds of maintenance, while the guest crew hired a car to explore the island. Faial is an extraordinary green island, with a beautiful volcanic crater and an extensive museum on volcanoes. We did not dance on the volcano but we were broadly informed on the origin of the Azores and the development of eruptions. The last eruption on Faial dates from 1958. This morning we left before breakfast. We have an adverse wind. But the forecast promises that the wind will turn, so we can put up the sails again. And of course we hope to spot a whale.’

From the shipping company (11 Mar 2009)
Tuesday afternoon ‘Oosterschelde’ and her crew arrived on Fayal (Azores) after a very pleasant and fast trip from the Cape Verdian Islands. Merely depending on the weather forecast, the ship will leave the Island for the last leg to Rotterdam within a few days.

9 Mar 2009 06:34 GMT
35°07.18’N, 030°29.40’W. Compass 019. Knots 7,6.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
One of the guests, André Manders, writes:
‘We have just sailed into the last 300 miles to the Azores. The weather is calm, so the ship is under full sail. If we proceed like this, we will arrive on the Azores by Tuesday or Wednesday. Even the guest-crew has adjusted to the rhythm of the watch schedule. Next to keeping the right course, the (guest)crew is working hard with help of varnish and copper polish to get her Majesty ‘Oosterschelde’ in mint condition to Rotterdam. Besides a cargo vessel we have not seen anything or anyone. When you stick your head out, after a period of rest, it seems like nothing has changed outside. However you still watch the interaction between the ship and the waves with much interest. That is why you are onboard.’

5 Mar 2009 11:08 GMT
25°36.37’N, 028°23.60’W. Compass 352. Knots 7,1.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
It is a bit cloudy, with sometimes a spat of rain and we have just seen two beautiful rainbows. With wind-force 6, a reefed main sail and mizzen, the fore sail and jibb we ride the blue ocean waves. We have caught three fish the last couple of days: two tunas and a small sea bream. The new rod works well. Yesterday three dolphins that were jumping up at the lee at the back of the ship startled us. We are making good progress and enjoy the see and the big nothing. Although, this morning we saw a big cargo vessel that was at collision course, it was the first ship we had seen in days. We are pondering about our lives on the shore and enjoy the peace and quiet on board, whilst we admire the beauty of the sea.

2 Mar 2009 03:00 GMT
16°30.69’N, 022°55.83’W. Compass 013. Knots 5,6.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
Yesterday, after a wonderful lunch, we left Sal and started the voyage to Rotterdam. We set all the sails except for the gaff topsail. The ‘Oosterschelde’ is wonderful to steer as she is sailing by the wind. We have divided the watches and everyone is adjusted to movements of the ship. We enjoy the clear starry sky, where we can see the Polar star and the Southern Cross. The wind slightly turns and we steer between north and northwest. We have a speed between 5,5 and 9 knots, so we have to see whether or not the topgallant can stay up. But it is going wonderful up to now. It is great to see familiar faces, which have already been onboard for several voyages. On deck we chatter about sailing, politics, outer space and galaxies. The atmosphere on board is good.

25 Feb 2009 06:15 GMT
16°11.70’N, 023°15.70’W. Compass 093. Knots 7,5.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
It was already evening when we dropped anchor in Porto Grande in Mindelo, where the captain gave us an anchor-beer. We were tired but content and it was comfortable on deck, however we all went to bed early in order to fit enough to explore the island the next day. We spend the pleasantly quiet Sunday in Mindelo, where in the afternoon the carnaval started with music and happy people. The next morning everyone took the ferry to Santo Antão. Here the guests experienced a wonderful day in the green valley and made a spectacular descent, which was a bit tough for some. At 16:00 hours we weighed the anchor to pick up the guests at Santo Antão. The nine miles where quite heavy with 8 Bft. With a small curve we were able to manage it. In the lee we anchored at 18:00 hours, where all the guests could get on board easily. In this lee we immediately set some sails and set course for São Nicolau. In the evening we encountered some firm flares of wind, but luckily many hands make light work to take in the topsail. Once again we experienced a wonderful night with many falling stars and alga, which produced light flashes of up to 30 centimetres. In the cover of the island the wind dropped and, accompanied by at least 30 dolphins, we tacked three times and weared after which we dropped anchor at Tarrafal at 07:30 hours. Half of the guests relaxed in the town and on the beach, the rest had an unforgettable day on the tour with Henny, our local Dutchman. Unfortunately we had to say our goodbyes to two cameras of guests who were making photo’s of water which splashed up form between the rocks. After a wonderful meal, with tutti-frutti with custard for desert, dolphins once again accompanied us as we hoisted the sails, removed all reefs and sailed into the night. At the moment we are sailing by the wind towards Boa Vista, where we will drop anchor south of Sal Rei.

21 Feb 2009 13:20 GMT
16°43.93’N, 025°26.37’W. Compass 007. Knots 5,1.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
We tried to moor at Fogo. Two times a line broke, so we decided to anchor. It was a very nice trip on the island. We spent the night there and left at 06:00, to go to Brava, again a lovely island. We anchored there in a depth of 30 meters, in a small bay. The dinghy took us ashore, the swell made most of us end up with wet feet. We made a lovely walk in a lush, green valley, with many palm trees.
In the afternoon we set sail for Mindelo. The wind is not favourable, it is a slow approach. We have to tack a lot.

19 Feb 2009 10:00 GMT
15°12.85’N, 023°59.98’W. Compass 255. Knots 7,8.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
The weather is fantastic: not too much wind and nice warm sunshine. On the first day of the voyage 5 of the 20 guests had arrived at 17:00 hours. At 02:00 hours at night all guests were on board. We ate a nice cup of soup and drank some coffee and tea. The first night we slept on a swinging ship. The next day was a good day to visit Palmeira, or join the ‘sailing-instructions’. In the afternoon, after lunch, we set sail in the direction of Tarrafal, Santiago. It was a wonderful day for sailing; enough wind, sunshine and many sails. Everybody was helping during the entire afternoon and at night the ship cradled us to sleep. Yesterday, February 18th, we drove around the island in three cars, where we drank some coffee and had a good lunch. We weren’t back on the ship until 19:00 hours. Today is yet another great day for sailing as we head towards Fogo, where we will also make a trip around the island and visit the crater.

15 Feb 2009 22:30 GMT
16°45.10’N, 022°59.10’W. Compass 102. Knots 0,1.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
Michelle continues:
"We had expected to arrive on Sal late at night on February 14th. Eventually we arrived much sooner, at 19:00 hours. Because it was a Saturday night we decided to check out the nightlife of Palmeira. Just as in the Netherlands, Saturday night is a busy night, which made it easy to find a nice bar. The next day we decided to spend our last day on Cape Verde wisely, by visiting the town Espargo and the nearby salt fields. Espargo was very quiet, probably because the people are even more tranquil than usual on a Sunday. The salt fields were a pleasant surprise. We had our own open-air beauty centre. The water and mud in the baths were supposed to make us 10 years younger. If that is true I do not know, but we could relax and float in the baths due to the high salt concentration. After lunch some of the guests explored Palmeira. The end of our voyage came nearer and for dinner the table arrangements were extra nice. After the first course, one of us made a speech to thank the entire crew for all of their efforts. Now we are waiting until we leave for the airport. Maarten, Sebastiaan, Esther, Lukas, Irian, Andy and Beat: thank you for this wonderful experience!"

12 Feb 2009 10:16 GMT
16°34.06’N, 024°21.74’W. Compass 302. Knots 0,0.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
Michelle continues:
"Yesterday we arrived at São Nicolau in the night, around 02:00. After some hours of sleep and a nice breakfast, we went for a walk into town, which by way is also called Tarrafal. We were greeted by a group of school children, who tried to communicate with us using the little English they had learnt at school. After a walk on the beach and a lovely dip in the sea, we joined people on a terrace. That gave us a good view of the local life. Some of us decided to explore a bit more, and they hired a mini-bus. Our cook Esther and the crew had prepared a great barbecue, with fish, meat and delicious salads. Some locals were attracted by the smells and we invited them to join. Today another group took a dip in the sea. When they get back from the beach, we will leave to sail to Boa Vista.
The weather is great. Always sunny, and sometimes a lovely breeze."

10 Feb 2009 18:22 GMT
17°00.35’N, 025°03.47’W. Compass 127. Knots 3,7.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
The shpping comany’s Michelle is on board. She writes:
"In the early morning of February 6, around sunrise, we hoisted the anchor and went to Fogo, the volcanic island. We decided to visit one of those volcanoes and we soon found a guide who was willing to take us there in an open pickup truck. On the road everyone waved to us, like we were important visitors. The guide has said ’20 minutes’, but Cabo Verde minutes are different. After more than an hour the truck stopped, it’s engine overheated. Our guide walked to the next village to get some water. After he had arrived back at the truck, it was already too late to continue. So, we went back, enjoying the awesome landscape. Back at the ship it was decided to leave and start the long journey to São Vicente. It was nice sailing.
After arrival at Mindelo on February 9, we went into town to have a cool drink and to visit the local market, where all kinds of fish were available. In the evening a group of us visited a bar, the locals being very friendly and interested.
Today we had to rise early, taking a ferry to Santo Antao at 07:30. A guide drove us to a spectacular crater, where we arrived after walking the last part, the crater being very green and lush, and clouds to be seen below. We took a path down and arrived at meadows, pastures and houses down below, where our mini-bus was waiting. We had a lovely lunch and were picked up by the ship at Porto Novo.
Now we are sailing towards São Nicolau, where new adventures, no doubt, are waiting for us."

7 Feb 2009 23:16 GMT
15°16.95’N, 023°45.41’W. Compass 126. Knots 0,0.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
We anchored this morning around 05:00 in Tarrafal’s bay. After breakfast we went on a tour on the island. A small taxi-bus brought us to Praia, the main city. That trip was an adventure in itself: more than 2 hours through very small villages, along places with dramatic views, passing small pieces of farmland, all the while listening to the Cabo Verde music. Praia is a real town. Markets everywhere, where you can get anything. We arrived back at the ship to have dinner together. Now, a small party has gone ashore again, to explore the local night life.

6 Feb 2009 23:04 GMT
16°00.05’N, 023°28.58’W. Compass 204. Knots 7,3.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
Time flies, a next voyage has begun. Last night our new guests arrived. This morning we had some time to explore Santa Maria; after lunch we left towards our first destination: Tarrafal, on the island of Santiago. No reefs in the sails (which is an exception really) and the wind in the back, the big square foresail set as well, we make a good speed. We will probably arrive early in the morning.

2 Feb 2009 14:39 GMT
16°09.52’N, 022°55.27’W. Compass 121. Knots 0,0.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
The sailing trip to Santiago proceeded fantastic. We had a speed of at least 8 knots and most of us ended up with a wet suit. We anchored at 17:45 hours, on Saturday January 31st. It was a Saturday night and so we went out for a night on the town in Tarrafal. In the centre of the town, underneath a large tree, was a small terrace that was mainly occupied by a band. Here we danced all night. The next day everyone explored the island by themselves, most of the time with use of the local busses (filled with 18 persons and 2 chickens). After dinner it was time to head for our next destination, Sal Rei on Boa Vista. This part we thought we would have to sail against the wind and we expected a long passage. However, luck was with us because last night there almost no wind and we passed a big swell nicely. Much sooner that expected, in the afternoon, we were able to anchor. Now the first boat has left for the shore to explore the island.

31 Jan 2009 11:45 GMT
16°01.54’N, 024°09.91’W. Compass 153. Knots 8,8.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
We spent a lovely day at São Nicolau on Friday. Sunny and calm wweather, everyone enjoyed a nice trip on the island. Along the coast it is rugged and bare but inland are spectacularly green oases. We decided to stay the night. So we all had a quiet evening and a good sleep before we left this morning around 06:00. A wind of 6 Bft from the back gives us a good speed towards Santiago. Lovely!

30 Jan 2009 22:12 GMT
16°33.59’N, 024°35.35’W. Compass 099. Knots 6,8.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
The night is beautiful while sailing at open sea, lots of wind. Destination São Nicolau, where we expect to arrive around midnight.

28 Jan 2009 02:40 GMT
16°52.97’N, 024°59.83’W. Compass 159. Knots 0,0.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
Yesterday morning (January 27th) we anchored in the bay of Mindelo at 10:30 hours. Everyone has explored the island and the city in their own way. At dinner there were numerous stories on the land and people going around. Tomorrow morning, or actually later today, all the guests will take the local ferry to visit the island Santo Antão. It is Wednesday, therefore there will only be a ferry in the morning and the ‘Oosterschelde’ will have to head in that direction to pick the guests up again in the afternoon. Afterwards we will continue our voyage to the next island: São Nicolau. 

26 Jan 2009 23:06 GMT
16°55.05’N, 023°42.04’W. Compass 276. Knots 7,5.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
All the guests arrived perfectly on time, without delays and with all the luggage present. After a quiet morning with time for a word of welcome, safety instructions, explanation of the rigging and a short walk in Palmeira we weighed the anchor at 15:00. The watches have started and with a quarter wind we are smoothly moving on. It is a lot quieter than the past week. We expect to anchor in the harbour of Mindelo, on São Vincente, somewhere tomorrow morning.

25 Jan 2009 19:26 GMT
16°45.10’N, 022°59.10’W. Compass 102. Knots 0,1.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
The crew is ready for the next voyage. Gradually more and more new guests arrive at the ship. Tomorrow, after lunch, we will set sail for Mindelo, on the island of São Vicente.

24 Jan 2009 13:07 GMT
16°45.11’N, 022°59.11’W. Compass 335. Knots 0,1.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
At Santa Maria a landing was not possible because of the turbulent seas. No diving either. We decided to seek a calmer spot and went to the other side, the westside. We now lie quietly in the bay of Palmeira. Our guests left during the night, after we celebrated the voyage ending together. Our Russian guests put medals on us all and we had a lot of toasts. Spassiba and Nazdrovje!

22 Jan 2009 12:38 GMT
16°35.49’N, 022°54.27’W. Compass 175.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
We just dropped anchor at Santa Maria. Still strong winds an a heavy swell. But, the sun is shining and this afternoon our guests will make another dive. Because of the heavy swell, they will be picked up from the ‘Oosterschelde’.

22 Jan 2009 12:38 GMT
16°35.49’N, 022°54.27’W. Compass 175. Knots 0,0.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
We have just anchored in the bay of Santa Maria. There is still a firm wind and a strong swell. But the sun is shining and this afternoon our guests will go diving again. Due to the high swell they will be picked up from the ship.

22 Jan 2009 06:02 GMT
16°20.24’N, 022°59.13’W. Compass 354. Knots 5,3.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
Yesterday was spent at Boa Vista. Our enthousiastic divers went down near a reef. Because the sea was rather wild, sight was limited. Tomorrow there will be another chance near Sal, where we are going right now. The last leg of this voyage. Time flies.

21 Jan 2009 05:32 GMT
16°35.17’N, 024°41.65’W. Compass 106. Knots 4,4.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
Tuesday morning: we sailed into the calm water of the bay at Tarrafal (São Nicolau). In the harbour we were able to get a place at the quay, after the departure of another threemaster, the ‘Alexander von Humboldt’. The quiet Sunday athmosphere of the island was amplified by the celebrations of Cabo Verde’s independance day. After an excursion on the island and storing fresh water from the mountains and extra fuel, we left just before dinner time. Dolphins accompanied us. We left for Boa Vista where we expect to arrive on Wednesday morning.

20 Jan 2009 01:48 GMT
16°42.70’N, 024°56.70’W. Compass 131. Knots 5,2.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
Everyone returned back to the ship from the excursion on Santo Antão at the end of the afternoon. After dinner we left in the direction of São Nicolau. The wind was still blowing hard, 7 Bft and sometimes even 8 Bft. With a double-reefed main sail and fore stay-sail we sailed out of the Canal de São Vincente with a speed of 8 knots. It is all a bit rough, but between the flares of wind we can enjoy a beautiful starry sky.

18 Jan 2009 20:26 GMT
16°52.97’N, 024°59.92’W. Compass 085. Knots 0,1.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
It was a rather rough ride but in the afternoon we anchored in Mindelo’s bay. The wind is still strong but we are away from swell and waves now. Tomorrow our guests will take a little ferry to Santo Antáo to make a walk over there.

18 Jan 2009 GMT
16°04.94’N, 024°24.26’W. Compass 323. Knots 6,3.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
Sailing towards São Vicente, making good progress. A strong wind though of 30 knots and a sea that’s getting wilder. We expect calmer waters once in the shelter of the islands again.

17 Jan 2009 08:00 GMT
15°16.96’N, 023°45.48’W. Compass 269. Knots 0,1.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
It is still very early and all is quiet on the ship. From ashore come the sounds of a rooster and a lone dog. The first small fisherman’s vessels are sailing out. We will leave for Mindelo, on São Vicente, around 2 in the afternoon. Some 130 NM to go, we expect to arrive tomorrow at about the same time.

16 Jan 2009 20:18 GMT
15°16.95’N, 023°45.48’W. Compass 159. Knots 0,1.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
After a rather rough night, it was quite a relief to arrive in the calm bay at Tarrafal. Our guests went for a dive, which was a big success. Tomorrow we’ll have another dive before we leave.

16 Jan 2009 04:47 GMT
15°38.60’N, 023°39.55’W. Compass 244. Knots 7,1.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
Our third voyage on the Capeverdean islands has already begun. We are underway from Santa Maria (Sal) to Tarrafal (Santiago). There is a firm wind and there are some strong waves, some with breakers that seem to come from all sides. Not very comfortable, but we are swiftly heading in the right direction. Later, early in the morning, we hope to arrive in the shelter of the island in the bay of Tarrafal to anchor and explore the island.

From the shipping company (15 Jan 2009)
Today the VPRO has informed us that they no longer wish to make use of the ‘Oosterschelde’ for their Beagle-project. The shipping company will investigate what the consequences will be, considering the contract with the VPRO that has been signed on July 8th.
To be on the safe side, we will start to develop an alternative programme for the coming summer. We are intending to sail in the beautiful area of the HEBRIDES in the summer. The ‘Oosterschelde’ has already sailed some beautiful voyages from Oban, to the Inner and Outer Hebrides and to St. Kilda and Orkney in the summer of 1999. Many of you will have good memories of these wonderful islands, the wild nature, the Basking sharks, the White-tailed eagles, the remains of the Gaelic culture, etcetera.
As you might understand we do not have a schedule available at the moment. As soon as we have more information, you will be able to find it here.

14 Jan 2009 10:58 GMT
16°35.33’N, 022°54.54’W. Compass 132. Knots 0,2.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
The boat with the last of the guests has just left for the pier of Santa Maria. Just like last night we are not protected from the wind because the wind is coming from the east. According to Jan the trip to the shore last night was the most exciting part of the entire voyage. Anyway, with a sail covering the luggage we are trying to keep things dry. Now we are preparing ourselves for the next voyage.

13 Jan 2009 23:42 GMT
16°35.32’N, 022°54.53’W. Compass 152. Knots 0,2.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
We have reached Santa Maria, and thus the end of this voyage. Of course we will not let this go by unnoticed. Early this morning we started with the preparations; the surf-bar was prepared, coloured lights were hung up, temporary windscreens were put up and in the galley the cook worked hard for the preparations for the party. Despite the swaying of the ship we eventually presented a beautiful meal on deck with slices of tuna, sushi and other delicious courses. We viewed the beautiful pictures taken by Harald on the big screen. Then there was music and the surf-bar opened where there were mojito-like drinks available. A few of the guests are now waiting on deck for their departure to the airport.

13 Jan 2009 11:17 GMT
16°23.19’N, 022°59.39’W. Compass 007. Knots 5,0.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
Yesterday, after sailing all through the night, we reached Sal Rei, on the island Boa Vista. Here everybody took off to explore the town or the island. This morning at 05:00 hours we prepared ourselves for the final part of this voyage, the crossing to Sal. We hope to arrive there before lunch, so that we will have some time to enjoy the beaches and Santa Maria itself. The planning for tonight is of course a festive last dinner.

11 Jan 2009 16:44 GMT
16°18.63’N, 024°00.45’W. Compass 116. Knots 3,8.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
After a quiet night at the quay at Tarrafal, São Nicolau we all had a good night of sleep and we were ready for the next trip around the ‘Ilha do São Nicolau’. Henny, a friendly Dutch man who has been living on São Nicolau for ten years, picked us up to show us his lovely island. First we made a stop at some cliffs, which were formed by sandstones and lava of the volcano. After a short coffee break at Henny’s house, with a beautiful view of the ocean, we continued our tour to the mountain Monte Gordo. The drive was really impressive; a lot of different landscapes passed us by. First we only saw dry sandy mountains with no vegetation. When we reached the middle of the island the landscape changed completely into green fruitful land with a lot of different trees, flowers, fruits and animals. We were all very impressed during this tour and Henny showed and explained the whole island very well. In the afternoon we returned to the ‘Oosterschelde’. We had a great dinner made of locally caught fish for which we all say thanks to our great cook Esther. There was no wind at night so we spent the night on deck and played some funny games. After this amazing day we still had enough energy to go for a dance in the local disco. The atmosphere was nice and we joined the locals on the dance floor.

9 Jan 2009 11:02 GMT
16°54.23’N, 025°03.10’W. Compass 271. Knots 7,2.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
A little later than planned, we dropped anchor on Wednesday morning at Mindelo on the island São Vicente, after a night on the rough ocean. Here everyone had time to explore the city. Midelo is a big city, but still has a typical relaxed Capeverdean atmosphere in which you always feel welcome. The next morning (Thursday) everybody (except for a few crewmembers) took the Ferry to Santo Antão, which is an hour from Mindelo. It is said that this island is the most beautiful one of the archipelago and the expectations were high strung. At the end of the day, these expectations were exceeded by our experiences. After a steep drive against the dried out and barely green south side of the island we had a view from 1250 metres into a luscious overgrown crater. Cool and wet clouds curled around the mountain ridges and gently rained onto the many fields on the bottom of the crater. We said goodbye to the taxi and climbed a bit before we could descend on a beautiful path on the steep north side. Every now and then we had a marvellous view from between the clouds. We could see straight down for a couple of hundreds of metres. Thousands of terraces and irrigation channels covered every square mile of the fertile slopes. Everything possible is cultivated here: coffee, sugarcane, apples, medlar, carrots, tomatoes, melons, bananas etcetera. After enjoying a local pick-me-up (Grog) the taxi picked us up again. We enjoyed a wonderful Capeverdean meal in Ponta del Sol, at the north coast of the island. The restaurant offered a view on probably the smallest harbour in the world. On the big ocean swell locale fishermen, with big fresh tuna onboard, are surfing in on their colourful boats as if it were nothing. A trick that would make many sailors break out into a cold sweat. Once we were back on board we spend on more night and now we are sailing in the direction of the next island, São Nicolau, where we expect to arrive this evening.

6 Jan 2009 22:48 GMT
15°29.12’N, 024°46.54’W. Compass 343. Knots 7,1.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
We are now on our way to São Vincente. The wind and the waves have increased in strength. We can just keep enough altitude and enough speed with help of the engine to arrive in Mindelo tomorrow, probably somewhere during the morning.

6 Jan 2009 12:45 GMT
14°54.32’N, 024°30.83’W. Compass 205. Knots 0,7.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
This morning we arrived at Fogo, at Vale del Cavaleiros. From far we can already see that the swell is washing over the piers of the harbour in south-south-east direction. It is not an option to enter the harbour and therefore we decide to keep the ship going outside the harbour. This is not an strenuous activity as we are calmly floating around with the engine of and all the sails down. A part of our guest-crew is exploring the island with a guide. They will probably also make a tour to the tops of the young volcano. We will patiently await their return, here on the ocean… When they return, we will set sail and continue our way towards São Vincente.

6 Jan 2009 01:17 GMT
15°11.08’N, 023°55.98’W. Compass 263. Knots 4,1.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
Captain Maarten reports:
‘The second voyage on the Capeverdean Islands has started. The last of the new guest-crew arrived without any delay on Sal airport in the night of January 3rd onto January 4th. One of the most important crewmembers, the cook, would arrive somewhere during the day. With every arrival and departure on these islands the ship has to be cleared. Fir this reason I jumped into a taxi to Palmeira to find the Capitaneria. The building was easily found, but there was no one in sight. The taxi chauffeur tried to get rid of me, but I had no intention of getting out before we found someone to arrange our paperwork. And thus we drove thorough all the streets and in unintelligible Portuguese or Creole the driver asked all passers-by for directions. The hands all pointed in different directions, but eventually on a small wharf we found the policeman who could help me. Into the taxi, into the office and within 10 minutes I was back on my way to the ship, which was almost ready for departure. For everyone’s amusement, because we are no good at it, we had rented a surfboard to enjoy ourselves in the spare time. At half past four in the afternoon we weighed the anchor and headed for our first destination: Ilha de Santiago – Tarrafal. Monday January 5th, at 10:10 hours, we anchored at this totally different, greener and much more mountainous island. Our local guide was out of reach, but the Spitzbergen guides Jurren and Annemiek had already prepared a special programme for themselves. They would go out and find a tree in which the (almost extinct) Purple Heron lives. And with help of a route description from internet on the whereabouts of this tree they set out to find it. The communication with the taxi chauffeur was not at its best, but after a long search they reached the climax of their search! Another part of the (guest)crew drove around the island in a pick-up, past the plantations and historical sights. Helmsman Roelof made an attempt to windsurf, but the wind was a bit too hard. It was still amusing to witness. In the meantime we are cradling down the decreased wind in the direction of Fogo, the highest island of the archipelago. Today (January 6th) we will visit the volcano with the giant crater.’

5 Jan 2009 06:58 GMT
15°44.86’N, 023°36.64’W. Compass 232.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
The first days of the new year were used by us, the crew, to prepare for the new group of guests, and to swim in the clear, warm, blue water around us. We said goodbye to our guests, the cook and the captain and the captain’s family, and on Jan 4 we welcomed the new guests, cook and captain. They all arrived at Sal on schedule. In the morning everyone had some time to explore the island of Santa Maria. After lunch we left our anchorage by sail and set out a course for Santiago. The wind is a 2 Bft but the night is beautiful with a immense lot of stars and a clear moon. We expect to arrive at Tarrafal at 11:00.

1 Jan 2009 13:26 GMT
16°35.52’N, 022°54.59’W. Compass 134. Knots 0,1.   Postion of the Oosterschelde in Google Maps, click here
A Happy New Year to you all!
Despite the waves against, we made good progress. Around 13:30 we dropped anchor at Sal, in front of the beach of Santa Maria. After a toast on the success of the whole trip and after some ‘oliebollen’, we slowly came in the mood for the welcoming of the New Year. Maarten replaced Christian and made very good work of it: several delicious salads, fish prepared on a charcoal grill, aubergines, and elegant sauces. At the beach preparations were starting for the island celebrations: music, lights, singing people, and we could see it all as if in the front row. At the end of the evening we said goodbye to the main part of our guests, they would be flying back home. They were able to see the fireworks just before they left in taxis to the airport.

From the shipping company (1 Jan 2009)
The crew and the people at the shipping company wish you a happy New Year !