A change of scenery

A change of scenery

A change of scenery

22 October 2020

Our trip started very early on a Friday. Since a few weeks the Erasmus bridge has been broken and only opens three times per week. So we chose to go through the bridge on Friday morning at one o’clock. All of us were very excited to finally sail with the ship again. Unfortunately the fun of “sailing” was only very short…from the Leuvehaven in Rotterdam to the Veerhaven in Rotterdam! This is a trip much shorter than we all wished for after being alongside for this long due to Covid-19. But the next morning after breakfast we continued our trip 🙂

After following the Nieuwe Maas and passing one industrial port after the other, we finally reached the sea!! All of the crew was very happy to finally feel the Oosterschelde rocking and rolling on the waves again. The few hours that it took for us to get to Stellendam all on board enjoyed the view of waves, seabirds and other ships. While the engine was running the entire time we even got the chance to set the schooner sail…okay it was only to dry and remove the sail for storage. Still we enjoyed to pull some ropes again. And way too soon the locks of Stellendam ended the “sea- voyage” again

Behind the locks we ended up moored against a wooden jetty with the dry dock (our final destination) in sight. This may not be the prettiest port that we have ever been to but at least there is something else to see than the same three high rises that we look at during every single coffee break back at home in the Leuvehaven!! A big part of sailing and working on a ship is to see a lot of different places and people. Unfortunately in the last few months this has not been possible so all of us were very glad for the change of scenery.

During the weekend the painting and fixing of things continued on board. One would think that by now everything has been cleaned and painted at least twice but there is always another corner or another place that no one has done yet. And on Tuesday it was finally time for the one big place no one of us could reach for so long. After sailing into the dock and hooking on a lot of chains to keep the ship upright the entire dock was pumped empty. And we can see the one big spot that all of our brushes have missed to clean or paint…the underwater part of the ship of course!

Immediately the dock workers started to clean our ships “belly”. They do that so thoroughly that even excess paint and rust is removed. Wow this is the times when I feel very slow. With my little wire brush this would take ages!! The painting goes just as fast here. With spray painting hoses and in what looks like astronauts suits the men of the dock first put everything in primer and only a day later in anti-fouling paint. Now the ship is nicely painted and beautiful above and below the waterline. So after only three days we can go “wet” again. The dock is flooded again and the Oosterschelde soon starts floating up and we can make our way back home again.

The way back to Rotterdam the route is going “inside”. So we will not see our old friend the North Sea again this time but also along the rivers and canals there is a lot to see and we will see a lot more bridges than on the last sail. And again at one o’clock on Friday we sail through the most famous bridge of Rotterdam and safely arrive back on our own mooring shortly after.

This has been a nice week with finally some sailing again and finally a change of the scenery around us.