Mission accomplished

Rotterdam, June 4th. 2018

The final two days of our journey have been relatively quiet. With a favourable current running  we left Guernsey over a quiet sea, only to have the current turn against us in the Alderney race. At one point we had 7 knots holding us back and we were moving across the ground at just one knot. Time for the Volvo engines to show us what they are made of. OK, they were now using 8 litres of diesel per sea mile instead of the usual 2 litres, but it was worth every penny.

 

The final test for the crew came as we entered the Channel, home of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. We were enveloped by mist. Visibility zero nautical miles, we had been warned.

 

We couldn’t see our hands in front of our faces and had to put our faith in our plotter, with its not exactly up to date Navionics chart, and our not very trusty radar.

The most useful piece of equipment aboard was now my iPhone, running a Navionics app for which I had updated the charts just yesterday.

I am afraid that the plotter has now proved itself redundant.

 

As Sunday dawned we entered the Europort, passing the LIHAN, an enormous container ship on her way out. 

They called us up over the VHF radio and asked, in English, if we would keep to starboard in the channel. A Dutch voice in the background called out thatthey would otherwise have to turn the windscreen wipers on.

We guessed that this was the pilot, and a fine example of Rotterdam humour.

We could hardly have missed them, so we kept well clear and made it safely into the Veerhaven in Rotterdam, the final port of our journey.

This lovely little old ferry harbour in Rotterdam is possibly the finest in The Netherlands and a wonderful place to come home to.

 

We were so happy to be back, as were the family, friends and acquaintances lined up to greet us. A delegation from No Limit Ships in Groningen, the builders of our solid and completely trustworthy boat, was present too.

 

This journey has been a serious test of man and machine that will remain in our memories for a long, long time.

 

Dear readers, we thank you for travelling with us and for the messages you have sent us along the way.

 

In the Dutch magazine Motorboot we will write a follow up report, once we have had time to look back at our travels.

 

But for now we say farewell.

 

Until we meet again, and with fondest regards,

 

Edzard Braam

 

Skipper of the Four Seasons

 

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