De Wilde Golf: Summer vacation with 3 children at 28 feet

I ask Sjoerd, where are we going on holiday this summer. At present, we still suffer from covid. The answer was clear from Sjoerd, “Nice boat trip through Holland. Through the Zeeland Delta, maybe to Cadzand”. Dreaming of warm summer evenings, anchored at
an island at Grevelingen, (a kind of Ibiza feeling in Holland).

We are Sjoerd and Angelique, in possession of a Spirit 28, a 48 year old lady from Belgium. We have 3 boys aged 16, 13 and 8. In the summer of 2021, the weather forecast would be reasonable, we decide to sail through the Zeeland Delta with the family. the first week with our own family, the 2nd week another family comes with a rental boat.

In good weather we sail from Veerse Meer over the Oosterschelde to Marina de Roompot. The weather is beautiful, a beautiful harbor. We rent bikes there and decide to cycle across the Oosterscheldekering to Neeltje Jans, where we have a beautiful day at the beach. The same evening the 2 oldest children come on board, we all have a barbecue on
beach by the harbor.

In the coming days the weather will slow down a bit, but after 3 days the weather will get better ‘according to the forecasts’.

The goal is to sail from Roompothaven to the port of Burghsluis, but it is not recommended due to the tide and the wind view. We therefore decide to leave for Colijnsplaat, a short 1.5 hour boat ride. Our eldest son sails the boat into the harbor taking into account the current. We are assigned a place by the harbor master, and then it starts to rain. It really rains all day long so it does not stop raining. After hours of waiting, we decide to go to the village with raincoats and umbrellas. We drink a cup of coffee at the cafe on the corner of typical Zeeland
forgade. We quickly return to the boat,

Where do you put all the wet coats and shoes on a sailboat …

15 degrees in the summer we go in shorts. Fortunately, it gets better, ‘according to the prophecy …’

The following week we go to Grevelingen with another family we sail through
Oosterschelde, with wind strength 4 to Keeten and walk to Bruinisse in a crowded lock.
We can still connect and throw the front mooring line to the boat next to us, friendly people.
And then it goes wrong. The front mooring line is pulled so tight that the boats’ rallies meet
and we are drawn directly into the lock. Spectators from other boats go
nervous up and down and afraid that we will hit them and for harm.
A beautiful scene unfolds in the lock. I hear the arc light tear (ups), Sjoerd arrives
hook out and it is pulled so hard that it breaks and the skipper of the other boat almost
falls into the water. We are ashamed of the bumblebee. Eventually the front rope is loosened and we come to a straight position. We have a nice chat with each other, it ends quite nicely.

With 5 people in a small room, where everyone also has different needs, it is
elders like to go to bed as late as possible (and we are ready at the end of the day
resting). We decide to set house rules (boat tiles). 23:00 everyone is washed,
brushed teeth and no one needs to leave the boat anymore. Everyone goes to their “own” zone,
sleeping space. Where he can read, quietly look at phone, tablet, but no noise.
This principle seems to work for our family. We can sleep and whoever wants can stay up if necessary without keeping the “rest” awake.

The moderate weather has continued, showers with clear periods and a temperature of around 15 degrees. We get the best out of it, our sailing skills improve. We roam from Bruinisse
to Scharendijke, from Scharendijke to Marina Port Zelande, where we have rain
can hide in a beach tent and enjoy the beach and it
outdoor activities.

The children enjoyed the spectacular roller coaster in Grevelingen.

The next day, the port of Ouddorp is planned, but the engine does not start.
The battery appears to be empty. We start the boat via the built-in battery and set off and decide to sail to Ouddorp. The harbor is within walking distance from Ouddorp, we have reasonably nice weather, the sun is shining.

In the association harbor Scharendijke we bought a children’s book
“The Grevel’s Abomination” that book the boys have read in one go due to lack of Wi-Fi and ban on using the phones to charge. That is why we decide on another book in Ouddorp
and buy a chessboard. The wonders are not out of the world yet, our boys are working
read and play chess.

We sail on from Ouddorp back to Bruinisse and the weather seems to make sense, we decide
to grill with 2 families and spend the night on the island Mosselbank on Grevelingen.
With a small rubber boat we cross over to the supermarket in Marina Bruinisse,
to fill up on meat, baguettes and beverages. When we sail back, the engines stop and we decide to go back
to calm down, it is not fast, wind against it, it seems we are not getting ahead and it starts again
to calculate. Another boat has offered to pose with a tow, saving us for maybe 2 hours of rowing.
Under the grill, the boys swim, we eat meat with sand, and we actually have fun. We did not get the beautiful stable summer weather, the weather forecast did not come true.
The boys have stopped reading at home, the temptation for tablets and mobile phones is too great.

Next summer we will do the same again, hopefully with warm summer evenings for anchor
in Grevelingen or perhaps to Cadzand.

Sjoerd and Angelique.

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