Tranquil Sail to Volendamm


The idea was to stay on Bon Bini Friday night, and then head out very early on Saturday morning. The weather forecast looked favorable, with soothing three to four BFT from a southerly direction. As always, we were tempted to have a nice steak for dinner at Loetje, but this time we’ve been good and had dinner on the boat.
As the night set in the temperature started dropping, and we felt lucky that we had our little heater on board as we turned in for the night. Around 4 o’clock we woke up to a naughty mooring line creeking in the fairlead. I quickly jumped outside to fix the line, just to be pinned down by a massive, bright spotlight. Turns out that our neighbor (who lives on his disco boat in the marina) never sleeps, heard the commotion and came out ready to knock the imaginary boat thieve over the head with his massive flashlight. I think he felt a bit silly as he saw me shivering in my undies trying to fix a noisy line, but I thanked him for being so alert.

Next morning we met with Denis, Kostya and another friend in Lootje for breakfast. If you are ever in the situation that you need to take in your weekly calorie budget in one massive meal, go to Lootje and order the harmless looking “Omelet”. I was definitely hungry when we went for breakfast, but after fighting my way through this mountain of food I swear I’ll never eat again! I have no idea how we managed to actually make it back to the boat and get her ready to sail, but somehow we got it done and left the marina together with Denis and his crew.

Going down the Ij-channel we realized that we were going quite a bit faster than Denis, so we decided to skip the plans to go to Muiden together, and decided to press on towards the Markermeer. Going through the lock with our awesome new technique (tying a spring to the mid-ship cleat) works like a charm these days! After making it through the lock we has a short encounter with Dutch impatience, or was it ignorance? Behind the lock there is a big drawbridge, and lights indicate whether boats are allowed to go through the bridge. Typically the bridge operator lets boats going east through the bridge first, and allows boats going west right after that … which did not stop this guy coming our way out of nowhere right when we were about to enter the bridge. A almost-heart attack later and some shouting by the bridge operator at the ghost driver in his boat we made it onto the Markermeer to find a beautiful southerly BFT3. We quickly set the sails and enjoyed a fantastic sail north. It was getting cold in the afternoon, and we were close, so we decided to stay the night in Volendam. The last time we tried to stay the night there we came into the marina finding boats moored three rows deep and music blasting everywhere, so we decided to skip. This time the marina was quite empty, and we decided to stay the night. Volendam marina is quite cute, it’s basically like a market square in the city center, but made of water. There is a street with restaurants and bars right in front of the moorings. We moored up for the night and headed out for a couple of drinks, watching a beautiful sunset over the Markermeer. After having dinner on the boat and enjoying a last few glasses of whine (of course), we had another interesting encounter with Dutch culture. Behind moored a tiny little boat with a couple on it, and as we were sitting in our cockpit, sipping whine and enjoying the view of Volendam, the guy decides that it is a good idea to climb to the bow of his tiny boat and relief his bladder over the bow. Yes. Right there. Like a meter from where we were sitting in our cockpit. Come on, really?

Aaaanyway, we turned in for the night and had a nice sleep. I woke up early to use the heads and was stunned by the beautiful sunrise over the Markermeer. I mentioned the word “sunrise” to Cam who had been fast asleep until that point, and I haven’t even finished saying “rise” yet when Cam is up and dressed, running around taking pictures. Next time I need to motivate her to get out of bed, I know the magical word now!

We walked around Volendam to find some breakfast, and ended up in a oldy-woldy looking hotel that served a breakfast buffet. We earned a few confused looks showing up in our sailing gear there, while everybody else seemed to have dressed up for a fancy Sunday morning brunch. To add insult to injury we stuffed our pockets full of delicious bred rolls before we left for the sail back to Amsterdam. Coming out of the marina there was no wind whatsoever, and we motored back most of the way. Back in the Amsterdam marina we gave Bon Bini a proper clean inside and out, and finished off a fantastic weekend with steak and more whine in Lootje!


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