We had cooling problems. To ourselves because the temperatures for June were extremely high. But that wasn’t so bad. The main engine got warm every now and then in the last few weeks and that was less. But, made wise over the years, we already knew what the cause could be, with a 99.9% certainty: the outside cooling grid, below the waterline, had probably become a permanent home for a huge barnacle family. And probably the family had invited many friends and acquaintances to their spacious home. Something had to happen here. Or the ship on the slope, which will not work in the middle of the season, or leave the harbor and lie on the Wad for 24 hours. With beautiful weather conditions this was of course no punishment. And it happened that the ship stopped for a weekend. We invited some friends, did some shopping, asked our sailor and left the port of Harlingen behind us on a beautiful Friday evening and went port to the Lange Zand, a huge plate along the Harlingen – Terschelling shipping route.
After an hour the anchor went for it and we started to indulge in good food, a drink, cup of coffee, bonbon, meanwhile enjoying the Wad staring at the receding water and a breathtaking sunset and with inevitable red colored skies. What a wonderful world this was !! At 0.30 a.m. the low tide would be around 11 p.m., in the last light of a beautiful day, we descended barefoot to the bottom of the sea. Another small layer of water, warmed by the day, caressed our feet and left with the final ebb flow. We took a short walk, advise the smallpox family on the bun to move just before tomorrow and it was getting dark very slowly. The ship stood out against a nightly June sky and the already lit lights on board gave us a safe and cozy feeling; we have to go there again soon. Back on board we ended the day with a nice glass of wine and then fell asleep with the babbling sound of the rising tide.
A skipper will always have to leave in the middle of the night, not only for a pee but also because of his or her sense of responsibility. “Are we turned well with the turn and are we still in the same place”. The weather was very calm and everything went as it should.
We slept late, started the day with a rich breakfast, and around 11.30 am we were able to get off the ship again. An enormous space stretched out in front of us and we shredded on the mudflats. One walked east, the other west and we wandered musically across the Wadden Sea floor.
The sun was shining and there was a light breeze. In the distance, the Harlingen fleet sailed towards the islands. Life was good !!
But there was also work to be done and the impending flood was inexorable. We scraped the smallpox from the bun and gave the trunk a little beauty treatment with a brush.
The water came back, we floated again and with a stable, cooled engine we tufted back to Harlingen.
This has been our field of activity for so many years; For so many years we have been roaming the Wad for seasons.
How special it is that we are still impressed by this beautiful part of the world.
Even though we were only there for 24 hours, it seemed as if we had had a long vacation.