After our very first night of sleep on the boat, we get ready to sail away at 9:30 sharp. Unfortunately, fifteen minutes after that there is still no sign of the harbour master. We find the harbour rates on the website so we put the money in an envelope and shove it under the door. After all, it can’t be that at our very first harbour visit we don’t pay.

To get to the IJsselmeer, we need to pass through a lock. Moritz is giving it a try as one of his first big manoeuvres, but when the lockkeeper asks us to go a bit backwards (which is not part of the plan we discussed beforehand) we end up at an angle and hit the wall of the lock. Not the smoothest operation, but aside from a little scratch on the side, no damage was done to the boat or the crew. Possibly our pride a bit: lessons were learned…

Once we are out on the IJsselmeer the real journey begins. We hoist the sails since there is a beautiful northern wind of 4 Bft blowing. We cruise over the IJsselmeer on a beam reach course while enjoying some Fries suikerbrood. There are some waves and before we reach the Markermeer, two of the crew are slightly seasick.

We reach the lock to the Markermeer, which doesn’t seem to open, but then we realise we are in front of the wrong lock. The one that is opening is a few hundred meters away, where all those other boats are going… The waves on the Markermeer are a lot more forgiving and soon the crew is feeling a lot better. On a running downwind course we sail towards Amsterdam. Clouds are coming up and it’s getting colder, so we take turns warming up inside. Our plan is to take the standing mast route through Amsterdam that night, so we want to be in the city by the time it gets dark. A bit of a rest would be good.

We cook some dinner and arrive in Amsterdam. Lowering the sails includes some hiccups: the furler of the genoa is stuck and we don’t manage to turn the motor on (water got mixed with the diesel because of the waves). At the same time, inland waterway ships are coming and going in the channel where we are floating around. In the end, we manage to get everything sorted safely. There is a bridge and then the Oranjesluizen (a lock) before we reach the IJ. When the bridge opens we intend to motor through, but at this moment the motor lets us down.

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