Mon 3 Aug 2009 14:01
Course: Tacking upwind on the Markermeer
Wind: Southwest, light
Weather: Mostly cloudy
Yesterday we entered the Ijsselmeer, a large, shallow, freshwater, man-made sea that is just inland from Den Helder. The wind was a decent speed so we sailed through the majority of the lake today, overtaking a few more modern boats along the way (much to Bob's delight). There are several wind generators that line the coast, and a few older ones out in the lake itself. Its good to see an attempt being made to use sustainable energy, we just hope its working. There seems an infinite supply of old fashion barges sailing in this area, one of which ran aground right near us. Thomas had another go at the old laptops and concluded that the best way to fix them is to drop them or tilt them back and forth. That night, covered by distant gleeful shouts of the merrymaking Dutch, an invasive force gathered. This force turned its tiny minds towards the innocently floating Sylph and ruthlessly boarded. I am speaking, of course, of mosquitoes. Most of them went for Thomas, sleeping on the front line, but one or two made it over to Bob.
This morning, we headed out further inland, towards Amsterdam The wind was only "cats paws" as Bob put it, so we decided to plod along with the engine for a bit. As we approached the lock, we were greeted by a flurry, nay a fleet of sailors moving out towards the North Sea, Bob made the observation that the looked like the had just been vomited out from the lock, not the most pleasing comparisons but accurate enough. In what appears to be a local challenge to see who can go fastest first, we watched as sails were unfurled and uplifted not 10ft out of the lock. We are now sailing towards the town of Hoorn, though the wind seems to have other ideas.
Last night I met the ship's poltergeist, and had a brief chat with him. His name is Elbuort and it is he who is responsible for the constant repairs Skipper Bob has had to make on the wind vane and the navigation lights. Though amused, I inquired whether he might do something less dangerous to our lives and more fruitful, say causing a can of tuna to fall into my bowl. His response was, what should he care of our lives, he had none. So now, a pickle, my faithful readers. Shall I allow this ghoul to inflict retaliatory sufferings upon the crew of this boat, in response to my food conditions, which are as bad as ever, or to stop him in interest of self preservation. In any case, no humans seem to see the ghost, so it is up to me (though how to stop him, I don't know).
All is not so well.