Thursday, 1 January 2015

The Netherlands Adventure - Part I: Preparation and Departure - May/June 2014

Having successfully concluded the purchase of the De Ruiter Kruiser in March, we had a few things to sort out.

Skippers’ licenses (ICC with CEVNI endorsement): This was done on 27 & 28 May on the legendary Tam and Di Murrell’s barge ‘Friesland’ (appropriately enough). Based in Cambrai, France, the Murrells take a maximum of four students at a time thus enabling everyone to get a turn at steering, mooring, lock work and ‘lassoing’ bollards. The CEVNI test is also done on board.

Tam Murrell


VHF Radio license: This was arranged for me to do in Amsterdam before going down to Cambrai. The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) on-line course was very informative and was completed before we arrived in Amsterdam where we were met at our hotel and coached in perfect English by Geert-Jan Smolders of AquaPlanning ( Geert-Jan was also incredibly helpful with getting my license through the bureaucracy which is the Dutch radio authority – he even took the time to drive down to Mook to visit us on the boat there.

Name decals: As the name ‘Cindy’ was meaningless to us we decided to rename the boat “Elle”. Why “Elle” you may ask? Well,
-          “Elle” sounds like L, and L is for Lynn.
-          “Elle” is French for ‘she’ and “She” was Rider Haggard’s “African Queen”, and us being from South Africa...makes sense, doesn’t it!
We know it is supposed to be bad luck to rename a boat but we had read that if a proper re-naming ceremony was carried out then the water spirits would be assuaged.

New decals.
Naming ceremony

Miscellaneous bits of equipment like an ATIS capable VHF radio, Engel fridge, decent Victron battery charger, life jackets, PortaPotti, fire extinguishers etc., had to be purchased. Most of these items were purchased on-line from SVB ( in Germany who were very good.

On Friday 30 May we arrived at Het Wakend Oog in Woudsend after having collected Ian and his wife Sian from the airport and waited in Lelystad for Ian to do his VHF test with Geert-Jan, only to find out on arrival in Woudsend that the marine engineers who were supposed to have done some rudimentary work and checked some things that the Seller was supposed to have done, had not done their job properly. Being Ascension Day they were closed and when they eventually arrived the next day they had to order two regulators which only arrived on the Monday.

We finally departed Het Wakend Oog on late on Monday 2 June, destination Sneek.

Shaun, Sian & Ian

Admiral Lynn
Leaving Woudsend

Our first 'Biggie'

Sneek mooring.
I must say that we were very pleased to be on our way at last.


  1. You must have been almost the last of Tam and Di's students. We had to go with Iain and Kaz Noble at Moissac. However, we also had the very friendly and accomodating Geert-Jan for VHF. They all did their job well - all that was needed was for us to go and make lots of mistakes but extricate ourselves with skills we learnt from them.

  2. Yes, I think we were Tam and Di's last class. Thoroughly enjoyed the experience but a tad removed from what we do on "Elle" - but some excellent tips indeed. We met Ian Noble in 2013 and was briefly interested in his folks boat which was for sale at the time.