Thursday 11 June to Tuesday 16 June 2015
|15 kilometers, 2 hours 20 minutes.|
Another beautiful day (summer is at last arriving, just in time for us to say good bye) as we set off from our most pleasant Steenstratebrug mooring to Diksmuide where we fill up with 230.53 litres of diesel at €1.27 per litre and, in the process, while not looking out for an airlock, spraying Elle, the marina helpers and myself with the smelly stuff. Willy, who had made a special effort to meet us on arrival, graciously dismissed my stupidity and washed the deck, our lines, himself and his friends and allowed me to do myself, with some special soap which they had to hand. Maybe I was not the first idiot to do that trick…
The next couple of days went past in a blur of cleaning, packing and the biggest job of all, removing the doger-bimini and replacing it with the very tight fitting winter cover which would protect our newly varnished woodwork from the sun. We are very happy to be leaving Elle in Diksmuide in the knowledge that the camera monitored, arc light lit, regularly patrolled and up-market apartment viewed, marina is about as safe as it gets.
(As an aside: The morning of our departure, five minutes before the taxi driver was due to take us to the station, Pol Denijs, the chief ‘Havenkaptein’ advises us that there is a Club rule that no winter covers are allowed as these detract from the smartness of the marina and do not look good in tourists’ photographs. We handed him the keys and he said that he and another havenmeester would put up the summer doger-bimini after we had left. A reasonable rule but if only they had said so the day before – it would have saved hours of work, bruised knees from crawling under the cover and a very sore back!).
Promptly at nine o’ clock on Sunday 14th the taxi driver arrived, and at 10h13 we were off to Schiphol by train with a fortuitous changeover at Ghent which saved about ten small station stops between Ghent and Brussels – it was now no stops between the two cities! At Brussels we changed over to the Thalys high-speed train and by four thirty, after consuming a ghastly hamburger at a Deliciously Dutch outlet at Schiphol station, we were booked into the ‘nearby’ Ibis hotel in plenty of time to catch our 10h00 flight to Johannesburg the next morning and, after a night at the City Lodge at OR Tambo airport, a 09h00 flight to Durban on Tuesday.
We have done 145 engine hours (plus the approximately six hours used for heating the hot water cylinder when not attached to electricity), used approximately 620 litres of diesel (which works out at 4.26 litres per hour for two engines – not bad at all), 10 litres of oil, and travelled some 920 kilometres at a good average of 6.34 kilometres per hour.
So that’s that and until we are back in September its ‘Totsiens’ from both of us.