I have been invited by the crew of the F36 “Noreen” to sail with them on the first leg of their sail to the Azores.
Starting from our backyard on Tuesday morning May 21 we sailed across the IJsselmeer to Amsterdam, where the Orange Locks provided us the access to the IJ and the North Sea Channel. This channel is the link between the IJsselmeer and the North Sea and is the gateway for the seagoing ships bound for the Port of Amsterdam.
Behind the locks of IJmuiden awaits us a cold and choppy North Sea for the 160 nm to our first stop at Ipswich Dock , UK. In the afternoon of the next day we arrived at the river Orwell near Harwich and dropped the anchor in a bend of the river just across Suffolk Yacht Harbour for a well deserved beer, dinner and night rest.
For this first trip of the year it has been a beautiful but very cold sail draft. The next day we went on to Ipswich Dock to meet some sailing friends in Isaac’s pub.
We left from Ipswich Dock on Sunday in the afternoon for our next destination, St. Mary’s on the Isle of Scilly, a non-stop sailing trip of about 380 nm. With the crossing of the Thames Estuary there was almost no wind and we had to use the engine to make some progress. During the night the wind increased to 15 kn. And without problems we sailed along the busy entrance of Dover Port. The next two days we tacked along the South coast of England until we reached St. Mary’s in our third night at sea. We anchored in a little bay called Porth Cressa.
The next day we moved to another island, Tresco, and anchored in the lovely bay of Old Grimsby. Later in the day we dried out on the beach. Of course the world famous Tresco Abbey gardens became part of our sightseeing on the island.
The end of my short vacation came in sight. Before Noreen went on sailing to the Azores they brought me back to Falmouth from where I took the train to Bristol airport. By EasyJet plane and a 140 kn. tailwind I was back in Amsterdam in less than one hour.
This was a really nice break aboard the stunning F36 trimaran “Noreen”. A more comprehensive report (in Dutch language) can be found here.
A few days later Noreen left Falmouth to arrive seven days later at their destination, Ponta Delgada, Azores