Athene in the Baltic 1999 – Sitting in Woodbridge Tidemill marina listening to the wind howling through the rigging was not best way of encouraging crew to cross the North Sea so the smart diners at the Captains cabin were somewhat startled to see four scruffy sailors devouring rather good food. Cheerful to say on emerging from Dinner the wind had dropped and the forecast gave us a window of opportunity to sail. Up be times ie 0430 to get over the sill and to catch the tide up the coast we arrived at Amsterdam by Midday the next day after a fast but rolly passage. Raymond & Gordon who had nobly only come to help me across headed back to Blighty by Eurostar no less. Whilst Alex and I cleared the Islemere in one days fast sailing averaging nearly six knots to anchor outside the lock at Kornswerdzand before dusk. A short sharp sail to Terschelling got us to our first crew change on time . A magic overnight sail to Nordenay followed not at all spoilt by being forced aground by a Lady brown boat driver at the top of the Ameland Watt(i.e inside passage behind the Waddensee islands) We recovered to shoot out from the Seagat like a cork from a bottle arriving in Nordeney by 0930 in time for showers and a days sightseeing by bicycle.
Spiekeroog was one of the few Frisian islands I had not visited so even though it was neaps we turned up off the narrow entrance one hour after low water. Needless to say we ran aground in the middle and retreated somewhat shamefaced to anchor for an hour. It showed 1.3m on chart but like lots of entrances silts up forming a bar to keep out non eastcoasters. Our second go was better so we showed the assembled German boats how not to go astern into your berth before settling down to dinner and a perfect night instead of the forecast force 6. A lazy sail up to the adjacent mainland and the small Siel called Newharlingsiel. Lunch surrounded by fishing boats calmed weather forecast nerves and we re-traced our steps to a recommended anchorage