Dear people. I write this post on our day of departure (June 19) and with a little wistfulness. On the one hand, we slept mercilessly. We wanted to leave at 10 a.m., meanwhile it is shortly before 12 p.m. Also a nice time, but slowly the tide is running out. We will probably only get to Den Oever today, because from around 3 p.m. we will have countercurrent in the Waddenzee.

The weather does not motivate people to go down

Jens is still in the shower, so I'll try a few words to Stavoren. Sissi had her port here for two years. I chose it back then without having been to Stavoren before. Criteria were the petrol station in the village, the supermarket, the train station and the possibility of going out to the IJsselmeer without locks. It all happened in the Marina Stavoren Buitenhaven. The port met all expectations. In my opinion, the operating company could pay a little more attention to the little things - sometimes water hoses drip for weeks or the lamp on the dock is always dark. Overall, it was good.

But cozy is different. Jens and I have been living on the Sissi for two weeks now, it is in its place and all neighboring boats are empty. Most owners can only come out on weekends. It is like a holiday home area in the absolute off-season. The port in the town itself is more comfortable, but I wouldn't have wanted a berth there (-> lock).

Inland port in the canal

There are also many holiday home residents here, mostly on large motor boats. These often stay in place for weeks.

In addition to Cafe Max, Stavoren also has two other decent shops - Posthoorn and Koebrug. And the fish stall at the train station. There is the best kibbeling you can get in or around Stavoren. Recommendable.

The supermarket is accessible by water and by land.

The supermarket is located in the middle of a new development area. It also opened in winter, which was very useful. On some visits to the winter camp, Stavoren was so lonely that none of the restaurants were open for days. Without the sailing tourists, Stavoren would be completely dead, so it's only seasonally dead.

In return, I was able to make many contacts with the locals. This is particularly easy in winter because the few people meet in the only open pub - mostly the Cafe Max, sometimes the Posthoorn. You have always been very warm and friendly.

Bascule bridge (opened)

And then there are the bascule bridges over the Johann Friso Canal. Often, very often, I waited on one of the two sides and watched the boats entering and leaving the lock chamber. Once I missed a train because the bridge opened in front of my nose and then stayed open for a while - the cargo ship only fit into the lock chamber when the bridge is open.

Very often we went with Sissi through the lock into town, mostly to the gas station. In any case, these bascule bridges are a central place in Stavoren. I will miss the place, but I am happy to finally get out of here.

Jens is back from the shower, the rain is getting less and the time is progressing more and more. We cannot count on a lot of wind, so we are planning to get out of the IJsselmeer first. That's a lot for the first day.

We are ready.

All work is done. The engine hums again and no longer loses diesel. Some fuel lines were ailing, there was no leakage in the high pressure area. If other lines become ailing, the mechanic left us a meter of replacement.

Today's wind, 3:00 p.m. CEST

Unfortunately there is a lull on the whole North Sea. If we set off now, we need 300 liters of wind from the tank and have just crossed the North Sea half. The situation is not good.

Tomorrow it won't look any better.

24 hours later

On Wednesday there is little wind in our direction, we want to go almost north to land at Peterhead in Scotland.

So it will be on Thursday

Also on Thursday, no wind is expected on the North Sea. There is a disturbance quite far north, but there is a lull on the back.

Could be sailable wind on Friday

It is only on Friday that the wind can be seen to some extent in front of the Netherlands. We will watch it, look at it, examine it, think it over and start it sometime. The fridge is still full. I don't trust a weather forecast for more than three days.

So: we are ready.

Departure day

The departure day we selected (Sunday, June 16) was almost reached. Nevertheless, we were still on the crane. The wind did not allow the mast to be put down and the problem solved on Wednesday and Thursday. Only on Friday there were no gusts of wind force 8, so the mast could then be easily put down. Of course, the real problem was resolved within 10 minutes. In winter we tried to pull a new antenna cable into the mast. But that went completely wrong. In the hustle and bustle of placing the mast after winter storage, we forgot the rest of the antenna cable in the mast. As a result, we could only move the Spifall with the greatest effort.

Blockage of the Spifall solved

In the night from Thursday to Friday we also received a visit from Burti, Jörg and Dirk - dear friends with whom we have spent a lot of time on sailing boats in the past. They came to say goodbye to us at the port exit.

Placing the mast

The mast was back on the deck, so we could drive back into our box cheerfully and chat a little about all the topics of the world the rest of the afternoon. For the next day, only the purchase was on the todo list. In Stavoren, the supermarket is surrounded on three sides by water, so you can simply park your sailing boat in front of the supermarket.

Before the coop

The petrol station is on the way to the Coop, where we filled up the diesel right up to the top of the tank. Then we parked in front of the supermarket and switched off the AIS transmitter. Just like that. After refueling, the ship smelled slightly of diesel. We weren't worried.

On the way back to the marina, the smell of diesel became more and more penetrating. That was when we started to worry. After landing in our own box, we opened the engine compartment and saw the disaster. Diesel runs out of one of the five cylinders.

The culprit

At the point where the injector is screwed into the engine, quite a bit of diesel leaks, even when the engine is switched off. We had to turn off the main diesel tap to stop the flow. After the machine cooled down, the smell of diesel also decreased.

A mechanic is of course not available on Saturday afternoon. That's why we're stuck at least until Monday. The workshop opens at 7:30 a.m. - I will be on time.

We have now switched on the AIS again and we have processed the frustration. On Saturday our crew added Christoph, Sissi was suddenly really full and the cockpit was almost too narrow. For the evening we had a table in the Cafe Max ordered.

Cafe Max

I like the Cafe Max. The dining room is quaint. The food there is delicious, the people friendly and the beer tastes good too. I can also recommend the non-smokers to visit the Rookkamer, there is an old map of the Zuiderzee hanging on the wall and showing what the IJsselmeer looked like before the dike was built. We celebrated as if it was really the last evening in Stavoren.

Today, Sunday, Jens and I accompanied the whole aisle to the parking lot and waved at the departure. That should have been the other way around. There is a little wistfulness.

Way back from Cafe Max to Sissi (picture stolen from Burti)

Disasters and successes

The day before yesterday was just as dramatic as I put the title of this article. The day started with the finest sunshine. From the rest of the work, we had decided to mount the wind control system bracket.

Jens unpacks the first package

The bracket worried us the most because it is screwed to the stern of the ship, we have to drill holes in the hull and make no mistakes. To make our work easier, we wanted to turn Sissi over in the box. Usually it lies (like 99% of the other ships) with the bow to the dock in the box. Working at the stern is easier from the dock.

Now the transition to disaster begins. After the engine started, we left the box quickly because the wind had picked up properly. I tried to turn the ship around and back into the box. After a few moments I realized that it wasn't that easy with the wind. The rudder also behaved strangely. We were now drifting towards the harbor wall. With great difficulty we could catch a dolphin and fasten the ship. The rudder was completely without function in the forward direction, it always folded fully to one side - so Sissi drove accordingly.

The culprit - with the emergency tiller attached

First we snorted after landing, then we went looking for the culprit. It was found quickly. The steel cable that connects the rudder chain to the rudder quadrant has jumped from the leading role. This year we have not driven so much, in winter the helm was for maintenance. It appears that the steel cable was not tensioned enough. The repair then went quickly.

It is finished!

After repairing the rudder, we were able to mount the holder for the wind vane, the next day we did the rest.

There was also more work to be done. We are going to paint the cockpit. White so that the sun's heat can no longer make it so hot.

The old paint has to be removed.

The grinder makes a mess like dirt, but we have that under control. Jens also ran the toilet maintenance very quickly.

Maintenance of the toilet

Now the list of remaining work has become very manageable. So I have a little more time for the blog and can report on the progress.

The AIS stalkers who are watching us have obviously not missed the fact that we have Sissi in another corner of the harbor. This is deliberate and not a matter of concern. Tomorrow we have an appointment at the mast crane, but we were able to occupy the space earlier. The internet is much better here. I will tell you about our appointment shortly. This is a completely different story ...


Over the past few weeks we have been repeatedly asked how many supplies we take with us and what. We haven't really thought about it yet, but some delicacies from home are already on board. For weeks, four pallets (or 96 cans) of “Bembel with care” cider have been bunkered, which are now strictly rationed. We can only drink an apple cider if we both agree.

We also have two dozen packs of pasta from the Frankfurt constable guard market. They are tasty and keep for a long time.

Canned sausages from the Haase butcher shop

For years I had my bread rolls in the morning on the way to work Haase butcher shop bought in Bonames. The Haase jars were never missing on charter trips, they were always popular with the crew. That's why we took 25 cans with us, they last forever and can now be eaten little by little.

When I stood in the shop and packed the cans, the boss (Jens Haase) came to me. The people in the butcher shop were already aware of my "circumnavigation" project because I had the catering for my stroll in the company delivered from there. And Jens said to me that I should simply order by email if I need more cans. He would then send me a package. I thank him in advance for this - I will take advantage of the offer. And then he can give me a few pounds of Wacker's coffee pack with it. We stashed 20 pounds of coffee, but eventually we'll run out of coffee.

Otherwise we will park Sissi in front of the Coop in Stavoren in the coming days and carry the contents of the shop onto the ship.

We have arrived on Sissi

The day before yesterday we had our last (half) day in Frankfurt. At 1:29 p.m. our train left for Amsterdam on time. Before there was a tearful but somewhat painless farewell to our parents.

The ICE called Würzburg brings us to Holland

When we arrived on the ship, we were just flabbergasted. Flat from the hardships of the past few days. Nevertheless, we did two things on the first day: First we clamped a new measuring shunt for our battery monitor to the wind generator, and secondly we installed the AIS. We were both curious. How much yield will our wind generator bring and what does the AIS look like?

The battery monitor

We are consuming a lot of electricity at the time of recording because we are testing the Watermaker. And we also test whether the system manages to press a few ampere hours into the batteries despite Watermaker. It looks very good on the photo, but the sun is a bad ally today. But it blows quite well in Stavoren.

About AIS: Here we decided on an AIS transponder that can both send and receive. This way we become visible to the big pots and at the same time we can avoid conflicts with the “big ones”.

The AIS transponder - you can also switch it off.

We are up just two hours after installing and commissioning the device visible. At the top of the main menu is the link we can use to be stalked.

For us it looks like this. The surrounding ships are shown to us, you can see distance, direction and speed.

AIS screen

Of course, this representation is rudimentary. It also looks confusing with the ports and the ships in them. This will happen suddenly when we are in the middle of the North Sea.

In the coming days we will do our remaining work. Then we drive off.


The good sissi is now on extasy. Or amphetamine. Or something like that. Awesome.

I read about the Parasailor in many books about the world. The sail was praised in the sky in most cases. And that's when I stumbled across the manufacturer's booth at Boot this year. Somehow I didn't really have an overview of the expenses and so I ordered a sail.

Briefing in the Parasailor

The delivery took place yesterday. A representative of the manufacturer brought the sail and a few blocks, the wind was pleasantly weak. About 8 to 12 knots of wind from the east. You can just get away from Stavoren.

After a few minutes we were on the IJsselmeer, the engine was silent after a short time. A look at the log generated disbelief: 6 knots with only 10 knots of wind from aft. Wow. The old lady Sissi moved as fast as if she had swallowed Extasy. I think we will have a lot of fun with this sail. Even runs on a half wind course.

The sail is up

Now the others should come. We drive everybody away. A maxi on XTC. A sperm whale on amphetamine.

In the water

Sissi has been in the hall since November. We worked to make them fit for our plan. Most recently, it was the corroded forestay that messed up getting the ship into the water. But since today Sissi has been swimming again and is at her traditional place in Buitenhaven.

We wanted to film the crane, still take pictures of the best scenes. We cheerfully walked from our hostel to the boat hall this morning. A surprise was waiting for us - Sissi was already in the water.

Sissi after the crane

It took a few minutes until the mast was finally up. The new forestay seemed a little too long at first. We turned the shrouds back and forth, tensioned them and let them go again. We had a tough job with two workers from SkipsMaritiem in Stavoren. In addition, gusts of wind and rain blew through the harbor.

Jens and two workers from SkipMaritiem stand the mast

When the work was done, the engine or the alternator startled me. One of the new devices is a booster for battery charging so that we can get more amp hours into the batteries from the motor hour. The device didn't bother at all. Not one of the many LEDs wanted to light up. A short call to the manufacturer's hotline in England brought me a phone number in Germany. After a few minutes I got a top tip where the problem could be. We tried that and were happy. The battery is now charged much faster.

There was nothing standing in the way of a trip to Buitenhaven, so Jens and I set off. Sissi moved well through the water, only the new log shows far too little. Another construction site open, when so many construction sites are waiting to be completed. When it arrived in Buitenhaven, it rained as a reward.

Drink atmospheric beer

Somehow the situation with the first investors beer of the year was a bit dreary. But that didn't last long. in the Cafe Max we ate a delicious dinner and afterwards it was pure sunshine.

evening atmosphere

As I write these lines, I enjoy the slight movement of the ship in the harbor. Tomorrow is another hard day when Sissi gets new batteries. This is going to be a drudgery ...