Past readers may recall that early on, when we were first looking at Neo Vita, we found that she could be seen at her mooring in Medemblik in the Netherlands using StreetView.
By the time it came for us to ‘find’ her for the first time, she had moved to nearby Middenmeer, a nearby, cheaper mooring.
Sometime later, while reviewing our trip using Google Earth, we were looking at the satellite version of Middenmeer, and Neo Vita was there too!
We can almost exactly pin down when we were snapped from space, it was in the late morning the day after we had taken possession, just prior to our first solo cruise. The position in the moorings, and the boat moored just behind are determinative. This was taken within an hour of our –
First solo cruise
The cruise we were just about to take was not one we blogged about:
We intended to turn slightly to port as we left, heading up the simple canal (to the left of the photo) we had travelled the day before with Paul and Marianne (the previous owners). This day however, the wind was coming from that direction, and blew us to the extent we could not make the turn. So, the Helm (in this instance Ian) decided to let the wind have its way, and instead make a broad turn starboard, and loop around the three-way junction and then head out.
The perspectives on what followed vary slightly. Helm/Crew differ somewhat in their recollections.
The wind prevented any sort of sharp turn. Barges have lots of windage, and no keel, so they are almost at the mercy of a breeze. Thus, as we started the starboard turn, we were drifting right towards the Havenmaster’s cruiser – with him watching.
Encouraged by voluble commentary/useful suggestions from Crew, Helm turned harder.
This allowed us to miss the Havenmaster comfortably/by a whisker. With the wheel pretty much hard over, we now headed as intended/careered towards the vessels on the other side of the junction, just up from from where we had been moored.
Paul and Marianne were watching.
Paul was shouting lots of encouragement/advice – usefully in Dutch. Marianne had her hands over her eyes. Crew however, was now waving gaily/screaming in panic to the onlookers.
Calmly/as desperate last resort, Helm ‘put the pedal to the metal’, and we cruised neatly/scraped past the line of cruisers – and headed up the canal confidently/a shaking nervous wreck along our originally intended route.
First of many lessons!