Today we came 27 miles in 10 hours...our slowest day so far. It was hot beyond belief, scorching hot, over 30C° and our route took us through the riverside holiday land of the Verse Meer where it seemed every child in Holland was playing like mad on the water and yelling for good measure.
It took huge concentration to helm in these crowded waters with dinghies, motor boats and yachts sailing at you from all angles. We had managed to sail ourselves earlier, a blissful hour and a half in wide open waters in a perfect sailing wind. Sirena leaned to the wind joyfully as if to say ' this is what I'm for'. After all we have been using her as a mere motoring canal boat for 2 weeks!
The heat intensified as the day wore on and we motored on. It was unbearable being down below as the breeze didn't get down there. It was pretty unbearable in the cockpit too in the full glare of the sun. The wind had fallen away and almost everyone we saw was bare chested (men) and bikini clad (women). We wondered if they had heard of skin cancer.
We went through two locks today and one small bridge. Long waits at both locks. The first was a huge affair well equipped with bollards to tie on to. The boats present didn't fill it so that was easy.
The second was much smaller and we ended up being crowded by a mini super yacht, a gleaming monster motor boat which towered above our stern. We escaped before him when the lock opened.
By the time we got to our target, Middelburg in a smallish canal, we were melting, dehydrated, sweatstained and shattered.
We waited a final half an hour at the harbour master's hut before the bridge lifted to allow us to reach our lovely finger berth, followed by showers in the yacht club and long cold drinks in the restaurant and fine dinner, with a view of our own Sirena through the window.