Hindeloopen – First attempt at box berth mooring

We had a nice sail in great conditions from Enkhuisen to Hindeloopen.  Force 3 and flattish water until the last few miles.  Of course we were close hauled all the way because (like every day for the last few weeks) we were trying to go NE and the wind was from that direction.  Luckily Catherine likes helming upwind Рthe boat powers up and heels over, and it and feels like you are going fast.

There were loads of people out sailing because it was a sunny Saturday afternoon, but no sign of the commercial barge traffic that we saw on weekdays further South.

We arrived in Hindeloopen in mid afternoon and pulled over at the quay by the harbourmaster’s office. ¬†Our new temporary mooring technique of motoring forwards against a stern spring worked well, and I went in to talk to the harbourmaster. ¬†He directed us to a box berth in the marina.

Box berths are a common feature of the Baltic and the tideless parts of the Netherlands, but so far we’d managed to avoid mooring in one. ¬†You moor your bow against a quay and tie your stern to a post on either side. ¬†All the local boats have a wooden rubbing-strip around the outside so that they can slide against the piles as they enter without scratching their paint, which made me suspicious that mooring neatly in a box berth might not be trivial.

There was a strong crosswind on our designated berth, but luckily no boats on either side.  Lizzie is much narrower than most boats, so it would probably be impossible to attach both lines as we entered the berth.  We managed to put a line over the upwind post and made it into the berth ok, but I failed to tighten the line fast enough to stop the bow from crashing into the quay.  Oh well, only a slightly bent bow-roller.

Catherine quickly got the bow lines on and then were at least attached to dry land in a stable position.  It took several more minutes of manoeuvring before I was able to lasso the other post.  Then I realised that the posts had little ledges on to stop the lines falling into the water, but managed to retrospectively poke one of ours up onto the ledge with a boathook.

I’m not looking forward to trying to leave – Lizzie doesn’t manoeuvre well at the best of times, and the outboard motor doesn’t put any prop-wash over the rudder which means that she doesn’t turn until she is moving quite fast. ¬†Hopefully there won’t be too many neighbouring boats to hit.

Anyway, Hindeloopen seems nice.  Mini canals and old buildings.  Very twee and full of German tourists.  Lots of nice cafes selling good pancakes.