4rd August 2018 – We got up around 7 o’clock. I had a brief chat with the tenants of my neighbour before boarding the sailing barge Johanna. The Johanna is a Stevenaak built in 1901. She arrived a few days earlier in Swale, also coming straight from Holland.
My idea of boarding was to take some pictures, not to be turning the winches or pulling ropes. I had to unpack sails, mount them and clean the decks. I have nearly no sailing experience, neither did the owner of the barge I did the crossing with . We were standing on the front deck and managed to get the sails right, just after grounding. So we could lower them again and wait for several hours until it was high tide.
Once the ship was floating again, we started the engine and went back alongside Pro et Contra where we stayed for a while, having a drink and changing clothes.
There was a party in the evening on land, near an old shipyard. They also gave the prices for the winners of the contest and surprisingly enough, we won a price!
It is hard to describe the ambiance and the ambiance there was hanging at that yard. I met a few people of the DBA, had a nice chat and ended up around 9 in a small dinghy getting to the sailing barge we grounded earlier that day. Alongside was an old Dutch Coaster. We were introduced to the owner and had a guided tour aboard. Very impressive! There was a kind of house warming on the Johanna and later that evening, when drinks were gone, we went back to the coaster for some more partying.
The hardest point came when they had to drive us back to our own ship. Totally dark, only a few lights running. We managed to find her and went to bed!