There is always an endless list of chores that “need” to get done before departure but sometimes you just have to go. Since we had paid for the slip in the Stevensweert marina until May 1, that was going to be the date.
Over the winter a local boat mechanic had taken care of the leaky steering gremlin and checked out the gearbox and generator to make sure they were operating properly. We settled up a very reasonable bill from Jac Mofers. After the shopping trip to France we kept pretty close to the boat gathering supplies and checking items off the list. (Memo to those who have joined us before. The shower drain is fixed!) The car was going to have to go back to the Dusseldorf airport on Friday. It’s only an hours drive there but it was going to take three trains and a bus to get back to the boat so that day would be filled.
Thursday was “Koningsdag”, or Kingsday, a holiday in Holland. In the cities there are big parties and celebrations but in the smaller villages it means most stores are closed at least part of the day and there’s usually some sort of kid-focused activity. Since we planned a Monday departure and Friday was take-back-the-car day we took advantage of the half-day the grocery stores were open to do our last stocking up. We finished just in time to catch the kids parade through Maasbracht’s shopping district. Kids on bicycles, of course.
Orange is the color. The ruling family is the “House of Orange.”
Friday morning at 10 we were off to Dusseldorf, arriving at the rental car office about an hour later. First was the 15 minute train ride from the airport to the central railroad station then a half hour wait for the one hour train ride to Venlo in the Netherlands. Another train took us from from Venlo to Roermond and then an hour long bus ride to Stevensweert. We were back to the boat shortly after 4 pm feeling pretty proud of ourselves for making all the connections correctly. No getting on trains heading in the wrong direction like last year!
Saturday was finally a better weather day, a little warmer, at least, and the mast was finished, flags hung and the garden planted.
It looked like we would get off on Monday as planned.