Today we discovered three bottles of gas on board, two full, and one half full. This means that we can now use the four ring cooker that the previous owners left on the boat. It also means we can use the small gas heater as well, so we now have a further heat source that is far more efficient than the diesel hot air heating that we have been using for the last two days. We now have enough gas to last us until we get home, we can put the camping stoves away for the time being, and I can stop dressing like Scott of the Antarctic!
With the heating on and some of the portholes open, we managed to get rid of the condensation build up from the boat. The bathroom carpet had also got wet from a small tap that had been left dripping. Martin put the carpet on deck to dry and it blew off, thankfully on to the jetty and not into the water! In the meantime, I managed to get Internet access to get the phone numbers for the Coastguards at Dover and at the Thames barrier.
We also might need some cash to pay for the rudder repairs, so I looked up how far it was to cycle to Akkrum, which is the nearest place to Terherne that has an ATM. It would seem (by Google maps) that it is within cycling distance so we plan to take a couple of bikes from the marina and cycle there tomorrow morning. David and Val (our new friends that we met yesterday) came to see the boat, and to partake of a little wine as well. They are off on their boat tonight to stay on a small island somewhere further East, and they will not return until tomorrow, so we waved them goodbye, and they wished us a pleasant trip home to the UK. We are very glad we met them, as they had some invaluable information that will help us on our way home.
It is interesting that although we have spoken extensively to the staff on the marina about tips for cruising along the canals of the Netherlands, you gain so much more information when speaking to others whose first language is the same as yours, as conversation comes fluently, and it is much easier to go off on a tangent from a particular topic, and then come back to it later in the conversation. Following on from my ‘mast’ tuition yesterday, today I had lessons from Martin on how to throw ropes and tie them around the bits on the boat. Martin had been very impressed with my rope coiling skills yesterday (yes, well anyone who has worked in anaesthesia knows how to coil electric cables….lots of electric cables, and lots of times on every list!!). Anyway, we will see how much I have learned when we come to our first stop on our journey (if we don’t stay in one place then I guess I need some more practice!).
On David and Val’s recommendation, we went to eat at eetcafe T’far, which is a short walk from the marina. We had a wonderful meal there, and after filling up on fish and a traditional Friesian dessert that consisted of vanilla ice cream and rasins, with large lashings of a local kind of gin, we walked back to the boat. Martin then busied himself with nautical charts, and the Wateralmanack (although the latter is of limited use, as it is all in Dutch).
Tomorrow fingers crossed, the work on the rudder will be complete, as the ‘metalworker man’ told us that he could make an ‘oooh’ for our rudder, we interpreted ‘oooh’ to be the letter ‘U’ in Dutch, and that he would make a ‘U’ shaped piece to fit around the rudder as a temporary measure. Once this is complete we can start on our way, hopefully later tomorrow. So until then all we can do is plot our journey.