“A winner is a dreamer who never gives up”


124. Back to Holland. For 2,5 weeks

We left the catamaran in an Italian harbor end of August to come to the Netherlands. This was at the invitation of Nautisch Kwartier in Stavoren, the boatdealer from which we bought the catamaran in 2019. They invited us in 2022 as well, to tell about our worldtrip sailing on the Hiswa te Water in Lelystad, the largest outdoor boatshow in Northern Europe. It’s 5 days, has 20.000 visitors and 400 boats are there to see.

When we arrived in the Netherlands, we rented a car, because we would come this trip with visiting family and friends and giving training throughout the Netherlands. On our way to Lelystad we drove past our house (which is rented out) which is based in a typical Dutch setting: green meadows with cows, farms and mills. We had a drink with the neighbors whom we also hadn’t seen since April 2023, when it was the last time we were in the Netherlands.

Everytime we are in our hometown, we go to the hairdresser and dentist. Check, our ‘personal maintenance’ is done, we are ready to drive to the boatshow in Lelystad!

Hiswa te Water

The boatshow was open from 10.00-18.00h from Wednesday to Sunday, and till 20.00h on a Fridayevening. We got a batch being an exhibitor (actually being part of a team of 7 people of Nautisch Kwartier), and went through the entrance at 9.00h.

The boat we walked on was a brand-new Lagoon42, owned by sir Castelein, a doctor and his wife, who we also met during the Hiswa days. They bought the catamaran to do the Atlantic crossing in November 2024 and made the boat available for the boat show for 5 days. So we just left our Lagoon42 and arrived on exactly the same boat in the Netherlands. We felt at home 😉.

Like last year, it was busy at the boatshow! In 2022 the show had been cancelled for 2 years because of corona and the weather was great, then there were even more visitors. But during the 5 days, there were about 200 people that visited the catamaran. Which are 1.000 people during 5 days. Busy! But it was fun to explain our start, how we decided to buy this type of boat, how we made it ready to sail of for a worldtrip, how we like it, what the changes are that we made in our lives and during sailing. We got a lot of questions and it was fun to talk to fellow-sailors that came to the boatshow. Because we all love being on the water, being on a motorboat or sailboat. We offer visitors also the possibility to sail with us in the Mediterranean, for a week or weekend, and some were interested, so I hope we will receive some nice fellow-sailors on board this spring 2024 in Croatia or during the summer in Greece!

Some people just came to visit as daytrippers and some were seriously interested in maybe owning a catamaran themselves. The show is then a good start to compare boats, look inside, ask about the performance, delivery, prices. Here you see us (red arrow) at the jetty at the boatshow.

The team (many we knew from last year) was very nice, we had a great time together. They were across the jetty, standing on 3 monohulls that Nautisch Kwartier also had on display in Bataviahaven at the boatshow. We all slept in the harbor Lelystad Haven, which is 2 kilometers next to the boatshow. We slept on a Lagoon40, which is also owned by Nautisch Kwartier, they rent it out to sailors. It has 4 bedrooms, we used it as our ‘hotelboat’ during the Hiswa boatshow. So each morning we woke up at 7.00h, had a nice breakfast together, drove to the boatshow in a minivan, prepared the boats (cleaning, businesscards at display, etc) and at 10.00h after the Frisian national anthem, the boatshow started and the first visitors appeared. At 18.00h we cleaned everything up again, had a drink on the showboats and went to dinner at 19.30u, each time a different restaurant. After eating we went back to the ‘hotelboat’ and had a drink and talked further about the day or the next day. I have good memories of the time with the team!

After the boatshow was finished Sunday at 18.00h, we were asked to sail it out of the harbor to the other harbor 2 kilometers away. Which is not that easy, there is actually a departureplan handed out by the organization for 400 boats to sail off properly! Our ship was in the beginning of the plan (some boats at 20.00h, or Monday or Tuesday) and Gilles managed to sail the boat away perfectly. We were together with 2 fellowsailors, Geert and Ingrid, and together with them, we parked the boat behind the Lagoon40 in Lelystad Haven. Because on Monday we would sail back the Lagoon40 to Makkum, back to the renting company called Tornado Sailing, and Geert and Ingrid would sail back the Lagoon42 to Stavoren.

At Makkum, where we had never been before by the way, we asked the owner of Tornado Sailing, Jurre-Jan (which we knew through Nautisch Kwartier) where we could have dinner. He advised us Vigilante, at the beach. Which was the best advice ever, because it really was at the beach and it had an amazing orange sunset that night. It looked like the Caribe here, in stead of Friesland 😉. We had a great dinner with a great view.

I sent an app to Jurre-Jan in Makkum, that we enjoyed the view so much. He was at home, but got his drone and flew above the harbor about 3 kilometers from where we were and sent us this picture back half an hour later 😉

Training days

After the boat show, the first trainingday started. I had written to 10 of my favorite clients that I have been working with for 5 to 10 years now. I really like their organizations, people, their believe in training and I love to work with their trainers and learning advisors. So I informed them before summertime that I would be available in the Netherland in September for a live training at their location. And 6 replied that they wanted a trainingday from me with their team! I was very happy to plan those days and now on Tuesday the first trainingday started at the Nuclear Powerplant in Petten, for 15 international Trainers to learn more about the profession of training (how to develop a training  program, learn more about group dynamics, teaching methods). It was a very nice day. And also the water became better and better in those days, so being in the dunes in Petten was a pleasure during lunch time.

I also had a great day with the team Learning Advisors of Gemeente Rotterdam, some I have been working with for 7 years now we remembered.

Gilles drove me to the different locations during the trainingdays and picked me up again at 17.00h and then we had dinner together, or we drove to friends to sleep there or had dinner with friends in a restaurant.

And the weather really started to get warmer, so when I worked together in the middle of Utrecht with 20 trainers from Frankwatching, it was hot! The location was great, an industrial site in a warehouse that had been transformed into a hip place with large windows, but also was very warm. But the trainers were very focused, I had worked with them before in 2019 and 2020 and to be back again in 2023 after my worldtrip started, was a great reunion.

They told me what they had done with the lessons learned of 2019 and 2020 (which was about online training of course) and how it had helped them. They had know about the worldtrip I started in 2021, some even had followed me through the blogs.

I had send the group 10 of topics that we could do now during this trainingday, I asked them to select a top 5 and the top 5 we did that day. For example about creative teachingmethods, how to use ChatGPT as a trainer and the 10 brainboosters in training, that I did in at the conference in the USA in May.

Family & Friends

The 6 trainingdays, also for the Academy of a large Nursing Home, an engineeringcompany in Eindhoven and DAF Trucks in Eindhoven as well, were not all in a row, of course. In between the trainingdays, we visited family and friends, for example my mother and brother of one of my best friends, Suzanne, who I have known since we were 4 years old.

And when I had the trainingday in Rotterdam, I visited another good friend, we sit here in her beautiful garden. She has 2 great young sons, and on Saterdaymorning we went to see the football match of one of the boys. I enjoyed that very much and was happy to be part of their family for a few days!

Ofcourse, when you are in the Netherlands only 2 or 3 times a year, you have list of typical Dutch products you want to taste or buy to bring back to the boat. So we also did some shopping in between the trainingsdays and visiting family and friends. I actually had a list, for example special Dutch spices, cookies, sweets or other things that I appreciate to have on the boat from the Netherlands.

I noticed that I felt more like a tourist in the Netherlands now, my home is the catamaran I found out, I am more a visitor in Holland. So I look at everything I see in the Netherlands more closely, like an observer. Walking in Amsterdam, I now understand how Amsterdam natives sometimes become cranky because of the crowds. I even saw written on a building: ‘Amsterdamaged’. Also I noticed, after having cycled in 10 different countries for the past 2,5 years, how smooth the cycle paths really are in Holland: flawless, like a billiard table compared to those foreign bumpy cycle paths! Also I have saw, cycling around in Hilversum in the Mediapark, the streetsigns ‘Joost den Draaijer rotonde’ and ‘Mies Bouwman Boulevard’. I never really noticed those names or appreciated it before, now I laughed at the roundabout joke ;).

We were 17 days in the Netherlands, we slept on the Lagoon40 for 7 days, for 5 days we could stay with friends for which I am very grateful and for 5 days we booked hotels to be close to the traininglocations, to be there at 8.00h to prepare the trainingroom. Here you see 2 of our favorite hotels: Moxy in Utrecht which was a modern Japanstyle hotel, very hip and Villa Trompenberg which was amazing with an all you can eat breakfast that I liked a lot 😉.

After having driven 2.000 kilometers in the rental car throughout the Netherlands, meeting so many people (which we are not used to anymore being on the water at the boat the 2 of us), we settled down in the bar of the airport hotel, tired but satisfied at the last evening before we would go back to our catamaran. Packed and ready we arrived on Italian grounds, with lots of Dutch products, but most of all very good memories of meeting nice people and having great times!

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