After a few days in Vlissingen, we sailed to Cadzand. This small harbor was advised to us by other Dutch sailors, because it was so cosy. We left the harbor of Vlissingen through the lock and then we were in the open Westerschelde waters. Over here there are special sailing rules, for instance we had hoisted our radarreflector, had to know all the different priorities of different ships (with dangerous substances, indicated by blue cones), etc. Also the harbor of Breskens is quite busy with ferries.
But it was a smooth and fast sail to Cadzand, in 4 hours we were in the harbor and the friendly harbormaster greeted us from the pontoon. We were amazed by the great location: the harbor is situated next to the beach and dunes. So there is sand on the jetties, which immediately gives you a holiday feeling!
We enjoyed the cycling path to Knokke very much: it is a coastal route, with view on the beaches, beachhouses and restaurants. When you cycle this path to Knokke, you also pass the beautiful nature are Het Zwin with many birds and sand dunes. In Knokke it was very busy on the boulevard, because of the great weather and the fact that is was a Saturday afternoon. We heard a lot of people speak French, so we were a bit surprised about that. Because we would expect more Flemish and Dutch spoken people. Someone explained to us that in Knokke it is bon-ton to talk French by Belgian visitors, because Knokke is a bit posh as a seaside resort. This person had a great expression for this: m’as tu vu (meaning, being a bit pretentious, want to be seen).
We visited the villages of Retranchement and Sluis which were both really nice. And slowly we noticed we were getting a bit in a holiday mood. Since we have been in the Netherlands, for 9 weeks now, we have had over 47 visits/meetings, and we raced all over the country with our rental car, buying stock for the boat, tidy up our house, etc.
We also cycled to the other side of the coast route: Cadzand to Breskens. Again beautifully situated in the dunes and we were surprised by the cosy center of Breskens. It really is still a small fishingvillage. On our way back we went down to the beach, descended some dunes and had a drink at one of the beach restaurants. Later I took my inline skates and also skated towards Breskens from the harbor in Cadzand, because the path was so smooth, it was ideal for skating as well!
We welcomed Toon and Monique on our boat, we met them in Norway where they live. We had a great time with them and now they were in the Netherlands to pay a visit to their families in Brabant. And they drove to Cadzand to have lunch with us on our boat, really nice!
We also got a visit from my esteemed colleague Sofie Willox. She is a Belgian trainer and send me a message that she was writing an article about Learning in nature for the Dutch/Belgian magazine TVOO, and she asked me to do an interview about how we work and live on a boat. When we had a Zoom meeting about this topic, we spontaneously decided to meet each other at the catamaran in the weekend to really experience the feeling of being on a boat. Because the magazine was all about experiencing nature. So that was a great afternoon to talk to her again!
Since Cadzand would be our last stop in Holland, we also bought a lot of Dutch products in the supermarkets to have some stock!
And we were back in Rotterdam again for 1 day! My uncle Jan turned 60 years old and he invited the family to celebrate this day on….a boat in Rotterdam! It was including dinner and drinks and he called Gilles and me to ask if it was possible to come as well. We rented a car for a day in the area of Cadzand and drove to Rotterdam and we had a great day with the family on the restaurant boat! The daughter of Jan, called Janel, informed me that her father had still one wish: to see the Nightwatch at the Rijksmuseum. So I bought him a mini-Night Watch. Jan really grinned when he opened the present with the painting. And as a surprise we gave him 2 tickets to see the real Nightwatch in person in Amsterdam!