Edam-Volendam, Landsmeer, Purmerend and Waterland news

Our guest today is Erik (born in 1946) from Geldermalsen and the cruel fate that befell him in the fall of his life… He has cancer and has been cured. His son Rodrik wanders the internet to be able to do something fun together one last time and find the Vaarwens Foundation. He consults and seeks contact by phone if Eric appears to be interested.

The receipt form completed by daughter Masha states: “My brother Rodrik has already called you and made a choice for Monday, August 22. That would be a nice date. We do not know how quickly Eric’s situation will deteriorate, but we hope that August 22 will still be possible. “

Cloud fields and blue skies alternate in the morning as volunteers Rochus and Harrie prepare MS Vaarwens for the Day of Wishes. The two men make it comfortable and after an hour they are ready. Now we just have to wait for the ambulance that has to come all the way from Budel and lock our hearts up about the traffic jam because the construction period is over…

This time the traffic jam gods are kind to our guests, because in time we see a lady walking on the jetty who is clearly looking for a site. We walk towards her and soon meet Hetty, Eric’s wife. Daughter Masha and son Rodrik follow and no doubt… They are looking forward to the day of the sailing.

Soon we see a SAW ambulance from afar. We are cheerfully greeted by Eric, who is accompanied by granddaughters of Rinsky and Leonie and expertly guided by Frans and Kiss from SAW. Both gentlemen are experienced in war and have also made a trip to Vaarwens before. This is useful because they also regularly tell facts and anecdotes about our organization, so today we have a well-established and coordinated team.

After the group photo in the morning sun, quickly on the plane. And yes, the “sailing boost” does its job right away, so the stretcher can be stored somewhere in the corner. Everyone gathers around the table with coffee, tea and the now traditional profiteroles, while Rochus makes its introduction. The destination has not been given much thought, it will be Paard van Marken because this is an important place for Eric. Then quickly untie the ropes as they are still a bit cruising.

There is a wonderful atmosphere aboard this harmonious family. Everyone is looking for their place and Eric is enjoying everything around him from his chair. We don’t need to explain much about Amsterdam because as an experienced sailor, he often visited the famous Seakhavn – especially with his son Rodrik – and from there explored the city together. They know that the ferry sails during the day and also at night, so I conclude that sometimes it is late when visiting the city…

Oranjesluizen is open to us, so we can be the first to enter, but the holiday period didn’t really end here because it’s a full house today. Everyone is looking for their place in the lock and their skill level varies on each ship. Nice sight for us, as long as they don’t use our ship as a barrier. Hetty soon gets into an animated chat with two boatmen and we try to sell some Vaarwen flyers to the neighbors. It’s a pity, we don’t have a German version with us, so good initiative quickly bleeds to death.

Then the lock doors open and we sail into the open sea. Eric tends to take command and expertly sail towards Buiten IJ from IJmeer. In consultation we decided to have our lunch while sailing. Hetty brings to my attention the fact that we have experience catering on board and I would like to take advantage of that. I’m setting up a mise-en-place downstairs and Leonie and Rodrik are making a great lunch. The water slides under us and we all enjoy a delicious lunch. And Eric… No, he still doesn’t want to be on a stretcher because he doesn’t want to miss anything!

Rochus sails in Vaarwens through the pass towards Paard van Marken. Deviating from this is not smart, he recently tested with his own ship. The puddle got stuck in the fan so much that it had to be pulled into the repair yard. The real plague is that herb. There is some wave action from the ships sailing too fast, but that shouldn’t spoil the fun on board because while cheerfully singing “Front to Back Left to Right” we are all cleaning lunch and cleaning dishes.

We approach Marken and make a circle around the lighthouse. Anchoring and visiting the lighthouse were permitted with the Meander, but the building of MS Vaarwens does not. Moreover, it is understandable that the residents are not very happy with the constant interest in their own residential site and the mooring and viewing of the tower is limited to a few good friends including Evert and Inge with Meander V. We turn and pass the tower again and everyone has seen this beautiful private place with your own thoughts. ..

On the way back, Eric took a small nap, but soon fully woken up again, he settled on the back deck in the chair next to Roderick. Beautiful memories come through. Everyone is looking for a place like this and let their thoughts run free and let the wind blow through their hair (or what’s left of it). How wonderful is sailing.

Oranjesluizen is filled up again and after the fence we sail another ride through the K side canal, it’s always good to see this special place in Amsterdam. We return to the port of our homeland and after we are anchored comes the ruthless farewell.

We had a great day and as volunteers we feel privileged to have been part of such a lovely and warm family for a (sailing) day. Thanks for the fun and all the candid conversations on board.

Bye Eric

Thank you to all the sponsors who made this free day possible. Would you also like to help make your sailing desires possible? Here you can donate and here you will find more information about the Vaarwens Foundation and to apply for Vaarwens.

Leave a Comment