Leaving Den Bommel

June 12, 2004. Farewell party in Den Bommel. The weather was typical Dutch: sun (rain later), clouds and a northwesterly wind force 5-6.
PHOTO 1 + 2  Coffee, lunch and cold drinks were served from  our former dinghy Miepje, which was completely filled with ice & bottles.

On behalf of many friends, Susan handed us a big present: an Epirb. We hope that we'll never use it, as it is an emergency beacon which activates when your boat is sinking.

PHOTO 3 + 5 
In the meantime, many people had dressed up with strange hats and big flags.
Followed by a speech by me (P), to thank everybody for their presence and friendship. Special thanks for the box keepers (with our most precious belongings that we can't take along), Dolf (designer and builder of the boat) and Hans (design and construction of the electrical system).

Finally "The Authorities" had to check our passports. They had investigated our steps, inspected the boat (searching for cockroaches and rats) and in the end they gave us permission to leave. Various documents with many impressive stamps and signatures were handed over, to prove that it was all official indeed. 

PHOTO 7 + 8 + 9 + 10 + 11 
Time to leave. Many boats accompanied us, a.o. "The Ferryman", a party boat which we rented especially for those who do not sail. Thus we set sail, watched by many friends, and showed that we are indeed able to sail in breezy headwinds, while tacking all the way. But we count on following winds for the rest of our trip, and a lot of sunshine.

Half an hour after the last farewell, the wind increased and our headsail (the #4) was torn to pieces. We started the engine but there was no propulsion. Luckily we got a tow to the next village, and a (cold) swim revealed that the propellor had disappeared! 
Impossible, according to the propellor supplier, the propellor can only be dismounted manually...

In the meantime a new propellor has arrived, the sail is repaired and we hope to leave again next weekend.

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