Blog 35: An Adventurous Christmas and New Year on Terschelling

It all began on a cold winter day when we set sail on the Willem Johannes towards Terschelling. Our hearts were filled with anticipation and excitement, but unfortunately, the strong winds had other plans. We had to divert to Enkhuizen, a pleasant place but not quite the island experience we longed for. Nevertheless, we still had hope and remained determined to reach our destination.

After a few days of waiting for better weather, we braved the crossing to Terschelling once again. Upon arrival, we were greeted by a captivating sight. The harbor was illuminated with beautiful, colorful boats shining like stars in the Christmas and New Year spirit. We quickly joined the other boats and lit our Christmas lights on board. 

The sailing community felt like one big family. Sailors from different ships come together in the harbor, decorate their boats, and seek each other’s company. Together, they engage in activities to get through the dark days before Christmas, after Christmas, until and after New Year’s Eve. The warmth and joy we shared made the cold winter days bearable and filled our hearts with happiness.

Unfortunately, the days after New Year’s were less favorable for Willem Johannes. A storm named “Henk” swept across the Netherlands, posing a setback. During an attempt to assist the sister ship Gandalf, the skipper of the Willem Johannes, Robin, accidentally stepped into a hole and broke his upper arm. This meant that from January 3rd, we were in medical mode and tried to sail the ship back to Monnickendam with a one-armed captain.

Despite the setbacks and challenges along the way, we are immensely grateful for the help we received from the sailing community to safely return to our home port. During this homebound journey, the sailing community provided us support and companionship. 

As we are halfway through January, we look back on an adventurous Christmas and New Year and cherish our memories. We are already looking forward to the next Christmas and New Year celebration on Terschelling in 2024, where we hope to experience new adventures and break no more arms 😉

Robin en Patty-Lou Middel

Robin and patty-lou

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