63 Degrees North just before midnight!

Back offshore, working again.

At latitude 63 degrees, in the North Sea, we are almost in the land of the midnight sun, so it never gets properly dark.

I have been making good use of the extra time – busy planning our first proper cruise on Shangri La.

Recently I found a useful website – marine traffic which uses google maps and shows all the AIS transmitters from vessels in the North Sea and surrounding areas.

Our planned route in Holland, using the AIS map

I only realized now though that you can actually move the map view right inland and all the craft on the inland waterways are shown as well. The inland waterways, which appear very tiny on the maps, are well highlighted by the AIS markers. So I have used this to get a general idea of where we will go.

Naturally I will have to consult the proper charts for the  finer details.

But a great start while I am out here.

We will start off from Zwartsluis where Shangri La is still being wintered. We do want to go back to some of the places we visited in 2011, so will do a sort of north circular trip, via Giethoorn, Steenwijk and Blokzijl. Then – Lemmer, Sneek, Akkrum, Burgum, Groningen, Assen, Mepel and back to Zwartsluis.

Shangri La, still flying the German flag

The great thing about having ones own boat of course, is that there is no huge time pressure to get anywhere. I have allowed 3 to 4 weeks for this circular route, so could well have time to make a few diversions if we feel like it.

And now our flights to Holland are booked.
We will be there from 29th July till 16th September.

The last picture shows Shangri La still flying the German flag. In the next photos, she will be flying the UK flag, with the Dutch courtesy flag on the starboard yardarm. and, of course, the South African flag on the port yardarm.

When I started this blog, I never thought it would take so long to actually get going on our own boat.
Hopefully now the boat buying part of the journey is finally at an end, and I can start blogging about our boating adventures and the places we visit.

Which is the whole point of this blog.

Bon voyage!

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