Travel Journey 1 | IJmuiden – Plymouth

Travel Journey 1 | IJmuiden – Plymouth 

Finally the time had come. The day of departure! This was the day that we had been living for 5 years. That means that I have been living together with Niels on our ship for 5 years, with about 10 square meters of living space, living together. Both then a student, now I have a year of work experience as a doctor in emergency care and Niels has set up his own company. Our shared dream has brought us to this moment after hard work. Because it was hard work. Our childhood dream will start in a few hours. We are going to sail around the world with our own ship! In the presence of our friends, family and close friends we have a drink on the beach in IJmuiden. The tide makes us leave just before sunset and this still gives us the space to say goodbye extensively. For some, this is goodbye but temporary, others I may not see again in 3-4 years. The tears flow abundantly.

Feestelijke doping zeilschip: ‘New Nexus’.


Then there is no way back and we board our ship. Gracefully she is already waiting for us, not yet knowing that this will be her first world trip. We now know her through and through and have breathed new life into her with a lot of love and passion. If we had known in advance how much money and time we would put into this ship, we might never have done it.

Afscheid nemen van de familie van Niels

Now we love her and she is the most beautiful ship for us here in the harbor. New Nexus is her name she recently received during a festive doping in Groningen. The name that we will have to report at tig different ports in the coming 3-4 years.

Niels starts the electric motor and we sail silently out of the outer harbor of IJmuiden. A nice sun is low on the horizon and there is a little bit of wind from the east. I estimate around 8 knots (1 knot is 1.8 km / h), so slowly but steadily we sail towards the horizon. I have never waved as long as today, perhaps because I know that this farewell is different than usual.

Tjerk roept de Coastguard van Engeland op

Our first destination is Southampton. Here we agreed with Bas, he will sail with us for the next 6 months. While I slowly get used to our constantly moving house, the dark above us becomes very dark. There is immediately a challenge in our path, namely traversing the shipping lanes. And then again at one of the busiest areas of the world. So we both wake up a lot the first night and we decide to start our services the next day. Thanks to our AIS system we can see all cargo ships well on our chartplotter, but more importantly, they also see us well! In contrast, English fishing boats are not always equipped with AIS and they also make unpredictable movements. With the exception of a few tacks and jibs (turns), we have not had any frightening moments. Because things are going so well and the forecast is still good, we decide not to stop in Southampton but to continue to Plymouth. For Bas it is only 4 hours by train, and for us it is certainly 2 days sailing. We catch another mackerel, a gurnard and a horse mackerel near Southampton and eat them 2 hours after they have swum around here. Then we see water coming from under the floor. Shit, where does that come from! We had clearly put on our list to close all the valves before departure. Because of the nice weather (and maybe all the emotions) we didn’t think about it anymore. We find out that one of our pumps, which is supposed to pump water from the boat, has started to siphon because the hose does not run high enough above the waterline. We pump the boat empty and decide to tackle this later when we are somewhere on a jetty or at anchor. Before I go to sleep and Niels takes over my service, we put a double reef in the mainsail. This will become a habit during our trip, so as not to run after the facts when there is suddenly a strong wind. A weather warning is given over the VHF: Over the night wind force 6 with gusts of 8.

Puntje door het water

When I transfer my shift to Niels after 4 hours, the wind and waves increase in size. My hair and hands are still salty because of all the flying water in my service, but showering is impossible with this hacking of the waves. I crawl into a salty sleeping bag and lay my head on my moisture-soaked pillow. I lie in the kitchen on what is normally the backrest, the ship is inclined about 25 degrees. Lines flapping against the mast and waves crashing on the side of the ship. I feel that I have barely closed my eyes or I am called by Niels. I climb out of my sleeping bag and squeeze myself back into a wet sailing suit. Full of euphoria, Niels tells me that he has already traveled at least 30 miles in just over 3 hours, but that the wind is turning and that we must tack. Due to the wide wind, the bullet pit (line that ensures that the boom does not swing to the other side in the event of a wave) must be able to turn freely. I walk to the front deck and try to pull the knot off the bullet counter. However, this one pulled itself more and more firmly with the heavy thud of the waves, and my fingers turned white. In the meantime, the sea seems to attract me with the most rhythmic movements. When Niels loosens the bulkhead of the sail, I feel the knot slowly loosening and blood comes back in my fingers. Got you! Anyway something else for inventing when the wind blows a bit softer. We decide to jibe and I can still try to sleep for a little while.

Hele groep dolfijnen onder de boot

During my service after that the weather becomes quieter again and even the sun is starting to shine. Around 10 dolphins gather around the boat and there is no longer any question of a storm. The last 50 miles we have little wind but the rolling English landscape and the bluing water make that forget. In the middle of the night we arrive in Plymouth, our base for the crossing to Spain.