TADORNA the SHELDUCK

Vessel Name: Tadorna the Shelduck
Vessel Make/Model: Etap 32i
Hailing Port: Nieuwpoort (Belgium)
Crew: Eric & Sylvia
About:
Born on the tidal river Scheldt near the port of Antwerp, climbing mountains was not an option, so we went sailing. After exploring the Antwerp roads in a dinghy we went for a bigger boat and sailed down the estuary -just like the shelduck- to the Southern North Sea. [...]
Extra:
Having your home port at the only 65 km long belgian coast, if not to be locked on to your berth, your ship should carry some courtesy ensings. The ports of Dunkerque (France), Ramsgate Harbour (UK) and Flushing (the Netherlands) are all within a range of 50 miles. Teniendo su puerto de amarre en [...]
Home Page: https://sites.google.com/site/cvotadorna/
09 February 2017
27 October 2013 | Zierikzee (Nl)
13 July 2011 | Ramsgate (UK)
12 December 2010 | Boulogne
04 December 2010 | Dieppe
24 November 2010 | Le Havre
13 November 2010 | Nieuwpoort
05 November 2010 | Deauville
20 October 2010 | Fecamp
20 September 2010 | Dieppe
26 August 2010 | Boulogne-sur-Mer
13 August 2010 | Dunkirk (France)
02 June 2010 | Burghsluis
18 May 2010 | Yerseke
04 May 2010 | Willemstad
26 April 2010 | Middelharnis
12 April 2010 | W.V.H. Heliushaven
31 March 2010 | Gravelines
11 March 2010 | Martinique
09 March 2010 | Breskens
Recent Blog Posts
09 February 2017

Hibernating

Tadorna has been well put ashore and is actually hibernating. She will be soon get overhauled and put in the water again. We're all hoping for a nice season and fair winds. Sea-you on the water.

27 October 2013 | Zierikzee (Nl)

Zeeland

In august 2013 Tadorna paid a visit to Zeeland, the south western most province of the Netherlands, situated between the estuaries of the river Maas (Rotterdam) and the River Scheldt (Antwerp).

13 July 2011 | Ramsgate (UK)

Crossing the Dover Strait

From Ramsgate (UK) to Nieuwpoort (Belgium) delivering a fellow yacht.

12 December 2010 | Boulogne

Straight Home

-02.08.2010: Boulogne being the first fishing harbour of France, entering it you have to be aware of the fisherman and be ready to give them way because they're always in a big hurry, as you can see on the picture. In the marina we all found at last a more-or-less decent place in the usual mess at the [...]

04 December 2010 | Dieppe

Encounters

On our way back we finally managed to meet our friends Piet and Liesbeth from 'NoeDeu'. Cruising along the same coast of Normandy, we kept in touch by SMS to follow each other's positions and progress. At last we could make an appointment to meet in Dieppe on July 31st . 'NoeDeu' coming from St-Valery-en-Caux, [...]

24 November 2010 | Le Havre

The bay of the Seine

All local tourist boards highlight the micro-climate of the Seine-mouth, but that's what these offices stand for most of the time. Nevertheless as to the Bay of the Seine there would seem to be some truth in it. On the one hand the high cliffs of the Upper Normandy protect the bay of the Seine against the cold winds from the North, on the other hand even the French met-office sometimes forecasts the weather to be more fair along its coasts than further off-shore, and we won't doubt their authority (or do we?). Reasons enough to give it a closer look and to linger on in the neighbourhood. After having spent two days at Deauville/Trouville we went to Honfleur and Le Havre. Although this three ports are all but within a short range, each of them holds a totally different character. Honfleur is a jewel of world heritage protected by UNESCO, its historical dockyard is now used as a marina for visiting pleasure craft and it's always a delight to stay in it (see blog of 15/12/2009). This time as well the streets were crowded by an invasion of American and Japanese tourists, carried along by coaches from Paris or from their luxury cruise ship docked in Le Havre. The latter being the second port of France it offers a modern well-equipped infrastructure to shipping and industry as well. Besides that it got some tourist assets too. The marvellous waterfront close to both the city centre and the marina, gives a splendid view on the bay and the ship movements in and out the harbour. From there on it takes only a couple of miles to walk the sandy beach and the sunny promenade as far as the wild nature of the land's end of Cap de la Hève.

Hibernating

09 February 2017
Tadorna has been well put ashore and is actually hibernating. She will be soon get overhauled and put in the water again. We're all hoping for a nice season and fair winds. Sea-you on the water.

Zeeland

27 October 2013 | Zierikzee (Nl)
In august 2013 Tadorna paid a visit to Zeeland, the south western most province of the Netherlands, situated between the estuaries of the river Maas (Rotterdam) and the River Scheldt (Antwerp).
As, in February 1953, Zeeland was devastated by a terrible flood, the Dutch decided to build new coastal defences to shorten the amount of coastline exposed to the sea. This so called Delta Works interconnected the isles by dikes and bridges, and closed most of the estuaries by dams, thus creating a sailors' paradise of artificial lakes and sheltered waters still open to the sea.
The Eastern Scheldt Estuary was not completely dammed up, but closed by a storm surge barrier (the 'Oosterscheldekering'). This masterpiece of civil engineering should be closed during storms or extremely high tides, but in normal conditions it allows a reduced tide to come in, so that local mussel and oyster-farmers can maintain their activities.
Tadorna entered the Zeeland-waters by the lock ('Roompotsluis') in this barrier and made a first call at Roompot Marina at the south side of it. The barrier, three kilometres long and consisting of 65 concrete pillars, is really worth a visit, as it is by far the largest and most impressive structure in the Delta Works.
The next stop was Zierikzee, the sailing capital of the region, where we tied up at the picturesque town quay. Most of the time you have to take it for granted to raft up, but in reward you will be only one step away from the busy historic town centre, and carillon chimes out from one of the city gates will wake you up in the morning.
The open air museum in the old harbour next to the market place shows a collection of historic ships and in the city harbour visiting sailing heritage keeps a reserved berth, as you can see in the picture.

Crossing the Dover Strait

13 July 2011 | Ramsgate (UK)
From Ramsgate (UK) to Nieuwpoort (Belgium) delivering a fellow yacht.
Due to some bad weather friend J. had to leave his yacht behind in the Ramsgate Royal Harbour Marina the weekend before. To bring her back the next weekend, all local weather forecasters agreed that, after a windy near-gale weekend, Monday the 20th of June should offer a small window of force 5 winds from SSW, later backing SW to W, ideal conditions to make the 50-miles eastbound passage. So on Sunday we took the ferry from Calais to Dover, where we had to take a taxi to Ramsgate, British Rail having some troubles on the line, or being ‘on line’ with trouble as usual?.
We left early Monday morning at 5am Belgian Summertime, (4am local time, 3h UTC), which means that even on this nearly longest day of the year, the sun was still behind the horizon. Looking outside it seemed as if the wind machine, after a weekend overtime, had completely broken down. There was no wind at all so we had to use the engine to sail with the ever-reliable diesel-wind. Once we were well off the coast the recently build wind farm on the sand banks in the Thames mouth showed up to port in the faint light of the slowly rising sun. (I don’t think our charts were thoroughly corrected on this matter, but we won’t wait to do so). This man-made wood of windmills looked rather impressive and somewhat threatening. Unlike Don Quixote we had no intention at all to go and fight them, they were too big and too many. On the contrary that lined-up army of eco-fighters seemed to hunt us down, they just kept following us, we only got rid of them when a low cloud came in and some drizzle began to fall.
We arrived at the traffic lanes of Dover Strait TSS (Traffic Separation Scheme) in the vicinity of the Sandettie bank, a rather busy place where vessels for or from Dunkirk and Belgium leave or join the traffic flow in the main channel, so when the time was not for sailing, we still had some navigational problems to solve. Good seamanship impels us to comply to the Col-Regs (IMO-Collision Regulations), which means that we always cross the TSS at a right angle to the traffic flow; although we think that an angle of 90° on a curved surface (the globe) cannot always that clearly been defined.
Also this time, according to Murphy’s law, the TSS was the place ‘where it all happened’, which means that the current suddenly was getting stronger and choosed the wrong direction, that the wind contradicted the promising forecasts and obstinately refused to blow, and that some lower clouds reduced the visibility to only 3 miles (just enough for us, needing half an hour to cover that distance, and no problem for professional seaman as they’re always fixed on their radar screens, even on the most bright and sunny day).
We managed to get through, and the familiar waypoints off Dunkirk and the Belgian coast like Smalbank, Trapegeer and Westdiep appeared on the chart. After 12 hours at sea ‘Alter Ego’ was safely delivered and tied up at her home-berth in the company of ‘Tadorna’ and other fellow-yachts. And believe it or not, less than one hour after arrival, a steady force 4 to 5 wind began to blow from SW to W. So the weather forecast had it right, be it only with a 12 hours delay, and although they might say better late than never, for us it was rather a pity.

Straight Home

12 December 2010 | Boulogne
-02.08.2010: Boulogne being the first fishing harbour of France, entering it you have to be aware of the fisherman and be ready to give them way because they're always in a big hurry, as you can see on the picture. In the marina we all found at last a more-or-less decent place in the usual mess at the visitors pontoons. These being right at the city centre we went ashore (after the usual extended happy hour) to have some dinner. To please everyone around we went for the 'Moules Frites' or Dutch mussels with Belgian chips (calling it French fries is pure blasphemy!), sprinkled with an excellent French white wine.
-03.08.2010: At the morning briefing we wisely cancel the initial plans to hop over to Dover and Ramsgate before going home to Nieuwpoort. The weather forecast isn't very promising for the coming days and Dover is not our favourite place to have a forced longer stay (it's a kind of sailor's bus stop, a place where everybody has to pass by but where no one likes to stay longer than it takes). 'Kookaloo' and 'NoeDeu' are going to take shelter in Calais to do some sight-seeing. 'Triton' will venture straight on to Nieuwpoort in an overnight journey, her holidays are over and the skipper has to go back to work. As to ourselves we intend to join our home port as soon as possible but with some more comfort. This means in practice: sail away in the afternoon to meet the current at Cap Gris Nez hoping to get into Dunkirk Marina before dark to have a short night sleep.
-04.08.2010: We leave Dunkirk at 6am and with the tide and the wind pushing in the back, we rush trough the Zuydcote Pass and are back home before noon. Although our holidays end a couple of days earlier than expected, we don't bother to much and the things we haven't done this year will be kept for another occasion.

Encounters

04 December 2010 | Dieppe
On our way back we finally managed to meet our friends Piet and Liesbeth from 'NoeDeu'. Cruising along the same coast of Normandy, we kept in touch by SMS to follow each other's positions and progress. At last we could make an appointment to meet in Dieppe on July 31st . 'NoeDeu' coming from St-Valery-en-Caux, we ourselves arriving from Fecamp. Marc of the 'Triton', another sail-mate of Nieuwpoort, on his way to St. Valery intercepted our VHF-calls and joined us in the day after.
A mariner's life is not always full of hardship and misery, there are some pleasant moments too like having a drink together in the cockpit, dwelling ashore and dine in some fancy restaurant. Dieppe happens to be the ideal location to practice such activities, we pretty much enjoyed it. A Sunday walk also took us on top of the cliff dominating Dieppe and his harbour. We there paid a visit to the sailor's church and took some pictures of the panorama. After (once again) to short a stay in this cosy borough, the three yachts left in dispersed order and set course to Boulogne, where 'NoeDeu' had planned another encounter with Marijn and Anneke of the (Dutch) yacht 'Kookaloo', on her way from Dunkirk.

The bay of the Seine

24 November 2010 | Le Havre
All local tourist boards highlight the micro-climate of the Seine-mouth, but that's what these offices stand for most of the time. Nevertheless as to the Bay of the Seine there would seem to be some truth in it. On the one hand the high cliffs of the Upper Normandy protect the bay of the Seine against the cold winds from the North, on the other hand even the French met-office sometimes forecasts the weather to be more fair along its coasts than further off-shore, and we won't doubt their authority (or do we?). Reasons enough to give it a closer look and to linger on in the neighbourhood. After having spent two days at Deauville/Trouville we went to Honfleur and Le Havre. Although this three ports are all but within a short range, each of them holds a totally different character. Honfleur is a jewel of world heritage protected by UNESCO, its historical dockyard is now used as a marina for visiting pleasure craft and it's always a delight to stay in it (see blog of 15/12/2009). This time as well the streets were crowded by an invasion of American and Japanese tourists, carried along by coaches from Paris or from their luxury cruise ship docked in Le Havre. The latter being the second port of France it offers a modern well-equipped infrastructure to shipping and industry as well. Besides that it got some tourist assets too. The marvellous waterfront close to both the city centre and the marina, gives a splendid view on the bay and the ship movements in and out the harbour. From there on it takes only a couple of miles to walk the sandy beach and the sunny promenade as far as the wild nature of the land's end of Cap de la Hève.
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