Neil and Dorothy Hounam have just returned from sailing their Peter Nicholls Huffler 35 on a 7 week summer cruise to Scandinavia and back.
We built Rainwitch in 1997 and she has covered many miles by sea, river and canal since she left our works to cruise down the Grand Union Canal to London.
Neil and Dorothy Hounam
Rainwitch leaves Braunston April 1998
Summer trip with Rain Witch 2018
Crossing the North Sea, calm this time (makes a change!)
Our trip began in the River Ouse at Naburn Lock and continued with the River Humber to Grimsby. Once out of the Humber estuary we made our way across the Wash to Lowestoft on the Norfolk coast and then across the North Sea to Scheveningen on the Dutch coast.
Now in Dutch waters, we headed for Ijmuiden where we entered the Standmast Route. Six Haven in Amsterdam is well worth a visit and an ideal place to explore Amsterdam from. The Markermeer had a lot of vegetation this year and we had to clear lots of weed from our prop. Thankfully, only the once! Whilst in the Ijsselmeer we had excellent winds so sailed across to Enkhuizen and on to Makkum before entering the canals again at Harlingen. We have made this journey a few times now but have yet to find good conditions when sailing through the Lauersmeer, rain, wind, fog but as yet no sunshine. Maybe next time we’ll be lucky. We took a mooring in Leeuwarden and found ourselves in the company of another Huffler – Ranger and Michael. We had a good catch up with Michael before heading east to Grongingen and on to Delfzijl.
Back in tidal waters again in the River Ems, we headed for the German Friesian islands and Borkum was our first port of call. We also visited Nordeney and Wangerooge enroute to Cuxhaven and the River Elbe. The Kiel Canal took us through to the Baltic and we had some really good sailing in the Kattegat, visiting quite a few Danish ports and anchorages. The west coast of Sweden offers some wonderful places to visit and sailing amongst the myriad of islands means that you hardly ever take the same route. Rock-mooring is a speciality in these parts because many of the rocks are sheer and the water very deep. The first time we did this felt very strange but the other boaters are always ready to lend a helping hand and give advice. Anchoring is also a pleasure here when the water is not too deep!
Rain Witch, in the fjord of Rosneskilenin Norway, just north of the Swedish border 2018.
Our destination of the Norwegian fjord of Rosneskilen is just north of the Border and we had perfect weather whilst there. We were also fortunate enough to see the Lunar Eclipse in all its glory before heading back down the Swedish West Coast. We took different routes through the islands and sailed down the eastern side of Denmark – having gone north via the Belts. We entered the Kiel Canal at Holtenau and from here our homeward journey was similar to our outward one. This time though, we did not visit the harbours of the German Friesian Islands but anchored behind them in the Waddenmeer. The shallow waters were no problem to us with our lifting keel and the wild life here was plentiful. Sea birds of many kinds, seals, dolphins and many more creatures came to check us out. We even had a bat stow away in the boom, across the North Sea.
We had a wonderful summer in our lovely boat and hope to have many more.