My last year was spent almost exclusively indoors, my social life has been almost nil because the stairs in our house are a major obstacle to my mobility and I can’t walk far.
Luckily we have good friends who regularly visit and bring dinner with them in lieu of us going to their place (also up several flights of stairs).
After watching Himself and the kids disappear regularly to the beach and staying behind because walking on sand and through the dunes is not really a fun activity on crutches, I decided that for my birthday I really wanted to have some sort of day trip out.
A short drive away there is an area of water called the De Kaag , a place that Kiwi Daughter had been to on a school trip and really enjoyed.
A boat trip interested me, but not a yacht because changing seats as the wind changes and the jib swings by is also not an easy proposition when you need help to do it.
A nice restful motorboat seemed to be a better idea, we could just glide slowly along the waterways, have a picnic on board, the kids and Himself could go swimming, … that sounded like a far more suitable proposition. I actually surprised myself in choosing a day out that included a boat trip, considering that boats and I have a dark history and I’m famous for being seasick on a boat about ten meters after it left the dock.
In my defence, on that occasion the boat in question was the New Zealand Cook Straight ferry, the weather was choppy, even in Picton and I’d just finished a non-stop winding-road non-stop journey from Christchurch which had stretched car sickness pills to their utter utter limit.
I’m the wimp who gets motion sickness on the rides meant for little kids and can point out far too many New Zealand roadside points with the phrase: I barfed there on the trip when I was (insert age)… and here when I was (insert age) …. and there…. you get the idea.
Anyway, a boat trip at least sounded like a good idea, and the indoor skiiing, kickboxing lessons, jive and karate classes, skateboard, and skydiving lessons were already booked.
(If you are any one of my Doctors reading this I am joking about the last part… seriously, I do know I’m in enough physical trouble already without looking for more!)
The De Kaag is a lake on the outskirts of Leiden that is connected to the Ringvaart which is where they drain the water from the Haarlemmeerpolder, a polder that was drained in the 1930’s.
Basically, as with all Dutch polders, if the pumps stopped pumping, Haarlemmeerpoler would revert back to being a lake and the towns, farms and businesses would get seriously wet feet.
De Kaag is fairly close to our home, so a short half hour to forty minute drive sees us going over the bridge (we didn’t use the ferry) to Kaag, an island within the De Kaag (the lake). There are not many roads here in this small space but we still managed to take the wrong road and get lost. I suppose that’s one family habit we are having difficulty breaking… after a few U-turns we find our boat hire place and a sloop that’s just right for our level of expertise and budget. Our boating adventure begins!
Our Sloop is a bit more basic than this, but this one was pretty with the rope etc…