Saturday 18 November we experienced another successful winter meeting.

The day started in the lobby of the NH hotel where we received instructions to walk to the Observant. After a short walk we were welcomed in a lovely bar with coffee and tea. It was a lot of fun seeing and speaking to everyone again after a nice summer. Some had just returned to the Netherlands from a destination far away. After some initial chatting and having shared the first stories, we were officially welcomed by the chairman. Then Marion and Herbert Luiten (Vrijheid, Trintella III) told us the program for the day.

After coffee, the group was split up into four, each with their own tour guide of the Amersfoortse tour guides: Inge, Harald, Edwin, Hanneke. They had even thought of our German guests and those who were unable or less inclined to walk for long distances. We heard a lot about wall homes, the Onze Lieve Vrouwe Tower (also known as The Lange Jan), the liquor hatch for the choirboy, the gargoyles and expansion movement of the city which resulted in a pear shaped city wall. We stood on the witches bridge, we watched the old port of Amersfoort on the Eems and learned a lot more about the birthplace of Piet Mondriaan. Halfway through the tour we were treated to a nice warm cup of coffee, tea or even chocolate milk with a yummy muffin or brownie in Grand Cafe Hemels. Should you be interested in the recipe of those tasty brownies, then do not hesitate to ask! I have saved the recipe.

The second half of the tour started with us leaving Hemels, the swans in the cafe turn out to be a reference to the neighbors: a Lutheran church. Unfortunately, we were stuck in a short but severe bout of rain at the end of the walk, but that did not weigh up to the fun and special stories that we heard.

Back in the Observant, which we now know was a former monastery and served many other purposes after that, lunch was waiting for us. Boerenkool- and sweet potato soup, lovely sandwiches, and fruit. It was a good lunch.

There was ample time after lunch for everyone to explore the city on their own. Unfortunately the rain continued, but many people took a walk through the city regardless.

Everyone returned to the Observant at 4pm and Willem and Gijsbert from “Sailing is Done Together” gave us a fun and interactive presentation about safety on the water. We went through a few recognizable situations, tips were exchanged, new rules were discussed and some older knowledge was resurfaced. Stories were shared by various members.

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You can find recent information about the availability of sailing routes on www.vaarweginformatie.nl

As we were told, preparation is an important part of safety; this will prevent surprises that you have to respond to last minute. You can download relays throughout the Netherlands on www.varendoejesamen.nl .

They are working on getting them for Germany and Belgium as well. You can also download an app on which you will be able to find this information.

The gentlemen told us that you can also work on safety without all of these technical means: look outside to the weather conditions (do not just trust apps) and look back over your shoulders!

There were all kinds of informative leaflets, flags, key chains and pens available for everyone after the presentation, thanks to “Sailing is Done Together.” After the presentation, it was time for a drink and people started chatting, catching up and making plans for the meetings in the jubilee year. An hour is too short really!

Around 6pm, the official part of the day started: the annual members’ meeting. You can read more about that later in the minutes. I would like to point you to the Friend book: please fill out your details and add your photo of your boat (and yourself), then we can easily recognize and find each other outside of the annual meetings! If you cannot manage through the website then send an email to the webmaster:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Afterwards, a wonderful buffet with different Dutch stews was ready and waiting for us. Boerenkool (cabbage stew) , Zuurkool (sauerkraut), Hutspot (carrot-potato stew), gehaktballen (meatballs), rookworst (sausage)all very tasty. People were enjoying dinner and catching up. The meeting in Veere next spring was discussed repeatedly and we have been introduced to new members from Germany; proud owner of a Trintel I. After dinner, the chairman shed light on a few people and gave special thanks to Marion and Herbert for organizing a perfectly wonderful day out that we enjoyed thoroughly. So on behalf of us: Thanks Marion and Herbert! The Amersfoortse Keitjes (sweets) were delicious!

We are already looking forward to the next sailing season; Yvo & Ines Bakkum, sy Windveer  (Trintella 1A)


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