Another lazy day on Stampersplaat, with Patrick and I finally getting round to servicing the port headsail winch. It's not been turning as freely as it should since before we went to the Med but Patrick had stripped both down and found a broken bearing that we were struggling to find a replacement for. The replacement has now been on board a few months and now I finally got round to fitting it. BUT, when I stripped the winch the bearing was intact! The broken part must have been on the functioning winch. Unfortunately I couldn't completely strip the winch without removing it from the deck so we did the best job we could and put it back. Some improvement but think we'll need to try again and remove it from the deck to do the whole job as it still felt a bit "sticky". Maybe we should by some superior Harken Winch Grease rather than the standard stuff we have on the boat.
Once the winch was put back together the swing came out again and the kids had fun alternating between swinging, swimming and paddleboarding before hiding down below with electronics to get out of the hot afternoon sun.
Now we were really scraping the bottom of the barrel (or fridge) in terms of food supplies we decided to head to Den Osse as recommended to us by a motor boat we rafted alongside on Archipel. An earlyish departure from Stampersplaat and we were in Den Osse not long after 10am.
AJ stayed on board whilst Patrick, Esmé and I went to find out what was what. Paid for one night (just under 24 Euros) and got the keys to borrow some bikes. Unfortunately they were way too big for Esmé (a bit of a stretch for me) so she headed back to the boat whilst Patrick and I went on a shopping adventure. The bikes were not only huge but had no brake levers on the handles... just needed to back pedal which only took a little getting used to.
Anyway, off we went, me tiptoeing to reach the pedals and Patrick saying "that's how it should be". (When I stood next to the bike the handles were almost at my neck height!).
It felt strange not wearing a helmet but I consoled myself with the fact that we were in the Netherlands and there are cycle paths everywhere... our Dutch friends were horrified that in England we ride on the roads with cars! However as we went along I suddenly became aware that we were no longer on a cycle path and that we seemed to be on quite a "fast" road (luckily not too busy). A brief (wobbly) assessment of our surroundings and I realised that we had missed the cycle path which was down a grassy bank to our left. Shouted to Patrick and slowed to a wobbly halt. Waited for a gap in traffic, U-turn and headed back to the point where the cycle track separated from the road. Back heading in the right direction it really wasn't that far until we reached Scharenijke marina and then the "big" Plus supermarket.
Much to Patrick's dismay the shop was heaving and so I did the best supermarket dash possible, collecting enough food for a couple of days with the intention of returning the next day. 2 rucksacks and a little use of the bike racks later we were loaded up and on our way back. Only a minor close shave on the return (stopping really isn't my strong point on these oversized, strangely braked machines) and then we were back.
Stashed the food and had a very late breakfast. After a rest and a tidy up we headed to the marina office to do laundry and arrange free hire of a Pico for AJ, the rest of us enjoying an ice cream in the shade whilst he sailed. After a brief sail in the marina he headed out of the harbour with some other kids to get some better wind.
A slightly challenging course needed to sail in and out of the dinghy dock but no problem for our boy.