This Wednesday in Amsterdam the 10th Sail event starts. As a young boy of five, Sail made a big impression on me in 1990. The thought that these ships used only the wind to sail around the world was grand to me. On Sail I dreamt for the first time about big voyages with sailing boats. Those seeds of Sail have no grown and in 2011 I sailed away from Amsterdam myself. I am now almost 20.000 kilometer away, but still, this week my heart is with Sail Amsterdam
During my first Sail in 1990 I was five years old and cycled with my dad from our home at the Nieuwmarkt to the IJ. En route we stopped for Herring at the Schreierstoren. I clearly remember the delicious flavour of Hollands Nieuwe with onion and pickles and the little eating sticks with Dutch flags in it. To cherish the memory of Sail, my dad bought pictures of the ships and hung them in our home. I often looked at it and spent hours trying to draw the ships.
Proud of the Dutch fleet
Since I left in 2011 from IJmuiden, I sailed to four continents and en route I met the Dutch fleet on many different places. The Stad Amsterdam in Antigua, the Oosterschelde and Tres Hombres in Cape Verde and the Eendracht en Wylde Swan in the Caribbean. When I am in a far away place in the world and I see a Dutch tallship arrive in port I often feel proud and we ourselves always receive a warm welcome on board. Often by buddies of maritime academy who welcome us with the camaraderie sailors share amongst each other.
Where time begins
We lastly saw the Stad Amsterdam, the flag ship iof the Dutch fleet, in Antigua in February. While the Stad Amsterdam sailed East, we went West across the Pacific with dozens of Dutch sailing yachts. Since February we sailed 8000 miles in our small yacht and have now arrived in the Kingdom of Tonga, the land where “time begins”. Here on the international date line, Katia and me will follow Sail from a distance together with the other Dutch sailing yachts. Everyone in the Netherlands we wish an amazing Sail!
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Joshua sails with a CS rigging rig.
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