Galley work

The dividers in the galley drawers are now done. Very happy how they turned out. Not difficult or time consuming. It is only the varnish that needs to dry 24 hours between layers.


Engine upgrade

I spent the whole day of yesterday on the boat. We had two service engineers from Marine Service Loosdrecht there to help us with some things. Our turbo was completed corroded and had to be changed. We moved the shaft aft so we can put a rope cutter on it. We installed a new diesel filter. And we had a pump installed for getting water out of the diesel tank.

At this time of the year it is so cold to be there. We have a small heater, but it is so old that it quit working yesterday. So we started the diesel heater and it got warm in no time! Very comfortable. I am surprised that it does not feel humid onboard in spite of the wet weather it is in the Netherlands all winter.

In the meantime I had some smamler jobs I wanted to do. We have a cupboard in the salon where the previous owner had a TV. We never used it and sold it, so we will make a glass cabinet for our wine glasses, and nice cups. So yesterday I installed a LED light that turns on when the cabinet door opens. I will also make plexi glass shelves and install.


I am also working on dividers for the drawers in the galley drawers. I cut all parts out and assembled them and have started to varnish them.

That is it for now!

Boatlife in the winter

It is January and it feels like boating is far away, but actually we can put the boat back in the water in only two months! We cannot wait! I went to the boat yesterday, and it is on the hard. The wind yesterday was quite strong, about 28 knots, and I was happy we don’t have the mast on our boat. But I was a bit worried the ladder would blow down, since the yard was not exactly crowded with people… Luckily my husband works nearby, so in case of emergency he could come and save me.

A boat on the hard in the winter is not the coziest place on earth. No textiles are there, we removed all cushions, food and anything that might get affected by cold temperatures and humidity. But I was surprised how much I just love being there. I play music, put the tiny heater on, do some chores and bring a packed lunch and just enjoy it.

The new curtains are now up in in the aft cabin, and every little step to make the boat our in every sense is great. We still have lots on our list, but we are slowly getting closer to better safety and learning everything about the boat.

I am going back tomorrow to take some measurements for the next project.

You might have read about the container ship that lost 270 containers on the North Sea, some with dangerous substances. They have found very few of them… I hope they will be retreived before we go out sailing there again. It is sad for the environment, the beautiful beaches, the wildlife, and boaters when these things happen.


Summary of our first season

What a summer and fall it has been! We were sailing in shorts and t-shirts in October in the Netherlands. We have been able to really get to know our boat and to know what we want to do to make her even better! We did a lot of sailing, all locally.

Hoorn. A very cute little town.

I did a lot of cooking with my GoSun. A solar powered cooker for meals as well as baking. It worked out great! Here I made some fresh brownies.

Medemblik. They had to open the little bridge you see in the background for us to come into the inner harbour. This is were our mast is right now to get a proper upgrade by Rake Rigging. This is also where they build the Contest Yachts.

Next stop Texel. We rented electric bikes and went around the whole island. It was really beautiful, and exotic.

We went to the Kaap Skil museum. It tells us all the stories about shipwrecks around the Waddensee. 

One part of the museum shows what the “professional” beachcombers have found on the island. You can only imagine all the stories behind thes items! 

Walking through the sand dunes.

Sailing into Amsterdam is really something special. We stayed at Sixhaven Marina where it is always very crowded. The harbour master will always find you a spot, even if you think it is full. It is located on the north side of the IJ river, and you can take the free ferry across to explore. Another plus is the large Jumbo grocery store walking distance from the marina. 

Bikes of Amsterdam

De Gooyer Windmill in a very cozy part of town.

We always had fresh herbs onboard. Good food is very important for us!

The lighthouse of Marken

One evening in Enkhuizen the fire department came to the harbour area and sprayed water like fountains! It was so hot so people were running through it and jumping into the canal.

Now Varuna is on the hard. We are continuing the maintenance and improvements to make her a safe and comfortable vessel.

Sailing Denmark to the Netherlands

The AIS guy eventually came and did the installation. He skipped his mother’s birthday party to help us. Very kind of him. We had issues with the antenna cable, so luckily we had an emergency antenna that we could use for the trip.

We sailed away Saturday morning from Karrebaeksminde, Denmark. There wasn’t much wind but we made it to Spodsbjerg on the first day. We tried some fishing, since there is really good fishing waters around that tiny town. Lucky us our friend Geert caught a flatfish and 2 cods.

Beautiful sunset in Spodsbjerg

The cute town of Spodsbjerg and the Harbour office.

Day two we went all along Langeland island, which is very long…  down to the beginning of the Kiel Canal and moored in Stickenhörn. Very boring marina, not very guest friendly. It was a Sunday, and everything closes early if they are even open. We had a delicious cod dinner onboard.

Day three we got up at 7 and got underway. We purchased our tickets to go through the Canal on the right shore side of the old lock.

Very convenient. It cost us €35. You are obliged to purchase “Merkblatt für die Sportschiffahrt auf dem Nord-Ostsee-Kanal”, but we could not figure out where to do this, and suddenly we were in the canal and it was forgotten about. Once we had entered the Canal, we had a great breakfast with egg and bacon. It started as a chilly morning with some rain, but turned out to be a beautiful sunny and hot day!

Our dear frineds brought these nice hats for us on our maiden trip!

You see all kinds of interesting boats on Kiel Canal

Going through the canal was quite nice, with a lot of activity on the canal as well as next to it. We exited at 4 pm as calculated to match it with the strong current we would have with us going out on the Elbe river. The water was completely flat, absolutely no wind. As we were motoring and having checked the weather we passed Cuxhaven and continued on to Helgoland directly. We had an amazing sail there, sailing into the sunset with the moon rising behind us.



We moored in the moonlit harbour at about midnight as the third boat from the jetty. The first one was leaving the next morning at 6 am, so the guys were kind to get up and rearrange the boats.

Day 4 I got up relatively early to get some provisions and made us all blueberry pancakes. We were then ready to explore this tiny, but interesting island. The nature and bird life is beautiful and we had a really nice walk around it.

When Staffan was walking by some other boats he heard his name, and it was a colleague from when he worked in Singapore on his yacht. He was sailing it down to the Mediterranean. Funny, what a small world it is!

Day 5 we had to take care of our battery issue. We had realized when we were motoring, our batteries did not charge. Very strange. We tried different things, as changing a fuse, and checking the power on all connections. But as we all have limited knowledge about this, although our friend Geert can fix almost anything, we had to wait until we came to the next marina to get this one solved. This was the time. After consulting with the local electrician, and 2 other good friends that have a lot of knowledge we were suggested to get start cables and it would be sorted. Easy! Well, if you are on an island without cars it is not easy. We had to go to the electric company that provides the whole island with power to help us. They did not seam too busy so they gladly made too thick cables for us at no cost! That is some good service! We connected them and started the engine and voila! Worked like a charm!

After that, we left Helgoland and its mystery and moved further south. We had a overnight sail to get to Texel, and we split the night up in two watches. Debbie & Geert started with the 22-02 watch, and Staffan & I did the 02-06 watch. It was quite cold that night, although we had had very warm weather and a bit too light winds actually. The following day (Day 6) as we approached Texel it was pouring with rain. Since Geert believes that if he doesn’t get wet, dirty and tired, it is not real sailing, we gladly stayed below while he volunteered taking the rainwatch. We supplied him with hot coffee and soup, and he seamed to be happy. Texel has incredible tide water. Now during full moon the difference was 2 meters, so we had about 20 cm under our keel as we cam into the harbour.  A bit nerve wracking.  It cleared up and we had a lovely meal in the cockpit with local oysters and bbq’d shrimp and fish. Unfortunately Geert cut himself quite badly while opening the oysters, so I was glad I had updated our first aid kit.

The cute island of Texel

Day 7 we left in the morning to sail into Amsterdam. We had fog all day and that was interesting as we came closer to IJmuiden and boats and ships were coming and going. We had great training on our radar that day.  We entered the lock and went through the Nordzeekanaal to Amsterdam Marina in a bit of drizzle at times. This Marina has the most amazing service building. On the second floor are the showers. At the end of this corridor there are two rooms that have bathtubs overlooking the marina and the IJ river. Really fascinating to sit there and see that!

Amsterdam Marina

Day 8 was our last day of this maiden voyage on Varuna. We went through Amsterdam with all its ferries, sailboats, tugboats, cruise ships through the Oranjesluis out into the IJmeer to our new home port of Muiderzand.

Busy Oranjesluis

It was with mixed feelings we arrived. We were so very happy everything had gone so very well, with big thanks to our dear friends Debbie & Geert and we were a bit sad it was over.  We saiked 442 nautical miles. Now we look forward to sailing on the Dutch waters and explore the many cute little towns around here.


We are so excited to finally be on our boat. We came here Tuesday afternoon. Varuna was out of the shed on its trailer and we moved in and got sorted. We had a very basic first meal onbord, but of course the best one ever.

The following morning we were ready at 7 am, when the crane and the truck came to lift Varuna and drive it down to Naestved harbour. Everything went great and she was in the water – floating.

It was a beautiful day with really warm weather and no wind. We were so lucky!

Mast and boom came on and lucky us, the bridge opened and we could go through and out to Karrebaeksminde. Staffan went with Niels, the previous owner while Eva went provisioning.

When Eva was back and had stored everything, our friends had arrived in Naestved by train, so she went to pick them up. We had a great dinner with them onboard, and immediately continued fixing things for us to get ready to leave.

Lovely gifts from our friends

Thursday morning we started with putting the head sail up. It looked like it has never been used, as it was bought last year.

Then we continued with the main sail. Both are furling, which makes it easy and convenient while sailing.

It was time for our test sail, and it went really well. We tried most of the systems onboard, and we are so happy.

It was our last day with the rental car, so Eva and our friend Debbie went provisioning for our trip while the guys worked on the boat.

We shared a beer with the previous owner, said good bye and had a celebratory dinner made on the Magma bbq!

Today is Friday and we are ready to leave if it wasn’t for the guy that we asked to install our AIS. He has had 4 month to do this, and he has not managed to finish it yet. A cable was missing, we provided that, software needed updating, took him 2 days, and now he says our antenna is not ok. To be continued…

A boat needs a name

Every boat needs a name. We have had a hard time renaming our boat. On our two previous boats we kept the names they had from the previous owner, but this time we wanted to change it for two reasons. We didn’t like the name it had, and we wanted to make it more personal. So we asked around for suggestions, searched the internet for a name that felt right. We have now come to a decision.


The name will be


In the Hindu ancient text, Varuna is the god of oceans, his vehicle is a Makara (part fish, sea creature) and his weapon is a Pasha (rope loop). He is the guardian deity of the western direction.

This is a beautiful picture of Varuna, that is made by the painter Pieter Weltevrede. I have his permission to post this.

We think this is a perfect name for our boat. Another reason why we like is that we have lived in India for a few years and have learned to love the country and culture.

We would like to hear the names of your boats and the story behind it, so please leave a comment.