After a goodbye from John and Patti and a quick trip to the grocery store, we were on our way south from Haarlem. Just a couple of hours later we arrived at the Kager Plassen and the little island we had stayed at about a month ago. Since the summer school holidays are about over (most of the schools close in late June or early July and reopen around the first of September), it was quieter than before; mostly retirees on their boats, several doing what we planned; a little painting. Unfortunately, the weather refused to cooperate. It would be mostly sunny in the morning but as the day progressed the clouds would build and Cathy Jo ended up painting in the rain; guaranteed to ruin that fine glossy finish. After a couple of days of that we decided to give up and head for the barn.
Odysseus will spend the long cold winter months in the same marina where we saw it, The Kempers Jachthaven in Kudlestaart. It only took us two hours to reach it from Kaag and by 12:30 we were tied up in a slip, looking at each other asking, "Is that it?" Maybe because we'd just been wandering about Holland with no real goal in mind, we both felt the end of this years cruise to be anticlimactic. We did sit at the table last night surrounded by charts planning next years adventure, however.
We had pulled in on a Saturday and seen some posters for a festival in Aalsmeer, the biggest nearby town (nearby as in about 2km) and on Sunday we stumbled upon the Holland equivalent to the Rose Parade. This is a huge flower growing area, Google Earth shots of Aalsmeer will show acres and acres of greenhouses. The town is also the home of the world biggest flower auction. It turns out that the first weekend in September these "floats" are created, driven up to Amsterdams Olympic Stadium on Saturday, and then back to Aalsmeer for a viewing, similar to what they do for the Rose Parade floats on Jan. 2. These are not nearly as elaborate as the Pasadena floats; a lot more down-home (and dammit, we didn't have the camera) but you might try Googling "Bloemencorso Aalsmeer" and see what comes up.
We were hoping the weather would improve so we could get some of that painting done but no luck so we've rented a car and we're off tomorrow to Cathy Jo's high school stomping grounds in Switzerland. We've just got to see some mountains! Holland is sooooo flat! We'll be on the road for the next 10 days or so, then back here to winterize the boat before heading back to California on the 18th.