Here in Hoorn old buildings are awkwardly tilted. Elegant young women cycle through cobbled laneways. Century-old, ponderous sailing barges still work out of the harbour, there are flowers everywhere and it rains often.

All very pretty, but we have been preoccupied installing our new wind generator, a Vesper AIS transceiver and the Aries vane gear which Miss Perfect picked up in London for a song.

Concerned about engine noise we found that the mounts are dodgy and should be replaced. Odd, given that the 3 cylinder Volvo has only done 400 hours. Still, needs must. So we are stuck in Hoorn for another 4 days. There are worse places. And we have been able to catch up with old friends the Dykstras (Bestevaer 2), whom I first met in Reykjavik.

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