02-Jun-2011 -- Every year the Royal Maas Yacht Club from Rotterdam organizes a sailing cruise to the Royal Harwich Yacht Club in England. The journey takes about 20 hours to get there. Once there, everyone makes a 20min hike along the shore of the river Orwell to the Butt and Oyster Pub to have lunch and a few drinks. In the evening the yacht club organizes a dinner for the whole party and the next morning, everyone heads back to Holland. This trip is a very well-known trip in Holland and most sailers have once sailed to "Pin Mill" or eventually will do so.
When we decided to join this year's cruise I already had a feeling that it should be possible to follow the line with a latitude of 52 degree and visit the water confluence points between Holland and England. After all we had already visited 52N 4E previous year and it was located right in front of the entrance to the Rotterdam harbour (our point of departure) and Harwich is in western direction. A closer look in the map revealed that the 52 degree line was even the almost perfect course to get to Harwich. We only had to hope to get fair winds to be able to follow that course.
The morning of depart, we had perfect conditions: it was warm, sunny and just the perfect wind direction. Our sailing yacht was a 36" Halberg Rassy, a boat, strong enough to circumvent the world.
Once we had left the Rotterdam traffic area we hoisted our spinnaker and enjoyed the journey. After some minor course corrections we passed the confluence point with a speed of approximately 6.5 knots and all zeros on the GPS!
The confluence point is located very close to the major shipping lanes from the English channel to the open North Sea which are the busiest shipping lanes in the world. Although we were about 80 km away from land we have never been alone out there. There were always large ships (mostly cargo) in sight.