IJmuiden to 55°37.3'N  5°00.9'E
Leaving IJmuiden at night is eerie. It's pitch black, the industrial lighting from the blast furnaces and flare from the BOS plant make it absolutely impossible to see other traffic or navigational lights. The Dutch coast is incredibly busy. Inshore commercial traffic, windmills, fisherman and the occasional yacht. Not to mention the noisy military zone North of Vlieland, where F16 fighters practice bomb runs at an altitude where one actually exchanged greetings... This is all nice and lively, but we both get 3 hours of sleep max, during the first two days.
Blast furnaces and steel plants in IJmuiden
 When we leave the production platforms North of the traffic separation systems behind, the South Westerly wind leaves us and nothing takes its place. The sun shines, the flapping sails drive us mad - so we remove them all together - and we get a tan. This is like the 'Med'! The North Sea isn't supposed to be like this.
Two days we sit in the sun, read books and drink beer. Making progress only, when we start the engine to charge the batteries. On the third day, I realize that people will start asking questions about why we aren't in Stavanger. DFDS ferry Sirena, underway to Esjberg, does us the favour to call home and leave a voicemail message, after we contact her on VHF radio. Now the 'home front' knows we're not lost, we can apply a fresh layer of sun cream and open another beer....
DFDS ferry Dana Sirena