Monnickendam to IJmuiden
A monstrously large depression keeps us in Monnickendam and if I am to believe meteorogical services, it will move from the UK to Norway in de next 24 hours. For us it means acceptable and favorable winds for the passage from IJmuiden to Stavanger. It's been 2 years since each of us has been at sea and motion sickness isn't the way to start a 5 day crossing.
Amsterdam Central Station from Het IJ/Noordzeekanaal
The last three months we prepared 'Easy' - our 36 feet Catalina sailing yacht - for this trip. Though a solidly cast piece of polyester, it wasn't equipped for sea. In a swell the interior became a dangerous place, where books or pieces of furniture would launch themselves aimed to hurt.
Another issue - the one that would turn out the most costly to solve - was the total lack of safety gear on board. The positive side being that nobody drilled ugly holes filled with obsolete equipment into teak or deck; the downside being that I had to undertake the defacing myself. Drilling holes - that you know you'll never be able to conceal again - to fill them with stuff you never hope to use. There must be more motivating forms of preparation.

Rig in Amsterdam Harbour
Until we leave, I help Paul on his 42 feet Contest, which he's preparing for his solo departure to the Carib. The kind of undertaking forcing you to strip down your boat and if you're not determined to leave, there'll always be that small job to finish before.....
Container terminal just off Amsterdam

We leave at 5.30 PM, permitting us to negotiate lock systems in Amsterdam and IJmuiden, before the tide turns from a southerly into a northerly direction around 2 AM. The current should give us a head start towards Den Helder, Terschelling and Stavanger about 400 miles away.