Day two of our sailing adventure started very well indeed- Everyone woke at 8. Hurray, we got a lie-in! (Did you miss part 1? Just click here. )
The sun was high, there was a pleasant breeze and the boat was gently swaying on its anchors. (We’d put a spare anchor out just before the mosquito attack the night before… just in case the wind really picked up and we dragged. I would’ve hated to wake up in the midst of the reed bed!)
Breakfast on deck (with lifejackets on for the Littlins): This time Happy Happ, the duck brought a friend the moment she saw movement on the boat. It was rather difficult to keep the Littlins focussed on eating. … and weetabix is not good duck food, since it doesn’t float (as we discovered). Furthermore, it’s better not to combine the weetabix with the morning dew on deck (as we learnt later, when we tried to wash off the caked on remains)!
After breakfast we tidied and secured things below. In the meantime, Little Man expelled some energy by “running” around the boat. Then we raised the anchors, which of course got a bit tangled. As there was no chain, just rope on them, it was no big deal. Little Miss was on anchor watch and asked to shout when she saw the anchor in the water, as we winched it up. She did a great job and enjoyed being asked to do a responsible job.
All done, we were ready to raise the sails and head out for what promised to be a good day sailing. Murphy’s Lay: the wind was a good easterly, the direction we needed to head was also East, so we tacked back and forth. The boat did heel, though still safely. Despite this, Little Man fell over in the cabin during one of the tacks… we did warn him. He then spent about 30 mins whinging below, after which he came on deck, lay along the seat and promptly fell asleep.
We spent a good couple of hours sailing back and forth, eating our lunch and avoiding other boats successfully. It was relatively busy, as we were going through the narrowest point of the Balaton, where the car ferries were also going up and down every 10 minutes or so. There were also plenty of sailing school flotillas on the water. Those kids were amazingly agile with their small crafts!
Just as we passed the ferry crossing channel, we were heading towards the south and about to tack when the boat slowed to a total halt! Full sails up, good breeze blowing and we were going nowhere! … now, a particular characteristic of the Lake Balatonis that the southern shore is very shallow and deepens very gradually. In lots of places you can comfortably walk in for over a kilometre from the shoreline. We were what seemed to be in the middle of the Balaton, but had already gone too close to the southern shore and were stuck on the muddy bottom. Lucky for us the boat still turned as we turned the rudder, then we all sat on one side, revved the engine and got off the mud after a bit of wriggling. Phew!
We sailed on a little while, before deciding to drop the anchor (just because we were confident how to do it and there was a slight breeze) and went for a swim. It was lovely! The water had warmed up a little more. The Littlins had a great time jumping into the water and piggy backing on Oh-so-patient-daddy’s back. We swam around the boat a couple of times too.
All tired after the swim, we had a nibble, dried off and raised the sails again. We had an hour and a half to get back into the port and hand over the boat. I packed our bags below, we washed the deck a little while sailing comfortably.
Close to the port we dropped the sails and tidied them into the lazyjacks, flicked on the engine and motored in to the port. We decided to reverse into the mooring. The boat was easily manoeuvrable and Oh-so-proficient-daddy did a fantastic job at getting us in, while I did my best to cast the mooring lines onto the pylons, Little Miss was below deck drawing and Little Man watched with amusement. (It became more evident how smoothly we had moored when the sister charter boat arrived minutes after us and the crew and captain made a right pig’s ears out of the whole process, taking a chunk out of the wooden mooring pylon as they reversed in. It looked as if they were intent on moving the pylon, rather than on mooring the boat. Lucky the pylon was made of soft wood, so no damage was done to the boat.)
Having secured the boat, the Littlins were put ashore first and they went exploring the pontoons and the yacht club. We unloaded onto a trolley and then into the car- all our stuff seemed to have multiplied, despite consuming a huge amount of the food and lots of the juice and water we had taken onboard
The boat was full of crumbs, therefore when we had unloaded all our belonging and hooked up to shore power we vacuumed the boat. During the cleaning, we discovered maps and a guide to the Balaton. That would’ve been interesting reading if only we’d seen it earlier!
The check-out process was very swift. The lovely harbour master helped wash the decks a bit more… that wheetabix was really a devil to get off! We got our deposit back and off we went to try to car ferry for ourselves.
The costs ( in August 2011):
Chartering the yacht for 2 days- 68,000 HUF (approx 215 GBPor 250 EUR )
Deposit (which we got back, as we’d looked after the boat)- 100,000 HUF(approx 320 HUF or 365 EUR)
The experience- priceless!