The Sharks of Terschelling

Thursday 6th July Vlieland to Terschelling 7.2 nm – we motor


Howard's skills with wiring on engines are put to the test today. During an aperitif session last night on Bonify with team Brandaan (and also team Slartibartfast who have arrived here from Texel) it transpired that some friends of Bouke and Aleid have engine issues. Bouke and Jan have made a successful repair but they still have a query about one mystery wire and are happy for Howard to have a look, so that's his task this morning.

Whilst they had three heads down in the engine, or perhaps in a coffee break, Jan told them how he had phoned the harbour at Vlieland on his approach to warn them that he was entering with intermittent engine trouble. They agreed he would proceed while he could and if the problems recurred he was to phone the harbour again and they would send a boat to bring him in. They advised him on no account to use the VHF to report his troubles or he would fall victim to the sharks of Terschelling. 

Apparently, with greedy thoughts of salvage, these rogues listen on the VHF for anyone discussing or reporting problems and then come roaring out, ahead of the KNRM (RNLI equivalent) and charge exorbitant rates if you accept their assistance.

Some people reading this may not be aware of the 'law of salvage' which states that if you recover a ship or cargo from peril or loss at sea you are entitled to a reward commensurate with the value of what you have saved. So we have to be a bit careful. There's a story for example, though this may be apocryphal, that when accepting a tow you should always make sure the towing line used is your own, from your vessel. They say that if you accept a line from another vessel so they can tow you they can then claim rights of salvage.

We think we see the sharks in action later in the day when we make the short voyage to Terschelling. Shark story in pictures follows my snapshots below:



Serene scene



So here's what you do when stranded on a desert island

Nice place for paddling on Terschelling

Sharks of Terschelling in action, a story in pictures:

Most yachts beached intentionally are standing upright either due to a flat bottom or special legs for the purpose. So from the angle of their mast we wonder whether the little yellow yacht on the right has perhaps grounded unintentionally. The people from the motor boat (flat bottom) are also curious.

That line from the mast might be an attempt to stop the boat falling over, which again indicates that they are not happy where they are.

Now look! The little motor boat has gone to them but we also saw a big orange rib roar past us out of the harbour. Howard said, in jest, "perhaps those are the Sharks in action", and sure enough they roared straight up to the "casualty".

No joy it seems as they roar home again

As they roar home, the lifeboat roars out. Brandaris lighthouse on Terschelling in the background.

Hi-ho Silver! We were a bit out of range for my camera by now but they did indeed go to the rescue so the sharks were thwarted this time.



Brandaris and the town of West Terschelling

Colourful scene as we motor up the channel to the harbour







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