We want to be in Amsterdam by the 24th of August. Now when you are far away, as in Mariehamn or Stockholm, getting back can seem quite daunting as there are so many variables: big crossings, weather, tide (once out of the Baltic) are the main ones. So we are conservative and use good conditions to move ahead. Now that we are relatively close (5 motoring stretches away from Delfzijl, where we plan to enter the Netherlands), we have changed our strategy a bit. We could, after Bremerhaven, have taken the inside route via the Küstenkanal or even after Fedderwardersiel the northern inside route via the Ems - Jade kanal, but then we would have been in the Netherlands already with 4 weeks to 'wait'. As we like the 'Wadden' islands, the string of islands to the north of the Netherlands and Germany, we have opted for this route. The weather is pretty unstable so the timing is not entirely our own, but we have plenty of leeway and are happy to choose the nicest islands for prolonged weather stops.
And Spiekeroog is our favourite. We walk through the dunes, over the dike and to the really pretty small village which has sort of a 'Hansel and Gretel' atmosphere. There is a really nice ice cream shop too.....
Here are a few impressions: