Here at Aqua, we’re all about good times and last Thursday was no exception! The world may be big, cold and scary but that's nothing a campfire and good company won't fix. Welcome to the dinosaur birthday party! 🦕🦖

It was time to channel our inner dinosaur in a series of games and challenges. The prize? A wonderful triceratops plushie. Who wouldn't want him?

To kick things off and get warm, we started with an egg race around the building (a birthday party classic). The twist being that you can't use your arms because dinos don't have opposable thumbs. Don't let the comments of the neighbor or the mud stop you during the race, because before you know it you're making a final sprint to the finish line. Turns out that holding the spoon sideways is a good tactic!

Up next is a team challenge: colour the most beautiful dino (coloring inside the lines optional). In 3 teams of 2 people we put our artistic sensibilities to the test. Silke was kind enough to be our judge. Her verdict declared the rainbow dinosaur the winner. Not mine sadly, though Merel and I put great effort into the aqua merch ours is wearing. The rubber duck of the third team really adds a unique flair that should be appreciated!

The third game called for another change in location, this time to the boat house. Inside there were dozens of chocolate eggs hidden in every possible nook and cranny. The goal is, of course, to find as many as possible. Finding these tiny chocolate eggs is both harder and easier than expected. They're brightly colored so they do stand out pretty well among the many shades of grey and brown. But on the other hand they're also tiny and Guus' friendly mocking about that you're blind and that he can see at least 4 from where he's standing are far from helpful. I can't speak about what happened upstairs but it sounded like a good time!

And finally, the last challenge which proved to be the most challenging of all: eating an entire cup of knock-off danonetje as fast as possible. Again without hands. Thank you Guus. Wonderful. This one was messy (very messy). You're standing there in the light of the campfire, hunched over a cup of yoghurt, and trying your best to NOT get it everywhere while giggling like idiots. The strategy is apparently to crush the little plastic cup with your chin so you can get the whole thing empty. It took us all quite a bit to figure that one out. Merel managed to emerge victorious in spite of accidentally dropping her first cup to ground. Truly a legendary battle.

And so the events had come to an end! Points were tallied up and I turned out the winner! Yes dear friends, I took the plushie home and named him Harold (Thank you Jelle for the name).

We chatted until late into the night and the firewood (mostly) ran out. All and all: a great evening :)

 

(Disclaimer: No dinosaurs were harmed in the organisation of this association evening)

At the end of September, it was time for the last sailing weekend with nice weather: the introweekend! Six new members and six “old” members set sail to Akkrum, Friesland. The train ride was a long and hefty one: many transfers and busy trains. Eventually, we got to the beautiful station of Akkrum where we were a little too early, so the group leaders had to figure something out to keep us busy in the meantime. We had to walk to the city center of Akkrum without using our phones or any maps. We had to follow our intuition. It did not take that long before we figured that our intuitions suck, and we ended up in the middle of nowhere. Thankfully, we got to the center after all. 

 

When we arrived at the boats, a little outside of Akkrum, Kilian had some warm soup for us to recharge from the trip. Super nice! We were then split up in teams to set sail to the harbor we were going to spend the night. We were given a map and some preparation time to figure out the way we had to go. It did not take long before we were on our way, confident as ever. Once again, our confidence was damaged, since we went the wrong way, and again, and again… and again. Eventually we were going into somewhat the right direction and kept on navigating straight ahaid… At one moment, our skipper told us we would see the coast of England if we kept on like this, so we returned. Finally, we made it to the harbor were chips and Klonkies (beer) was waiting for us. We drank some beer and had some snacks and good talks before going to sleep in the boats. 

 

The next day, we opted to go for an early breakfast. Helas, this was too ambitious. We stayed out too late the night before, so we needed our sleep. After a nice breakfast and some coffee, we were on our way to the Sneekermeer (Snitser Mar). The wind was not too bad, so we could practice some sailing wich was nice. We had lunch on one of the cute little islands situated in the lake and continued sailing. It was still unclear if we were going to stay in a harbor for the second night or stay on one of the islands. For a luxepoes (luxury pussy in Dutch) like me, this would have been a challenge to say the least ;-) So I was really glad to hear that we could go to Terherne to stay in the harbor there. 

 

In Terherne we did a small walk around the village. Little did I know that a famous Dutch film has been made here: de Kameleon. The whole town was filled with Kameleon references, which was nice to see. After a nice meal we had another few Klonkies before going to bed (this time a little earlier ;)).

 

While I was sleeping in the boat, I was suddenly awakened by an immensely loud noise. It seemed as if the boats were rocking because of the sound waves it produced. I was scared at first, thinking the boat might break or something would go wrong. After a while I figured it was actually someone snoring a few boats away. As of today, it remains a mystery who produced such loud sounds… 

 

On the second and last day, we trained a little more. I got to practice my ‘gijping’ skills and learned more about the directions of the wind. We went around the lake for a long time and I got to witness some more training on ‘man overboord’. Merel did a great job getting the man back in! At the end of the weekend, she was awarded with this by becoming a skipper herself! Congratulations!! We left Akkrum in the train fulfilled, with new memories and more experience on the boat. Thanks to all that were involved in organizing this weekend, it was great!

- Robbert

In the first weekend of June, it was finally time for an aqua weekend again! I say again, but for many people who joined, including myself, this was actually the first time we experienced a real aqua weekend. For this special event we travelled to the Kagerplassen for our surf/dinghy weekend. The night we arrived started rough, as we had to process the news that Jumbo had forgotten to deliver our vegetarian knaksausages :(. Luckily, we had Romee’s atmospheric light around which we could all gather in a large coronaproof circle. 

Saturday it was time for action! We got up early, set up the boats and surfing equipment and hit the water. However, after having a difficult time with hoisting the sail, the ISO ran into some trouble…a broken rudder! Thankfully, the friendly people from the fireboat were there to save Steven, Sophie and Romee. After some shifting in the schedule, we were able to continue sailing during this windy day. Switch time could get quite complicated. It sometimes felt like we were playing a riddle. At the end of the day we got surprised by Steven and Sophie, who had managed to fix the ISO and were flying across the lake! I was impressed how well everyone did during their, for some people, first time on a surfing board and dinghy. After another rescue mission led by captain Anne, everyone managed to get back to the camp safely.

For dinner, we had wraps with a side of screaming children. Feelings about them were mixed, but one thing was for sure...Michiel was their worst enemy! After some tea, chippies and nice conversations, some people took a moment to look at the stars. Others decided to go to bed and enjoy the lovely evening sounds of frogs, airplanes, trains and a snorring Romee <3

On Sunday, we were greeted by the sun! We had a lovely day of sailing and surfing...or being shore gang, which was still very relaxing. I loved watching everyone's determination amd eventually being able to surf for quite some time! 

After having our fries, where Sanne was named winner of the murder game :), we left feeling well-fed, tired and grateful. Thanks to everyone who put together such an amazing weekend and who made it so much fun!

- Eveline Nales