25th-30th July, 2012
We find a berth right in the heart of Amsterdam. In Sixhaven – three minute free ferry ride from central railway station.
We explore the city immediately. Watching Van Gogh Museum and walk the city along the canals and through canabis-scented alleyways. It is agreed that Lasse, Tianling and Nellie, will arrive in Amsterdam, where they live with us on the boat through July 29.
Lovely family days in versatile Amsterdam. When Lasse, Tianling and Nellie returns to Denmark, we find a good winterharbour for Ronja in a suburb to Amsterdam. This will be Ronjas home the next 11 months.
July 24, 2012
A Raymarine expert comes in the morning and repairs our chartplotter. “Software,” he explains. The plotter is from 2006 and it short, we have tried to install is from 2012. It requires an update. Ten minutes to 70 €. Clearly worth the money.
Then we will sail to Edam. Once a picturesque canal. We are now in the Markermeer, which is separate from Ijselmeer with a dike and a lock.
We decide to sit Edam city another visit Wednesday afternoon to attend the city’s major attraction: The cheese market. Very funny, really. Very colorful. But somewhat inflated compared to actual market content. Amatørteater around a cheese.
Logbook: Departure 11:30. Destination: Edam. Arrival 14:00.
52 ° 42 ‘15.0948’ ‘N 5 ° 18’ 1.0188 ” E
22 and July 23, 2012
They are crazy, the Dutchmen! The bakers are closed on Sundays and on weekdays they open frequently as other stores.
While Kirsten turns dough up to own morning buns, we head towards Enkhuizen. It will be a perfect day for sailing. The wind is in front of the cross. Ijselmeer is smooth, almost uniformly deep (read: low). All the time a meter or two below the keel.
The sun shines. Soon we thing, that we can see Enkhuizen. “Look, they have cliffs,” says Kirsten. It turns out to be a huge forest of masts. Enkhuizen has six to seven ports, the port we call, has room for 700 boats. Never have we seen so many sails on the water as in front of Enkhuizen. The city has a reputation as being a sailors mecca. After weeks of rain all sailors are going to the see to have som air in their sails – like cows when they are let out of the barn on the first day of spring.
We take an extra day in Enkhuizen, which starts with a jogging tour around the city walls. It is a charming city. Perhaps the most beautiful of the canal towns we have seen so far.
We also visit an open air museum “Zuiderzee Museum”, which is a really good museum, very active, interesting.
Log book: Departure 8.30. Destination: Enkhuizen, Arrival 11:00.
52° 39′ 34.3728” N 5° 35′ 48.8904” E
July 21, 2013
We take a morning run of 6 km. along the water and underway we check the two lock options to get out in Ijselmeer.
The weather is fine. We are considering a day of rest, but we decide anyway to sail. We have spotted a store, where they may have Raymarine charts. The store is on the way out to Ijselmeer.
Since Delfzijl we have not had life in the chartplotter. And now a brand new chart bought at a store in Lemmer does not work either. What is happening? Back to the store again. We want our money back: 249 Euro.
We really wanted to go to Enkhuizen on the opposite side of Ijselmeer, but the wind would rather lead us to Urk on the same side as Lemmer. We are in need of a good sailing under full sail, so we let the wind determine. And the wind point us to Urk.
53° 19′ 51.6972” N 6° 55′ 28.056” E
After spending a few days on the German island Norderney we head towards Delfzilj. The city are chosen, because from here it is possible to sail “inside” Holland, through a system of channels, that you can pass with your mast still up.
Five days – including two resting days – it took us to sail from Delfzilj to the great dutch lake called Ijselmeer. We passed 49 bridges and five locks. It worked perfectly. The bridges goes up, when we approach. As a rule. Sometimes we call via VHF. Some bridges charge a toll – five euro put in a wooden shoe, hanging from a fishing rod, which a bridge-employee lowers down towards us.
On our way we pass the one idyllic dutch town after another. The houses are located with manicured gardens facing the canal. The flowers are in full bloom, and on the edge a lot of boats are moored.
52° 50′ 33.3672” N
5° 42′ 16.956” E
July 20, 2012
Fantastic day. Everything works. The bridges are opening. The rain obviously hold a bit back. And the waters are nothing short of exciting. Packed traffic. Cities that are architect-designed to let each home have its boat in the front yard. Channels crisscross. Lakes. Large and small. A tangle of intersecting ships. If we thought Denmark was a sailing nation, think again. Holland controls for game. Everything here is about sailing.
We find a port. Calm. Just outside Lemmer. We are checking out the town, and eat in the port restaurant. And we enjoy the most luxurious bathing facilities. Hot shower in six hours if desired.
Just before Lemmer we pass a Danish sailing yacht, sailing the opposite direction to us. Virtually everyone we meet are Dutch or Germans. But this guy yells: “Is it Ronja? Ronja from Thurø?” It turns out that they are themselves from the small harbour, Thurø Bund back home. “Hello there!” And then they are gone.
Everybody talks about the weather. In our port are many Germans. They are talking clearly about maybe going to Mallorca in stead of Lemmer.
Log book: Departure 9.00. Destination: Lemmer. Arrival: 13.00.
53° 13′ 37.4988” N
5° 49′ 1.452” E
July 19, 2012
Black day. Everything seems to be against us. We start with an argument with the gate guard at Willem Lorésluis. He lets the bridge dump down right in front of us. He thinks we are too slow to move towards bridge and lock. We blame him, that he only advertises his messages in Dutch. Angry talking over VHF.
And so it goes throughout the day. We hit the lock guards’ lunch break, we hit their after work shift, and we spend two to three hours alone in waiting. Meanwhile the rain pours down and the wind is whipping, even here inside the country.
Thrilling is that our echo-sounder constantly shows 10-20-30 centimeters of water under the keel. And regularly 0 centimeters. Often – five times a day – we hit the bottom of the canal and are briefly stuck. Dutch channels are not designed for ships with a draught of 1.75 meters.
At 19 o’clock, we do not want to go further. We moor to a field with a small bulwark and rings. Sleeping deeply. One cow muh’s twice. A few geese squawk. The rest is silence. An enchanting calm and dream-filled night.
Log book: Sailed: 9.00. Destination: Leuwarden (approximately). Arrival: 19.00 in Wergea, south of Leuwarden.
53° 19′ 2.676” N 6° 9′ 58.3236” E
July 18, 2012
It takes a few hours to get through ten small bridges in Groningen. Actually ok. You approach the bridge, and then it opens. As a rule. A few times we have to call via VHF.
Unfortunately, both rain and wind are really beginning again and makes our trip somewhat sour. Occasionally, the storm is so strong that we make a stop at the shore until the worst wind is over. The anemometer shows wind speeds of 11, 12, 13 and 14 meters per second. Especially when we underway have to stick our noses into the Waddenzee for a few miles it feels dramatic.
At 16 o’clock we seek port. Large port but without life. Lunegat. The rain increases further.
Log book: Sailed 9.00. Destination: Leuwarden (approximately). Arrival 16:00 in Jachthaven Lunegat.
53° 12′ 43.29” N 6° 34′ 13.4616” E
July 17, 2012
Jogging shoes on. We stay in Groningen an extra day and starts with a jog around Groningen’s central island, about 4 km.
The day we spend at a food market, a maritime museum and a great art museum. At the museum, “Groningen Museum”, we are especially excited about a Chinese installation artist Yin Xinzhen who make a single work of art at the same museum by Wei Wei seem unimaginative and boring.
The museum building itself is a mix of scandal and ingenious (see pictures).
We contacted Koos Stall (talented Dutch designer) and his wife, Magriet, to invite them to dinner at Ronja. But they were on summer holidays in their apartment in Berlin. They live only six kilometer from Groningen. Instead, we eat dinner at Ni hau, a Chinese restaurant with great food. Annoying however that monitors while we are eating show promotional videos for the whole Ni hau Group.
Groningen is a great city. Young, vibrant, energetic, alternative. Aarhus multiplied with two. A Danish girl studying at Groningen University, confirms with enthusiasm, that it is a more than commonly lovely city.
53° 12′ 43.29” N
6° 34′ 13.4616” E
July 16, 2012
The lock in Delfzijl lowers us a meter, maybe one and a half. In front of us lies Ems Canal. 26 km straight, dug channel through agricultural land. The logistics are formidable. We pass eight bridges with virtually no latency. The bridges just goes up, when we approach.
In Groningen we turn into Oesterhaven, a marina right ind the middle of the city. For the first time with a formidable port master, that is ready with a megaphone to guide us into a proper berth.
Groningen is a wonderfully varied city. Old and new. Large and international. Young and alternative. 20,000 college students put a mark on the townscape. One senses that Holland even more than Denmark has been oriented towards international trade and travel. A maritime nation, that has channeled all sorts of peoples back to Holland and managed (?) to integrate them. Well, we see of course only the surface.
We get an impression of the city, and decides to have an extra day in Groningen. It is a bit like our old berth in Christianshavn canal, Copenhagen. Harbour-cruisers sail past and we hear guides explain, what the tourists see.
The weather is solid. Rain, rain, rain, rain.
Log-book: Sailed at 10:00. Destination Groningen. Arrival 13:00. Weather: So much wind, that we think: Lucky we are not out on the open sea today. Southwest 11 and up meters / second.