|Sailing to Holland|
Cuxhaven –Vliesland, Holland – 28 July 2005
We left Cuxhaven early in the morning in order to catch the out- going tide. We ran into some flotsam and jetsam that had collected where the river meets the sea. “Noravind” were just ahead of us and called us on the vhf to say they had just passed through a patch of floating logs and branches amongst other things. Soon after that we heard a noise from our propeller and guessed we had snared some rubbish on it. (That proved to be right when Trond dove to check the propeller in Hindeloopen and came back up with a whole handful of plastic netting, rope ends etc.) We motored nearly the entire day, passing north of the German Fresian Islands. In the evening the wind picked up and we were able to sail which was much more comfortable since there was a big swell running in the North Sea. During the night we experienced rain, thunder, lightning, strong wind, light wind…you name it. Trond was dressed in wool hat, gloves and full rain gear for his night watch. It was very cold. In the morning when it became lighter, a thick fog set in and you could not see more than 30 m in front of you. There was a lot of shipping traffic so we decided stop at Vrieland, one of the Dutch islands. On the way inn a too close encounter with a outgoing ship in the thick fog reminded us to be very careful in these heavy trafficated waters. Trond navigated using the radar and gps to take us in to the harbour when suddenly a little patch of mist cleared , revealing some fisherman on a long, sandy beach about a 100m from us! What a strange experience. We found the entrance to Vriesland harbour, which was extremely narrow, and came in sideways, due to the tide! It was jam packed with boats and we managed to squeeze in behind a row five boats deep and six boats across. Getting ashore was not an easy job as you had to climb over boat, after boat, after boat. The island is mainly made up of sand dunes with some scrub bush and thin pine forests. We rented bicycles and cycled around, checking out the main town with its one main – street lined with trees and restaurants. Trond and Colin cycled to a sandy beach and walked far out on the sand banks. They found some lovely shells, which I am guessing are the first of our long shell collection. Camilla and I went horse – riding on Icelandic ponies, which was a whole new experience. They use special saddles which are flat on the back, and long stirrups which have a bend in them. The idea is to sit in the saddle, quite far back, with your legs sticking straight out. The ponies have a special gait which is something between a trot and a canter. Anyway, off we went through the forests and along the beach. We were able to gallop along some of the harder sand. Camilla stuck on the horse all the way and managed just fine. We saw many people camping on the wind swept dunes and wondered how they fared that night when a rainstorm blew in. I have never experienced rain like that. As if some one was high -pressure hosing the boat. Apparently it was in the paper a few days later. The campers had 25 cm of rain and were washed out completely. I felt rather sorry for them as I pictured families walking back the next day with everything soaking wet.
Vliesland Harbour Icelandic ponies
Main street ,Vliesland Traditional dutch boats
Vriesland – Hindeloopen 29 – 31 July 2005
Early in the morning the boat that was all the way in needed to leave and a chain of events would soon unfold as people pushed boats from side to side and back and forth. Now was the time to leave port. The tide was right and anyway, we needed to move on. Following the green and red buoys, we headed south to the Afsluitdijk. This dike is 30 km long, and creates an inland sea called the Ijsselmeer. We entered the Kornwerdezand lock and motored on towards a small town called Hindeloopen. On entering the harbour we thought we had come to paradise. Here was an extremely well organized marina, surrounded by green lawns and trees. Rabbits hopped freely and there was even a patting zoo with goats and chickens. Colin and Camilla ran ashore as soon as we had tied up and a few minutes later, Colin returned and said to me, “Mommy, I’ve got some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that a goat bit me, and the good news is that I found those machines that go round and round!” Laundromat and supermarket for me, and well stocked chandlery for Trond. Yes, something for the whole family!
Our friends on “Noravind” had just left Texel and were heading our way. We had missed them the last few days and the kids were excited to meet Ida and Ole Martin again. The weather had deteriorated and the wind was reaching over 30 knots in the marina. They came surfing into the harbour in the afternoon, waves turning green on their tail. It was good to be on land and look out over the foaming Ijselmeer. It was a very nice safe feeling. The rain fell the next day or two and people busied themselves in the marina or took a walk to the quaint village. Hindeloopen is very well preserved and the houses are very small and made of brick. The church stands tall and is the main landmark here. Narrow streets and cozy restaurants make it a place you can stay awhile.
Kornwerdezand lock Baking muffins on a rainy day
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This site was last updated 10/23/05