Friday, 2 June 2017


And another one of Amsterdam
Traditional Dutch Shallow Draft Fishing Boat.
Amsterdam was a fantastic stopover and one never tires of the beautiful canals and striking architecture both old and modern here in the Netherlands. We had some awesome weather and some not so awesome weather but no trouble finding places to see to keep busy. It is gradually warming up as summer approaches. Getting out of Amsterdam and into the Markemeer is a doddle. The water traffic was daunting to look at on the AIS before we left Amsterdam Marina but the reality was pretty straight forward. Lots of ferries crossing our path but traffic all flowed in an orderly way. Leaving the City behind, you quite quickly arrive at the huge lock which provides access to the Markermeer, the first of the 2 great man made lakes.

The lakes.
It being a long weekend, the lakes were crowded with vessels. The dutch have used shallow draft wide beam fishing vessels on the Zudersee long before the lakes were formed. Large areas of the vast sandy bay dried out and these boats readily take the ground, remaining upright. They have long retractable keels, or lee boards, attached either side of the hull for use underway but these retract should the vessel ground. Today many are in use as charter vessels ranging in size from just 7 or so meters up to 50 meters. They also remain a popular boat for families.
Herring smoking.

Enkhuizen, our destination, is a small harbor town of the VOC  from whence trade was conducted with the East Indies. It received city rites in  1355 and was once one of the most important harbor cities in the Netherlands. Sited on the shores of the IJsselmeer, a shallow 1100sq km artificial fresh water lake fed principally by rivers. It was created in 1932 when major hydraulic engineering works closed it from the sea with a dam wall.  It has further been cut in half with another great dam wall crossing it forming the Markermeer through which we sailed to  come north to Enkhuizen from Amsterdam.
Museum. Enkhuizen,
The fantastic Zuiderzee outdoor museum was an entertaining and informative outing on the first afternoon in Enkhuizen. The Museum seeks to recreate a village on the shores of the lake with all the styles of houses and stores of the old seaside communities now lost to the new fresh water lake system. Whole industries have folded and new ones have replaced them. Fishing is the obvious example. We sampled fresh smoked herring and explored the old warehouses, houses and recreated shops. Eel are prolific in the fresh waterways and special nets are deployed to catch them. We didn't try eel yet.
Store reconstruction. Enkhouizen.
Informative plaques give good details of the history of the buildings and of their inhabitants. Many of the interiors are reconstructed also with tools and utensils, furnishings and equipment. The buildings were deconstructed and relocated here from many places throughout the Zuiderzee, a supreme effort in engineering and ingenuity.  Its a really remarkable museum requiring almost a whole day to do it  justice.

Limekilns in the Museum

Enkhuizen was once fortified from the land by walls and  a moat. We took the opportunity to ride bikes around the outer wall taking in the lovely rural landscape outside the town.
Catching up with our friends Evert and Jenny on Moby Dick and some old friends whom we met crossing the Atlantic. Ron and Joce Lub off De Verleiding was another bit of fun.
Just one of hundreds of charter boats

Summer is upon us this week so armed with 20 lt of anti-foul from Ron and Joces’ Watersport in Enkhuizen we headed to Stavoren for a scheduled haul out on Tuesday. 

Upon arrival we
See the lee board.
were told there was a problem and we could maybe haul out on Friday but not certain. Monday more likely!. Very darn!! Schengen clock is ticking!! Well we chose to head to Lelystad as we were told they could lift us first thing Friday. 

Back  we went across the  IJsselmeer and through another big lock into the Markermeer again and then a short run to a canal lock and the yard. Well this lock had us in for a surprise! The water went down and down and even further down!! About 6 meters below the Markermeer level and out we flushed! It wasn't far to the yard but once again we were disappointed because the yard needed us to remove back stay and or fore stay…. sigh!! Language difficulty. So we set off back up the lock to the lake and decided to spend the afternoon in the Batavia Museum.
Batavia reproduction. Without top masts. Stavoren. Nl.

A replica of the Batavia, one of the VOC (Dutch East India Company) ships built in 1628, was built here 32 years ago and was sailed for many years. The original Batavia, as we West Australians well know, was wrecked on its maiden voyage on the Houtman Abrolhos Islands and a terrible story of mutiny, murder and heroic rescue ensued. Lelystads Batavia replica is now a, display only, because cost of maintenance and safety issues make it impractical to take out. Nevertheless it is an impressive vessel and we spent several hours in the museum.

Crouching Man Sculpture by Anthony Gormley
Poised gazing over our anchorage was a monumental metal framed sculpture dubbed by the dutch, Shitting Man, but it is an impressive addition to an otherwise flat landscape. More on Anthony Gormleys Crouching Man.
Another haul-out has been organized for us by our good friend Evert. This time we head to Makkum north east on the IJsselmeer. On our way to Makkum we stopped again in Stavoren on the free dock right near the town lock. It is free for a mazimum of 8 days. Not many such free facilities around the Netherlands. Stavoren was basking in a 29deg day and the town was alive with tourists. The annual Vinage Car and MotorBike Club was conducting a 200km Rally passing throug Stavoren with over 400 vehicles. What a spectacle. 

Stavoren on a busy summer long weekend.

A night on the town dock and then into the canal to Seabell. Rob Kloppers the manager, couldn't be more helpful and we hauled without incident. Safely on the hard work commenced once again. How many times have we anti fouled this boat???
Walker Bay Genesis 310 RIB

Just a day and it was all over bar the trims. During the interim we took the dingy across the road to have one of the tubes patched. Its our 15 year old Australian made Swift Hypalon 310 Aluminium RIB. Its performed brilliantly for us and we have no complaints but it was definitely showing signs of its age. Well Kenny, the manager of Zuidwaard Watersport Makkum had a secondhand Walker Bay  Genesis Hypalon 310 RIB 2009 in the shop and promptly offered it to us. After some consideration we decided to take it. Its a little heavier than the Aluminium RIB being Polypropylene but we hope we can manage.

Back to the water for some more adventures.
With Taipan afloat again we are eager to set off north to the Baltic. Farewell Holland and thank you for the fine friends we have made here and the wonderful experience.
For more photos of this leg of the journey.