Crew, Doug Salmon and Hilary Poley, met up with our skipper Keith Fisher at Enkhuizen after an easy journey – a flight to Amsterdam and train right up to the marina where Bob Cousins had left us a clean and tidy boat. We then had time to study the unusual Dutch “box” mooring ready for leaving, fetch our supplies and enjoy the local food.
Keith decided not to be too adventurous, since we were lacking lots of crew! We stayed on the Ijsselmeer & Markermeer, huge inland seas previously the Zuiderzee until it was closed off in 1932 by the Barrier Dam. The dykes were put in to save the villages from being swept away in the storms in the North Sea. It was like sailing on a huge lake, only 3 metres deep with no mountains, only black lines in the distance which appeared as dykes as you sailed nearer.
Enkhuizen is situated at the end of a dyke separating the 2 ‘meers’ so we negotiated the lock to sail south. There were interesting little stumpy bollards instead of cleats for holding on in the waiting pontoon and lock. After practising a few times with the boat hook and watching other crews, 4th time lucky we did really well!
We had 4 days of great sailing in the sun:-
- Monday – Running S to Edam
- Tuesday – Beating N to Medemblick
- Thursday – Reaching over to Hindeloopen at about 2 knots, hoving-to for lunch and motoring.
- Friday – Beam reaching all day back to Enkhuizen
At Edam we stayed in the WSV marina at Buitenhaven where there was a charming marina manager and free bikes to go and explore the town and admire the shops stacked high with cheese.
In Medemblick we stayed in a wonderful marina called PEKELHARINGHAVEN! I went walking with Doug looking for a beach for swimming but decided the sea was better for ducks and pond life. The skipper stayed on the boat cooking an excellent pasta meal.
The forecast for 5 hours rain on Wednesday turned out to be accurate so we stayed and enjoyed the Museum and cafes. Luckily we all liked playing with our ipads and doing Sudoku.
At Hindeloopen we stayed in an ancient port (instead of the huge modern marina) with an ancient Sea- Captain in uniform who charged us 18 Euros and treated all the skippers to Pimms in his gate-house. We found another good museum about the history of the Zuiderzee and Keith found another about speed- skating on the iced-over canals.
Because of Saturday’s F6 forecast. Keith decided to return on Friday, so we enjoyed Saturday at the Enkhuizen outdoor museum. The fishing village had been formed with houses brought from all around the Zuiderzee from the last 2 centuries with actors in costume and helpful English translations. The ferry on the way gave us a close-up view of Dutch sailing galleons, ancient and modern. We enjoyed a final meal in an excellent restaurant.
Thanks to Judith and Richard for organising the cruise.