In the northern NL now, after some trials and tribulations. Yesterday, we met with our friends, Peter and Inneke, who also have a Finesse. And they really did bring it here from the UK themselves.

We sailed across the Lauwersmeer in their boat, which is very similar to ours, but also different in ways which are hard to pinpoint. It’s also a lot faster – different rig, but also more experienced hands.

The next day, we did the journey in our boat. Not for fun, because this trip isn’t about fun, but to get from Zoutcamp to Dokkum, en -route to Grou to meet family who are visiting next week.
So, what is the ‘Lauwersmeer’? It’s a large freshwater lake which was connected to the Waddenzee until 1969, when they built a dyke to protect the areas inland of it from catastrophic flooding. The surrounding area is a National Park, good for stargazing as there’s little light pollution and it has countryside, farmland, loads of birds, wild horses and of course, lots and lots of boats and water sports. It’s also big – to me anyway – and a bit scary for a relative beginner on the water.

Starting from Zoutcamp, there are always interesting boats and we saw several starling murmarations.

Eygptian geese are common here (no photo sadly) and our friends said they saw Sea Eagles a few days ago.
We sailed around a couple of islands with anchored boats

and the owners enjoying the beautiful (or mooi as they say here) countryside. We saw the swans which are definitely not a navigational aid.

On a particularly tricky part of the route, out chart plotter decided to start making things up and we had to ignore what it was saying and trust what we could see. I posted before about disagreement between the chart plotter and the paper chart and reality, but this time we had enough experience to be ready for it and not phased by it. Well, not much!
They say here that Dutch children are ‘born on the water’. Everyone seems very relaxed about being afloat. I can’t imagine doing this with small children in the UK.

And as for it being scary. Here is a very young girl, a mere infant, learning to helm a tiny boat. Her Dad is instructing her and a younger sibling trailing his hands in the water. No wonder, they’re better at this than I am, starting so young.

Very thankful at the end of the day to visit Jumbo and buy some beers.

Thanks to Inneke and Pieter for the Lauwersmeer photos.

1 thought on “Lauwersmeer

  1. Your comment about swans not being a navigation aid is funny. It reminds me of when we were in the Peak District a few years ago on a walk. We had no OS Map but were using a walk with a guidebook. Suddenly the trail ceased to make sense from the guide. It had a comment like, walk towards the copse at the north east side of the field (we had no compass) following the line of the wall, then follow the obvious path. The only problem apart from no compass was that since the guide was written, the wall had been demolished. There were stones lying about in various parts of the field, but no way of telling where the wall had been, and no matter where we looked, there was no “obvious path.” So we had to do a lot of guessing and finally reached our destination, but certainly not by the designated route.

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