Woudsend/Wâldsein – Blokzijl

  • Woudsend’s/Wâldsein’s daytime harbour…

    We left our initial mooring spot at Woudsend/Wâldsein at 9:47AM on Monday the 11th of September 2017. Not for long, though, as we needed to do some shopping and were told that we could be in the town’s harbour (situated on the opposite bank-side) for free during…

  • …for free between 8:00Am and 10:00PM

    …daytime, thus solving the problem of a non-existing bridge. Turning our little ship was not the best option (wind!), so we decided to make a genuine double z-shaped manoeuvre in reverse, ending up in the position as shown by the picture on the left. That short ‘cruise’ took us exactly 18 minutes.

Walking the centre of the village was, again, at least nice. However, there’s just one picture on offer, being this one. Our initial plan was to cruise this canal, but there’s one fixed bridge included in its course, forcing us to break down the wheelhouse. Apart from an unpleasant job it’s just too cold and wet at present, so we decided to only have a look, take a picture and to choose an alternative itinerary.

  • Unloading earth

    We left Woudsend/Wâldsein finally -well, for the season that is- at 12:14PM. When cruising on the Jeltesleat we noticed a dredger, equipped with ever-so-convenient spud-poles, unloading itself on the adjacent land. The material seemed to have been collected elsewhere, as the earth was taken from the dredger’s cargo hold; as…

  • Defending dikes

    …opposed to the canal’s bottom. After having passed the dredger we had a clear view of the results of these works. A double dike is under construction for an even better protection of the polder (and houses) in the background. As usual, the level of the water in the canal is higher than the level of the polder.

We entered the Koevordermeer/De Kûfurd around 1:00PM and, to put it mildly, it was rather windy. With the sunlight in front of us it looks like the water is pure liquid silver.

Koevordermeer/De Kûfurd

One of us went outside for a brief moment to be able to make this short video. The combination wind/waves sometimes caused the water to splash all over the top of our courageous little ship.

Not far before the southern end of the Koevordermeer/De Kûfurd there’s a side-canal called De Welle – with a mooring-space at the beginning. We decided to be tossed around sufficiently for that day and switched the engine off at 1:55PM. It was ever so easy to end up at the intended space on our starboard side as the wind was severely blowing from the port side. See the waves and the bent reed.

  • Evening sky

    The left picture shows what mother nature offered us that same evening, the 11th of September.

  • Morning sky

    However she was not finished yet and gave us this picture the next morning, 12 September 2017. All for free!

Back to the lake the next morning, Tuesday 12 September at 8:20AM, to cruise the last part. We planned to cross the Tjeukemeer/Tsjûkemar, and beyond, but when on the Follegeasleat we decided to turn around and visit Sloten/Sleat first. This is a picture of Sloten/Sleat when approaching. Magic! And there’s a mill at the end of the rainbow, too.

  • Sloten/Sleat (1)

    After some searching, meaning cruising a bit clueless up-and-down, we discovered that there was nowhere a mooring for free to be found, so we decided to…

  • Sloten/Sleat (2)

    …occupy the most picturesque spot by far – being this one. The reason that we show two pictures of it is simply that we have been unable to make a choice

A view at our ship from the other side of the bridge in front of us. Note the pillory in the foreground. Although one sometimes thinks that using a pillory every now and then might be a good idea, the pillory is a thing of the past since the mid-nineteenth-century. In The Netherlands, that is. We are not sure about the entire globe – torturing is still applied, even by so called ‘civilised’ nations.

When seeing this picture we do not have to convince anyone, we think, about the sheer prettiness of Sloten/Sleat. This is, by the way, one of the eleven cities of Friesland/Fryslân – the tiniest. Inhabitants: less than 800. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sloten,_Friesland, a lot better, of course, the same page in Dutch.

Admittedly the same houses, this time as seen from the top of the bridge.

Just a bit of movement to the left – and there’s another fabulous picture. Note the ominous sky.

  • Brêgewipper

    A sign of the occupation of the resident was on display outside some of the lovely houses. The Brêgewipper would be called a Brugwachter in…

  • Oannimmer

    …Dutch and a Bridge-keeper in English. As far as the Oannimmer is concerned, that’s an Aannemer (D) or Contractor/Builder (E).


A weather-alarm (wind!) was given by the KNMI (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Netherlands_Meteorological_Institute) for Wednesday the 13th of September 2017. All bridges were taken out of operation that day – and the few locks as well. There was strongly advised against cruising -and a lot more, but we confine ourselves to the waterways. This video shows why we were happy to stay where we were for another day. We felt quite sufficiently protected by the trees and buildings to our port side. A pleasant surprise was the collection of a mooring-fee for the second night was omitted. That made a difference of over € 20,00. It was ‘force majeure’, it’s true, but thanks to whoever made that decision anyway.

Thursday-morning, the 14th of September, back to ‘normal’. Well, not as summery as September last year but good enough to restart cruising. Wonderful Sloten/Sleat was, almost reluctantly, left at 9:14AM. On the way towards is we spotted several great egrets – nowadays brooding in western Europe (The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany – and more) too. Initially we were unable to take a picture of one -there were really many of them- but here’s the result of a successful attempt. It’s not easy, because of a moving ship, the distance and using the zoom-lens. We are pretty sure we did see great egrets – not little ones. Compare its size to the ditch in front of him/her.

When travelling from Sloten/Sleat towards the Tjeukemeer/Tsjûkemar (yes, second attempt) the lake Brandemeer/Brandemar must be crossed. Sometimes it happens that a beautiful/interesting ship passes across. We waited respectfully and crossed behind her.

  • Tjeukemeer/Tsjûkemar

    After a few days of (pleasant) delay we finally entered the Tjeukemeer/Tsjûkemar. This lake is the largest one in Friesland – see https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tjeukemeer...

  • We were not alone

    …only for the privileged ones that master the Dutch language. Sorry! The wind was still there – but it was better than the days before and very well do-able.

The lake was tackled, as was the largest community on its edge, being Delfstrahuizen/Dolsterhuzen-Echtenerbrug/Ychtenbrêge. No free moorings, you know. We moored at 11:45AM at Zevenbuurt/Sânbuert, not far east of D/D-E/Y, at a free Marrekrite-spot. The weather was not all that pleasant, to be frank.

  • Ossenzijl

    The engine was ignited at 9:40AM the next morning. Subsequently the beautiful province of Friesland/Fryslân was left after having tackled a lock -yes, really!!- of some 30 centimeters difference in level. We entered the equally beautiful province of Overijssel again – beautiful, at least…

  • View to the east

    …when it’s about the part we’ve seen up till now. We reached Ossenzijl at 11:47AM, a village we have been before, around the end of June and the beginning of July and where our 10(!) domestic batteries were replaced. The view towards the east was worth a picture, we thought.

Saturday the 16th of September seems to be a record-breaking day exactly a year ago. Mind you, record-breaking because of the high temperature. This year we are in a record-breaking period again – only now it is rainy, windy and cold. Sometimes even uncomfortable to be honest. Nevertheless we left Ossenzijl this morning at 9:40AM, in spite of the drizzle. Again we are in the astonishing national park ‘De Weerribben’, part of the larg(er) Nationaal Park Weerribben-Wieden (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Weerribben-Wieden_National_Park). This picture shows how wet it has been lately. All the same we’ve seen reed-workers in full action. Wellies needed!

  • Ossenzijl (1)

    On the way from Steenwijk towards Ossenzijl 2½ months back we cruised the shortest way, skipping a detour via the Kalenbergergracht. That was unwise, as was properly made clear to us. This waterway is indeed one-thousand percent worth cruising. Just an…

  • Ossenzijl (2)

    …example (again) of a lovely house on the left picture and the view when having a last look back towards Ossenzijl. One cannot have a lot of views more picturesque than these ones – even when it is raining. The Kalenbergergracht derives its name from a little…

  • Kalenberg (1)

    …village situated halfway alongside the waterway and called, perhaps you guessed it, Kalenberg. There’s one lift-bridge in Kalenberg’s centre and we’re approaching on the third picture. The bridge may be passed after paying € 2,20 which we duly did.

  • Kalenberg (2)

    As far as the houses are concerned: most of them must have been built to be pictured a few thousand times a year. If the owners, just...

  • Kalenberg (3)

    ...like ourselves by the way, would earn only half a euro per picture! Kalenberg village is followed by Wetering village – it’s all so tiny that no-one...

  • Wetering

    ...can see where the one ends and the next begins. Who cares, it is a real treat to cruise the Kalenbergergracht – as slow as possible.

  • Muggenbeet (1)

    We arrived at Muggenbeet (Mosquito-bite, really) at 11:45AM and stopped there, if only capable of saying ‘We have been in Muggenbeet’. In case someone...

  • Muggenbeet (2)

    ...feels we are pulling your leg, here’s a picture of an official sign, designed and installed by the Dutch government – or, at least, some official authority.

At long last the sun surprised us this morning, on Sunday the 17th of September 2017. We decided to travel to nearby Blokzijl. We left ‘Mosquito-bite’ at 9:57AM and switched off the engine at 10:47AM. A new record! Blokzijl was our destination because we needed to do some shopping and the local Coop opens its doors on Sunday. Is that special? Yes, it certainly is in these region – (close to) the Dutch bible-belt. Eventually we postponed the shopping till tomorrow and had a few glasses of wine next to the lock instead. We could moor at the north quay – as visible on the second-to-last picture of Week 22. Time flies! That was it for this eventful week.