Offingawier/Offenwier (Sneek/Snits) – Woudsend/Wâldsein

The 4th of September 2017, a Monday, we left Offingawier/Offenwier (close to Sneek/Snits) at 9:25AM. Sneek/Snits-city (33.700 inhabitants) was reached after some 40 minutes. In our case three bridges, spanning the city’s canal, had to be lifted. Here’s the second one, lifted at 10:25AM.

Here’s the third one in sight, together with Sneek’s/Snits’ famous Waterpoort/Wetterpoarte ( - also in Dutch or Frisian). The weather: glorious.

The same bridge, as seen from the other side. Later on we discovered that the bridges in Sneek/Snits are available for boats and ‘normal’ traffic on an almost 50/50 basis. (A little exaggeration doesn’t hurt.) The weather was still gorgeous – but our simple camera (once on offer at Schiphol for € 99,--) dislikes the sunlight coming from the front.

Lucky us, we grabbed the chance to moor next to the Waterpoort/Wetterpoarte at 10:25AM. An opportunity, of course, to take a picture of the pretty surroundings we are a part of. The quay, in front of which we were moored, has the interesting name of Geeuwkade (Yawn-quay), in Frisian Geau-(quay), named after a river that connects Sneek/Snits and IJlst/Drylts). More about the latter with the 11th (double) picture.

The same spot, now seen from the quay next to the Waterpoort/Wetterporte. Not taken by ourselves, but copied after having obtained permission by the maker. © Albert Terpstra

Again Sneek’s/Snits’ iconic Waterpoort/Wetterpoarte as seen from the east/north-east. It is the sort of thing like, say, the Grand Canyon. When one sees it for the first time , one already feels a sort of familiar with it.

  • Stately Sneek/Snits

    Although we stayed for four nights (only € 25,-- per night, a mere pittance – ouch!) we did not see that much of the town. We rented a car -from Leeuwarden, traveling to and from it by train- and travelled…

  • Traditional Sneek/Snits

    …considerably for business- as well as private reasons, causing a damage to the car as well!! Anyway, here are a few examples of the buildings that caught our attention when having a walk on the first day.

Before we left on Friday the 8th we took in as much water as possible. We had to turn and cruise to the opposite quay, next to the bridge, as visible on the 3rd picture. It took us 40 minutes to top up all the reservoirs we have – like the huge main water tank, next to separate large bottles for making thee or coffee. We never drink water directly from the large tank – that’s only for showering, cooking and washing.

Sneek/Snits was finally left at 10:40AM. Not that far outside the town we noticed an obvious inhabited (a man was visible outside, on the platform) little house-boat that only could be reached using a dinghy. We suppose one can do this, so long as the ‘thing’ is officially recognized as a type of boat.

When, after having taken the last picture, turning back from the bow towards the wheelhouse of the ship it was noticed by the photographer that the steerer was highly interested in that little house-boat as well. That’s an exception we can assure you, as she is always highly concentrated while being master of the rudder.

  • IJlst (Drylts) (1)

    On our way we passed the pretty little town of IJlst/Drylts (3.200 inhabitants) around 11:30AM. This is one of the eleven Frisian cities – well known of the Elfstedentocht/Alvestêdetocht and enjoying town privileges since...

  • IJlst (Drylts) (2)

    ...1268, no less. Although we are not in a hurry at all it’s too much -and expensive- to have overnight stops in the centre of every pretty town/city. So we had to skip IJlst/Drylts and are able to give you an idea of what it looks like by these two pictures.

When cruising from IJlst/Drylts to Heeg/Heech on the Wijde Wijmerts (Wide Wimerts) is was all too visible that the waterway is situated at a higher level that the surrounding polders. For an explanation of a polder, see - preferably even in Dutch. The polders are kept dry by pumps in various types of pumphouses. Even though it’s our home country, the vast amount of water, combined with the way it is all kept in check, never stops to amaze us. Once we had a girl from the UK as a visitor. She arrived by plane at Schiphol and told us that ‘The Netherlands is a swamp’. We were unable to contradict her. (Besides she told us that ‘Loo’ is an awkward name for a palace. Doh!)

Around 12:15PM Heeg/Heech was visible on our right-hand side. The number of masts and, of course, boats inside its harbour was impressive. Again, the vast fleet of boats in Friesland is rightfully be described by the word ‘numberless’.

South/south-west from Heeg/Heech, immediately next to it, the Heegermeer/Hegemer Mar is situated. After crossing the north-east part of this lake, visible in the background, we immediately stopped at the beginning of a waterway, called Wâldseinster Rakken. Wâldsein is Friesian for Woudsend, which indicates that we are not far from this town. Our engine was switched off at 12:35PM.

The next morning, Saturday the 9th of September 2017, we decided to move closer towards Woudsend/Wâldsein. Therefore we left our first W/W-spot at 10:35AM, to arrive at the second W/W-spot at 11:05AM – our shortest cruise so far this season. Here we are; Woudsend/Wâldsein is visible in the background but can’t be reached from here. There’s no bridge leading into the town from where we are. We will try to solve this ‘problem’ coming Monday – so tomorrow.

Water, wind, clouds and a blue sky – yesterday, Saturday, 1:28PM. Don’t be misled, though. The weather is, errrr, wet, extremely wet. It’s impossible to walk the bank and keep dry feet without wellies – as the last picture shows, see the puddle. Everywhere it’s just very boggy, swampy, muddy.

There it is again. A look towards the north/north-west where (one of) Woudsend’s/Wâldsein’s harbour(s) is situated. The combination boats, masts, clouds and coloured sky was simply too beautiful to skip this one.

  • House-boat (cruising)

    We were surprised this morning to see a cruising, yes cruising, house-boat approaching. An unexpected rarity. There was even a lady, well wrapped up,…

  • House-boat (front-deck)

    …lying in a hammock! She was well guarded by two, evenly well wrapped up, men. Anything is possible in this country, boat-wise speaking. Bye for now.