Huizen - Lelystad

Morning breeze

After having visited Baarn (by public transport that is, Baarn is not situated next to a waterway – yet, who can tell about the future) for a music lesson on Monday we were able to leave Huizen the next morning, Tuesday the 25th of April 2017. Already at 8:00AM, because we already rose at 6:00AM in order to top up our sizable water-tank for free before anybody was awake enough to stop us from doing just that! When entering the Gooimeer we noticed a firm type of breeze. We didn’t worry that much, as the wind was blowing from straight ahead.

Later, around 9:00AM, the water became more and more choppy and the clouds direr. But hey, who’s afraid of a bit of breeze or rain?

Almost an hour later we spotted a tiny island in the IJmeer, named Hooft and visible at 11 o’clock on this picture. According to our documents it was possible to moor on the lee side, and that’s what we decided to do. There’s not a lot of fun to cruise under these circumstances and we are in no hurry at all.

Here we are, protected against the somewhat rough water by a tiny sort of dyke. As one can see on the lee side of the island indeed.

Well protected from the elements

This short video -only 41 seconds- clarifies completely what the difference is between ‘our’ side of the little dyke and the windward side. Note the stunning ‘botter’, bravely and successfully challenging the elements.

It is ages ago that we spotted a genuine goldfinch (‘putter’ in Dutch, the ‘u’ pronounced as in ‘but’). It’s not easy to picture one, let alone two, especially when it is this close. Therefore our apologies for the quality but these colourful birds are a good excuse to publish the picture anyway.

The next day, Wednesday the 26th of April, we left Hooft at 9:31AM in good spirit – unaware of the horrors (well, discomforts at least) to come. The well-known, if not famous artificial island of Pampus ( with Amsterdam in the background came in sight around three quarters of an hour later.

The lakes that were formed within what once was called the Zuiderzee are still really vast and impressive. It creates a feeling of being at sea, really.

The weather still looks, say, inviting. Normal winds, nice skies, in short: a pleasant enough view. Just for the record: this picture was taken at 11:06AM.

We’re here probably already on the Markermeer. Amsterdam is still reasonable visible in the background. Time of this picture: 11:17AM.

11. It’s 11:50Am now – Amsterdam only vaguely visible and we know it’s there. Within less than an hour the weather conditions have deteriorated hugely. Look at the waves and our tight flag. The waves come rolling sideways and we are in the middle of it!

A toy for mother nature

This video takes just 12 seconds but gives a good impression of the swinging movements of our little ship. It was worse in real life (waves smashing against the hull and ending up on top of the ship) but it proved to be impossible to control the helm and the camera at the same time any longer. One of us was eliminated by the elements anyway. Be it a car, a plane or ship – when it moves (too much) we are minimized to one single crew… As we had to deal with crosswind and -waves we were forced to zig-zag to minimize the aforementioned discomforts – coming close to horrors. That did not help to shorten the trip! Crossing the English Channel (La Manche) in 2012 was a walk in the park compared to this. We survived. Again.

When we were tossed around we, self-evidently, could hear a lot of noise from below. Caused by a combination of (1) ‘too late’ and (2) ‘too indisposed’ and (3) the hands needed at the wheel we were, as it were, ‘condemned’ to just listen and loudly sighing when the sound of breaking glass, or something similar, was to be heard. Here’s an impression of our galley’s floor afterwards. We must be honest: it worked out not that bad after cleaning. A (green) bottle of jenever (gin) did not survive however and forced us to find a liquor-store immediately after arrival. An obvious priority we’d say.

Not a lot later than 2:00PM we arrived at the first lock for ages, the Noordersluis at Lelystad, offering access to the canal-system of Zuid-Flevoland. We could enter the lock at 2:25PM because we had to wait for an ascending commercial ship, pictured here leaving the lock. We left the lock at 2:32PM and continued our travels on calm(!) water, 6 meters (almost 20 feet) lower(!!!!) than the Markermeer. Think about that!

Zuid-Flevoland is a part of the province of Flevoland – the latter established on the 1st of January 1986. See for more stunning information It’s almost unimaginable that this part was finally drained as late as 1968 and that nowadays its largest city, Almere, established 1984 houses around 200.000 inhabitants. Admittedly it’s spring, but doesn’t this look utterly lovely? Admittedly (encore) Flevoland is as flat as flat can be but have a look at it when you are ever in the position to do so.

At long last, 4:09PM, we were lucky to find a nice spot at the outskirts of Lelystad. After an eventful journey of 6 hours and 38 minutes, no less! The light of the low sun at 8:10PM offered us the opportunity to make this lovely picture of the spot we still are today.

Three quarters of an hour later that same evening the light of the setting sun even created this. An opportunity not to miss. There’s no manipulation here. Honest. This was exactly what it looked like.

  • Foraging stork

    Yesterday, Thursday the 28th of April, we could picture this superb stork, distributor of mankind’s babies – as we all know. Fleeing stork Ambitious as we always are we...

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    ...stepped outside to picture the stork even better. That was not to his/her liking. Well, a stork in full flight is worth a picture as well. That was it for this week, folks. Bye, bye.