Eemdijk - Huizen

Windy, and sometimes rainy, Eemdijk was left on Tuesday the 18th of April – the engine was brought back into life at 10:35AM sharp. (Since the end of last summer-season the hour-indicator(?) on our dashboard no longer works, so we are ever so careful about writing down the exact times enabling ourselves to calculate the running hours.) One of the first things we noticed was this shepherd and his flog. As we are in, or close to, the Dutch bible belt we’d say this is a very appropriate metaphor!

Finally we left the river Eem, entering the Eemmeer (meer = lake) at the same time. We planned to pass underneath the Stichtsebrug (A27) and moor for a few nights in the Gooimeer at an island called Huizerhoef. When arriving we noticed a dredger, putting all the dredged stuff on top of the island, apparently from preventing it to sink back into the water. Anyway, we could not moor there and went back towards the Eemmeer. Several nameless islands are to be seen on the way, all of them paradises for the birds. This is one of them.

We ended up moored onto the island Dode Hond (‘Dead Dog’ – seriously), situated in the Eemmeer and switched off the engine at 11:55AM. So that was a long and exciting cruise of 1 hour and 20 minutes! When looking towards the coast it feels as if being at sea. Well, after all this is the former Zuiderzee. See

The view to the front later in the afternoon…

…and the rear view around 6:00PM when obviously, weather providing, the so called ‘brown fleet’ pops up to sail for some time before sunset. A fully laden commercial ship, on its way towards the river Eem, is visible passing in the background.

The island itself is a paradise for birds in the first place – and we suspect loads of other small animals. A protecting dyke around the entire island prevents it from flooding. This dyke offers a great opportunity to have a circular walk. Don’t even think of crossing the heart of the island – it’s just impenetrable, as this picture shows.

  • Eggs (children?)

    Loads of both shy and noisy geese are a large part of the island’s population. They flee when the good-hearted walker (= us) is still at around 100 meters away from them. (Unlike the urban geese or herons. They almost tend to attack when approached too close! (A bit of overstating does no harm.)) There was one exception: one goose only got airborne when we were at some 10 meters. She (he?) was breeding, that’s why. We could see and hear her (him?),…

  • Mother (to be?)

    …loudly protesting our presence. To be honest we thought it to be a bit stupid to build a nest next to the walkway. We could hear a load of geese inside the impenetrable heart-part of the island, which is supposedly a lot safer for breeding. Especially when we saw a couple from another, later arrived, boat walking their dog. Not on a lead. Not dead – a real alive dog on ‘Dead Dog’-island. Hopefully the eggs/chicken, and the breeding goose for that matter, survived.


Listen to the music. One never gets fed up with this, does one?

More wildlife on Dode Hond, this time a couple of dazzling shelducks (‘bergeend’ in Dutch, in Latin even Tadorna Tadorna!) It’s half a duck, half a geese – showing off next to our moored little ship. See for more about this striking bird

We had been moored at the south/south-west side of the island for four nights, some real south-westerly high winds included. The wind turned to north-west on Saturday, the day we left at 9:47AM (when our engine started running, remember?). The combination, wind, water and sun offers an opportunity for pictures not to miss. The strong wind came from the right front, proven by the waves and ‘scum-traces’.

After passing underneath the Stichtsebrug and entering the Gooimeer again we left the lake and entered one of the several former Zuiderzee fishing-ports, this time Huizen. We were told a day beforehand, when we got information from the harbourmaster by telephone, to moor in front of the ‘De Kalkovens’ (The Lime Kilns), next to the Botter Wharf ( The engine was switched off at 11:15AM. This is what it looks like. Picturesque, isn’t it?

On the day of arrival there was a ‘Botterdag’ (dag = day). Although this picture does not show very favourable conditions the weather was more than acceptable on an average. So there were a lot of visitors, most of them taking the opportunity to have a bite or drink, get some information and/or be part of a sailing-trip-crew on one of the available botters. A forgery (smederij) was in full swing too and, finally, we spotted this woman in local traditional clothing.

After a period of over a week we could do extensive shopping (more tomorrow, Monday – shops are closed today – (Bible-belt?)) and borrow a cart, thus being able to fill up our four 20-litre jerrycans with (white) diesel from a gasoline station situated at a distance of, say, around half a mile. Price € 1,209/€ 1,219 per litre. In Amersfoort we paid not over € 1,15. That’s a negative (for us that is) difference of over € 5,00 on 88 liters (we manage to put 22 litres in a 20-litres jerrycan). That sucks a little bit… Bye the way, we use an electric siphon-pump to empty a jerrycan into the diesel-tank on board. Works flawlessly! Hope to see you all next week again.