Grou(w) - Harlingen/Harns

  • Three masts

    Jay’s favourite running-space, being an island within the Pikmeer/Pikmar near Grou(w), was (especially by him: reluctantly) left on Monday the 8th of April on 9:24AM. On the way, cruising the Wargaastervaart/Wergeaster Feart near Warga/Wergea, we met a rather impressive than...

  • One mast

    ...beautiful three-master. Later on, already cruising the Van Harinxmakanaal south (‘underneath’) of Leeuwarden/Ljouwert, a beautiful one-master overtook us. We’d meet the last one shortly after this moment again, as tall ships have to wait for bridges – and we generally don’t.

The Van Harinxmakanaal again, showing ourselves, the one-master and a large commercial one. Yes, it can be busy over there.

  • Opened bridge

    Large commercial ships possibly have to wait for bridges, unlike ourselves. In this urban area most of the time we catch up with the big...

  • Closing bridge

    ...boys. We are allowed to disregard the red light. Gladly even we presume, as the road-traffic is upheld as briefly as possible.

A swing-bridge is part of the railway-line between Leeuwarden/Ljouwert - Zwolle (and beyond). That railway-line is being used rather frequently. Needless to say that the trains do have the right of way over boats. In front of us a train passes the bridge and two ships, the one-master (see its mast) and the commercial one, have to wait – offering us the (unneeded) opportunity to catch up again. We cruise at an average speed of less than 5 knots an hour, you know.

  • Red/green sign

    When the light is red/green it’s a sign that a bridge will open at short notice. And, of course, the green light indicates a free passage. As the second picture shows the headroom is over 5 meters (16,5...

  • Green sign

    ...feet) - and our highest peak (the mast) stretches to just under 4 meters (just over 13 feet), so we can (again) ignore the lights on this type of bridges. We always pay attention to oncoming traffic though.

  • Mare and foal

    The Frisian land scape is, in one word, enchanting. Of course it...

  • Ewes and lambs

    ...helped a lot that is was sunny and 17°C that particular Monday.

At 2:35PM we tied up at Franeker/Frentsjer, in a side-arm of the Van Harinxmakanaal. This is where we have been for two nights because, when we contacted the wharf in Harlingen/Harns, we were told to be welcome not earlier than the 10th – the agreed date of arrival by the way, so we didn’t complain. Franeker/Frentsjer is a nice place to be, too. We have already been there last year, though moored up on the opposite side. This side, grassy and without thru-traffic, suites us better because of walking the dog. A rather large ship, named ‘Melba’, was berthed behind us. The flag on it already gave away that this ship is owned by an Australian couple. The name of it is derives from their home city, being Melbourne. Read, in case you’re interested, more about ‘Melba’ using the link or, of course, Also Pêche Melba ( or Melba toast (

On Wednesday the 10th of April we left Franeker/Frentsjer behind at 2:32PM and returned back to the main-canal. Destination: the wharf of Scheepsreparatie Friesland (SRF), see at Harlingen/Harns. After arrival at 3:27PM (less than an hour cruising) there was not immediately a space at a quay available and we were asked to breast up to a ship, named ‘Zephyr’, just visible at the right on this picture. That, new built, ship is fairly higher than ours, giving us (impossible, half of our crew) (difficult, the dog) troubles climbing over it. Besides we didn’t want to damage the new paint. We prefer that task to be executed by someone else! Anyway, the next morning, Thursday, we were told that we could move on into the bay as shown by this picture. The covered ‘paint-bay’, inside we were originally planned to be and visible in the centre of this picture, is occupied by a ship named ‘De Vooruitgang’ (The Progression). That particular paint-job suffers from a serious delay. Therefore our paint-job will be performed outside – weather providing. It might be a longer process because of that. We do not mind it that much – we are now in an easy on-and-off position and, moreover, retired.

On Saturday the first painter was supposed to arrive at 7:30AM, so we rose at 6:30AM, walked the dog, had breakfast and waited patiently for the ordeal (grinder!) to start. Nothing happened however until around 9:30AM, when the man handling the grinder appeared. We left for a long walk, because the noise of a grinder drives one slightly crazy. After arriving in Harlingen/Harns it started, really!, to snow severely. This picture only shows the end of the snowstorm because, when at its peak, on of us was ordering refreshments at the counter (Hema), while the other had to keep the dog quiet. Note the low tide inside Harlingen’s/Harns’ Oosthaven (East Harbour).

A look from Harlingen’s/Harns’ shore onto the Waddenzee (Wadden Sea, see It was, comparatively speaking, rather busy – especially with sailing boats. The weather looks nice here, but a bitter cold wind was blowing and snow/sleet/hail was falling from the sky on a regular basis.

A part of Harlingen’s/Harns’ historical harbour. The combination of old buildings and traditional ships makes for a great picture.

The stuff that was on top of our roof on display next to where we are moored…

…and a view of the stripped roof, partly prepared for further treatment. We hope for a superb roof after the paint job has finished.

This week’s statistics.

Engine ran during 5 hours and 48 minutes (5,8 hours) – Monday 4,7 hours, Wednesday 1 hour and 6 minutes (1,1 hours). Yes, we did go forward at a leisurely pace last week!

Generator this week 3 hours and 42 minutes (3,7 hours).

Weather: Monday: sunny. Wednesday: sunny, hard & cold wind. Today (Sunday): rather sunny, still a chilly wind. The other days are not in our log-book, simply because we didn’t cruise..

Hope to see you next week again!