Steenwijk - Ossenzijl

On Tuesday the 14th of July we felt to have sufficiently digested the emotions of the weekend and left our Steenwijk-mooring space at 2:19PM, to stop again at 2:30PM just outside the harbour for, at last, taking in water. We were pleasantly surprised about the water-pressure and the time the water kept coming for half a euro – even around a quarter of an hour! Five quarters of an hour later -the coin-/hose-operator soaking wet because of the incessant drizzle- we really left Steenwijk, cruised for another 65 minutes and moored on the canal Steenwijk-Ossenzijl ‘in the middle of nowhere’, close to either Basse or Paaslo – but still within the wider area of Steenwijk, named Steenwijkerland. To make things a bit more recognisable here’s a Google Earth aerial view of where we have been moored for three nights.

This is what our mooring spot looked like.

Perhaps the observant reader already spotted the broken bollard (mooring-pole) on the last picture. Yes, we wrecked it. The pole was rotten through and through. We informed the female bridge keeper (where the yellow line crosses the canal) of the little accident. She would inform the maintaining organization or person.

We replaced our little ship because we now lacked one very much needed bollard. Sometimes the ships pass ‘as if the devil is on their heels’.

  • Bird-watching (I)

    We take our dog twice a day for a bike ride to get rid of his inexhaustible energy. That’s to say: we are cycling, he is trotting. (Not galloping, because we cannot keep up with him then…) A bit over 1 kilometre to the west from our mooring spot an bird-observation-point is created by the national...

  • Bird-watching (II)

    ...park Weerribben-Wieden – see the first picture. One is able to observe (and picture) without disturbing wildlife. Magic! If one’s lucky these birds can be observed: kingfisher, black tern, bluethroat, sedge warbler and teal. And a load more, like herons. It’s a paradise for the dedicated birdwatcher.

The view straight ahead as seen from the observation-point, towards the south-west. The area is called the Lokkenpolder. See Only in Dutch, but - Google Translate if you wish. This area is, arguable, sometimes qualified as the most beautiful area of The Netherlands.

View from the same spot, now to the north-west, across the canal.

This is what, among other beautiful plants, grows along the canal. We have to admit that we do not even know the name of this charming wild flower(s). Shame on us!

Enough about this ‘in-the-middle-of-nowhere-spot’ now. We left on Friday the 17th of July at 9:30AM. Destination Ossenzijl. Yes again. Not only because we honestly like it there; we can do some necessary shopping in the unpretentious local ‘supermarket’ and get rid of our waste. We arrived only 55 minutes later. As we’ve published a picture of the same spot before we made a panoramic one this time. To the left the Ossenzijlersloot is visible; to the right, the Ossenzijler bridge. And left of the centre the entrance of a large new development, waterways included.

The same spot, only shown because of the vast new development in the background. We’re told over 70 houses – only 7 are designated for permanent habitation; the rest are all holiday homes.

  • Luxury holiday homes (I)

    We walked the dog inside the new development. Curiosity, that’s what it is… Here’s an impression of what it looks like.

  • Luxury holiday homes (II)

    Our little ship, moored outside the development in the Ossenzijlersloot, is visible in the second picture’s background.

  • View onto water and, if desired, a sloop in front (I)

    All houses, designed with either a thatched or a tiled roof, have got mooring space for a small boat...

  • View onto water and, if desired, a sloop in front (II) the front. We're told that the houses were sold including a sloop (for the ones that wished one).

Ossenzijl’s bridge, and the road leading towards and from it, are all by far too narrow to be able to digest all traffic properly. Apart from these circumstances the boat traffic is really overwhelming at the moment – so the bridge is closed regularly for road traffic. See below.

An Ossenzijl boat named ‘De Kleine Beer’ (The little bear) (the Dutch word beer (bear) not to confuse with bier (beer)) has a beautiful bear, made of carved wood, on top of its helm. (To make matters more complicated, ‘helm’ in Dutch means ‘helmet’.)

  • Passing beauty (I)

    Of course loads of ‘ordinary’ cruisers are passing. But sometimes, the regularity is changed by passing beauties – like these two. Because of ongoing waterworks near the bridge the maximum sizes...

  • Passing beauty (II)

    ...for passing boats are 20 meters long and 4,50 wide. We had a strong impression that at least the second surpassed the maximum length. Nobody cares as long as she doesn't get stuck.

Ossenzijl was an independent municipality in the past. That changed a few times. It’s really too complicated to sift through all changes but this statue ‘Waterput’ (Water well) was given to Ossenzijl’s community in 2001 by the (former) municipality of IJsselham, when the latter ceased to exist and, Ossenzijl included, became part of Steenwijk – which name changed in 2003 into Steenwijkerland.

  • Traffic jam (I)

    It’s absolutely clear, seeing this pictures (taken from our little ship) why the bridge has to open for passing boats very frequently. The first picture shows the boats, waiting impatiently (not all of them, though). The second shows more...

  • Traffic jam (II)

    ...of them, relieved continuing their cruise. Observing swearing, grumbling boaters (not all of them, just some) of course is fun pastime. Ossenzijl is a real bottle neck when cruising to and fro Friesland. The alternatives are often serious detours.

This week’s statistics.

Engine ran during 2 hours and 18 minutes (2,3 hours) – Tuesday 1,2, Friday 1,1 hours.  

Generator this week only a few hours. (Washing machine and, of course, coffee machine).

Weather: Bad in the beginning, improving later on, good, even warm on Saturday and today.

Hope to see you next week again!