Departing Helgoland, our 20 hour sail and later motoring took us to a wonderful sandy island on the coast of Holland. Vlieland is a long narrow island that offers the wonderful smell of pine trees and beautiful sandy beaches. It is a very popular destination as we learned. We arrived to a fairly empty marina on Thursday and by 1200 Friday it was a steady flow of boats entering the harbour plus several ferry boats from the mainland. We then understood it was a holiday weekend.
We departed by 0800 the next morning and the harbour master was very happy to have a empty slip to offer more arriving boats. We arrived to Harlingen and they opened the bridge immediately into the inner harbour. We then had to wait 30 minutes for the next bridge to open into the canal where we would moor in the heart of the village with trees on either side of the canal. Very charming. The church reminded us of the top of the hour and the bottom of the hour with a added bonus in the morning and evening of a tune after the bells. No sleeping late in Harlingen.
We had a surprise visit that evening around 2045 from Dutch immigration and wanted all details on us and the boat. We had never expected this being a EU registered boat, flying a flag within the EU and sailing within EU waters. Our questions why and for what purpose were never really answered to our satisfaction or understanding but never the less they were polite in “doing their jobs”.
Leaving the next morning with a incoming tide we had a wonderful 2 hour sail on the Waddenzee to Kornwerd where the locks are located to enter the Ijsselmeer. We were the first boat into the locks and as soon as they opened the gate to enter the Ijsselmeer, the sweet smell I remember from boating on lakes with my parents immediately flooded my memories. It took us sometime to adjust to the depth meter reading 3.0m to 3.5m sailing 7.0+ knots. “Not to worry, it is a sandy bottom” is what we heard from many Dutch boaters we met prior, so we relaxed and enjoyed our trip to the very quaint and charming village of Hindeloopen. The weather is spectacular and our sunburns erase the memories of the first week of cold gales in Denmark.
Our trip today offered not enough wind to sail to Medemblik. First day in the last 9 days that the wind has not been blowing a steady 9 meters per second. One hour from the harbor the boat, Roland and I were immediately covered in small green bugs. Thousands of them. I learned in the harbor master´s office that they are all over the Ijsselmeer this time of year and they appear when the weather is nice and NO wind. Interestingly as soon as we got to our mooring, the bugs disappeared. Again we enjoy a mooring next to trees along the canal and listening to a band playing from one of the old traditional Dutch fishing boats.