Road Blocks

Good thing we’re sailing aboard Detour, which helped us get ’round two recent road blocks during which our cruisers’ flexibility was of the utmost importance!  We set sail from Andijk with a fabulous forecast, 20-knots of south wind behind us breezing us across the IJsselmeer.  Approaching the Lorentzsluizen (locks through the dike separating the IJsselmeer from the Wadden Sea),…

Spring Sailing

Spring has sprung in the Netherlands, and after a long hiatus Detour is finally sailing again!  We’re somewhat early bloomers; boats are still being launched into the water for the season and blustery weather is quite chilly despite the sunshine inviting us outside.  But we’re making moves and it feels great to get our plans underway for yet…

Welcome to Sixhaven

Excitement built on a dreary afternoon as we approached the Oranjesluizen.  This was one of the larger lock systems we’ve traversed; four locks, side by side, that are primarily utilized for commercial traffic.  Following the directional signs indicating ‘SPORT’ we tied to a waiting platform for a lift bridge that would raise on schedule to allow safe…

Us Heit Brewery

  ‘Tis the season for harvesting hops!We visited the town of Bolsward via bicycle (a 20-mile ’round trip from Sneek) to tour the Us Heit Brewery and Distillery.  Talk about a fabulous combination!  Us Heit is small but this brewery, with a full-time staff of four, packs deliciousness into their brews made with homegrown barley, hops, and Us Heit’s…

Wouda Steam Pumping Station

Water, water everywhere!  We’ve grown accustomed to canals, dikes, and locks; in the Netherlands controlling the water levels is vital since 26% of the country actually lies below sea level.  As the saying goes, “God created the Earth and the Dutch created Holland.”  The Dutch have reclaimed large areas of land from the sea, called a polders, and…

Row, Row, Row…All the Way Home

Having returned to the Ijsselmeer, we approached the town of Lemmer.  It had been a long day’s sail from Makkum, 35.8nm farther north just near the dike, with very light wind but a nice, calm sea state on the lake allowed Detour to make 4-knots.  We were not in a hurry and rather enjoyed a peaceful…

Wadden Islands – Vlieland

Our nine-mile trip to Vlieland was a good test of Detour‘s capability for motoring upwind in 20-knots, through confused waves and opposing current.  The deck was doused several times.  We learned Detour‘s motion in these conditions, very different compared to s/v Rode Trip’s rocking horse motion; much more comfortable, but when waves smacked the flat bottom of the hull’s design it felt…

Wadden Islands – Terschelling

We visited two of these five, Dutch islands which are strung along the northwestern tip of the Netherlands in the Wadden Sea.  Each unique; these Wadden Islands are shaped and sculpted by the tidal movement of the Wadden Sea bordering the east coast and the often treacherous, ever present, lapping waves of the Atlantic Ocean bordering the northwestern coast.  Their landscapes are…

Wadden Sea

We were about to enter the Wadden Sea, a momentous event for Detour upon which re-entering the salty sea meant that this ship had crossed a continent!  The lock through the eastern end of the Afsluitdijk, the dike separating the Ijsselmeer from the Wadden Sea, would raise Detour (due to the tide) into the ocean.  From the Mediterranean Sea…

Into the Great Wide Open

Now that we’re ready for sailing again, we needed some wide open spaces to set sail!  That wouldn’t be a problem in the Netherlands…the real problem, however, was that our own wide open spaces seemed a bit cramped; what to do with all these fenders!?   Oh yea, and the BIG, bow fender too!  It…