Antipole in the Baltic

Enkhuizen & Marken with Sarah & Oli

We squeezed through the lock out of Lemmer and had a good passage across the IJselmeer to Enkhuizen. Enkhuizen received city rights in 1355 when Amsterdam was still to emerge as a significant city. Enkhuizen became the headquarters of the Dutch East India Company and gained fabulous wealth. Today it is a very attractive city with lots of water-based activity. We berthed in one of the old inner harbours rather than in a marina.

Here we awaited the arrival of Tony’s daughter Sarah and her husband Oli. They write:

Let’s start at the end.  It was sad to leave Tony & Ynskje in the pretty harbour of Marken; sitting on a bus to Amsterdam rather than taking the Bromptons to explore the area further and enjoy more good company and good times aboard Antipole.  We’d seen a new side to the Netherlands, quaint and picturesque, whilst still very Dutch: practical, convivial and with plenty of bikes and appelgebak.

For Oli, it was also sad to leave after a first taste of the sailing lifestyle – maybe better to have left well alone than risk catching the bug!  Being under sail had a pleasing rhythm.  The joy of being outdoors, scanning the slowly changing horizon for hours on end, punctuated by the satisfaction of completing small tasks as part of the crew.  A perfect balance of being simultaneously lazy and active!

Antipole had ‘come indoors’ in northern Holland to counter difficult weather out at sea, so our time sailing was on the Markenmeer, effectively a large lake set behind the 32km long Afsluitdijk.  This opened in 1932 to cut the Zuiderzee off from the North Sea and so protect towns and villages from flooding.  We learned all about this at the fascinating Zuiderzee Museum in Enkhuizen where 50 or so buildings had remarkably been brought from around the region, enabling you to stroll around an early 20th century village, visiting the smithy and the smoke-house, the bakery and pharmacy and stepping inside several of the tiny homes.

We were looked after rather too well on board Antipole with delicious brunches, snacks and meals.  There was a large selection of ales and spirits, providing for a Belgian beer tasting session one evening and, as a last night treat, a sampling of the early production Stauning whisky that Tony & Ynskje had acquired in Denmark earlier on their cruise.  There are a few pounds or kilos now needing to be shed.

We particularly enjoyed learning a little about harbour or marina etiquette, being called upon to avoid eye-contact and adopt an unwelcoming body posture as a fellow 40ft yacht approached our enviable spot at the end of Enkhuizen’s old harbour, as one of the few boats yet to be doubled-up.  This appeared to work.  And then back-fired an hour later when the stealthy black silhouette of a 50ft gin palace cruised up undeterred and began to tie up.  The deed committed to, Tony sprang into courteous action to assist, and they turned out to be a nice family.  Yet our romantic view down the harbour was gone.

Well, that brings us back to the start of our few days on board.  Many thanks to Tony & Ynskje for so generously sharing Antipole and a slice of their cruise with us and creating a truly memorable experience.

From Marken, Tony & Ynskje had a good sail to Amsterdam, where we berthed in Sixhaven, close by the central station. Sixhaven is very convenient and friendly but has a reputation amongst yachting folk for getting over packed. There are stories of boats being trapped inside for days, but we secured a good berth just inside the entrance so getting out will be easy. While here, Ynskje took a train to Nunspeet to visit her mum Trees in her new home.

That’s the news for now.

Ynskje & Tony

One thought on “Enkhuizen & Marken with Sarah & Oli

  1. Robin

    Glad you are enjoying Holland after the weather in the North Sea. Hope to meet up one day to compare notes. Maybe we’ll have another Ovni do. Cheers for now and good sailing.

    Robin and Jane (Grey Wanderer)

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