Antipole cruises

Middelburg, Veere Mere and Goes

We just loved Middelburg, and ended up spending four nights there. We walked around the moat and explored the numerous lanes and alleys. We found a restaurant Auberge Provençial, which, despite it’s French name, had an excellent vegetarian choice. The patron so liked our appreciation that he invited us back for breakfast as his guests, when we enjoyed a wide choice of breads, all made in house. We presented him with a jar of Ynskje’s marmalade in appreciation.

(Click on any photo for an enlargement.)

On Monday we finally left Middelburg and had a gentle sail under genoa along the canal to the lock at another medieval fortified port town Veere. You can see Anitipole moored off Veere in the left photo below, as well as some other scenes.  The surviving Scottish Houses testify to the ancient trade in wool from Scotland.

From here we passed though and out into the Veerse Meer. This was once an estuary but is now blocked off from the sea by a dyke and is no longer tidal. It forms a winding meer or lake some 12nm long with excellent sailing.  It is strangely simple passage-planning on non-tidal waters —no need to look up tides or plan departures for tidal gateways. We just sail off when we are ready.

The meer includes some twenty islands, a couple of which are nature reserves, but the rest of the area is set aside for recreational use. So often islands are in private hands with Keep Off signs, but these are all for public use with kept grass and lots of jetties and staithes  for easy access. On each and also along the mainland shore are picnic tables, waste bins and Tardis-like loos. The Netherlands has, understandably, strict laws against pollution of its inland waterways. It is good to see it make conformance easy with generous provision of the necessary facilities.

We found a really nice anchorage in a lagoon within one of the islands. On Tuesday we enjoyed a swim before breakfast, before we sailed back to Veere to pick up Ynskje’s good friend Heleen, who had come down from Amsterdam by train. We sailed with her back to the anchorage, where we lazed in the sun and had a good evening. The next day we all swam before breakfast, before we sailed Heleen back to Veere. After that we sailed further east along the Veerse Meer to another island lagoon for the night.  Then on Thursday we sailed the last stretch of the Veerse Meer before passing through a lock and out into the tidal Oosterschelde for a couple of miles before locking into a canal again and passing a few miles to another ancient Zeeland town Goes.  Here we squeezed through the hand-operated St Maartensbrug (below left) into the town’s inner harbour, where we are surrounded by buildings dating from the 15C.  We are moored (centre) right outside a gourmet restaurant, which served an exquisite asparagus soup like nothing we have ever experienced before!

That’s the news for now.

Love to all, Y & T

One thought on “Middelburg, Veere Mere and Goes

  1. Sarah G

    Hi there,

    Glad to hear the trip is going well and that Heleen has joined you!

    I think I know what to get you guys for Christmas tho….a nice table cloth instead of those lovely green towels.

    Let me know when a good time to come and join you would be. I am thinking around the 15th July as I see this is when Tony is back in Amsterdam.

    Speak soon and lots of love

    Sarah xxx

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