Antipole cruises

Grongingen to Leeuwarden with grandchildren

On Wednesday 22nd, Tony travelled by train from Groningen to Amsterdam Schiphol airport to collect three of his grandchildren.  Meanwhile Ynskje restocked the boat and also met up with Rita who kindly offered her a hot bath – the first since we left in May!

Lucas writes: We eventually arrived after hours of traveling, including the odd cat nap here and there on the 2.5 hour train journey from Schiphol. This did allow us to get a feel of the never-ending flat fields of the Netherlands. 

Luckily the InterCity train was rather speedy and on time at every station, to the minute! Then on arrival, we were warmly welcomed by Ynskje and settled down before
heading in to Groningen to the Pannenkoekenschip, which had a lovely atmosphere. Molly, Maisie and I all settled on bacon (spek) and onion (ui) pannenkoeken.  Later, in the evening, Grandpa took the three of us in the dinghy with the outboard on a circular trip round the city on canals looking into the many barges and house boats. It was a totally different experience in the evening.
Molly writes: On Thursday morning at roughly 10:00am, we headed off through the canals to the Lauwersmeer. It was a rather long journey due to the 21 lifting bridges and the 1 lock we had to negotiate. It was quite exciting as it was the crew’s first lock. All the bridges were different shapes and sizes. We managed to sail a lot of it but through the bridges we didn’t have a choice but to use the motor.
Once we had finished all the bridges, we kept going until we found a lovely little island in the Lauwersmeer to moor on. We all settled down and took a little rest because the journey took us until 16.57 exactly. This meant we were sailing for nearly  7 hours! It was a brilliant trip though. Lucas, Maisie and I explored the island, and some others near in the dinghy. For tea, we had some delicious burgers which I know everyone enjoyed very much. We had a great night’s sleep, despite the bugs and mosquitos.
Maisie writes: On Friday, after waking up rather late, and having breakfast, we  took a bit of time deciding on whether or not we would sail out onto the Waddenzee. After some discussing we knew that the wind would be a lot too strong for (safely) sailing across the sea.


So in the end Ynskje suggested that we should travel to  Oostmahorn. It was very exciting when Grandpa put up the spinnaker (which looked very complicated) and we travelled all the way with it . When we got there it was a very calm, quiet place with hardly any people. It had a gracht (canal) going all the way around the little village which contained only one shop! Once we had finished looking around, we set off down the canal to find a place to anchor. Finally we found a perfect place on the Lauwersmeer, and we slept soundlessly that night ready for the next day.
Tony adds:  Oostmahorn is a curious place.  Back in the early 1900s, when it was still a tidal village, it was a key setting for Erskine Childer’s novel The Riddle of the Sands, which is regarded as the very first spy thriller.  I am reading it now.  Today Oostmahorn seems to have been completely taken over as a holiday park – UK readers think Centerparks (also a Dutch company) with water instead of trees.

On Saturday we motored and sailed along canals to the small but ancient town of Dokkum, where we moored under a windmill (below left) that is, curiously, also a pet shop.  The grandchildren have been exploring in the dinghy and this evening were allowed to make a complete circuit around and through the middle of the town with the help of the outboard motor (below right).

On Monday we travelled via the Dokkumer Ee canal from Dokkum to Leeuwarden.  Sadly, the wind was against us and we had to motor almost all the 12nm.  At three of the bridges bruggeld was due – a payment for having the bridge lifted.  The bridge master has a clog on the end of a fishing line, which he skillfully swings out to the boat as it passes through.  The bruggeld is placed in the clog, which he then retrieves.  With three payments, each of the crew had a turn at catching the clog and popping the bruggeld in.

In Leewarden we have found a mooring in the park close to the city centre.  We have explored the town, including climbing the Oldehove – the tower that leans alarmingly.

Today, Wednesday, Tony will be taking the children on the train back to Schiphol to put them on a flight home, where they will be getting ready for going back to school.

It will be strangely quiet on board.  We will be heading south through the Friesian lakes and back to the IJsselmeer to re-visit Makkum.

Much love to all,

Tony, Ynskje, Lucas, Molly & Maisie


4 thoughts on “Grongingen to Leeuwarden with grandchildren

  1. Liz Pill

    What a lovely record of your trip. Well done all of you!
    There seems to have been some non-vegetarian eating. Mmmmm! I suppose one must keep the crew happy and well-fed. Perhaps Ynskje has seen to that!
    The blog has made such good reading and it is so super to have all the different writers with their individual styles and takes.
    Three cheers for Grandpa and Ynskje!

  2. Alison Naisby

    Great to hear news of you all, & this shared part of the trip. What a wonderful experience for Maisie, Molly & Lucas . Thank you to all three of you for your interesting & observant accounts of your trip. Best wishes for the new term. Love to you all.
    Alison & David XXXXX

  3. Lucas Voss

    It was a lovely trip, and a completely different experience from Sailing in the UK. It was a real adventure. Thank you Alison for the wishes, and a big thank you to Grandpa for making it possible!

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