Antipole cruises

The Friesian Lakes

We left Leeuwarden on Thursday and started southwards through the extensive waterways.  The first day we had to motor against winds and anchored for the night in a meer about 6nm south east of Leeuwarden.  The next day we had to re-trace our last steps as a motorway bridge we encountered no longer opened.  Instead we found a new standing mast route south and had a magnificent sail all day reaching with just the genoa and only needed the engine for a few bridges.  We passed through lovely countryside and villages and eventually came to the Sneekermeer, where we anchored for the night having covered 33nm over the two days.

The Sneekermeer is a complex area of lakes heavily used for recreation.  On Saturday morning, after a wake-up swim, we watched lots of botters racing – a lovely sight.  We then sailed and motored into the city of Sneek.

Sneek is a delight.  It is at the meeting point of four canals.  The old city is encircled by the usual gracht (waterway) and the stadtkanaal (UK readers: the watery equivalent of the high street) has a most impressive entrance (see right).  The city is a maze of streets and waterways with interesting shops, cafés etc., with a real buzz without feeling pretentious.  The boating facilities are vast, with a dozen marinas and a huge investment in facilities.  Our mooring fee in the city is just €6, including use of facilities, waste pump out and and free WiFi!

MariAnne, Daan & Ynskje

On Sunday we were visited by Ynskje’s brother Daan and MariAnne, as we are quite near Makkum.  We sailed out into the Sneekermeer and anchored for coffee, a long lunch and tea before sailing back to Sneek.  It was a good day and the wind was kind as it seems to be often here.  On the way back we took on diesel, the first since last October.



On Monday we took a back way out of  Sneek and had a lovely but very gentle sail along the Wijde Wijmerts waterway through lovely countryside and some very picturesque villages.  We duly came to the Fluessen, the largest of the Friesen lakes, being some 8nm (15km) in length.  It is all 1-2m depth, and thus sailable for us with the keel partially lifted.  We had a beautiful sail along most of its length into the setting sun, and anchored off a tiny island for a couple of nights.  We have been resting and catching up on boat work, such as cleaning fenders and decks.
Many of the lakes here have restrictions on access to protect nature reservations.  But the Fluessen seems to have been designated for recreation. There are various settlements around it,  most with harbours and yacht facilities.  At the north-eastern end there is a big housing development under construction.  As so often this is water-orientated, with a network of waterways ensuring each house has water frontage with a mooring at the end of the garden, or, in some cases, a dock cut into the lawn.  There seems to be no restriction on boat sizes, and many houses have quite substantial yachts moored in their gardens – mmm!
This morning it is sunny again with a lovely NW force 3. We swam again before breakfast and will be heading for Stavoren, where we will emerge back into the IJsselmeer.
love  to all
Tony & Ynskje

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