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!
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.