Hoorn (circa 1200) is another of Holland’s charming historical villages. It is on the Ijsselmeer south of Medemblik. On our boat it took about four hours. The sea was calm, fortunately, and the strong breeze kept us quite comfortable in another warm day of around 27c (80f). There were many people out sailing, mostly closer to shore that we were. In the photo below you see the ferry that goes between Medemblik and Enkhuizen.
The harbor in Hoorn is quite impressive, starting with the Hoofdtoren, a fortification dating from 1522, one of the last remaining. From here ships traveled around the world for the Dutch East- Indies Company VOC. There is a bronze sculpture of the characters of a popular 1924 novel about a 17th voyage to the East Indies.
We came to rest in the Binnenhaven, which we’d rejected at first as being fully occupied. However after calling the havenmeister (harbor master) we found that here you are expected to allow others to moor to your boat. He was there to meet us on his dinghy -I was expecting him to be in or near his office – which is equipped to help moor when necessary, and stayed with us as we docked just in case, as it was a close fit. We were moored with a youngish couple with two boys around 8 years old, very friendly and on the way to Lelystad in a few days, as were we, as well as a bird sanctuary just off the coast of that town. They have a 12 meter boat but only about 2 meters wide and close to the waterline, so they chose to move so they would be able to see out more readily.
Hoorn’s name may have come from Hornus, the stepson of King Radboud. However there are two other possibilities, one a sign depicting a post horn in an early 14th-century hanging in Roode Steen Square. A third claim is that the name comes the shape of an early port. Another is that the Hoorn derived from Damphoorn, a medieval name for a abundant local weed made into whistles. (see https://wikitravel.org/en/Hoorn).
There are several museums. We visited the Fries Museum, in the former (1632), the meeting place of the council of Westfriesland. There are a half dozen or so excellent group portraits in one of the rooms, and a significant number of portraits with out of proportion heads.
Between Hoorn and Medemblik you can travel by steam locomotive.
The volunteers have painstakingly restored the engine and cars. We enjoyed the company of a tall blond (there are many here) and her two girls, here depicted with the volunteer attendant in very well made traditional costume.
Next: dropping six meters from the Ijsselmeer into Flavoland.
The Vecht is a small river that looks to originate near Utrecht, terminating in the IIjmeer. Where we are moored just outside Nederhorst den Berg, a one street town. We are practically in the shadow of an old windmill, probably restored as it appears to be in good condition. There are cows to our left, water birds and fish to our right, and a bike path leading to the town. We are not alone. Kees and Ada are still here and helping out at every opportunity. As we’ve run across several challenges in addition to painting sections of the boat, for which Kees’ 50+ years experience coming in might handy, I have found several leaks, a dead fresh water pump and a few non-working electrical connections plus a bank of nearly kaput batteries.
To get here from Haarlem we took the North Sea Canal past Amsterdam. This canal carries huge vessels and tug boats. Amsterdam is a very busy harbor. There are a dozen or so ferries that transport people across the canal so you have to be vigilant.
Kees and Ada in front of us:
Amsterdam train station:
One of Amsterdam’s more lively bridges:
Here is my first sketch from the boat (digital). Once we get everything working and organized I can return to artistic painting, which I prefer to boat painting, as you might imagine. For one, there are a lot fewer muscle aches from being in odd positions, and there is a lot less scrubbing.
Weesp is not far away as the crow flies. Boats do not fly unless you are in very serious trouble so between the meandering of the river and slowness of the travel, a 30 minute journey takes 90. We made the trip there to have the boat hauled in an effort to find the source of the leak. This turned out to be easier than we feared. A few taps on the keel showed it was not full of water, eliminating the possibility of a keel leak. A through hull fitting looked odd and it turned out to be the problem. Remove it, caulk it, replace the gaskets, and voila! I’d tested the batteries with my volt meter and found them to be well less than 12 volts. I had him test them and he found that all but the starting batteries were knackered. Time for new ones. These are deep cycle marine batteries so they are not cheap but you can not live aboard without them, so in they must go. They weigh 45 kilos so this is a job for more than one man and ones with younger backs than mine.
We have friends in Haarlem, the Haarlem in the Nederlands, not the Harlem in New York City. We are going to meet them in May at a spot off the Ijsselmeer in the middle of nowhere. It’s where we first met them in 2000. It was their idea, and how charming of them to think of it! We met as we were docking our boat, they helped us get to the bank, and later invited us for Oranjebitter, a liquor made from oranges. This beverage is issued every year in honor of the monarch, still on the throne,
We met them again later that summer near their house. It was July. The Tall Ships were in Amsterdam on their annual circuit, which this year concluded here. Thousands of smaller boats joined in parades to the harbor. We joined K and A, their daughter M and her husband B in the latter’s boat for a trip to Amsterdam harbor in the twilight. There were hundreds of small craft doing the same. We were bumper to bumper, so to speak. When it was dark out came a large barge stuffed with fireworks as well as huge loud speakers. It was a great show! I am glad Kees was at the helm as it was a pitch black sail back to their harbor.
I took the the first two photos in Friesland, which is in the north and most rural part of Holland. We saw perhaps 6 of these older wind mills, some of them still at work.
We stopped for coffee. There were four older men playing cards and after we got our coffee, the waitress showed up with these appelgebak mit slagroom (apple pie with whipped cream), one of our favorites. One of the gents treated us, and as we were waiting for the coffee he even paid that! I have no idea why, other than perhaps we were the rare visitor to these parts. They would have known we were speaking English, although none of them seemed to understand anything we said to them directly. The waitress spoke it quite well however.
This event has more meaning if you know something about the Dutch. Some might call them stingy or tight. For example in our airbnb in Dordrecht they had coffee in the guest room. Very nice. But there were two coffee creamers. Not four, not six, just two. In another, it states if you use a whole roll of toilet paper you have to pay 2 euros extra. The generosity we experienced was quite the surprise for us, having spent almost a year in the country over the past 20.
The little restaurant sits across the field from the restaurant. Earlier we were in Dordrecht, in the southwest part of the country where we spent the night on in a small outbuilding. Our friendly hostess showed us around her lovely property, sitting on water’s edge. Across the way is an island hosting beavers, hawks and owls and more, as well as the usual ducks and coots.