August 15, 2019
After a night in Lemmer, on the Ijsselmeer side of the lock, we ventured forth onto the Ijsselmeer with Force 2-3 winds predicted. It all went well enough in the protected area, with just a slight chop as you would expect from that level of wind. Once we left the protected area waves began to build and soon we were in 1/2 meter (about 18″) waves. This is not enough to cause discomfort in our boat. However after about 30 minutes we were in 1 1/2 meter waves and Force 4 winds. Our progress slowed dramatically, the bow forced well up to get over the waves, air making the ride very uncomfortable. We discussed turning around for a few minutes when a bit of flat water appeared so I opened the throttle fully and made the turn as quickly as possible hoping to avoid some severe rocking. Suddenly it seemed as if the water was flatter and we rode comfortably back to Lemmer.
My concern was only our discomfort but also that the pounding we were getting would stir up dirt in the bottom of the fuel tanks and clog the fuel filter. Changing filters, especially for the first time for me on this boat, would not have been fun. I changed the filters about a week later and I am extra glad that I did as it took a few times to get all the air out of the system so the engine would start. Diesels will not run if there is any air in the fuel as the injectors will not pop the fuel into the cylinders. It took about 10 minutes of trying to get the motor going, and this was while in a quiet mooring. In a rough sea with sea sickness a real possibility, it would have been much longer.
We paid another 5 Euros to pass through Lemmer’s narrow canal running through the center then headed for an island near Woudsend. We met friends at a good free mooring at which to wait out the wind. After a day or two we went to a mooring on the lake. We fought the wind to moor and just stayed a night. There is a better mooring close to Joure, so we moved there the next day. Joure is the home of Douwe Egbert, founded in Joure in 1753 as a general store by Egbert Douwe and Akke Thijssesa, later moving into coffee, tea and tobacco. Their son Douwe and his wife Ymke Jacobs took over. The company is still in the family. The aroma of coffee permeates the air in the area of the plant, sitting on the outskirts of town. The original shop is now part of the museum complex.
Joure’s central street is lovely, as you can see in the photo. While we were there one of the bars had live rock and roll music – the lively group played Jail House Rock while we were there – with a enthusiastic crowd spilling onto the sidewalk in the sun.
The next day we moved to Sneek, mooring in front of the Waterpoort, the fabulous gorgeous gate facing the canal.
Dating from the 10th century, Sneek (pronounced ‘snake’) was built on a sandy peninsula at a waterway called the Magna Fossa, built when the now extinct Middelzee became silted. There was a dike at the juncture, reflected in the street layout and names such as “Hemdijk”, “Oude Dijk” and “Oosterdijk”. While we were there I was also allowed to visit the Gamma, so I could repair the mast clamp which was damaged by the pounding in the Ijsselmeer. The Gamma is a retailer of bolts, nuts, screws, tools, paint, wood, etc. I went by bike as its over a mile. It was a ride made longer by the wind and threats of rain.
Sneek seems to be a center of entrepreneurial activity. A major clother CandA was founded in the city in 1867. There is quite a bit of industry in the city to this day, including a candy factory, steel, rope and machinery production.