Monday, September 29, 2008

Storing Le reve.

Spick and span and ready for the shed. BUT does she fit????
She just squeezed in!!!
Nicely tucked away

Last minute preparation

The final items to take care of before closing this part of the "great ride" is getting the smudges off Le reve before retiring her for the winter months.
Joanne is getting pretty daring, and going out on a small (very small) ledge, don't you think!?!?

It was great to cruise in Holland, especially to be able to come close to the places where both Joanne, and I were born. We cruised by the "Beilervaart" which is close to where Joanne spent her first years, and the "Dieksloot" where I actually launched my first boat (if you can call it a boat) that I build myself.
Who would have ever thought we would be able to experience, and enjoy our birth place from the water, after being gone for 53 years (Joanne) and 43 years (Bill)

All together we cruised close to 100 hours and traveled between 800 to 1000 km.

Our last visitors

Just a few days before our return to Canada we got together with my cousin Tiem, his wife Riet, and their friends Herman and Dinie.
Tiem has been a very enthusiastic "arm chair" cruiser, and followed us via the blog every step of the way. It was nice to be able to visit with them at the last minute.

Getting ready to return home.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Back to Leeuwarden

On our way back to Leeuwarden we made a stop in Gerekesklooster and have Appie and Fraukje de Poel over for tea.

They live right on the "van Starkenburg Canal" and we pass right in front of their house.

You can see their house in the back ground through the saloon window.


We had a very nice visit with Arie and Willy Meijer (Joannes cousin)
They came with us from Assen to Groningen.

You can not visit Groningen with out taking a picture of the "Martini Toren" a famous land mark of the north.

The first part of the Church was build in 1200 so it is a very old building.

Groningen is a well known university city, so you see many students. I think everyone gets around on a bike!!!

How do you find YOURS in there!?!?!?

Not only London has double deckers!!

As we leave Groningen we are again reminded of the many people living in house boats.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

In the ditch

The "Drente canal " gets narrower as we ascend it. We are being locked up 6 locks and ascend a total of 11 meters.
That is a lot for Holland.
The bridge in this picture is for bikes only, and is a swing bridge manually operated.

Just honk the horn three times and someone comes out of a home close to the bridge and opens it for you.

We never get tired of seeing cattle grazing by the canal.

This day is one of the few sunny days we have seen in Holland, as you can tell by the shadow the trees cast in the field.

The last lock we passed through today descended again as we moved further north. This is the biggest drop we have seen in Holland. The drop was 5 meters.

Joanne is getting strong muscles handling the lines in all those locks!!!

Up to the "Drentsche Hooftvaart"

As I mentioned before we are on our last trip before putting Le reve to bed for the winter. The route we are taking is part of the "Turf Route" but actually called the "Three province route". The route takes us through Overijsel, Drente and Groningen.

This inland container ship is rather large for the inland waterways.

Meppel seems to be the container depot for the surrounding areas.

Our stay on the wall in Meppel.

It seems as though we are docked right in the front yard of the people living on the canal.

The down town area was within easy walking distance, and as it turned out it was market day when we were there.

Our first stop after Meppel was "Dieverbrug" One third of the way up the "Drente canal".

The lock was just deep enough to allow Le reve to pass over the sill.

The sheep are peacefully grazing beside the canal, however should the dike break they will get wet feet, as the water level is higher than the field.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Marina and Camping "de Kluft"

Le reve moored at "de Kluft" with the
the tepee's in the back ground.

Mr and Mrs Kleinbleumink (Geert and Lini) came for a visit and a tour through "Kalenberg"

And my brother and his wife (Tiem and Marrie) and their two grand sons Timon and Jorn.

Yes the rest of the fam. is on board too. Erwin and Evelien and all three of their sons (from left to right ) Lars, Jorn, and Timon. (Marrie is in between Erwin and Evelien.)

We made a nice tour through the "weerribben" and Lars, Jorn, and Timon were great crew. I think I will ask them to come along the next time I will do an Atlantic crossing!!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Back in Ossenzijl

The marina we stayed in delivered warm buns in the morning right to the boat. The owner bakes his own bread and does the delivery as well. Hats off to "de kluft" marina and camping a well run and pleasant place to stay.

Is it any wonder we came back to Ossenzijl for a second visit!?!?!?

We are now starting on out last loop before our return to Canada, which will take us through Friesland, Overijsel, Drente and Groningen. Part of it is called the "turf route" as there was much of this product harvested on this route.

It was a nice day, ( however as I post this it is raining again!!!) and this brings out the sailing enthusiasts.

In Friesland there is a flat bottom boat called the "skitje" At one time it was used to transport goods. However as with so many things modern logistics has rendered this way of transporting goods inefficient.
The Friesian "skitje" has become a sailing icon and every year they hold races with this type of boat. As we leave Leewuarden and set out on this "turf route" we encounter several "skitjes"

Even though there are still a lot of relatively open spaces in Friesland, when they build something every centimeter counts, and land can not be wasted. You can not see it in this picture, however the canal runs right in front of the garden, then the street is between the garden and the house, so in order for the occupants to visit there garden, they have to cross the street.

Friday, September 12, 2008

More Friesland

The north of Holland still has a lot of open spaces. Here and there are small villages like the one in the picture. One church, and a hand full of homes (farms) around them. At times we could count as many as 5 or 6 church steeples as we scanned the countryside.

Sometime you would pass through one of these villages and it seemed like you were going right through their front yard.
You can see the reflection of the boat in the sparkling clean windows as if we pass right through the living room.

On more than one occasion we would come upon a dredging operation. This one did not leave us too much room to pass.

However we managed to squeeze by without incident.

Quiet dockage

A quiet dockage along the canal on the outskirts of a small village called Oosthem.

The walking path took us into town.

And the next morning Riek walked to the village baker and returned with bread that was still warm from the oven.

Self serve on the water!!!

Push the button and the bridge opens.

The bridge keeper is gone for lunch so we dock and wait for the first available opening after 1300 hours.
So we to enjoy lunch on the front of the boat in the SUN!!!!

Touring with family

Brother-in-law Johan pays the toll.

Many bridges in Friesland still use the old method of collecting toll.
As you pass through the bridge, the bridge operator passes a wooden shoe that is attached to the end of a fishing pole. You drop in the money, and are granted passage.

As we enter "Sneek" ( or Snits in Friesian) we see many old flat bottom freight boats. These are old freight boats that are converted into pleasure crafts and sometime their occupants live in them permanently.

Cheese is a big commodity in Holland as every one knows.
Is that why the Dutch are known as "cheese heads" ?????

Here are two cheese heads in this picture.

This store had many choices, Old, young, and every thing in between.

How about a "burning nettle" choice!?!?!?

I know some one who would appreciate it!!!!!

Some of "Snits" architecture is unique and old like every town in Europe.

The town square where we enjoyed lunch on the side walk.

We actually had four days in a row that were quite nice and no rain.!!

When we were done touring, we returned to Le reve, docked along the canal going through the city.

Quiet places along the canals

Passing through the country side

This picture is taken from the boat as we passed OVER the road in a aquaduct.

There are several of these unique structures, especially in Friesland.

The reason there are so many in Friesland is that this province is known for its many waterways, and lakes

Friesland is known as dairy country "Friesian Holsteins" and there are many of them every where.

A typical old Friesian farm stead, where the house is still attached to the barn.

Notice the huge roof on the barn.

The old and the new!!!!

Sheep are plentiful through out the countryside.