Saturday, May 30, 2009

On our way to Sweden

Just before we reached the marina Joanne took this dramatic picture. It appeared that we could reach up and touch the cloud. Luckily it did not develop any rain, and we docked in good weather.

Entering Goteborg.

Goteborg is a big city and we are right in the center at "Bommen" marina

Immediately upon reaching the west coast of Sweden it was evident that the scenery in Sweden is totally different than Denmark.
Lots of rock. Sometime very close to the boat, but we had 100 ft of water under the keel.

Once we rounded the island of Laeso and altered our course east it was much better going. We had to cross a main shipping lane and encountered lots of large boat traffic.
The ferry on our port side passed us by approx. 500 feet. It was the ferry from Frederic town Denmark to Gotenborg Sweden

After our stop in Hals we left Jutland and started our trip to Sweden. We made one stop on an island "Leaso" between Jutland and the Swedish coast. We stayed there one night, and continued on our way the next day.
As you can see by the picture the seas were not friendly!!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

On their way!!

Getting ready for the trek home.

Our last "Happy Hour" with Johan and Riek

Again we get our exercise and bike about 25 km.

Docked in Hals, our last stop on Jutland


Evidence of the storm!!!

While we were inside enjoying a coffee with freshly baked Danish cake it started to rain. The rain turned into a freak hail storm with large hail stones.
Lucky we were inside!!

A typical old Danish farm building.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Biking in Denmark

We biked almost every day and enjoyed the Danish country side

Lilac's, Lilac's everywhere

I have never seen lilacs as deep purple as in Denmark.

Country side on the Island of Samso


Entering the harbor of Grenaa.

From the harbor of Ebeltoft to Grenaa Johan and Riek biked to get used to biking in Denmark. They arrived before we did.

They took a picture of Le reve entering the harbor.

Somewhere in Danish water we raised the flag.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

1/3 of the way up the Danish coast

Our stop for the night was just past the bridge connecting Jutland and the island of Fyn, in the city of Fredericia. After dinner on board we went for a nice bike ride in a nearby wooded area.

A picture of the bridge by night.

and a picture by day.

It seems as though we are following spring north. The flowering shrub that is almost finished blooming in Holland is still in full bloom in Denmark.

Our destination for the day (19th of May) was Aabenraa. There was no open berth to be found here either.
So we snuggled up to the loading dock. The harbor master did not have a problem with us staying there for the night.

Passing through Sonderborg.

We entered a small marina just below the locks only to find out that there was no room in the inn!!
Finely someone took pity on us. He moved his sail boat away from the dock and let us dock, after which he came along side and tied up to us.
He called it German hospitality. We were very grateful.!!!!

The Kiel Canal

Upon entering the lock at the Holtenau (Kiel) end of the Kiel canal we encountered a disabled sailing vessel. We were asked to tow the vessel out of the lock to the marina just below the lock. So we tied the boat to the port side of Le reve, and delivered her to the wharf.

The Kiel canal or better known in Germany as the North East Sea canal is used by many commercial boats to go to the English Channel from Finland Sweden, and other countries in the Baltic in order to cut off many miles.

The canal was opened in 1895 by the German government in an effort to control the Baltic region

After making a stop on the Island of Norderney (the first stop in Germany)
we reached to the Kiel canal. The picture shows Joanne and Johan holding the boat away from the floating pontoon. It is only about 10 inches or so above the water line, and we have to be careful not to damage the boat hull on the rough boards of the pontoons.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A City tour

We got a private tour from Truus, a lady from Delfzijl who told us a lot about the history, and significance of the city.

Delfzijl, like so many places in Holland has a lot of unique and interesting buildings.

Thank you Truus!!!

17th century packing houses

Appingedam has old packing houses converted to residence. In order to create more living space, a room was added that protrudes over the moot behind the "packing house". And balconies build just over the water for added out door living space

Beautifull historic monuments

The organ in the "Hervormde Kerk" (reformed church) in Appingedam

And the pulpit.

The building has won first prize for being the most beautiful in the province of Groningen.

Bike trouble

It's good to bike with friends, just in case you get trouble.

In this case I needed some more air in my rear tire. The service station where we attempted to do this did not have the right fitting for bikes. As a result air escaped out of the tire and I could not continue biking. So we had to go to the "fietse maker" (bike repair shop) which was some distance away. So Johan offered to give me a ride to the "fietse maker"

Biking in Delfzijl

The weather is a bit too rough to attempt the "German Bend" of the North sea. So we take our bikes and go exploring in and around Delfzijl.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Able Tasman marine

The Canadian flag proudly flying over the Delfzijl "Abel Tasman" marine.

Arrival in Delfzijl

Upon arrival in Delfzijl, we registered in the Delfzijl Marina and motor boat association "Abel Tasman". The dock master raised the Canadian flag in our honor. People here are extremely friendly, and helpful.
Various ex mariners (sea going captains) came to our boat to advise us as to when and how to go.
We have to be patient as we are having fairly high winds and the route we have plotted takes us through the German bend "jammer bocht" (the miserable bend). This is the south east corner of the North sea and we have to take it in order to go north. There is a possibility that we will take a route through north Germany and decrease our distance on the North sea, however this will take e few days longer. We will wait and see what the weather is like tomorrow.
Stay tuned.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Opening "Molen Massier"

After we had the boat "ship shape" we went back to Nieuwleusen and witnessed the opening and "molen Massier market" of the restored windmill in my home town village.
It was a very nice day with lots booths and many people came out to enjoy the day.

Volunteers of the community run association were there to generate funds to pay for the upkeep of the windmill. Amongst them is my sister and brother in law who are selling "kniepertjes" a old dutch cookie. Business was so good that they could not keep up with the demand. Joanne joined forces, and when all was said and done they baked close to 2000 "kniepertjes"

The fully restored and working wind mill.
On special days it will be milling grain for baking bread, cakes and cookies.
It truly was a proud moment for all the voluntiers who worked on the project, but most of all for the Massier family. The Massiers are close friends of our family, and have been millers for 9 generations.

Checking out the boat

Upon arriving at the boat we found it to be nice and cozy warm in the boat. Proof that our heating system was working well.
During the next few days we spent getting the boat ready for our trip north. One of the items on the list was to lift Le reve out of the water and clean, and check the bottom.
The only disappointing thing was that there was a lot of mold in the boat especially the pillows. This was due to the fact that most of the winter there was no heat in the boat, and the moist Dutch air caused mold to set in. However now we have everything in ship shape condition ready to head north.

Tulip fields

The first day in Holland we spent in North Holland the biggest area where the bulbs are being cultivated. In the spring it is a sea of colors.
Very beautiful.


Upon arrival at Schiphol Int. airport I managed to get a picture of the group as they were waiting to be transported to their host families. The Dutch still treat the Canadian veterans who liberated them in the second world war with great respect.
On May 2 boarded a KLM flight to Amsterdam. At Toronto airport it was obvious that we had a number of veterans on our flight who traveled to Holland to celebrate the Dutch liberation May 5th. This picture is one of the veterans who was on our flight, and I had a nice conversation with him. He was accompanied by his grandson (right behind him left)