The Standing Mast Route – Part 2

By |Published On: April 11, 2024|Categories: Europe, Netherlands|508 words|2 Comments|

The beautiful Lauwersmeer

The next morning, the wind was still blowing hard from the southwest, the direction (of course) of our travels for the day. Fortunately, the sun was shining and no rain or hail was forecast. We left Zoutkamp early, went through the lock and then sailed into the Lauwersmeer.

Old sailing vessels outside the locks of Zoutkamp.

This was surprisingly beautiful, with the sun glinting on the water and making the expanses of reeds glow golden against deep blue skies. Everywhere there were waterbirds, egrets, ducks of all kinds, coots, grebes, swans, terns and gulls. Where dry land could be seen there were fields of deep green populated by highland cattle, hares and squadrons of grazing geese and ducks.

The beautiful Lauwersmeer.

Stuck in Dokkum?

From the Lauwersmeer, we entered Friesland via the Dokkumerdiep, went through the locks into the inland waters at the Lunegat and motored on towards Dokkum.

Random rust-bucket and delapidated factory along the way.

On arrival there, it appeared that the bridges weren’t going to be opened during the weekend. We couldn’t find a VHF or telephone number for the bridge keeper anywhere! That is, until another boat came through the bridge from the other side. Off we went to find out how it got through, and we were given the 06 number of the bridge keeper. A quick phone call later and we were able to make our escape through the town and on further west.

In Dokkum, David gets to sail right past his favorite Dutch building, a windmill.

The beautiful Dokkumer Ee

The next part was the Dokkumer Ee, the canal from Dokkum to Leeuwarden, one of the most beautiful waterways in Friesland. A bright sun accentuated the colours of the meadow landscape and the Frisian villages and farms. The most beautiful village was certainly Birdaard.

Straight through the village of Birdaard.

Here the Ee runs through the middle of the village, straight through the yards of its residents, many of whom were sitting back in their garden chairs and happily watching the boats passing by. I guess it doesn’t get old. Unfortunately the smell of the Netherlands, caused by manure from livestock farms sprayed onto the fields, was strong along a lot of Ee, heavy and unpleasant.

Somewhere along the way near Leeuwarden.

The Prinsentuin

Around five o’clock that afternoon we were finally moored up in the Prinsentuin in Leeuwarden, the capital of the Province of Friesland. It is a beautiful city with lots of beautiful old buildings and streets and, right in the very centre, is the city’s lovely central park, the Prinsentuin. This is park is located in what was part of the former battlements that protected the city and is full of huge old trees, lovely plantings and lawns for lounging.

Yuma moored in the Prinsentuin.

What a beautiful place to be able to moor up for the night! Plus, we had a dinner date with Caro and Peter who live about a 20-minute walk from the Prinsentuin. It couldn’t have been better.


  1. Jim June 26, 2024 at 1:10 am - Reply

    What a wonderful way to see the region!

    • David Westcott July 4, 2024 at 2:06 pm - Reply

      Surely is

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The Standing Mast Route - Part 1
The Standing Mast Route - Part 3