August

Leeuwarden

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Leeuwarden                                     Leeuwarden, the Waag

Leeuwarden                                     Leeuwarden, many historic ships

Leeuwarden - amazing bridge                    A great evening with friends


Friesland

From Groningen we sailed up the Reitdiep to Zoutkamp. This is where we purchased Esme almost five years ago and where her former owners kept her for some years.  We arranged to stop at the Hunzegat Jachthaven where Geert and Marga made us very welcome.  Also there to meet us was Matthias, the carpenter who had spent two years lovingly restoring the aft cabin.  Here we picked up Jen and Alan, our English friends who came to join us for a few days cruising via Dokkum to Leeuwarden.

 

Cruising up the Reitdiep                       Zoutkamp

Old harbour at Zoutkamp                        Hunzegat Jachthaven, Esme's old home

The Lauwersmeer                                Alan and Jen take control

Wild flower meadow                             Dokkum

Friesland horses                               Another lovely sunset, near Leeuwarden

 

Jirsum

Katy and Henry, English friends who spend their summers at Jirsum made us welcome with a super mooring at their home.  They took us for a lovely evening cruise in their motor boat around Jirsum, Akkrum and Grouw, followed by a Chinese meal on board in the heart of the village. We linked up with them again and had four days of cruising round the remote and rural parts of Friesland, guided by Henry who knows all the best places to go!

Arriving at Jirsum - escorted !                Cruise in Henry's boat around Akkrum

A perfect summer evening                       Jirsum, backwaters

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Chinese meal on board                          This bridge was so low we had to lie down!


A very special reunion

New friends (but old friends of Esme) came to join us for a cruise to Makkum.  Matthias worked on board for two years restoring the historic aft cabin to her former glory.  Jacob worked on the engineering and power systems at the time of the conversion and also had a long and happy association with the ship.  Both of them are also friends of the former owners.  In this way, the five owners have all linked up - what Eva (owner no. 4) called "The Magic Five".  Jacob brought his familly with him and as the girls had just completed a Sea Scouts trip to England they were more than able to take the helm.  In addition of course, there were three skippers on board so it was a fun trip, also an emotional one.  The love they felt for the ship was evident - she had been a big part of their lives with many associated happy memories.   Moreover, the "pilgrimage" that day was to the small town of Makkum, where Esme was built at the Amel's yard in 1927.  Incredibly, we found a mooring at the site of the old shipyard right where she was launched 84 years ago, so she had truly come home!  There are new houses there now but some of the old shipyard buildings remain, converted to homes. We visited the local history society where we learnt more about the story of the Amels Yard, now the new De Fries Shipyard, the massive modern yard sited north of the lock, where they now build superyachts. See photo above, Sneek Museum visit.  We really enjoyed the week we spent there and made some new friends.

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The three skippers, Chris,Matthias,Jacob       Crossing the Sneekermeer (busy Sneek Week)

Taking turns at the helm, family day out       The yard where her steel work was done(1990)

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The approach to Makkum, rural and narrow       Back home at last, moored at her birthplace

The new yard De Fries, dominates the skyline   Street scene, Makkum

Makkum, the Waag, VVV and Museum               Town lock, Makkum

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Makkum                                        Some of the remaining old yard sheds, restored

One of the original buidings, unrestored!      The Dijk path - first view of the Waddenzee

Jacob's family hosted us a day at their home   Makkum, ships sheltering from stormy weather  

Exploring more Friesland

Henry and Katy spend the summers in Friesland and we enjoyed sharing their company, being shown a few secret hideaways and generally messing about in boats.

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We linked up with Katy and Henry again         Workum, another delightful town

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Sneek Museum, model of the old Amels shipyard  Another lovely Dutch sky

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Rabbit island - canoeing                       Sneek - the Waterpoort


The Turf Route

 

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New baby at Ossenzijl                          Kittens at Ossenzijl

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Duck heaven                                    Harbour at Blokzijl


Travelling south again

Friesland was a wonderful place and we will certainly return.  We had a fantastic summer meeting and making friends from our ship's past.  The happiness of these events will always stay with us.  We made many cycle excursions to places of interest and it was not unusual to travel up to 40 - 50 km in a day!   In this way we saw places we would not be able to sail to.  We also feel less guilty about all the lovely Dutch food we are enjoying!

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DIY on the run, making mosquito screens        Schotland, an island on land

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Emmeloord                                      Harderwijk island

Elizabeth - Esme family day

We enjoyed a special day at Eemdijk with the Timmerman family and their friends Nel and Krijn.  There was real celebration.  Elma had visited us before but this was the first time her sisters Hanny and Marijke had seen their uncle and grandmother's ship since they were young girls.  They had many treasured memories and it was an extraordinary day.  Spending their school holidays on board, they travelled widely, so the ship was a big part of their lives and their very loving family.  We were very touched when they gave us several precious mementoes from those days, everyday items which they remembered using and which they wanted us to have to keep with the ship.  Many stories of the old days were handed down to us and recorded for posterity, including the liberation by the Canadians in 1944.  The silk from one of their parachutes was given to make three lovely dresses for the girls to wear to a family wedding.

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Elizabeth-Esme's old family, new friends       Parachute silk dresses for the girls   

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Maria and her sister with Oma (right)          Maria's 3 daughters, Hanny, Elma, Marijke now   


 the Timmerman family and their friends Nel and Krijn.  There was real celebration.  Elma had visited us before but this was the first time her sisters Hanny and Marijke had seen their uncle and grandmother's ship since they were young girls.  They had many treasured memories and it was an extraordinary day.  Spending their school holidays on board, they travelled widely, so the ship was a big part of their lives and their very loving family.  We were very touched when they gave us several precious mementoes from those days, everyday items which they remembered using and which they wanted us to have to keep with the ship.  Many stories of the old days were handed down to us and recorded for posterity, including the liberation by the Canadians in 1944.  The silk from one of their parachutes was given to make three lovely dresses for the girls to wear to a family wedding.

Spakenburg_en_Eemdijk_036Hannie_Elma_en_Marijke

Elizabeth-Esme's old family, new friends       Parachute silk dresses for the girls   

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Maria and her sister with Oma (right)          Maria's 3 daughters, Hanny, Elma, Marijke now