In this section, we entered Lauwersoog, unfortunately not without problems, continuing our way through beautiful Friesland.
We enter the lock on 25-8-23 around 4.30pm. The place is crowded. First all the smaller boats go in that can pass under the bridge, then I get to sail in and am instructed to lie in front of the bridge. When you enter a lock solo, I first lay a stern line and then walk to the middle and lay a line around the middle bollard, but I haven’t finished yet when the lockkeeper roars out of the window that I can move forward another two metres. So I untie everything again and start again, I get the centre bollard on the lock bollard and attach it temporarily. Then I walk backwards, but the boat has stiffened up a bit and that takes a bit longer, so when I walk to the centre bollard with the stern line in my hand to loosen it, the damage has already been done. I try to pull it loose but alas, the boat is hanging. The water is already being lowered. I roar upstairs, where the lock keeper is hanging out the window, and roar again, STOP! Get the reply sail a bit backwards, the lu…..! I don’t have a knife in my pocket , my boat by now hanging at 45 degrees on the centre bollard, when the force of the line with 18t attached, gives way with a big bang and the Asmara crashes into the bridge with a bang on the bumper, taking the paint off down to the steel. I swear at the lock keeper and tell him that I have done 64 locks solo in Sweden without any problem, there was always a check that everyone was ready. The line was one of 3 cm diameter braided. Thanks port Lauwersoog for the thoughtfulness.
I had been in contact with Aart from the boat Reitdiep who had borrowed my Danish plotter chart on the outward journey on the Flemhudersee in the Kiel Canal. He had then forgotten to have the correct chart on board. He informs me that he will get in the car from Reitdiep, where he lives, to bring it, we meet at the harbour on the inside, port side of the lock. When he gets on board he takes a nice bottle of Beerenburg with him, thanks Aart. We agree to catch up later, he had to leave now.
Around 18.00 I leave the harbour again, on my way to my spot on the Lauwersmeer, if there is still room in Senneroog. But when I sail into that little channel to the back, it turns out there’s no more room, so I turn around and moor at a jetty further along the bend, between the Volharding and a German. Simba can walk again.
The next morning, I detach at 10.45 for the Lorentz Lock. Fortunately, things are going well here. I’m on the Dokkumer Grootdiep towards Dokkum when I get an app from Luc, a pilot Martinair colleague. “Don’t you want to see me again, Mantel?” he apps. You were on that corner and when we were close you sailed away. Hey too bad Luc I app back. I meet up in Dokkum at 13.00 and rush off to get some more beer at the Lidl there. In the meantime, Luc had texted to say he was also in Dokkum. When I check on him after clearing my groceries, he turns out to have just continued through the bridge onto the Dokkumer Ee. Things can change.
Dokkumer Ee via Leeuwarden naar Marrekrite
The next morning, now Sunday 27-8-23 as I leave the last bridge in Dokkum behind me at 09.00, I steam up the Dokkumer Ee. Meanwhile, I see that Luc is also still on the Dokkumer Ee, near the village of Wynns. So around 11 o’clock I give a short horn blast and am welcomed alongside Luc with his wife and mother-in-law, the coffee is ready. We have a pleasant conversation and Luc wants to know all about my Drone, I look like a salesman. After an hour or two, I disconnect again and continue my journey. I have no intention of stopping in Leeuwarden and pass all the bridges effortlessly. There are two railway bridges on the south side of Leeuwarden that I have to pass through, so I continue into the Frisian countryside. I didn’t want to miss my painting appointment because of a railway bridge that doesn’t turn. Because then I had to go through Harlingen and the tidal flats into the IJsselmeer and from there back into Friesland. But everything went well. I more to a marrekrite at 17.08 off on the Kolduksterrak, just before the Tûtsenbregge, A few miles north of Grouw.
On 28-8-23 at 11.55 I sail further past Grouw on the Margiet canal towards Sneek. Around 14.00 I enter the Houkesloot towards Sneek and head for a place for Tjalks, but unfortunately there was no other place. But I still had to get a few small things I had forgotten, so I quickly untied and decided to sail straight through Sneek in the direction of IJlst, but first fill up with water at Sneek’s Waterpoort in the harbour basin.
Steadily the Asmara glides through the Frisian countryside, it’s a recommended route to sail to and from Sneek like this, if you’re coming from the south or going south.
Around 17.35 I pass the entrance ditch to Heeg, where I have an appointment on 4-9-23, which means I now have about five days to prepare things. At 18.33 I sail into the Nieuwe Kruispolle on the Fluessen my favourite island, Simba can have her fun again and in the meantime has left two mouse carcasses on the sail in my bedroom. From now on I’ll keep the doors closed so she can’t get in, am done with it for a while.
The boat hasn’t been washed in six months, so that’s the first job, messing around with water in the sun. Once I am done with that, I have decided that I also want to refresh the gangway deck with anti-slip paint and start treating the necessary rust also the superstructure. So I spend quite some time cleaning. the running deck where there is a lot of algae in the pits. With a brush and a sponge, I spend almost two hours there when it starts raining. Unfortunately, the forecast is for a lot of rain in the next two days, so sanding and primer application will have to wait anyway The painter also called to say that he has just returned from holiday and will do some administration and tidying up in the shed tomorrow. He will let me know if I can possibly get the out of water sooner. I only forgot to tell him that I will be sleeping on board during that week, I hope that is not a problem. In 2018, the boat spent a month in the shed, but then I had gotten my car and caravan, but now I don’t have a caravan. So we’ll see.
Heeg – Painter repairs
The appointment with the painter was basically September 4 lying in the crane. On 30-8-23, the painter called me that I could go earlier, so I moored in crane that day at 16.20. Started preparatory work, lowered aft mast and prepared fore mast and stays to lower main mast.
The next morning, the main mast lowered without any problems and the Asmara was lifted out of the water, 18 tonnes on dry land. My first look was of course at the propeller and yes there was still a piece of fishing net around the shaft, not much but still.
Once the boat was in the shed, work started for me too. The painter started his work that afternoon and I started mine.
Below is a summary of my work:
- The white fender has also taken a beating, so it needs to be touched up, primed and painted
- Remove all rust spots on the upper deck and cabin and prime them
- I also want to replace the gangway deck with a new coat of anti-slip paint, so derust and putty. Applying a new coat I will do outside when I am back in the water, which is logistically difficult now and it will be a week of 25+ weather anyway.
- Then there is the open-folding part of the railing on the starboard side that has had a crunch and is badly bent, I know how to repair this again.
- I also want to put the railing in a new teak oil, but unfortunately there is no more time for that either so that too has to go outside.
- That leaves one more thing and that is polishing the green hull, but unfortunately even at did not succeed logistically.
- In between, I’ve issued another YouTube movie 21 and am working on number 22.
So I have not been idle. I also bought ready-made meals, because of course I can’t cook while standing in the shed. Fortunately, there is a toilet on site because of course I can’t use that either. Simple things, but things to think about.
Asmara back into there water
On Tuesday 5.-8-23, the Asmara goes back into her element. Then the main mast has to be raised again with the crane and later I have to raise the aft mast again. The masts have to be re-tensioned and the swivels secured again. Then I find a place to paint the gangway deck and apply a coat of teak oil to the railing. Around 12.00, I sail out of the crane, towards Sneeker Meer, the lake Terpoelen near Terkaple where I drop anchor. I don’t want to anchor at a marrekrite yet because the paint is still so fresh. There is not much wind, but from East-South-East 2-3 so I am anchored at low shore. I hang an old t-shirt over the fenders to prevent chafing on the paint. First, I drop all loose items, fenders, table, chairs, mooring lines etc., on the side to clear the ship and deck. The sun is already spicy.
Once the dew is dissolved by the sun, I go on to prepare my gangway deck for a new coating. I start taping off around noon, which takes me 2 hours anyway. I still have the anti-slip paint and start stirring each can well. Eventually I finish the whole walking deck around 16.30, Simba isn’t allowed out now, because we don’t want no cabinet feet on the deck and inside, she doesn’t understand a thing. How do you tell a cat she can go out again tomorrow?
I’m knackered and going for a cool beer, another job flat.
Some more post-summer in Friesland
The Asmara looks like a new motorsailor again. Only there are still some expenses and chores lying around for the winter. My expensive set of 3 Mastervolt GEL batteries (light group) 600 AH together, have failed after barely 6 years. At 69% I already get an undervoltage warning of 10.5 volts, which means I cannot lie down for more than a day now, before the generator kicks in and has to run for at least 3 hours to get the batteries back to 80%.
The GPS has to be replaced, both expensive costs Lithium batteries €2500 GPS €300 So whoever reads this, I’m looking for a job for the winter period from 20-10-23 to April ’24. Because this won’t draw Brown. Am technical and of all trades.