Thursday, 28 July 2016

Dokkum

My crew today were Dave and Martha, who is on loan from Calismarde.

We spent the whole day motoring through North Holland on the 'fixed mast' route. There are only a relatively few canal routes where all the bridges open and so are suitable for boats with masts that cannot be lowered.  Our course today included negotiating the complex of multiple bridges in Groningen that caused D and myself so much trouble a few weeks ago. Fortunately today this was achieved without loss of paint. This was probably because the canal was less crowded today rather than any improvement in our skills.
Dokkum
Apart from Groningen which is a large city, much of our route was through peaceful farmland.

For a lot of today we had a brisk SW headwind with heavy rain showers. This made us feel much better about the decision we made yesterday to take the canal route rather than going in the open sea outside the Dutch Frisian islands. If we had spent the night in Borkum we would probably have stayed in port today.

We got as far as Dokkum before we came to a bridge which had closed for the night. I had never heard of Dokkum before but it is like many Dutch canal-side towns. Much of it is ornate, tidy, well laid out and well preserved. We spoke to a couple of local residents who were keen to point out its points of special interest. It has some fine old buildings: the town hall (Stadthuis) dates from 1610.

The Stadthuis
We had supper in a restaurant by one of the residential canals. Motoring old boats down canals is surprisingly tiring and we have today negotiated many locks and opening bridges. We do however get a later start tomorrow as the bridge in front of us doesn't open until 9am.