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Published: October 17th 2013
A Glance Behind Us
When we looked behind us when entering the channel this is what we saw following us in!
After being on the hard for a month in Lelystad it was time to take a few days and explore a nearby town located on the opposite side of the IJsselmeer (large freshwater lake created by the dyke). We had a pleasant sail to Enkhuizen with good wind and a beautiful sunny day – what a nice change after being out of the water for so long. Many villages were recommended to us, but in looking at the chart we decided that Enkhuizen would not be too far out of our way. We know that time is going by and we need to get to the coast so we can cross over to the UK before it is winter!
Our friends had told us about the marina that they were staying in that was well protected and close to town. Fortunately there was room for us for a few days.This is an amazingly popular town with sailors and we were arriving on a weekend which makes it even more challenging. The central basin was filled with boats tied up five and six deep showing flags from Germany, Sweden and Switzerland, but most were from the Netherlands.
Enkhuizen had been
One of the Many Traditional Boats
coming down the channel into Enkhuizen - these are very popular here.
one of the harbor towns of the Dutch East Indies Company just like Hoorn and Amsterdam. It formally became a city in 1355, but was at the peak of its power during the mid 17th century. Due to silting in of the harbor, it lost its prominent position to nearby Amsterdam. The Zuiderzee Museum was created here in Enkhuizen to celebrate the culture and traditions of the fishing communities of this area. When the dyke was built in 1932 the small towns went from saltwater fishing ports to being on a freshwater shallow lake. This ended an important economic resource for these communities and many of them began to disappear as fishermen moved away. It reminded us of Colonial Williamsburg in many ways. Over 100 buildings located on the museum grounds have been moved here from various parts of northern Netherlands. They are from the period of 1880-1932. The volunteers dress up in period dress to act as guides and tradespeople. Many of them demonstrate their craft and explain what life was like in the small villages.
The other portion of the museum contained a large collection of historic sailing ships. It was housed in the 17th century warehouse
bringing many boats into port when we were there.
of the East India Company. This part of the museum also had sections covering the traditional dress and crafts of the various towns in the area. The dress is quite localized allowing you to identify where a person lived just by the clothes they wore. Some areas farther north still carry on the tradition of wearing the outfits of yesteryear and the handicrafts continue to be made as in the past. With being on the hard for a month we were are not able to visit these areas, but hope to do so next year on our way to the Baltic.
A real bonus to coming to Enkhuizen was meeting up with our friends, Louise and Fons again. We had a very enjoyable evening on their boat having a great taco dinner and great conversation. We thoroughly enjoy their company and hope to meet up them again in the future.
We had another “small world” experience when we first arrived at the marina in Enkhuizen. When we were coming into the dock, a man came down to help. We found out we had met him and his wife (he was Dutch & she was American) when we were
These People Were Happy
with the strong winds in this area!
in Dieppe, France together. The longer we are out cruising, the more we find that it is truly a small community and you never know when you will run into the same people again.
Enkhuizen is an easy town to explore either on foot or by bicycle. It has numerous canals running through it with many historical buildings to admire. The Town Hall is an excellent example of Dutch architecture of the 17th
century. The coat of arms shows the importance of herring to the city. In the 16th
century it derived much of its wealth from the herring trade with the Baltic countries. Today Enkhuizen depends on tourism as well as bulb growing for its economy. The Drommedaris Tower which overlooks the harbor was built in the 16th century as part of the city defensive wall and served as the main entrance gate. Unfortunately it is currently under renovation so we were unable to see much of the building. Two churches from the 15th century have impressive bell towers which still play carillons daily.
One day we took a longer bike ride out of town into a couple neighboring villages. We had a mission of getting a
Many Arrive By Boat In Enkhuizen
fortunately there are a few marinas here as it is a popular place for boats of all types to stop
Sim card for our phone, but it was a great excuse to explore more of the area. It gave us another view of the area with a wider variety of housing. We also got to see some of the major seed companies with their large number of greenhouses. Canals are everywhere and as I’ve said before varying in size from large navigational canals to ones which are only 6 foot wide used predominantly to drain water off the land.
It was now October and we knew we had to keep moving so the next stop is Amsterdam again before heading out to the coast to wait for a time to cross to the UK. We would like to explore the northern area of this country but there isn’t time this season. Hopefully we can come back next spring to travel through more of the canal system in the north before heading into the Baltic.
It looks like there may be a break in the weather next week that will enable us to sail to England.
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