Summer Sail 2015: The Frisian Days

The Frisian Days was the best part of our trip. The weather improved so much, that it reached 30° C at one point, and conditions were perfect for boating. It finally felt like we were truly having a summer vacation.

The Frisian Lakes

After 2 leisurely nights at Marina Stavoren, where The Kid made good use of the indoor swimming pool, it’s time for us to move again. The wind had died down, the temperature rose steadily, but we only have a week left to the trip, and so we needed to keep the route back home in mind. We wanted to be in Makkum, but we’re also curious about cruising along the Frisian lakes, so it was decided that we’re going to Workum from the inland water, and then take to the sea again to Makkum.

The Frisian Lakes are myriads of different lakes connected by natural or man made canals. The network is so extensive, you can get to pretty much any towns in Friesland, or even out to the Waddenzee. The trick is, a lot of the waterways are shallow, some shallower than 1m. With our 1 ton, 1.6m deep keel, we had to pick our route carefully and try not to get too close to the water edge at all times.

There was absolutely no wind on that Saturday when we started the journey, and for the rest of the day, it was engine cruising all the way. But it was warm, the sky was clear and the surrounding were so peaceful, we spent the hours silently hypnotised by the tranquility of it all.

We reached Workum, 15 Nm from our last port just before 5 pm. It was a new experience for us to sail right into town, and went through 6 different draw bridges and a lock along the way to go out of the town from the other end. Workum looked like a nice little town, but we preferred to stay close to the peaceful IJsselmeer side for the night.


On Sunday we head right away back to the sea, and in the direction of Makkum. The wind was just gorgeous, steady with good strength, and coming from behind. So we whipped out our spinnaker and it ballooned beautifully all the short 8 Nm to Makkum, even though we wished we could sail twice the distance with the current weather.

We specifically wanted to be in Makkum on Sunday and Monday for the hottest day of the summer vacation. We were here last year and we loved it a lot. The Kid was especially happy being somewhere where there are lots of other kids. While she is getting a bit too old for playgrounds, Marina Makkum has cool playgrounds for all age groups. She also loved hanging around by the children farm, feeding docile farm animals there, and was particularly excited to learn that the park arranged a disco night for preteens on one of the evenings.

Makkum Marina is located outside of town, but now that we have a dinghy, it was so easy to take it to town, which improved our dining situation greatly. We always had fun taking our little dinghy to the town harbour, tied it outside of the town lock, and climbed the wall to get to the other side of the lock.

On Monday, it got really warm and the beach got all of the sudden packed (unsurprisingly). We were happy again to have our dinghy and went to the beach not from the sandy side, but going around the coast. The dinghy really added a whole dimension to our sailing trip with us being able to find a secluded beach to swim, or to chase pretty sunsets from the best spots (and Friesland seems to have a better vantage point for sunsets compared to North Holland on the other side of the pond).

To be continued with: Back to Holland


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