Eekt (Elburg) - Ossenzijl

The Island of Eekt, close to Elburg, was left behind on Monday the 9th of April 2018 at 10:15AM. Going north we subsequently cruised the Randmeren-parts Drontermeer and Vossenmeer. We did it before and will do it again – so long as our preferred overwintering-city will be Amersfoort. Therefore, nothing new about this. After entering the Ketelmeer we spotted this elegant two-mast sailing boat, just exiting from one of the branches of the river IJssel. A real beauty! Sailing might be prohibited in this area, because of the presence of several commercial motorised ships.

There are a few possibilities to enter the river IJssel, as its delta consists of three navigable arms – according to our map (2014/5). We picked the central one – called Stroomgeul and almost got lost/ran aground because the promised buoys (too old(?) map!) were nowhere to be seen. Luckily we had been there before and could more or less follow the track that was still stored by our SatNav. At last we noticed buoys again in the Kattendiep and could easily enter the IJssel. Kampen’s harbour was reached without any further trouble and we switched the engine off at 2:35PM. Here we are, with a passing commercial in the background.

A few pictures of Kampen now. On top of the entrance of this house it reads ‘Het Kleinste Huisje’ (the smallest (little) house). It is indeed - the drainpipe marks the beginning of the next house. Remarkable!

  • Wall

    The walled-in large stone has to do, according to our spokesman, with a period that salmon still was a common fish in the river IJssel. The text reads: ‘Als ‘t God behagt - Beter benit als beklagt’ (If it pleases the Lord – Better ??? than pitied).

  • Detail

    The already mentioned spokesman, at least working inside the building and perhaps even owning it, had no idea about the meaning of the word ‘benit’. Nor have we. Schapensteeg translated, by the way, is sheep-alley.

Kampen’s Nieuwe Markt (New Market) is a square with nice buildings. This picture offers a detail of it – with a nice background.

  • Common

    Parking meters are a common sight in most, what? every!, village/town over, say, 2.000 inhabitants. Kampen, of course, is no exception.

  • Suspicious

    The majority looks like the left one – boring. Some ‘Kampenaren’, however, with a view onto one, do something about it. With a surprising result.

We left after a one-night stay on Tuesday the 10th at 12:10PM. The day before we spotted a possibility to buy (white) diesel. Therefore we initially turned back on the river and topped up our diesel-supply. We had to breast up to an already breasted-up pair of little tankers, owned by Bunkerstation Verweij. Very helpful and friendly people, the Verweij-people.

The second picture already showed a unique vessel inside Kampen’s harbour. Here she is again, passing when we were refuelling, performing a short cruise with a busload of enthusiast tourists. This vessel is unique in the sense that no-one appeared to be able to describe the type. It’s a one-off, that what it is.

Leaving the IJssel behind we entered -after negotiating a lock with an impressive 4-inch difference in level- the Ganzendiep at 1:30PM. After a load of little private cruisers ‘house-boat-area’ is reached. Here is one of them. The vast majority of the house-boats here is just stunning, and situated in a fabulous surrounding, too.

Het Ganzendiep was followed by the Goot (= gutter), at the end from which we noticed this observation-station for the dedicated ornithologist. An impressive stroll is demanded before reaching this station – far-away from civilisation. Or do the ornithologist use a four-wheel-drive nowadays?

After the Goot, and before entering the Zwolse Diep, the Zwarte Meer must be crossed. The Zwarte Meer is notoriously shallow, but at its south-east edge a narrow part is kept at an acceptable depth (1,20 meters – almost 4 feet) for vessels like ours. This picture gives a good impression of the vastness of the Zwarte Meer, the endless view and the marked waterway.

After entering the Zwolse Diep we continued in Zwolle’s direction and decided to have an overnight stop at Genemuiden’s harbour, where the name of the river changes into Zwarte Water – completely new to us. This is what the harbour looks like as seen from the river. As we did not make a picture ourselves we found one on the unsurpassed source of information, being the Internet. © H.P. Burger.

We entered and cruised all the way down – if only out of curiosity. That made us end up in a position along the city’s Oostkaai (East-quay), as seen here in the centre of the picture. Unlike Kampen, where one needs to fill hungry poles with 50-cents coins all the time, this harbour provides the visitor with unlimited electricity and water – and is even cheaper. Well, let’s call it less expensive.

Genemuiden is a serious stronghold in The Netherlands’ bible-belt, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genemuiden, of course a lot more informative in Dutch. The city was (partly) destroyed by fires in 1521, 1580, 1625 and 1740. But the most devastating one was recorded in 1868, when 140 buildings burnt down, among them 105 houses, making 600 people homeless. Extinguishing the fire took 36 hours – with the help of fire brigades from neighbouring villages, like Zwartsluis, Vollenhove and Kampen. Genemuiden contains a large carpet-making industry, hence the presence of a load of flammable goods. There’s still a ban on smoking effective on one of Genemuiden’s streets, the Achterweg, because of the presence of haystacks in between the houses. Illuminating the streets was done by petroleum in those days. After the devastating 1868-fire this was considered too dangerous to store this inside the city. Therefore two ‘petroleum-cellars’ were built within the dike that protected the city against the Zuiderzee.

  • Bra

    A surprise on the 10th of April in Zwartsluis, where the majority of the women, although fashionable dressed, wears black, black stockings included (makes us think of Henry Ford!!). We spotted a white, yes white, bra, hanging from the outside-mirror of a car. What’s that? The text on the sticker, glued to the bra, reads: ‘Just like that.. from Zeeman.

  • Zeeman

    (https://www.zeeman.com/nl/). A little surprise, just to let you know about our quality. Prefer an infant bodysuit, a pair of socks a t-shirt or a tea-towel? No problem. Change it in one of our shops into an article, no more expensive than this one.’ And so on. We did not steal the bra. The photographer does not wear them, not even secretly.

  • Seen from an outside cafe

    When sitting on the only outside cafe of Genemuiden we noticed a well kept building with a sign saying ‘Office Grootburgerij. Session: 1st Wednesday every month from 8:00PM till 9:00PM’. That proved highly intriguing for us. What, on earth is the ‘Grootburgerij’?? Well, for the Dutch speaking: see https://www.gaellemuun.nl/nieuws/a/103/t/Uitbetaling-Grootburgerij-....html. It comes down to large pieces of land that where bequeathed to the burghers of Genemuiden. To be a ‘Grootburger’ one has to meet certain conditions, the most logical one being born in
    Genemuiden – next to other...

  • The sign closer investigated

    ...pretty strict rules. The yearly revenues were distributed among the Grootburgers. It is an old habit but… in 1965 the Grootburgerij-assembly decided unanimously to sell the land (198 hectares - 489 acres) to the counsel for ƒ 1.020.000,00. After that managing land, a well-known terrain, changed into investing – a less-known area. On top of that the financial world collapsed more or less in 2008. As far as we understood there’s no, or minimal, revenue, so Genemuiden’s Groortburgers are deprived now of any income (from the Grootburgerij, that is). Maybe that will change in the future. It was a mere € 5,00 lately anyway…

Interesting Genemuiden had to carry on without our presence on Thursday the 12th of April. First we did some shopping, after which we started the engine at 1.16PM and switched it off already at 1.23PM for taking in all the water we could. That was included in the mooring-fee, remember? Here’s the view from the water-point, next to the dike that was mentioned 3 pictures before this one. Outside the harbour the river Zwarte Water is visible, where the ferry to Zwartsluis is also visible, as well as -lucky photographer!- a just passing sailing boat (‘bruine vloot’, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catechu, how to give the brown colour to the sails). Concerning the ferry there’s the sad story of a disaster that happened on the 8th of March 1922. During horrible weather conditions the ferry sunk. Eleven people, the mayor and his wife included, lost their lives.

Eventually we left Genemuiden once and for all (this season), re-entering the river Zwarte Water again around 2:15PM. After a short journey the river was left too, followed by negotiating the Arembergersluis and entering the, guess what, Arembergergracht. This was followed by the Belter Weide (a medium sized lake), the semi-island Ronduite and the the Beulakker Weide (a larger lake). We ended up in the Walengracht, close to Jonen and could switch off the engine at 4:07PM. This is what it looks like with the Beulakker Weide in the background. The picture was made possible by jumping from the mooring-woodwork onto the shore. (Dare-devil!) We even saw two slow-worms (hazelwormen) but they both fled underneath the low overgrowth, thus denying us a chance to picture one of them.

The spot on the Walengracht (Jonen) was a joy to us for two nights. Saturday the 14th of April we left at 10:14AM, destination (somewhere near) Ossenzijl. We decided to perform a detour from the Giethoornse Meer into Blokzijl first. Reason: topping up our food-supply. In front of the lock -visible in the background- we turned, moored and had a walk towards and into Blokzijl’s Coop. That took us 1 hour and 10 minutes, after we cruised back to the aforementioned meer (lake) and continued our journey.

When moored in Blokzijl we noticed a sloep (sloop(?)) and thought we read that it offered space for 98 passengers. That is impossible, we thought, we must have mis-read that. Well, when returning towards the Giethoornse Meer this same sloep came in sight – now moored up. As you can see we did not mis-read; on the bow it clearly states ’98 personen’. (Would you believe that ‘personen’ translates as ‘persons’ in English?) We’re still puzzled about how this works. Do they pile up people?? Or what??

By far the nicest part, we think, of our route for that day are both the Wetering and the Kalenbergergracht. Last year we payed a lot of attention to the beauties to be seen, so we planned to skip it this time. Avoid boredom with you viewers!! This house at the beginning, however, is just too pretty to withhold it from global fame. And that was only the beginning, still at Muggenbeet (mosquito-bite)….

Later on during that fabulous cruise, at Kalenberg, we noticed this storks. A pair and a peeping Tom? Or a jealous male? Do they fight for a woman – the males? We thought that storks are monogamous, but later on read that they are only monogamous during the breeding-period. So perhaps the third one makes his mark for next season – who can tell?

Ossenzijl again! It is as if we were here a few weeks ago, but it was Week 26 of last year. Time flies! We arrived at 2:30PM. There’s every reason to show a picture of almost the same spot, because a large development, visible in the background, is on its way. For more, see https://www.waterstaete-ossenzijl.nl/. There will be 60 luxury holiday-houses, prices starting at over € 250.000,00. A sloep is part of the deal, too! An open connection with the Ossenzijlersloot is to be created; the entrance is planned exactly at the very spot where we are moored. We enjoy it while we can! (And the passing lovely boat is an extra reason to publish this picture, isn’t it?) Bye for now.