SRF - Harlingen/Harns

Ship on wheels

Our out-of-the-water story continues. Last Tuesday, 15 May 2018, there were two announcements – one positive and one negative. We forgot the positive one. Sorry! The negative one was that our ship, due to a lack of space (and our unexpected longer stay, see hereunder), would be replaced and carried inside, yes inside!, one of the huge SFR-buildings. Here we go – the better half of the two of us gallantly waving.

The hangar-like building -not even the biggest one!- swallows us up without even blinking an eye. Because of the seize of the building Abus easily could have been Airbus.

  • A stairway on the way…

    Apart from any remark, related to this space (it’s the hull-building building – welding, hammering, in short: noisy and the...

  • …and exactly put in place

    ...radio at maximum volume to finish it off) one must say about SRF that they are absolutely very (customer-)friendly.

Another reason, on top of the space-issue, was the black part of our hull – above the water-line. Back in the spring of 2013 -week 15 to be precise- the blacking-the hull-job in France was executed sub-standard, mainly due to the combination pouring rain and a painter from the 'plonker'-category’. A discount was granted to us – but of course we’d have preferred a good job. Now we yet pay the price, as the part of the hull underneath the blue colour and above the water-line has to be scraped down by hand(!) to almost bare metal. Only after that the repainting can be done. This gives you an idea of what it looks like.

Our rear-view from the position inside the hull-building building. It is as if the boat behind us (‘Fenna’) is chasing us. As one can see the platform outside is a bit crowded.

Inside the building we do not have a television signal. Therefore we watched the daily news on our laptop -the very one this text is made with- and decided to re-watch (we do not oppose to the qualification ‘binge-watch’) one of our all time favourites, being NYPD Blue – starting with the pilot, dating from 1993. Still a gripping tv-series.

On Friday the 18th we had been visiting Harlingen/Harns -and been at the library’s reading table, to flee from the boredom and deafening noise inside the hull-building building- hoping our ship would be ‘freed’ on our return. To our great relief she was replaced outside again indeed. This picture clearly explains the extra work on the hull.

A close-up, showing the shabby job that was done some 5 years ago in France. By a British owned yard, by the way.

Here’s the picture again that was used yesterday to explain the one-day postponement. This job is virtually done now (noon on Monday the 21st of May, 2018). The blue colour is shiny all around again, creating a nice feeling of contentment. Today we have been here for a fortnight. Maybe we’ll be back in the water before the next weekend, accompanied by an impressive invoice.

The lovely town of Harlingen/Harns now. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harlingen,_Netherlands -of course even more in Dutch. This picture of its Noorderhaven was made last week. Harlingen’s/Harns’ closeness to the (Wadden)sea is illustrated here by the majority of boats being sailing vessels. Having said this, loads of motor-boats (tjalks, luxe motors, steilstevens, clippers, you name it) are cruising here, too.

  • High level (© Ivo Dekker)


    This is again the Noorderhaven, where dolphins protect the swingbridge, from which the last picture was taken in western direction.

  • Normal level (© ourselves)

    The harbour obviously is a tidal one. Picture three (Menno van Kammen) was taken in an opposite, eastern, position, compared to...

  • Low level (© Menno van Kammen)

    ...the picture of the Noorderhaven. In the background the road-bridge and lock, leading to the town’s centre, are visible.

  • Gates in both directions

    As Harlingen/Harns is situated next to the Wadden-Sea the level of the sea might be higher than Harlingen’s/Harns’ canals – or the other way around. Therefore the lock is equipped with two sets of gates on...

  • Old fashioned lock-gear

    ...either side. This way it's always possible to protect the town against the sea – or keep the water in the town’s waterways. The doors are still operated by hand, pulling a chain or pushing a wooden pole.

Not only the library has been one of our ‘targets’, also the town’s museum, the Hannemahuis (see https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hannemahuis - only in Dutch, Frysk and, believe it or not, Ukranian. This picture makes for a nice impression of the interior. We really liked it.

  • Simon Vestdijk

    One of Harlingen/Harns famous people that were born there is the writer Simon Vestdijk (1898-1971). He is, at least was, a very important writer and nowadays seems to be a victim of oblivion. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Vestdijk. Do we need to say more, much more, comprehensive in Dutch? He wrote around...

  • Anton Wachter

    ...200 books, causing a fellow writer to describe him as ‘the man that can write faster than God is able to read’. Eight strongly autobiographic novels, the protagonist named Anton Wachter, are at the core of Simon Vestdijk’s oeuvre. A little statue in Harlingen’s/Harns’ centre depicts Vestdijk’s alter ego. Until next week – who knows where we are by then?