Leeuwarden/Ljouwert - Grouw/Grou

Despite the fact that it is tempting to stay we eventually left Friesland’s/Fryslân’s capital, Leeuwarden/Ljouwert on Monday the 7th of September 2020, starting the engine at 11:22AM. Here’s a last look at the waterway-part where historic ships are permanently moored. Forbidden for simple mortals like us! Mainly pretty, historic, unpretentious, Leeuwarden’s/Ljouwert’s, err, megalomaniac office-building is too high to picture from close by.

When leaving Leeuwarden/Ljouwert we had to wait for three bridges to open. Not for long, though, there’s a very, very, ship-friendly bunch of bridge-keepers. (We have no idea about the ‘normal’ traffic’s thoughts about this!) In the past this was another low railway-bridge. Not anymore nowadays. The rail is still visible – obviously not worth the trouble of removing/-cycling it.

After entering the wide Van Harinxmakanaal we passed Leeuwarden’s/Ljouwert’s commercial port, where the process of (in this case) loading a giant commercial container-ship was going on.

This is Friesland/Fryslân in optima forma.

We cruised just a bit over 2,5 hours before we reached our intended destination, being Wartena/Warten. A fellow Amersfoort hibernator told us earlier there’s electricity available, and perhaps even water if desired, without someone coming to collect a mooring-fee because of Covid-19. Needless to say, we have no objection to that. The engine was switched off at 1:58PM.

There is a load of types of boats for hire. Among them a ‘real’ houseboat, equipped with an under-powered little outboard engine (and, yes, a small steering-wheel at the front). When inexperienced, very often the helmsman overcompensates a small deviation from the intended direction. In the end there’s just sheer panic. The ‘boat’ ends up diagonally like seen here. Admittedly it’s narrow in front of Wartena’s/Warten’s bridge. The friendly female bridge-keeper waited patiently until the problem was solved – which took some effort/time. One wonders about having a nice holiday-time…

After leaving Wartena/Warten on Thursday the 10th at 11:02AM we reached, on the way, the wide Folkertssloot/Folkertssleat. It’s a joy to cruise there. We’re obviously not the only ones to have this opinion.

We found a nice spot inside the L-shaped Marrekrite mooring-space inside the Trijehûs-island, in between Sytebuorren/Siteburen and Grouw/Grou. We arrived at 12:10 PM. So it was a short, though pleasant, cruise. The Google Earth-shot shows our current berth – and our former berth, opposite of Rengerspôle-island. For the former berth we named Sytebuorren/Siteburen our location, now we use Grouw/Grou. It’s close together, though (to make things more complicated) not the same municipality. Some information about the triangular Trijehûs-island now. In 1914 the couple Johan and Froukje Hoekstra had a 'pleats' (place(?)) built on this island: two farms with a workers' house in between. So three houses in total and that is probably where the name 'Trijehûs' (three houses) comes from. In 1997 the province started looking for a suitable disposal site for contaminated sludge. This mainly concerned 'historical' sludge that had long been at the bottom of city harbours, canals and other Frisian inland waters. Trijehûs came into the picture because it is centrally located and easily accessible. Until 2011, sludge was deposited at Trijehûs. A drainage mat with pipes has been placed over the sludge. The mat stops rainwater that subsequently flows away from the sloping sludge layer into a circumjacent ditch. The water is pumped from the ditch into the Prinses Margrietkanaal in a controlled manner. There is (?? probably: was, see https://www.omropfryslan.nl/nieuws/711327-grote-brand-bij-restaurant-trije-hus-grou, a huge fire destroyed this venue some 3,5 years back) a popular restaurant, Trije-Hûs, at the utmost westerly part of the island.

Our position inside this dog-friendly mooring space. The sloping heap of sludge is clearly visible in the background.

Not that far away from our position a huge garbage bin is situated. It is emptied on a regular basis by boat!

Huge containership passing

The adjacent Prinses Margrietkanaal is capable of accommodating huge commercial containerships, as shown by this video. Because of the island’s layout we are protected from the extensive amount of water that is moved by large ships like this one.

As already visible on a former picture we bought a party-tent. Bigger, and heavier!, than we expected – measuring 3 x 3. It was (not trouble-free…) carried by car into Heerenveen/It Hearrenfean by a couple, traditionally travelling with us for a week. Finally we were able to set the thing up – as the weather forecast looked promising, and we had room too. Now we are able to ‘beat’ a heatwave as well as unpleasant wind. Great!

  • Cleaning


    Finally we decided to clean and re-oil both the dog-boxes (or, in Dutch, cuckoos?).

  • Clean

    Here we see the three phases of treatment of the first, smaller, one. This was last Friday.

  • Oiled again

    The weather detoriated later on. Now it’s Sunday and maybe we are able to do more today.

Here’s the bigger one. Still in pre-clean and pre-re-oil condition (meaning: filthy). That will change on short notice!

A laugh, we hope, to end with. During Friday, the night from Friday to Saturday and Saturday alike the wind blew severely from the south-west. Eventually, on Saturday, the party-tent gave way. We immediately decided to dismantle the thing because we had doubts anyway (too big, where do we store it?). So the entire party-tent disappeared inside the huge garbage bin. Phew!

Statistics from the 7th of September till today, Sunday the 13th.

Engine ran during 3 hours and 42 minutes (3,7 hours) – Monday 07.09 2,6 hours, Thursday 10.09 1,1 hours. Back to ‘normal’!

Generator this period: around 5,0 hours. We are self-supporting where we are now. We sometimes need a washing machine, or coffee machine, or vacuum cleaner, or microwave, you see.  

The weather then. Sometimes rainy, definitely windy and there’s the sun too – occasionally. A (short?) heatwave is on its way.

Hope to have entertained you about this week.