Thursday, April 23, 2009


The wind was blowing fairly hard and it was cold yesterday, so we stayed at the dock in Stavoren one more day after all. But now we’re in Sneek (pronounced like English “snake,” but Dutch for snake is “slang,” so there’s no confusion).

It took just under five hours to get here through one lock and three bridges. We didn’t have to wait for any of them. Two or three more bridges have now been replaced by aqueducts, so that was very nice.

We did touch bottom softly a few times (three to be exact) on the way. We had been warned that although the channels are dredged, it’s often shallower near the sides of the canals. Still, we thought we were pretty far from the bank the first time we grounded, just five minutes from the lock and first bridge in the Johan Friso canal. John backed us off of that one. A couple of hours later we were just past Heeg with the depth gauge reading more than six feet when we felt a slight bump. The gauge quickly dropped to about 4.5 feet, and we knew we were touching the bottom, but our forward momentum caused us to plow a furrow through that high spot in the ditch. (Our draft is 6’1”, but the way our gauge is set, we touch bottom at about 4.3 feet.) The last grounding was as we were coming into the wall in Sneek. I was ready to step to the shore when we stopped moving about 10 feet from the bank. Again, John backed us off with no problem.

As we were docking on the wall, leaves and seeds started falling on the boat. I looked up and saw that our spreader was in the branches of a tree. We were glad there weren’t any big branches in our way because we definitely pruned a few twigs from that one.

So far we haven’t explored too much of Sneek, but we did find the grocery store and the maritime museum, and we stopped at a pet store to get more jerky treats and greenies for Märzen. This town looks much newer than any of the other towns we’ve visited, but it was chartered in 1456, so it’s old enough. We just haven’t been into the really old part yet, and perhaps this town hasn’t preserved as much of its architectural heritage as Amsterdam, Amersfoort, Hoorn and Enkhuizen. We shall see.

By the way, we have found Wi-Fi here, so I’ve posted John’s photo page of Stavoren.

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