Wednesday 3rd July Ref: 2019/14
We left Heeronveen Passanton-Haven quite early and was soon upon Jousterbrug where the same remote bridge-keeper from the day before wished us cheerily on our way and then the following fixed Heerenbrug A7 dual carriageway bridge was tight at 5.5 m as we cruised along the Hearronveense Kanaal noting the rooftop stalk and the Vegelinsoord moorings. We carefully navigated the shallow Terkaplestor Puollen to take the Nijesonsleatbrige and then took a sharp left turn into the Schiffart Waterspoort Marina to be greeted by a familiar face. We later cycled around Terherne, getting my bike fixed and visiting the church and shops before following local advice to eat at De Gouden Leeuw (Golden Lion) restaurant for a great meal by the navigation until we cycled back, when I carried on updating my log and journal
Our friends not want to stay long in Heeronveen and so we soon moved off. Unfortunately, i was unclear with my suggestion for a trial engine start and they un-moored immediately and I had to leave them waiting in midstream until I prepared all of our systems documentation ready to join them. The first bridge Jousterbrug was very close by and, upon calling the bridge keeper on VHF channel 18 we were greeted by a familiar voice from yesterday as it was the same operative that had unintentionally separated Ikon from us then! He was especially friendly on the VHF today and wished us a very good stay for the rest of our time in the Netherlands.
The next bridge, the fixed dual carriageway crossing for the busy A7, was tight with 5.5 m advertised clearance, but we still cleared it by about 30 cm with our aerials dipped. We then cruised along the Hearronveense Kanaal, noting the nesting rooftop stork on a farm house building and the inviting-looking Vegelinsoord moorings in their village on the port side.
Our friends aboard Ikon were becoming impatient that the slow speed of progress and I had to explain that we were subjected to a 9 km/h speed limit but I held out hope that this would change to 12 ½ km/h after the Deelsbrug access to the Muntsjerek back channel to Heeronveen. Unfortunately, that optimism was not fulfilled as we chanced upon some complex riverbank works and a temporary speed limit of 7 km/h! Trying to compensate, I decided to take the very pleasant but shallow crossing of the Terkaplestor Puollen which our friends queried it first as it shallow to 0.7 of a metre on their electronic chart plotter. Given my access to more detailed information, I was able to reassure them that this related to sandbanks that we could avoid and I steered them safely to the main channel on the exit to this open water by use of our charts and forward looking sonar.
We then took the Nijesonsleatbrige in common with other craft and soon spotted the immediate left turn into the Schiffart Waatersoport Yacht Haven. Chris went ashore from his boat and paid for what he thought was two days in the marina before I got there and he reported back that the marina owner knew me from my previous research for my book, 'The Inland Waterways of the Netherlands'. I was obliged to attend his office with a copy as he was interested in what had resulted from our conversations all those years ago. In the meantime, he had developed his hire fleet of motor boats extensively and taken over a boat builder with its stock of boats to become a major hire base.
I went back a couple of times and chatted to him about the state of his industry and comparisons with the UK and it transpired that he is doing very well with most of his clientele being Germans but it has the odd British visitor. He was able to introduce me to a four language publication on Friesland by Albert Hendricks, who is the director of tourism for Friesland and felt such a publication was necessary. I purchased a copy and showed it to others who did not seem very impressed but I will use it for some of the textual comparisons should we ever do a third edition of our book and I will make more UK boating visitors aware that this exists.
More importantly, he is the big distributor of Yamaha outboard motors and I was able to get from him the normal specification for propellers for the 4 hp four stroke version which compared unfavourably with the large pitch example we have installed and so I bought a replacement from his son the next day. The marina had very good Wi-Fi and electricity included for additional €2.50, which I took advantage of as my batteries were deeply discharged, even after today’s cruise, due to the use of my George Foreman electric barbecue last night. It is still the Schiffert couple we met years ago that own the place and have their son and daughter working there too and so it is a fine and friendly family-run base for touring boats.
Once settled, the whole company took to our bikes and toured Terherne, taking in the churchyard and accompanying church building which no longer takes services but remains a licensed wedding venue with its river mooring providing the picturesque option of the bridal party arriving by boat. There is also a watersports centre where small boats and sailing craft can be hired in amongst lots of holiday accommodation for terrestrial stays.
Whilst the girls were in the local supermarket, I took my bike to the bicycle shop opposite the supermarket and the very effective and competent owner not only replaced and tensioned a rear spoke for me that I had broken and lost cycling around Marken Island, but also provided me with four more of the same size (together with their fixings) which will be invaluable once the same problem re-occurs, as it always seems to. The problem I have is that other cycle repairers do not always have the right sized spokes and so this will provide fully for this eventuality once it happens again.
During the cycle ride, I had a chat with one of the young attractive ladies very proficiently operating the hire boats in the Waaterspoorts centre who advised me that the best restaurant in Terherne (that she would like to be taken to if invited) was De Gouden Leeuw or (in the English translation) the Golden Lion which serves fine food and is situated alongside the bridge and waterway. As our party had not eaten since breakfast, we opted for an early meal late afternoon which we all enjoyed thoroughly and its popularity was assured by it gradually filling to capacity as the evening progressed whilst the restaurant opposite remained almost empty.
Once we came back to the boats, Kathleen started cleaning off the outside of Lady Martina, whilst I first wrote up the last two days cruises into my logbook and then updated my Journal with the corresponding stories, ready for updating my websites. It had been a fascinating day’s cruising through picturesque Friesland pastoral countryside on a beautifully sunny and pleasant day but I was concerned that the small, intimate nature of our destination might not sufficient to attract our party for a second day as I was struggling to keep up with my records due to the prospect of three successive days cruising.