Friday 5th July Ref: 2019/15
Our departure from Terhern today was marred by an unnecessary and unseemly difficulty in getting water supplies which left us all feeling rather agitated but this was soon forgotten as our cruise included a good visit to Sneek chandleries and hostelries and then we cruised on to find some nice bank-side moorings in the special village of IJLst with its bakery, shops, Saturday market , timber-sawing windmill and friendly Friesland culture and we arrived on the eve of their very special Fierljeppen dyke-vaulting contest!
We were always going to leave early today, as the marina we were staying at, lovely as it was and run by a nice family, was expecting many of their hire cruiser customers to return this morning on the first of three turn-round days. We were pledged to leave by 9am and were ready to go but we then ran into trouble over refilling our water tanks.
Firstly, it appeared that the only water pipes were at the far end of the Marina, close to the entrance, and then when we got there, we found that the most convenient of them had stopped functioning and was accepting our coins without dispensing any water. We eventually moved to use another, but it was taking ages, probably because other hire boats in the marina were being refilled from the same supply. Ikon got filled but I gave up waiting and so we both cruised off on our days’ voyage.
It had been the preference of Ikon and their crew not to stay at Sneek tonight, as they had not enjoyed their previous visit, and so I had arranged for us to cruise to the small but attractive venue of IJLst. Sneek was still on our route anyway and we were crossing the Sneekermeer towards it. I was concerned that we might not find suitable moorings in IJLst and that their marina might be busy as a hire craft depot at the weekend and would not have capacity for us until later.
With this in mind, we delayed our arrival by making a daytime visit to Sneek, firstly to visit a good riverside chandlery, where I did manage to fill up with water, from a fast tap at no charge. Then we cruised on into the centre of Sneek, moored up, and spent 2 to 3 hours walking around the centre, enjoying an excellent chandlery, some coffee and (for Kathleen and I) a lunch-time meal before shopping and then making our way back to our boats.
We wondered about staying but Kathleen persuaded us that we still carry on cruising to IJlst after all, as I had planned, and this decision was vindicated when we found two nice moorings in the town centre and enjoyed the relaxed and provisional atmosphere of this small but endearing town. Kathleen and I walked to the local supermarket, to post her card, and to buy some kibling from the very popular and busy fish and chip van outside a very capacious supermarket, which was delicious.
We also walked over to ‘The Rat’ windmill, which is a working timber mill, but found it closing when we arrived at 5pm, but were pleased to hear that it will be opening again the next day at 9am, when we would visit it and the nearby museum. Upon returning to our boat, we were invited onto Ikon for some drinks and a chat and then the lady attendant visited our boat to collect our money and assured us that despite the apparent ‘18 hour’ morning sign, that was worrying us, we will be welcome to stay for another day should we wish to do so and we probably will. The sign was meant to mean that it was free until 18.00 and then chargeable after that!