The Dutch landscape presents us with the typical situation where the land in this recreational area is so fragmented by waterways and little roads between them so few (actually most of them aren’t roads at all, they are cycle paths) that the quickest and easiest way to get to your sailing boat is to take a ferry.
Ok, not actually “our” sailing boat, but our Brother in Law’s.
There are quite a few marina’s dotted around this area, hidden in little sheltered alcoves of water off larger stretches of water that form the nation’s second most popular highways, especially in the summer months.
We arrive at a little jetty on the side of one of the slightly bigger canals and settle in to wait for the ferry to arrive.
This ferry route only operates in the summer months, the boats we are visiting today and all of those in the surrounding marina’s will shortly be lifted out of the water put into winter storage, otherwise they will be damaged when the canals freeze in the winter.
Our short hop is to the building we can see on the far side of the water, it’s under the three big trees in the first photograph and the ride costs roughly 50c per person (actually I think it may actually have been less), certainly it was loose change worth for the fare and the gentleman skipper was very friendly and bid us a cheery hello.
This area is peppered with cycle paths and so there were plenty of cyclists using the ferry like a bridge to negotiate the watery obstacles of the recreational area too. The kids help with get the picnic gear on-board and the journey across takes literally a few minutes.
The yellow sign on the water warns us that repair work is being done on the edge of the dyke so water craft are advised to keep ten meters from the work site… little motor boats go past with fishermen and their gear, and as we leave the shore I spy an artificial platform that’s been put up to encourage storks to nest on it… storks like high vantage points in the open and well, high voltage electric pylons are obviously not ideal.
In the city they have been known to annex the roofs of high-rise apartment blocks, a situation that requires rather a lot of give and take when getting on with the neighbours as they are rather hefty birds. The weather is warm and the weather-man promised a very decently hot day but this the Netherlands and that weather report went out of the window hours ago as old news and now the sky is full of gathering clouds… we will see what the day brings.
First… a very short, but very convenient ferry ride.