Local Heart, Global Soul

April 8, 2015

Our Picnic Lunch Brings An Audience Who Expect To Dine…

Filed under: Delftland: De Kaag,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We are enjoying a rare day out as a family, the occasion is my birthday and since I’m not mobile and many  places and events that require walking are out of the question, I’ve chosen a restful boat tour of a local lake “De Kaag” in a hired sloop.

De Kaag is located slightly north of the Dutch city of Leiden and is a roughly forty minute car ride from our door in The Hague. We are sharing the waterways not just with other human beings but also with the local bird life.

Whilst we motor around we see various “patches” on the water, which, once we get closer turned out to be flocks of birds, sitting on the water together.

Other times we saw a lone bird, possibly cormorants, often high up on a pole or outpost with wings outstretched, drying themselves out in the sunshine.

I’m not sure if that means they have just been in the water fishing, but it’s quite comical because I half expect them to start clapping their wings together in applause.

Then were were the local ducks, which found us remarkably swiftly as soon as we moored by the bank and unpacked our picnic lunch.Needless to say the longing and expectant looks from six pairs of eyes that bobbed up and down on the water, watching us eat, ended up in the “correct result” from their point of view which meant chunks of bread rolls finding their way onto the water where it was instantly fought over by our webbed friends.

I’m not too sure that brown bread is ideal duck food but the kids were begging to feed them and the ducks certainly didn’t object to their lunch menu. It was harder to get anywhere close to the floating communities of birds, they clearly preferred to be left alone so we  just used the zoom lens rather than pester them by going in too close.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 7, 2015

Taking A Little Rest From The Beating Waves On Your Sides…

Filed under: Delftland: De Kaag,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

If you have a small dinghy, jet-ski, kayak or yacht, and you live in New Zealand then getting it out of the water involves a boat ramp so that you can get your car down to the water’s edge, a roof-rack to put you lighter craft on to or a tow-bar and trailer for your larger one.

In the Netherlands that can also be done, but since fewer people have a storage space at home for a boat, many people have a boat but no trailer to take it out of the water with.

Instead, like my brother in law, they pay for a marina space during the summer months and then sail it in the autumn to a spot where a company will lift it out of the water for you and store it until you next want it into the water again.

Maintenance and cleaning can be done whilst the boat is out of the water and it doesn’t matter if the waterways freeze (not an issue that New Zealand “boaties” (as they are called) ever have to contend with.

The Dutch sailors have to pay for the storage etc which is why it’s a far more expensive hobby here than in New Zealand where many a boat or jet-ski is parked in the double garage.

Therefore it’s not a common sight for me to see boat slings and hoists, apparatus for getting larger boats out of the water. Naturally when there are three of them to be seen as we travel around De Kaag, a lake just outside Leiden in the Netherlands in our little rented sloop, I have the camera at the ready.

So nighty-night Boatie… come out of the water for some tender loving care (and probably a good portion of the owners savings) and enjoy a little rest from the beating of the waves against your sides.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 6, 2015

These Buildings Are Way Out Of My Budget…

Filed under: Delftland: De Kaag,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags:

Houses and holiday homes with waterfront access in places like De Kaag are just like inner city waterfront properties in Delft or Amsterdam: eye-wateringly expensive,  in fact many cost in the millions of Euro’s. There are a few villages and towns that are already on waterfront recreation areas, for instance: Warmond. Naturally these large homes are affluent enough to  also own their own motor launches or yachts. There is also a marina close by that houses some seriously expensive large and expensive boats, so if you have to invest a lot of cash if this is to be your favourite pastime. Since Warmond is an established town these large houses are permanent  homes and not holiday homes, but the buildings around the shoreline are really impressive. I like the cafe that’s a converted traditional Dutch barn too where the roof used to be able to be raised on poles…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 5, 2015

Sticking Close To The Shore Line…

Filed under: Delftland: De Kaag,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags:

The area around De Kaag near Leiden is as varied as the craft who use the lake. This photographic posts looks at the water’s edge…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The land is lower behind the dyke… see the roof level of the barn…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We try to get back the Kaag (island where we hired the boat) but take a wrong turn and end up in a side inlet for camping…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 4, 2015

A Water Going Craft To Suit Every Sailor…

Filed under: Delftland: De Kaag,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags:
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

De Kaag is an inland lake on the outskirts of Leiden that’s a popular attraction with water enthusiasts from all over the region.

The Netherlands has many such areas of course but the location of this one,  close to several large towns, making for a quick weekend getaway spot almost on your back doorstep.

It’s also the “go to” place for scouting groups, sailing club lessons and school trips because  it’s not tidal like parts of Zeeland or as exposed to high winds like the IJselmeer and there are plenty of nooks and crannies around the four larger and at least four smaller islands in the lake where shelter can be found to allow first time sailors, windsurfers etc to learn the ropes without ending up in the drink.

What I really like about the Dutch is that they make full use of the abundant supply of water, and there is everything on the water ranging from canoes, kayacks and little one man yachts to huge  and very expensive private motorboats.

There are also commercial boats that cater for large groups of a hundred or so sightseeing passengers, party boats of various sizes, entire flotillas of little scouting boats (which are tied together nose to tail and pulled with a large motorboat from their moorings several canals away to the lake like a large mother elephant with a herd of baby elephants) and even a sea cadet training vessel.

What’s also lovely to see is a wide range of ages of the sailors. There are many family groups, grandparents with their grand children, retired people making leisurely rounds in motorboats,  younger water-skiiers and competition sailors and some speed freak power boaters and jet-skiiers of all ages.

There are also traditional Dutch boats as well as ultra modern ones and whilst the vast majority are owned by the families who use them, there is also some like us who have hired a boat for the day. Let’s take a look at what’s on the water…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 3, 2015

De Kaag: My Inner Sailor Is Unleashed (Hopefully Not Literally)…

Filed under: Delftland,Delftland: De Kaag,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

My last year was spent almost exclusively indoors, my social life has been almost nil because the stairs in our house are a major obstacle to my mobility and I can’t walk far.

Luckily we have good friends who regularly visit and bring dinner with them in lieu of us going to their place (also up several flights of stairs).

After watching Himself and the kids disappear regularly to the beach and staying behind because walking on sand and through the dunes is not really a fun activity on crutches, I decided that for my birthday I really wanted to have some sort of day trip out.

A short drive away there is an area of water called the De Kaag , a place that Kiwi Daughter had been to on a school trip and really enjoyed.

A boat trip interested me, but not a yacht because changing seats as the wind changes and the jib swings by is also not an easy proposition when you need help to do it.

A nice restful motorboat seemed to be a better idea, we could just glide slowly along the waterways, have a picnic on board, the kids and Himself could go swimming, … that sounded like a far more suitable proposition. I actually surprised myself in choosing a day out that included a boat trip, considering that boats and I have a dark history and I’m famous for being seasick on a boat about ten meters after it left the dock.

In my defence, on that occasion the boat in question was the New Zealand Cook Straight ferry, the weather was choppy, even in Picton and I’d just finished a non-stop winding-road  non-stop journey from Christchurch which had stretched car sickness pills to their utter utter limit.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’m the wimp who gets motion sickness on the rides meant for little kids and can point out far too many New Zealand roadside points with the phrase: I barfed there on the trip when I was (insert age)… and here when I was (insert age) …. and there…. you get the idea.

Anyway, a boat trip at least sounded like a good idea, and the indoor skiiing, kickboxing lessons, jive and karate classes, skateboard, and skydiving lessons were already booked.

(If you are any one of my Doctors reading this I am joking about the last part… seriously, I do know I’m in enough physical trouble already without looking for more!)

The De Kaag is a lake on the outskirts of  Leiden that is connected to the Ringvaart which is where they drain the water from the Haarlemmeerpolder, a polder  that was drained in the 1930’s.

Basically, as with all Dutch polders,  if the pumps stopped pumping, Haarlemmeerpoler would revert back to being a lake and the towns, farms and businesses would get seriously wet feet.

De Kaag is fairly close to our home, so a short half hour to forty minute drive sees us going over the bridge (we didn’t use the ferry) to Kaag, an island within the De Kaag (the lake).  There are not many roads here in this small space but we still managed to take the wrong road and get lost.  I suppose that’s one family habit we are having difficulty breaking… after a few U-turns we find our boat hire place and a sloop that’s just right for our level of expertise and budget. Our boating adventure begins!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Our Sloop is a bit more basic than this, but this one was pretty with the rope etc…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Blog at WordPress.com.