These are the adventures of Andy and Sally Rawnsley on their narrowboat "The Puzzler". We have been living on the boat for over nine years now and are still loving it. Our Ulster born Shih Tzu, Shannon, has grown up, and has taken over the boat! After three wonderful years in Ireland, we transported The Puzzler to The Netherlands, and spent a year there. In 2015 we went southwards, to reach the north of France by June. After glorious weather throughout the summer, we arrived in Roanne in late October, and enjoyed our winter in this friendly port. We cruised extensively in France in 2016 and 2017, returning to Roanne each winter.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

27th - 28th April. Across the Markermeer to Marken, then on to Volendam, and back inland at Edam.

We spent two nights at this idyllic spot. miles from anywhere, or so it seemed. The first day was extremely wet, but two walkers passed us and recommended that we go to visit the island of Marken.
The following morning we took them up on this, and retraced our steps to Monnickerdam, and on out through the lock and harbour.
This route took us out into the Markermeer, which used to be part of the ZuiderZee. We passed a dredger working to the right of the navigation channel. The island of Marken can just be seen in the distance to the left of the dredger, although it is not now really an island as it has a causeway to the mainland. The three miles across open water to get there seemed a long way!

Marken Harbour is very attractive, with the houses surrounding it. Most craft here were yachts, with a few smaller cruisers too. The village is quite large, away from the tourist shops around the harbour.

We walked the two miles to the far end of Marken to see Marken Vuurhuis, or lighthouse. This was as close as we were allowed to go though.

Shannon did the tourist bit, with the large clogs!
Coming out of Marken Harbour, we turned right to follow the passenger ferry across more open water to Volendam, which is another tourist destination. The two boats on the skyline are actually enormous cruise ships, heading for Volendam.

In the harbour, The Puzzler can just be seen on the right, under the bird, while the cruise ships are beyond the ferry, just outside the harbour wall.
In Volendam Museum one whole room contained mosaic pictures, which had been made from 11 million cigar papers. Other rooms showed Dutch life in various scenes, with an interesting video presentation about the importance of the fishing industry to Volendam. As we are learning Dutch, we could understand a little of it.

We stayed at Volendam until 7pm, as the wind was too strong before then for The Puzzler to be out at sea.. Sally was at the helm again, for the last leg of our sailing across the open waters of the Markermeer. Well, along the edge of it anyway! This part was round the headland to Edam, but we had no markers to help us this time, for most of the way.

It was a relief to see the entrance to Edam harbour ahead of us. There are always a few red and green markers to guide ships in, from the Meer.

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