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.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

28th - 31st July 2014. Visits to the skating and clog museums at Hinderloopen, on the Ijsselmeer, then along Fluessen lake to get to Workum.

Some trouble with a faulty alternator delayed us in Koudum, but once that was fixed we sailed on to Hinderloopen. This town has the narrow streets and traditional houses that define these Dutch towns.
The skating museum there was fascinating, telling us all about this Dutch national sport. We learned the history of the Elfstedentocht, which is a 200 kilometre long skating race around the Eleven Friesian Cities. This race has taken place 15 times since 1909, the last time being in 1997. Everyone always longs for another really cold winter here!
The clog museum next door showed how clogs are made, and Shannon was fascinated by the clog workshop upstairs. She also saw some tools in a glass-fronted cabinet and stepped forward to have a closer look, not realising the glass was there! Her nose was a bit sore!

Many cruisers and yachts sail on the Ijsselmeer, here at Hinderloopen, but we are happy to stay on the inland waterways.
The harbour is full of yachts, and also skutjes, which will be racing from here, on the Ijsselmeer, next week.
In Hinderloopen, we find two of these unique bridges, with a central lifting section designed especially for yacht masts. The way to the harbour is through the sluis directly ahead, but we are turning off to the right before that.
Having taken the narrow route out of town, we have to negotiate this right angled corner, to return to the main waterway. Several people had told us we would not be able to turn here, but we were pleased to prove them wrong!
Back on the main canal, we carried on to find this lovely mooring on the edge of Zwarte Woude, a small lake just off Fluessen.

Another wonderful sunset.

Out on Fluessen, one of Friesland's larger lakes, the next morning, we would have liked to see these sails go up!
Going off Fluessen on to Grote Gaastmeer, a smaller lake, we found this island inlet. There must have been over fifty boats moored somewhere on this island, but only a few could be seen at once.

On our way into Workum, another town with access to the Ijsselmeer, most of the other boats on the water were yachts, or skutjes.

This fine skutje was moored on the way into Workum.

The canal through Workum used to go through the centre of town, where these steps are now. Our route takes us through the lifting bridge to the right.

The main street in Workum, in front of the unusual clock tower, is where the canal used to be.

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