MyMorbic - Netherlands September 2023

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SAILING - FURTHER AWAY - But not too far

You’ve probably visited Amsterdam? Did you explore further?
You’ll have noticed The Netherlands has countless interconnecting waterways, rural canals and rivers (some carrying large commercial traffic), lakes and meers (inland seas).
Many are excellent sailing grounds. Several events can make your dinghy sailing trips there easy and fun.

Based on an article written for Reading Sailing Club. An RSC member's view of two events attended in September 2023.
Pictures; SM, RP, PW, and various fellow Raiders - Thank you. Click any picture to enlarge.

Register early for these two splendid numbers-limited September “Raids”!

Netherlands Map
Click to enlarge

(1) RAID EXTREME - Suitable for most small sailing craft

Only as extreme as you want it to be, except that it is in the extreme North of The Netherlands, and – well, read on and you’ll find out!

Thursday evening – “Proteus” loaded with 3 bikes (yikes!) boarded the ferry at Harwich.

Friday Sept 1st 2023 – Disembarked at Hook van Holland. Tasty breakfast near Gouda. Drove north 3 hrs. Checked into rented chalet at Oostmahorn. Some other raiders were already camped between the restaurant and the water. 18:00 Skippers' briefing, then dinner at the marina restaurant.

Saturday – Now the other extreme bit -

The race starts at sunrise – Yes, 06:48!
The rules are simple - Visit six checkpoints in any order you like and be first home. Finish before the 17:00 deadline.
Paddle, pedal, sail, row, multihull, canoe; any kind of boat allowed, but no motors, no handicaps, no safety boat.
Some people enjoy just cruising to a few checkpoints, stopping for lunch en-route and soaking up the sunshine.

The 2023 raid was fully subscribed - 25 boats: 1 from Denmark, 3 from Germany, 5 from the UK, 16 from The Netherlands.

Lauwersmeer Map
Raid Extreme. Click to enlarge
Sunrise. Click to enlarge
Saturday Dawn -
In the beautifully bright dawn, the wind was initially very light. It picked up later, and was generally helpful in the wide parts of the Lauwersmeer.
The “ash winds” (oars) were useful in the narrows.
The scenery is mainly green, rural, and flattish (of course). Wildlife is abundant: afloat, airborne, and ashore.
We all enjoyed the long wonderful day exploring beautiful countryside in benign conditions!
Proteus visited only 3 checkpoints, sailed (and rowed) 20 miles and returned home at 16:43. - 16 minutes to spare - Not a checkpoint too far!

Click to enlarge

Prize-giving. Click to enlarge

Saturday Evening -

BBQ - Campfire - Prize-giving – Accolades - Joviality - Sharing food, drink, tales of the day.

Links - Organisers’ website and report.
One participant’s lucid commentary.

BBQ and campfire.
Click to enlarge

Sunday -

Late start. Free sailing.

“Proteus” visited three more checkpoints (for amusement), lunched at Lauwersoog in the North-east of Lauwersmeer, then returned to Oostmahorn, the slipway, and the trailer.
11 miles.

Oostmahorn. Click to enlarge

Monday and Tuesday -

While looking forward to Dorestad Raid starting on Wednesday, we enjoyed: biking, visiting a few villages, eating Dutch food, and relishing the Netherlands unimaginably intelligent infrastructure.

Intelligent infrastructure
Typical Dutch infrastructure. Click

(2) DORESTAD RAID – Imagine exploring different Dutch inland waterways each year!

Suitable for most small sailing craft - Alternative (non-motor) propulsion and easily steppable mast are important.

Hotel Barge Indubio
Click to enlarge

Accommodation – Is in cabins aboard the attractively converted Dutch barge “Indubio”.
Skipper Leo moves her to a new location each day, and co-owner Hannah welcomes weary sailors home with tea, soup, and goodies before dinner.
Hardy sailors can sleep on their own boats alongside the mother-ship if they prefer.
Catering - All enjoy the same catering. Dinners, breakfasts, & DIY-doggy-bag lunches are all included.
"Duties" - Raiders take turns helping in the galley and dining areas, reducing costs.
Refreshments - Beer and wine are available on an honesty-list help-yourself basis. Tea, coffee, biscuits, and afternoon soup are free.

Upper Saloon Indubio
Upper saloon. Click to enlarge

RAid Boats around the Mother ship
"Indubio" & Raid boats. Click

N.B. In 2024 Dorestad Raid will explore different Dutch waters

Wednesday 6th Sept 2023

Afternoon - Met the other crews, the mother-ship “Indubio”, and her friendly owners at Akkrum, Friesland.

Launched boat, took empty trailer to where the Raid will finish, returned by minibus.

Evening - Sailed about a mile to the night-mooring before savouring a splendid dinner in the saloon of hotel barge “Indubio”.

Dorestad Raid Area 2023
Dorestad 2023. Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge


Hearty breakfast. Prepared lunch pack.
Briefing on deck.

Sailed to picnic lunch on a small island, then onward to find Indubio at Wijde Ee.

Another splendid dinner then relaxation on deck and in the saloon.

Fleet picnic
A fleet picnic
. Click to enlarge

Misty Morning . Misty Mrning 2Click to enlarge


Breakfast. - Briefing.
A following breeze wafted us along a narrow canal to another picnic island.
Rested and refreshed (some sailors swam), we head to the outskirts of Leeuwarden where Indubio awaits.

After-dinner entertainment was open-air “cinema” on deck. Lieuwe explained the next evolution of his experimental wing-sail craft.

Fleet in Quiet river
Fleet in quiet river. Click to enlarge

Final evening - Entertainments
Click to enlarge


Today’s picnic island was in National Park de Alde Feanen.
We then headed south then east to Smalle Ee (west of Drachen).
12 Nm.

The final dinner is always followed by entertainment provided by the raiders - anybody with a party-piece: recitations, ghost stories, tales of Friesland life, songs, mini-dramas; anything goes.
Then Prize-giving, more music and much chatter.

Click to enlarge

Low bridge
Low bridge.
Click to enlarge


From Drachen we rowed and sailed northward.
A breeze helped in the wider waters.
Leaving the straight-line channel we caught more breeze to windward of some wooded islands in this broad lake (meer).
All too soon we’re on the final reach to Bergumermeer where faithful "Indubio" awaits one more time.

Proteus and Heidrun
Proteus and Heidrun
. Click to enlarge

Farewells! - Boat to trailer. Clear our cabin. Pay (very reasonable) bar bill.
“Farewell” friendly Dutch sailors. “Hello” the rest of our party (they’ve been biking while we sailed).
How will we stow three bikes and all our kit in Proteus? A photo taken in UK 10 days ago saves the day!

Three bikes in boat
Three bikes stowed.
Click to enlarge

Links - Organisers’ website - Other people's pics - Video report by Koos.

Interested? - Expand your horizons - Explore exciting new waters - Shift your sailing pleasure up a level.
Register EARLY for either of these very popular events.
Or try those in UK and Europe, described elsewhere on this site:-
- Usually April - Calshot/Cowes 1-day sail.
- May, Semaine do Golfe. (Alternate years)
- June, Falmouth Classics & Helford.
- Dart RSC October’23.
- (And others).


More Raid-like events - Hosted by others - Attended by UK Morbics, include - Some listed in "Raiding"
Other expeditions and events
attended by "Proteus" are in the right hand column of "Proteus" - Voyages .....

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