Day 5 - Ossenzijl to Beulakerwiede - 21km
After breakfast we walked over to the other side of the marina to look at a Freedom Canoe with a Balogh sailing rig.
We met Arij van der Kooij and Rick Kramer from canoeing school Herbie Bird.
Arij and Rick found our boats very interesting but we had to move on.
We slipped into the narrow Vaartsloot. Joost, Koos and Mark were paddling. I hoisted sail and soon passed them.
The creek was so narrow that you got almost touch the reeds either side of the hull.
It was beautiful sailing with water plants everywhere. Sometimes there were trees alongside the creek and we had to paddle. Apart from us, there were only a few open motor boats quietly chugging away.
When crossing other boats, it was often a tight squeeze.
We skirted the Weerribben like this for a couple of hours and then reached the Roomsloot which connects to the lake of Giethoornse Meer. Giethoorn is called the 'Venice of the North' and is especially popular with Chinese tourists.
After the lake, one more canal and then the big lake of Beulakerwiede.
On the lake there was a stiff breeze. Joost and Mark sailed their canoes very carefully to prevent nosediving.
I sailed for Hatseflats without reef. The blunt bow lifted up with the waves. It was very nice sailing.
Joost paddled behind.
All too soon we sailed into the Beulaekehaven at Blauwe Hand.
We took the canoes out of the water and left them on the grass. I left Hatseflats at a jetty.
There were rumours about a strike of the public transport so we had to improvise the trip back to our cars.
First we took a taxi to Meppel. We found that the train service was still working and took the train to Groningen. There we took another taxi to our starting point at Aduarderzijl. We drove the cars back to Beulaekehaven and collected our boats.
Once we were ready for the trip home we stopped at Elly's Beach Bistro and had a enjoyable goodbye meal.
Over dinner we discussed the past week. Overall the weather had been very good.
The winds picked up in the afternoon to make for some pleasant sailing.
The event could not have been planned better. Since the school holidays had not started, marinas and camp sites were not crowded at all and the people that we met were friendly and relaxed.
When sailing, the boats were well matched in speed. The canoes were as fast as Hatseflats with its big lug sail. When not sailing the heavily laden Hatseflats was no match for the slippery canoes.
Apart from good company we all enjoyed the beautiful landscapes and villages that we had passed.
The trip through the Weerribben was possibly the best part of the week.
After dinner we all went our separate ways.
Want to see more of our trip? Watch the video diary created by Koos