Today I sailed to the Lauwersmeer to witness the maiden sail of Rene and his newly built Viola 14.
Instead of sailing to the locks at Dokkumer Nieuwe Zijlen I thought it would be quicker to sail to Oostmahorn on the Sud Ie.
I had planned to leave at 0930 hours, reach Oostmahorn at 1230 hours and arrive at the Schoolplein at 1330 hours.
At around 1000 hours I rowed away rom the jetty in our back yard.
I rowed through the town of Dokkum and reached the Sud Ie after I passed the Oostervallaatsluis at 1044 hours.
The water plants dragged any progress from Hatseflats so I took the rudder and daggerboard out to reduce the resistance.
At 1111 hours I ducked under the last bridge in Dokkum and set sail on the Sud Ie.
It was very quiet with just a couple of small boats on the water.
The wind was W2 so we were not going very fast.
Halfway I took the rig down to duck under a couple of bridges.
Soon we reached Ezumazijl.
I would have liked pass the lock and sail down the Raskes towarde the Lauwersmeer but the lock appeared closed for maintenance work.
So I sailed on towards the Esonstad holiday village near Oostmahorn.
I arrived at the lock at about 1410 hours.
It was a manually operated lock for self service operation.
A German family kindly helped to operate the valves and lock doors.
Thirty minutes later I had passed to lock and at 1445 I left the open lock at the harbour entrance at Oostmahorn.
A full two hours later than planned!
As I crossed the Lauwersmeer the wind died away.
Finally I saw a lugger sail in the distance and sailed to the far end of the Schoolplein.
As I got closer the wind picked up.
I arrived two hours late, miserably failing to meet my own planning.
Sailing from Dokkum to Oostmahorn along the Sud Ie takes 5 hours whereas the trip from Dokkum to Dokkummer Nieuwe Zijlen takes only 3.5 hours.
Taking the Sud Ie with its manually operated lock at Oostmahorn is only worthwhile if the trip from Dokkumer Nieuwe Zijlen to Oostmahorn takes longer than 1.5 hours.
Rene sailed towards me on his new Viola.
Koos and Klarie watched from easy chairs on the beach.
Rene and I sailed alongside for a few minutes.
Then Rene got a puff of wind and was gone.
Koos filmed Rene with his Gopro and drone which resulted in this little movie.
Then we moored our boats and admired Rene's new boat (called 'le Voila').
It seemed very fast and the sail looked beautiful and crisp.
Then it was time to raise our glasses and bring a toast to the new boat.
Well done, Rene!
Map showing route along the Sud Ie.
The Oostervallaatsluis in Dokkum.
Sailing on the Sud Ie
Leaving the manually operated lock at Oostmahorn.
Maiden sail for Rene and Voila.
Voila and Hatseflats at the Schoolplein.
Bubbles for launching Voila.
Picknick to celebrate the launch of Voila.