Our Barge, Odysseus

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Up to Friesland

So for those of you following along on your map of the Netherlands, we left the B&B in Tiel and headed over to Leiden, then up the Alsmeer Canal, stopping at marinas along the way and looking at boats. One we looked at had been on our list all along, at the Kemper Watersports sales docks in a little town called Kuddlestart. I liked it right off but Cathy Jo thought the interior looked a little rv'ish. We weren't done looking yet so it went on the list of possibilities.That evening found us in the town of Enkhuizen which Cathy Jo and I christened the Bar Harbor of the Netherlands. Lots of beautiful sailing ships and barges for use on what used to be the Zuider Zee, but now enclosed by dikes is the Ijsslemeer. Lots of upscale looking individuals in topsiders with no socks.

We stayed in a hotel over a chinese restaurant, had a great fish dinner in a local restaurant and, after more walking the next morning, were off to Friesland.
Our next place to stay was another B&B on a farm outside the town of Tijnje (pronounced tinye, long i) and we saw another couple of possibilites along the way, including several boats called river cruisers, which have a much finer bow and, usually, bigger engines. This created a dilemma for us because we were originally limiting our search to converted barges and there are literally hundreds of these cruisers on the market. Because of their design, a suitable one could be smaller that a barge and still allow plenty of living room. Two of our favorites were an Arminta cruiser and Adios, a Stabilicruiser owned by a retired professional sailor and only reluctantly on the market. There was already an offer on Adios but the Arminta had been on the market for a while so was still available.


We had also been pursuing a broker about a boat we had seen in an ad online. We finally made contact and he sent us to the boat, telling us we should contact him again if we were still interested after seeing the outside. It was an unbelievable mess, a total wreck on the inside (a boatyard worker gave us access) and nearly that on the outside, and for that they were asking 35,000 euros! We were stunned that anybody would be so bold but the market is really wacky in Holland.

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