Harlingen, NL

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Our main reason for stopping in Harlingen, NL was that it was convenient for picking up our new tender en route to Norway. Harlingen worked out splendidly for that purpose, but it also was an excellent stop overall. We enjoyed the city’s many waterfront restaurants and made several interesting side trips, including a tender trip through the inland canals and a bike ride along the Afsluitdijk Dam.

Below are trip highlights from April 16th through 26th, 2018 in Harlingen, NL. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps

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We arrived into Harlingen, NL after a 267-mile run from London, UK. Read more …
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Looking east along Schritsen, one block off Zuiderhaven. It all looked very tidy and very Dutch. Many buildings have stepped gables typical of Dutch renaissance architecture, particularly in Amsterdam.
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Grote Bredeplaats

Outdoor seating at one of the several restaurants in the Grote Bredeplaats shopping area near the harbour entry.
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The bridge over the entrance to the inner harbour that we passed through earlier today. The large gates under the bridge are closed at high tide when strong westerly winds are blowing to prevent flooding.
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It was just warm enough to have a great lunch outside at Wallys. Fortunately most of the restaurants here have English menus as the Dutch ones were pretty much impenetrable to us.
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Harlingen is full of interior canals dating back centuries. They are reachable from our berth through one of several locks.
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Dirona is berthed just on the other side of the lock at the far end of this waterway.
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Forward Spotlight

Our forward spotlight stopped working last night. My normal testing procedure is to check for voltage at the device and, if it’s there, replace or repair the device. On this test, we have 13.2V at the device suggesting the lights are faulty. But, our forward spotlight is actually four independent spotlights and them all failing at the same time seemed unlikely so I dug deeper.

The 13.2V becomes 8V when the lights are on again suggesting an internal fault in the light but, again, four independent failures seems unlikely. I connected a 2-core wire to the 12V system and ran it up to the spotlight and it worked perfectly. I then tried using the existing ground wire and the temporary power wire. It failed, so I tried the existing power wire and the temporary ground wire. This did light so we knew we had a ground circuit resistance problem.

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Wiring Issues

I found two suspicious issues with the forward spotlight wiring. One was a current leak due to chaffing where the wires pass into the stainless rails that mount the lights. This may have caused increased current flow. And near the electrical panel I found a crimp connector that had obviously overheated. I tested resistance and it was high. The current the light draws and perhaps the current leak found earlier had overheated a butt connector and its resistance had gone up until the lights would no longer illuminate due to the voltage drop.

We replaced the wiring at the light to eliminate the damaged insulator and replaced the wiring at the DC panel where the butt connector had failed. It’s all back to working properly again and will be ready for our night passage to Helgoland.

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Dusk on our first night in Harlingen, looking down Zuiderhaven from the boat deck.
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A beautiful, calm and sunny morning looking down Zuiederhaven from our berth.
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Boot Akkrum

Right on time, Boot Akkrum arrived this morning with our new tender. Read more …
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Harlingen Harbours

After Boot Akkrum delivered our new tender, we went out on a tour of the Harlingen harbors to get the new Honda 50 broken in quickly. We found a lot there—Harlingen businesses include Dutch shipbuilder Icon Yachts, several boat yards with focus on the offshore oil industry, and barge offloading facilities. Read more …
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The temperature was 73.8°F (23.2°C) today, quite hot for this time of year, and the next day was even warmer.
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Kees Verruijt

Way back in 2012, before we left Seattle, we began looking for ways to customize and control Dirona‘s NMEA 2000 data without having to dole out several thousand dollars for the proprietary specification. Adam Block, owner of N47 Eden, was facing the same challenge and came across software written by Dutchman Kees Verruijt that accessed the bus via an Actisense NGT-1. Kees made the software available as open source and it is became the core infrastructure of our control system. Given that Kees lives in Harlingen, Netherlands, we didn’t expect to ever meet, but here we are. It was a real treat to meet him in person. Kees also is a boater, so gave us great tips for the area.
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Our Actisense NGT-1 NMEA 2000 bus interface failed a couple of days back. It locks up, the control systems notice that nothing is going out, and restart the interface which works for another minute or two and then locks up again. The automation keeps restarting it and so everything is running normally but it’s restarting 30 to 40 times per hour. We suspect the failure might be the remaining fallout from the 12V system deep discharge we experienced in London. Upgrading the firmware in the device fixed the problem for a few days, but it eventually started failing again. So we’ve replaced it with a spare and will order a new backup next time we’re in the US.
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Harlingen Canals

We set of from Harlingen just past 7am on a warm and sunny day to test the new tender on a longer trip and to enjoy the inland canals. Read more …
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We’ve not ridden our bikes since last October in Inverness, Scotland. We’re going on a bike trip tomorrow, so got them down today to perform any required service. They were in surprisingly good shape and only needed the tires pumped up and the chains lubed. We keep them on the flybridge zipped inside a canvas cover, and that seems to protect them fairly well.
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Anna Casparii

An excellent meal streetside at Anna Casparii overlooking the Noorderhaven basin. The temperature was just warm enough to eat outside, even without heaters.
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Boy Plugging Dike

The story of the Dutch boy who plugged a dike with his finger and saved his country is American folklore and not widely known in the Netherlands. The story is most well-known from appearing in American author Maye Mapes Dodge’s popular 1865 novel Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates, a fictional depiction of early 19th-century Dutch life. For tourism purposes, statues of a boy plugging the dike have been erected in several Dutch cities, including here in Harlingen.
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Flood Gate

After walking through this pedestrian tunnel to the outer harbour in Harlingen, we realized that the wall was actually for flood protection and the tunnel has massive gates that can close to seal the opening.
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Now that we’ve got the new tender running well, it’s time to start rigging it. We’ll blog the details.
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Our berth in Zuiderhaven in front of St. Michael’s church, completed in 1881.
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Afsluitdijk Dam

The 20-mile (32km) Afsluitdijk dam, completed in 1932, protects the Netherlands coast from flooding and provides an important source of freshwater by transforming the saltwater bay Zuiderzee into a freshwater lake renamed IJsselmeer. The dam also provides an important road link between the provinces of Friesland, where Harlingen is, and North Holland. An easy easy bike ride from Harlingen along the Afsluitdijk brought us to Kornwerderzand, where there are sea locks, World War II fortifications and the Afsluitdijk Visitor Center. Read more …
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Tall Ships Races

Harlingen is one of the host cities for the 2018 Tall Ships Races. Their headquarters is right next to our berth.
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The convoy of trawlers we saw earlier today were all rafted up at Noorderhaven when we arrived later that day. The forward inside boat is a Selene—their Northern Europe sales office is nearby in Leeuwarden.
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Dinner on the patio at Restaurant Noorderport overlooking Noorderhaven. As with last night, it was just warm enough to eat outside without heaters.
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Spare Spitfire

Another spare Spitfire in the bilge underneath the guest stateroom berth.
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Loudhailer Replacement

Our foghorn failed when navigating through the fog en route to Harlingen from the UK. We have a backup loudhailer mounted in the cockpit on the second VHF radio, so we switched to that one for the remainder of the route. The forward loudhailer speaker takes a fair bit of weather and we’ve replaced it three or four times.
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Exhaust Cooling Failure

Yikes, this one looks scary. This isn’t a likely failure mode and, to be extra safe, we also have an alarm on exhaust stack enclosure over-temperature which will trigger at only 140F. It seems unlikely that, at the same time, the exhaust fan failed and the over-temperature alarm didn’t trigger. Even stranger, when tested the fan runs great and, if the fan is forced off underway, the stack over-temp alarm triggers quickly. I found this failure to be a super interesting one and, for those with similar designs, it’s worth protecting against this one. The details are at Exhaust Cooling Fault
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Rob Westermann

We swapped boat tours with Rob Westermann, owner of Artnautica 58 Britt. Read more on Artnautica …
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An excellent meal with a harbour view at Zeeczicht Restaurant.
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The Woudemansteeg, connecting the roads Lanen and Schritsen, shows in a map of Harlingen from 1613.
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A impressive array of cheese on display at Homminga’s Fijne Winkeltje.
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Xin Hau

We had a delicious meal at Xin Hau Chinese restaurant overlooking Zuiderhaven.
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Post NL

It’s just a post office, but it feels exotic to be mailing a letter through Post NL.
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Albert Heijn

We didn’t really need anything, but took the opportunity to top up on a few items at Albert Heijn along the Zuiderhaven before departing Harlingen later this morning.
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Tour Boat

A tour boat passing through the lock from Zuiderhaven into the internal canal.

Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map, with the complete log of our cruise.

On the map page, clicking on a camera or text icon will display a picture and/or log entry for that location, and clicking on the smaller icons along the route will display latitude, longitude and other navigation data for that location. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.


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2 comments on “Harlingen, NL
  1. ken says:

    Looks like the trip is going well guys!

    Just wondering on the Nordhavn, Is there yearly electrical tests/Pat test that have to be carried out or is it just a once off?

    Strange one , but as an electrician I am curious about what is involved to keep her up to scratch!


    • No, there are no electrical inspection requirements in the normal case. Some jurisdictions like New Zealand require an inspection prior to plugging the boat into the local grid but those inspections are only required if using the local grid but most boats do. Many insurance companies require inspections as the boat crosses 10 years old but, that’s a insurance company decision and not a local jurisdictional requirement. As a consequence, you’ll find some pretty scary poor wiring decisions on boats. The leading cause of boat fires is the shore power connection and I’ve seen faults in new boats and old ones. In well wired boats and in poorly wired ones.

      Super high care needs to be applied where moving a lot of current and many, even well maintained boats, have serious underlying faults at the shore power connection. Our is permanently wired in at the boat end to eliminate that potentially high resistance connection with a nice dry, mechanical connection just inside the boat with a breaker and RCD right at the entrance to the boat.

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