Archive For The “Netherlands” Category

Den Helder

Den Helder

For visitors to the area, Den Helder is best known as the gateway to the island of Texel, the most visited Dutch island in the Wadden Sea. But the long-time military base and former naval shipyard has a number of other attractions. These include the Dutch Navy Museum, the Napoleonic Fort Kijkduin, the Nollen Landscape…

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Dutch Navy Museum

Dutch Navy Museum

Late 20th-century Dutch guided-missile frigates carried a large radar dome housing a revolutionary 3D radar that could measure an object’s distance, direction and height at the same time. The radar had a range of 242 miles (390km) and could track over a hundred targets simultaneously, making it the most powerful radar of its time (1975-2000)….

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Texel

Texel

The island of Texel, with its extensive sandy beaches and abundant wildlife, is the most visited Dutch island in the Wadden Sea. Ferries make the 15-minute crossing north to Texel from Den Helder every half-hour during busy periods. Texel was popular historically as well. Texel Roads, off the southeast coast of the island, was one…

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De Nollen Landscape

De Nollen Landscape

In the 1980s, Dutch artist R.W. van de Wint began an experimental project that became his life’s work. Over the course of 25 years, he created paintings, steel sculptures and large structures amongst old bunkers in the dune area De Nollen in Den Helder. De Nollen was the southern extent of the Fort Dirksz Admiraal,…

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Vlieland to Den Helder

Vlieland to Den Helder

Den Helder is the main naval base for the Royal Netherlands Navy and the harbour is packed with large and imposing naval ships. Within the port is the Royal Netherlands Navy Yacht club, where we stayed for several nights in sight of all the navy ships plus many large commercial and Coast Guard vessels. From…

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Vlieland

Vlieland

The beach Vliehors is an 8-sq-mile (20-sq-km) sandy plain, exposed to the North Sea, along the west side of the Dutch island of Vlieland. The Vliehors Expres carries visitors the length of the beach, leaving wonderful poems in the sand. Or you can visit by bicycle, as we and many others did. Below are trip…

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Heligoland to Vlieland

Heligoland to Vlieland

We departed Heligoland shortly after daybreak on a 132nm run to Vlieland, Netherlands through the German Bight. The body of water, at the southeast corner of the North Sea, can be a nasty stretch and is our last offshore run off the year. We had blissfully calm conditions through much of the trip, with the…

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Amsterdam to Heligoland

Amsterdam to Heligoland

Just over four months after arriving, we departed Amsterdam on a calm but chilly morning and exited the canal system into the North Sea at IJmuiden. From there we made a 200nm overnight run to the German holding of Heligoland to pickup a load of duty-free diesel. Conditions were wonderfully settled most of the way…

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Amsterdam Visitors

Amsterdam Visitors

In addition to being a wonderful place to live and complete some boat projects, City Marina IJDok also was convenient for visitors. This gave us an opportunity to catch up with some old friends, meet in person some that we’d only corresponded with, and make new acquaintances with locals or those travelling to the area….

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Amsterdam Projects

Amsterdam Projects

Besides being a great place to call home, City Marina IJDok in Amsterdam also was convenient to complete a number of boat projects including replacing the Jabsco 34600-0010 bilge pump with Whale Gulper 320 High Capacity bilge pump, installing a new steering pump, and adding shorepower soft start. Some of the gear and supplies we…

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City Marina IJDok

City Marina IJDok

City Marina IJDok was an exceptional winter home for us. We were lucky to get a spot in the small marina in downtown Amsterdam that is an easy walk to the train station and countless restaurants and attractions. In addition to exploring the city and enjoying the Amsterdam Light Festival and the city’s extensive New…

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March in Amsterdam

March in Amsterdam

In our last couple of weeks in Amsterdam, we visited The Hague, completed a few boat projects, finalized our preparations for our summer cruise to the Baltic and hosted a few visitors. We’d initially planned to depart Amsterdam for the Baltic Sea on March 1st, but extended our stay until the 15th to give us…

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The Hague

The Hague

James has long had an interest in the famous Dutch graphics artist Maurits Cornelis Escher, whose work features mathematical objects and optical illusions. As a teenager he had a poster of Escher’s Dragon on his wall and as an adult very much enjoyed reading Douglas Hofstadter’s Godel, Escher, Bach that explores the common themes between…

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February in Amsterdam

February in Amsterdam

In February we took advantage of unseasonably warm, calm and sunny weather for Amsterdam to make day trips to NDSM Wharf, Zaanse Schans, and Rotterdam. We also started stocking up for the summer trip to the Baltic; completed several boat maintance items and projects, such as replacing our unsatisfactory Jabsco 34600-0010 bilge pump; and did…

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Rotterdam

Rotterdam

Unlike historic Amsterdam, most of Rotterdam’s buildings were constructed after World War II German bombers destroyed the central core. The city was rebuilt in a very modern style and although the traditional buildings visible through much of the Netherlands are beautiful, Rotterdam’s contemporary and unusual architecture is quite appealing. Rotterdam also is full of statues…

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Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans, north of Amsterdam, is one of the oldest industrial areas in the world and was particularly important in the 18th and 19th centuries. Over 1,000 windmills were built in the area to help produce linseed oil, paint, snuff, mustard, paper and other products. Today many of Zaanse Schans’ remaining windmills are operating and…

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NDSM Wharf

NDSM Wharf

The NDSM wharf district in Amsterdam Noord was once home of the NDSM (Nederlandsche Dok en Scheepsbouw Maatschappij) shipyard until the 1980s. The area is in the process of revitalization, with a particular emphasis on companies in the creative sector, and is full of distinctive architecture and artwork. We took taking advantage of a warm…

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January in Amsterdam

January in Amsterdam

Our third month in Amsterdam, January, was a busy one. We visited local museums such as Anne Frank House and the Rijksmuseum, took in the Amsterdam Light Festival by tender, attended an Amsterdam Tigers ice hockey game, made day trips to Haarlem and Delft, hosted several visitors, completed a number of boat projects such as…

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