Single handed Training IJsselmeer

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Eastern weekend this year was an excellent three days of sailing. It was a training on the IJsselmeer as a preparation of An Adriatic 2009, my tour in the Adriatic Sea. Together with Anne, the trainer of the Zeilvaardigheidscentrum Lelystad, we circumsailed the IJsselmeer in 3 days.

The training was more focused on the refreshing of techniques. I chose this sailing school as they have an Elan 340 for training purposes, a yacht quite similar to the Elan 343 I have rented in Croatia, and a positive referral.

Day I

The weather was more then brilliant for the time of the year. About 20-25o Celsius and 10-15 knots of wind and excellent visibility (> 10 km). All combined best start of a training you could wish. Sailed from Lelystad to Stavoren. This day I learned a lot about sailtrims for the different courses and winds.

We arrived at Stavoren around 20:00 and had dinner in a local restaurant called “It Hearehûs” (very nice pizza’s for about EUR 10,=). Harbour taxes are EUR 0.80 per meter of the ship and an additional EUR 1,= per person.

Vrouwtje van Stavoren

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Stavoren is a nice little city on the coast of the IJsselmeer. In the middle ages it was one of the most rich and prosperous cities of the Netherlands. Caused by being the center of the trade between Holland, Sweden and Poland. It is legendary that the decline of this little village during the 15th century was caused by “Het vrouwtje van Stavoren” or “Lady of Stavoren” (the second link refers to the Wikipedia in the English language).

In short, the story is tells of the decline of very rich woman and the city. On a fine day she throws away a ring into the sea, the Zuiderzee (the current IJsselmeer). She puts a spell on it by claiming that she will be poor if once the ring will be returned to her. Some time later she finds the ring in a fish she was about to eat. End of story and of the wealth of her and al the others in Stavoren.

This story might be familiar to you as it is told in many old sages in different times, countries and cultures. The oldest is of Herodotus (Yes!) and the ring of Polykrates, the tyran of Samos. Nice piece of localization in the Stavoren variant is that this legend explains the shallow grounds close to Stavoren (the “Vrouwenzand“).

The city did prosper again in the 17 and 18th century although not as much as in its haydays of the 15th century. Currently it just a nice little village next to the IJsselmeer with about 1,000 inhabitants and an economy mostly based on (sailing) tourism and some fishing.

La Route

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Day II

On day II we sailed from Stavoren to Enkhuizen. The weather was less favourable, it was colder (ca. 15 – 18o Celsus), and there was much less wind (about 5 – 8 knots). Fortunately we did catch some sun although more cloudy then the first day. Main theme of the day was anchoring wich we exercised in the Buitenhaven of Enkhuizen. Three types of anchores trained: first just plain old anchoring (just in the bay), secondly anchor out and the stern to the pier (“op zijn Grieks” or “à la Grecque”) and third stern anchor with bow to the landing stage.

We arrived circa 19:30 at the harbour, shopped at supermarket “Deen” somewhere in the center of Enkhuizen and had a cosy yacht dinner. Next morning paid taxes: EUR 1.25 per meter and EUr 1,= per person.


Saild from Stavoren back to Lelystad, cross the Markerwaard. This route had two locks, the Naviduct – close to Enkhuizen – and the Houtribsluizen, close to Lelystad. Weather was cold, between 12 and 15 degrees Celsius, no sun and a little bit foggy thus low visibility. More close hauled it could be freezing cold. Still good weather to exercise reefing and crossing locks.

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Pictures courtesy of

After all a fair good of Eastern sailing. I was blessed with the first weekend of almost tropical temperatures in the Netherlands, and fair good wind where the first day was more then an excellent breeze. I can conclude that I will be a very happy sailor with the Elan as it is very fine ship to sail. It is easy to manouevre and is very wind efficient, with about 9 knots of wind we could sail 6 knots. The only thing I am less enthousisiatic about is that I still have some weeks of work before take-off.

O how I wish I could sail away tomorrow.

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