This is "Onbekommerd"!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Is it winter?

We left Blokzijl and motored along the Ganzendiep towards Kampen. That's a new route which we had never done before, very nice and rural. On the river IJssel there was quite a bit of chop, the flow of the river being against the strong wind. Then onto the Vossemeer towards the Roggebot sluis (lock). Already our fourth lock this year, but they were all very easy ones, with just a few centimetres of drop or rise. But what was unusual was the weather: we had perfectly timed to arrive during a storm with hail and - wait for it - snow! It is ridiculously cold and after we had tied up on a small island (called Eekt) just a few miles before Elburg, we had a hail storm. This is what our deck looked like:

We are now on the 'Randmeren', a series of lakes between the old land and the newly reclaimed polders in what used to be the Zuiderzee. Here is a map showing the Zuiderzee, before 1932 when the Afsluitdijk, a dike between Noord Holland and Friesland was built:

On the right hand side you see the river IJssel running into the sea, south of that is Elburg. You can also find Blokzijl where we were yesterday and Spakenburg where we head for tomorrow. The islands of Schokland and Urk are also easily found.
From 1850 there were plans to close the Zuiderzee off, firstly to protect the land from the many devastating floods but also to be able to reclaim valuable agricultural land from the sea.
In 1914, the plan looked like this:

The shaded parts were going to be the 'new land'.
The 'Afsluitdijk ' was eventually completed in 1932 and the polders were constructed in the decennia thereafter although not exactly according to this map. There is that string of lakes between the old land and the South Eastern polder and the South Western polder was never built.

Both maps were taken from the book 'Langs de Zuiderzee', written by my great grandfather in 1912. Henk and Ria Nooter kindly gave us a copy a few days ago.

Location:Dronten,The Netherlands

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