A short trip today – just 6.8 miles from Jachthaven Lunegat to the Noordegat Jachthaven at Lauwersoog. The Noordegat is the best placed marina for us to go out tomorrow morning through the Robbengatsluis and into the Waddenzee – finally back into salt water again and with tides! The trip took us through some tight (and shallow) channels into the Lauwersmeer. We had to stick carefully to the channels, partly because the whole Lauwersmeer is quite shallow, but also because the rest of the area is restricted. The Lauwersmeer is a protected area and renowned for its bird populations.
The Lauwersmeer only took its current form in May 1969 when the 13km long dike finally closed the area off from the Waddenzee. Plans had been mooted for many years – even as far back as the 19th Century, but the floods of 1953 and 1954 finally sealed the deal and plans were put in place to convert it to an inland sea. Its gradual shift to being a freshwater lake meant that new flora and fauna emerged and in 2003 they decided to protect it by establishing it as a National Park.
Lauwersoog itself, where the yacht harbour is located, is a major fishing post and the fishing harbour is just the other side of the dike from us. As well as being an important base for Dutch fishermen, many Danish fishermen are apparently based here as well.
Lauwersoog also marks the point where we finish our trip through Friesland on the standing mast route. Although we could have gone on further through Groningen to Delfzijl, we have decided to head out into the Wadenzee and go straight along the Elbe to Brunsbuttel and the Kiel Canal. Below is a video of our passage through the Staande Mast Route: