Sunday, August 27, 2006

Sailing in De Kaag

Click for our slideshow photoalbum in De Kaag.

A wind-undertaking was our passion last Saturday. Despite of weather threats, we drove with few friends to Kaag (52°13′N 4°33′E), a town in the Dutch province of South Holland. It is a part of the municipality of Alkemade, and lies about 8 km northeast of Leiden. Kaag lies on an island, Kagereiland, in the lakes "Kagerplassen". The lake Kagerplassen is connected with other large lakes like Braassem and the Vietlanden. All these lakes are connected with each other by a system of canals.

The complete crew on board while docking in the island.

A picturesque island which we need to cross accessible by ferry. Surrounded by ponds and lakes, the island is the perfect place for water-related sports, such as sailing, canoeing, rowing, wind surfing and fishing. You can check this site for more water attractions in De Kaag (Dutch text only).

De Kaag is typically Dutch village which is highly popular among tourists from the Netherlands and other countries alike. Peacefully situated at only 2 km from the A44 motorway offering a direct connection to Amsterdam and The Hague. Its central location in the green heart of the Randstad conurbation means that many attractions are within easy reach, including the Keukenhof flower show, Madurodam and Duinrell. Schiphol airport and the beach at Noordwijk are a mere 10km, the cities of Amsterdam and The Hague 30 km, and Leiden 12 km away.

Me and Lyn approaching the Zwanerburger windmill.

Today, for most people, sailing is recreation, an activity pursued for the joy of being on the water and pursuing the mastery of the skills needed to maneuver a sailboat in varying sea and wind conditions. We were six people on board in the boat and only one is the certified captain :-) However, for us three girls only charmed of sitting in the boat, and enjoy the scenic views around.

Uhmmmn...What happened? Hehehe...hubby is just resting while Don is smiling :-)

Our boys were the maneuvers how our sailing vessel propelled by the force of the wind on sails. When steering, the method for changing direction depends on the direction of the wind. And so, as the boat sailed smoothly with a strong wind blowing it, I was really scared as it sailed only in one side seemed turned to imbalance. Hehehe! But it turned out well, it was included of the sailing visual effects to rush more adrenaline of excitement.

We setted our lunch in the boat as we anchored in a quite part of the lake. It was a picnic atmosphere above water I should say. The day was ever bright far from expected bad weather forecast. The wind is not always in maximal speed but still it managed our boat to go to nice waterways. We saw little sailing boats for small kids as they have their sailing lessons. Ummmh...amazing, I think they were 4-10 years old kids who were very eager to sail.

One of the docking areas in the island.

As we proppeled, many boats were crossing against each other and guess what, the magical Dutch politeness were still in the water...:-) Greeting words and gestures among sailors were the most language along waterways...Ummmh. And so, one of our friends acted as the official ambassador of goodwill. Hehehe! ( joke lang Don ha!).

Our boat agency, Jachthaven Van Asselt, provided us a map of the island and so we tried to reach many islets. The island has many built hotels and restaurants where we can see piled alongside the water. Beautiful vacation houses and residential hubs are also proudly standing. The island really offers many things of relaxation.The island has several farmhouses, a marina, holiday cottages (private and commercial) and a very rich and famous shipyards. This is docking area for specialized charter and luxurious motor cruisers.

The Zwanerburger Mill dated from 1805 and was recently restored by the Foundation for Rijnland Mills.

Sports, dining, and of course sight seeing. Bicyclists were present too since the island has good bicyle pads built along the coasts. As we sailed, of course it's our eyes that get more satisfaction. For so many things to see, windmills, birds and animals were not the least in the list. Cows and sheeps were also starred in the green meadows of the island. As the wind had a strong visit to us, it brought us presents of imported scents of animal manure...Ummmh!

Only few inhabitants I observed but most were tourists. As the farm is on an isolated island, the people living there have to go ashore by boat or ferry. Everything, including cows, tractors, hay and milk is transported in this way. This provides a more "village" lifestyle that gives air soothing of peace and tranquility being afar from busy city. That's the nicest thing also of sailing. It unites you with nature :-) The water separates you from the land pressures and worries. While on sail, only you are intimate with the wind and water, well, aside only if you are sailing with your honeys like us :-)

Right image is during our way back to the starting point of the lake Warmond.

We actually sailed for almost 7 hours. We enjoyed it as our group shared some jokes, few lines of songs, pieces of intellectual inspiration and to nonsense buzz. It was actually a day of building friendship. Me and hubby are happy to meet these two love-bird couples and we're living just in the same city. After air breathtaking of daysailing, we drove to Lyn's house for a mouthering dinner.

A well-prepared gourmete served and that was very delighting. Thanks to the hosts.

It took us long time again to share the food and played a card after. The gamecard was a challenging digestive fun-activity :-)... Everything was setted and fall into place as we went home at 2am the following day :-) What a sailing day! The wind now brought us home and enough to fall asleep so loonngggg in bed... yesterday. We had a nice start of the week :-) :-) :-)

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