© The Cedar Journal, 2021, all rights reserved.
75 years ago today the Dutch citizens danced in the streets to welcome the Allied Forces, their liberators after more than four years under Nazi rule.
Each year flags are hung to remember that day and to celebrate freedom. This year the national day off was, well less than normal.
We took the opportunity to head out on our first canoe ride of the year. We both needed to be on the water, to flex our canoe muscles, to free ourselves of the four walls of the house. I am usually on the water for weeks by May. Either in Minnesota or here but the last two years have presented some challenges. This year I am guessing most of my readers can relate to the cabin fever syndrome.
He travelled to Hillegom, NL to a place we have paddled before in the Spring. The canals lead through the tulip fields and usually are filled with color and scents of blooms.
This was the first time we have had to place Cedar on our new (to us) VW Caddy. We were worried about how we would lift her to the much higher roof of this van. In fact we talked about it most of the winter, tried to watch videos of people who lift canoes onto higher profiles vehicles (no luck on that!), and finally came up with a system that seemed to work for us.
We love the fact that the VW Caddy has so much more room for our gear.
©️ The Cedar Journal, 2020, all rights reserved
Having a camping spot on the water makes it easier for enjoying a canoe paddle. We started our week with a short paddle of 4.5 km close to the camping. On the edge of the National Park Lauwersmeer we saw plenty of migrating birds.
Swans, white egrets, ducks of every sort and cormorants. We have spotted spoonbills and three black swans also.
The second paddle was on the West part of the Lauwersmeer from the small village of Oostmahorn. The wind made this a bit of a challenging paddle until we reached a protected island area. Not wanting to paddle back into the waves we headed inland to find a canal back to our start point. Only to end up at a old lock with no access to the canal on the other side. We returned the way we came. In the shallow water we saw some huge fish. I even saw a bass come straight out of the water vertically. This was a 6.5 km paddle.
©️ The Cedar Journal,2019, all rights reserved
It has been a long time since Cedar (our cedar strip canoe) has touched the water. Now dry docked in our back garden due to the loss of our front caravan tent she hasn’t seen much action this summer.
I wasn’t sure that we were going to paddle very far. In my mind, I wanted our first canoe paddle of the year to be more than just hitting the water. I was determined to do my best and if my back acted up we could always turn back to the camping.
By the end of the day, we experienced a sunrise and and sunset from our Cedar beauty on the lake.