We took our skûtsje Zonder Zorg for an outing into the heart of Friesland to test her new systems and her performance. The canal system is extensive; it is the largest interconnected lake area in Europe and has excellent facilities, beautiful villages and towns and quiet rural pastures. We didn't have far to go to reach the outskirts of Harlingen; within a kilometre we were in the countryside.
We are new members of "De Marrekrite", a recreation group that provides 3,500 free mooring spots at 285 locations throughout Friesland. At a cost of twelve euros per year, it provides a burgee giving free moorage and map to all the locations. The marshlands are loaded with birdlife and livestock. It is a delight to see sheep grazing so close to the water; there is no need for fences to keep them, the canals and ditches do it.
The bridges on the side canals are low and fixed, but with our 1.95 metre height, we are able to easily glide under them along with other small boats. We found an idyllic mooring spot just large enough for Zonder Zorg's length. It was a well kept area with a few boats in a wilderness setting beside a bicycle path giving access to a quaint village. We stayed for two nights passively testing our remote capabilities and relaxing. We have a few more items on our to-do-list to be addressed before we can seriously begin working our way through the rest of the Friesian waterways.