We left our public mooring and motored into the Lauwersmeer which is a lake area just inside the
dijk that holds off the Waddenzee. The narrow canals suddenly became wide open lakes. Also being near the ocean meant increased wind and lots of yachts. Then we found the section of canal that went off to Dokkum. The moat system of canals around a town were not unique to Zwolle. Most towns here seem to have them. In Dokkum we found a mooring with no shore power and basic ablution facilities. We thought it might be a freebie but a woman came and collected €10.40 from us for the night.
By the time we tied up, it was quite late, but
|Bridge over moat in Dokkum
we wanted a quick look-see around Dokkum and bumped into Hans and the other two who suggested this route to us. Dokkum is an absolute must.
There is a VVV where you can get guidance. The historic inner city is only about 500m2 so you can go exploring on your own. Look out for two old working mills, museums and loads of ancient buildings. A monument to Saint Boniface (patron saint of Germany) is next to the moorings on the south side of the town. Boniface was bumped off by the locals and relieved of his possessions.
Every town has a market at least one day a
|Mooring in Dokkum at night
week. Dokkum sets up on a Wednesday. We were in time, so we did a mini shop-up. Most places have a smallish COOP, a Spar or a little Albert Heijn supermarket. Sometimes both and sometimes even an ALDI or a LIDL. They also have a similar chain called Jumbo where you can stock up on food provisions. The local pharmacy chain is called DA, the health shop chain is G & W and in bigger centres there is an organic fruit and veggie shop called EkoPlaza. You can also find healthy store cupboard items and toiletries there. HEMA sell everything from croissants to underpants, light bulbs to children’s toys.
Our boat was developing a starboard list and stern trim from all the shopping. More boat terms! The first means it tilts slightly to the right and the second means it tilts slightly backward. Which is pretty normal in a boat no matter what size. The position of engines, water, fuel and storage space all affect how a boat will lie in the water. I noticed it when I put dishes in the draining rack in the kitchen. The water always trickled to the one side.
|Dokkum by day
We very nearly bought another boat before Shangri La. The year before we bought Shangri La, we fell in love with a boat in Nottingham in the UK. My husband and the seller agreed on a price, filled in the paperwork and decided on a surveyor. The seller was a little reticent in providing what we thought was essential paperwork – deed of sale, VAT registration, etc.
The seller seemed to think we were being persnickety as he said he bought the boat without any of it. It was also a Dutch boat so my husband got hold of the Kadaster. The Kadaster are the Dutch boat registry. My other half gave them a number that was stamped on the boat. Turned out the boat had an outstanding bond or mortgage of €67 000.00.
|A car on top of a dijk
My husband mentioned this to the surveyor who advised us not to go ahead and purchase the boat. We must assume the owner bought it in good faith and since it had remained in the UK, he had not had a problem. It’s possible that the boat had been removed from the Kadaster and registered elsewhere and the amount was paid up but the details not amended. But since there was no paperwork to back this up we had no way of knowing what the situation was. We would not have been able to take the boat outside the UK or travel from one country to the next in Europe, which was the whole point of buying the boat. The sale went sour.
|The Kadaster in Groningen
With Shangri La, the agent provided all the relevant paper work, some of it even had to be done twice! My husband wanted the boat registered in the UK and the previous owners had jointly owned the boat. The UK MCA or Maritime Coastal Agency wanted two separate bills of sale from each of the owners selling their individual 32/64th share of the boat. Two signatures and 50/50 were not good enough. So the moral of all this is check the paper trail and make sure up front what is required.
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