Зображення сторінки
[ocr errors]


Amsterdam took away all the When we reached Purmerend, heavy traffic. Now only the where there are locks, the wind country craft and small steamers had shifted to the westward, and, navigate it, and it is comparatively as the canal takes a sudden tum deserted, but it is broad and deep in that direction, we could not and kept in perfect order. The sail any further, but we arranged villages and houses on the banks with a man and horse to tow are all of one type, the houses as far as Molenbuurt, where square with pyramidal roofs of the canal again turns to the northgreat height, partly thatched and ward. Our steed went at a jogpartly tiled in ornamental patterns, trot, with the man sitting sideways the tiles so highly glazed as to ou its back, and took us along shine as if varnished. The land faster than & man could walk. being lower than the canal, fre. When we met other craft also quently only the roofs of the farm: towing, one or the other, accordhouses were visible above the ing to the rule of the road and banks; but, where walls the side on which the tow-path visible, we saw hanging on them might be, stopped his horse and rows of milk-pails, some of copper let the tow-line slack, so that the bright scoured outside, but painted meeting horse and vessel might red or green inside, and sometimes pass over. This was in all cases of gaily painted wood. The houses very skilfully done just at the were gaily painted also, with green right moment. gables pricked out with white or The country on the right was yellow. Around each square farm- chiefly polders, taking the place of house was

a square plot, with the great Beemster Lake and generally a square of trces in rows, others. On the left was a large and a square of green weed-covered


called Langemeer. At dyke. A little bridge crossing the Molenbuurt our towman cast us dyke would have a gaily orna- off, receiving three guelders, about mented gate across it, by its size 6d. a-mile, for his services. We and decoration indicating the hoisted all sail, but it fell calm, owner's wealth taste. The and we had to employ another paths up to the house were often man to tow us. painted with patterns and borders, AĆ Alkmaar we moored under and very commonly the trunks of a pleasant grove of trees in a small the trees up to the height of six park, and were soon besieged by feet from the ground were painted, the usual inquisitive crowd : the chiefly blue, but sometimes red or boys were rather troublesome, but brown. The shorn sheep tethered the grown-up people were exceedto the banks, and with canvas ingly civil, and apparently were jackets on to replace the warm much impressed by the Prince of wool; the black-and-white cattle in Wales' feathers which, as the badge the meadows, many of these hav. of our club, appeared upon our caps ing canvas coats on also; the and Aag. They were all muca numerous windmills, revolving the interested to find that a lady war opposite way to English windmills; on board such a little boat. the brilliant green of the grass, The weigh-house at Alkmaar is silver of the dykes, and sheen of a well-known subject for a sketch ; flowers in the sunshine,-all gave and the market on a fair-day is a food for remark as we slipped sight, crammed as it is with piles quietly along.

of cheeses, brought by the craft


which crowd the town canal: while swallows' nests under the low country chariots, with their high beams, and underneath each nest poop canopies, bring the stout was placed a flat shelf to prevent farmers and their silver-crowned the droppings of the birds soiling wives to make the quaint old the floor below. town gay with. quaint dresses. In the garden we saw rabbits in

In a field on the other side of a dove-cot perched on the top of the canal, opposite the yacht, was a tall pole, and doves in rabbita tall pole with a platform on the hutches close to the ground, and top, and on this obligingly placed some beautiful golden pheasants, coign of vantage a stork had built and then we took a closer photoits nest. It was most amusing to graph of the stork's nest. The watch through our glasses the old old bird was very suspicious of our storks feeding the young ones; and camera, and made her young ones in the morning before breakfast, I lie close in the nest. crossed with my camera and pro After breakfast we made all sail, ceeded to take some photographs and went tearing along before a of them. While so doing, a young fine breeze northward, approach. farmer came down and invited me ing within a couple of miles of the and my frouw to go and see the coast, where the lofty sand-dunes, butter and cheese making at his tumultuous in form, and showing farm. We did so, finding the white in the sun, which keep the house to be of the usual type. North Sea out of Holland, bore us The dyke surrounding the prem- company for many miles. It was ises stank most frightfully, and a pleasant rippling sail to Nieuweits filth was in extreme contrast diep, the only excitement being to the neatness and cleanliness of at the floating drawbridges, which the house, outbuildings, and uten- were not well watched by their sils of the farm.

keepers, the traffic on the canal We duly saw the round cheeses being so slight, so that we had to moulded and made and the butter holloa loud and long to get them pressed, and then entered the cow. opened in time, and check the speed byres, which at this time of the of the yacht by"yawing" her about. year were empty, the cattle being In the evening we strolled along in the fields. They occupied one the great Helder Dyke, along the side of the square house, and har North Sea shore, a massive work no ceiling, the whole of the space which wins admiration, and looked above the height of the walls and over the troublous Zuyder Zee, under the great pyramidal roof which, however, appeared placid being empty and open, only the and calm and tempting for the living-rooms being ceiled off from morrow. it. The byres were beautifully We soon engaged a pilot for the clean, and bright with paint and dangerous crossing to Harlingen, varnish, coloured oilcloth being and were up in the morning at laid all along where the sterns of four o'clock, and by five were the cows would overhang, and the through the lock into the barbour. stalls deeply floored with loose sea The tide had commenced to make, shells. Rings in overhead beams and raced up the long narrow marked the places where the cows' harbour at a speed of six or seven tails were tied up at milking-time miles an hour, so that we could out of the way. The farmer not, as we intended, slip out with pointed with pride to several the ebb, and it took all the strength


of two men to tow the yacht row Inschot channel between taş against the tide. Half-way down Robbesand and Molenrack and the the harbour a pilot cutter was Waard-gronden shoals. moored alongside the quay, and Rounding a white buoy, we turnwe hung on outside of her and ed a sharp corner and sailed back hoisted sail as a light air began to almost in the direction in which make off the land.

we had come with a fair wind and There was just sufficient wind tide down the Blauwe Sleuk chanto enable us to stem the tide, and nel to the south-east, our destinawe were just hoisting our largest tion, Harlingen on the Friesland topsail when we saw the schuyts shore of the Zuyder Zee, being in running in from the North Sea sight. A heavy thunderstorm killed before a heavy wind. They came the wind and it fell dead calm. bruising along in groups of a dozen Drifting away to the southward or twenty, their bluff bows making into shoaling water (where we the spindwift fly. We had but poled along for some time) we had little room to dodge between them; to anchor for an hour. The heavy but in a few minutes we storm-clouds over to the westward rushing along the Texel stream of looked alarming, and tempest after the Zuyder Zee beforo a wild tempest passed over the islands to squall of wind from the north- the northward, making the scene west, which soon rose to a regu- in that direction exceedingly grand, lar smothering sea, short, choppy, while we swayed gently on a calm and all white water. Te had to sea ; and to the eastward we could shorten sail and lower the topmast see one of those pearly atmospheres in a violent hurry. The wife was for which the Zuyder Zee is in bed at the time, but was not noted. The Friesland shore was long in dressing; and on emerging lost in a bright haze, out of which from the cabin saw the sea, which prominent objects such as churches, her deceitful husband had repre- houses, and trees stood up boldly senter to bo always calm and lake- above the horizon, unconnected like, a niass of foam through which with each other; and with a silver the yacht was flying, with a great streak of sea underneath and bewhite surge at her bow, and the tween them to a further horizon water tumbling over on both sides beyond. Each object was doubled of the deck.

by reflection, and the general apThe old pilot steered us remark- pearance was that of a row of ably well through the pother, every buoys of queer shapes floating upon now and then diving into a paper a smooth lake for miles and miles. bag which he had brought with This appearance may be seen alhim, filled with coarse shag tobac- most every calm summer day on co, frequent handfuls of which he the Zuyder Zee when a few miles trausferred to his capacious cheeks. out from shore.

Ile were surrounded by danger A slight breeze from the westous shouls traversed by narrow ward allowed us to raise our anchor, channels marked out by buoys and and then as we sailed away for perches, through which there was Harlingen, a shoal of dolphins a race of tide. After about fifteen hove in sight, and presently overmiles of fair wind and tide, we took the yacht, and dividing into turned in the northward and had two companies of a dozen in each, to tack tediously against the tide kept on both sides of the yacht for about nine miles along the nar within fifty yards of us. The

gambols of these creatures, which tow-lorses and their attendauts on in appearance are like immense the bank waiting to be enįployed. porpoises, were very interesting. Having ascertained the parketThey plunged and dived and leaped value of a tow, we declined to pay many feet out of the water, falling the exorbitaut prices at first asked, back with a resounding splash, and and saying we were in no lurry, rushing under and around the yacht but would wait until the wind in rapid play. They are probably changed, we let them all depart the white-beaked dolphin, but there save one who came to our termsis much uncertainty as to the namely, 31 guelders for the tow to species of cetaceans inhabiting the Leeuwarden, a day's journey So, North Sea, and several kinds are after breakfast, we took his line called by the fishermen by the aboard, and started at a jog-trot common naine of scoulter. They along a very narrow and winding come inshore in rough weather, canal through green pastures, and are fond of following vessels, where the larks were singing high which perhaps they may take to be aloft in the sunshine in true Engof a kindred species.

lish fashion. Our towman was We sailed into Harlingen at most anıusing. He was a yellowthree in the afternoon, where our haired blue-eyed Frisian, with long appearance attracted inuch atten- untidy locks, short and thick-set, tion. We pushed through the but active and rery excitable. lock to a confortable mooring When we canie to a great hayplace in a very narrow canal, stack ou a barge moored to the and made all snug, putting the bank. le clambered up it on allawning up between us and the fours just like a cat, to pass the curious crowd on shore. The

tow-rope orer. He huug liis sabots next morning a paragraph appear over the horse's neck, and put on ed in the newspapers, and went a pair of cloth slippers. He had the round of the Friesland press. no whip, but in lieu thereof he With the aid of a dictionary we would take off one slipper to beat translated it as follows :

his lorse with, hopping the while

on the other leg in a most ludi. “Yesterday evemug arrived here

crous fashion. He had to stop to from England a sailing-vessel xo sinal] as here before not over the sea is come.

replace his slipper, and the steed, It is a narrowly built pleasure-yacht, after trotting ou a few yards, nieasuring from stemu to steru, perlaps would coolly halt and turu round 30 feet at the largest : iu lier middle to watch. Then there would be a 6 feet. Her 'entire bold is as cabin hullabaloo and a repetition of the enclosed in. This little slip in 1ro- performance. vided with two masts. Evidently she

We stopped at ana explored chall along the canals of vur laud a

Franeker, tournée make. She is at least reaily to

a funuy little town euil in the Leeuwardeu canal."

half-way to Leeuwarden, and then

under way agaiu we trotted merrily Harlingen is busy on the arrival along in an enjoyable manner, but of the London steaners, but ap- without much incident, passing parently at no other time. There many small villages, of which one, are large and coureuient docks, and called Deinum, had a remarkable every facility for trade.

church spire with a globular top, The next inorning the wind was something like a huge inverted ahead for our course to Leeuwar. turnip, or, more poetically, the den, and there was a collection of uninaret of a Moorish mosque.

« НазадПродовжити »