Sailing on the IJsslemeer – Urk

This might look like an ordinary adventure to the inexperienced viewer. For us it was way more than that. Why? One may ask. It’s because we had a lot of first timers. Our crew got bigger for one new memeber. Max the Labrador aka Maxa kleinebite. First time with the dog on the train and bus. First time sailing for several days with the dog on board. First time visiting all of the places we visited. It was our first time to sail in colder weather too. All of this with a couple of malfunctions and one very dangerous situation made this one of the most exciting adventures so far.

Max entered the public bus and train without any issues. He behaved like he did it many times before. After playing a bit and snoring a bit more we were at our destination. Marina Deko in Lelystad. This marina as many others we visited is very well organized with all facilities one modern marina needs to have. Only con is that the spot our charter boat was docked is a bit too narrow and hard to dock if you are not doing it frequently. We provisioned a boat and enjoyed sunset. Tomorrow was a big day.

Sailing on the IJsslemeer - Maya Adventures - Urk

We left a slip easily. My crew collected all the balloons and we were exiting the part of the Ijsselmeer that is connecting two lakes divided by a dam. Our plan was to visit several places on the ijsselmeer(ijssel lake), 10th largest lake in Europe with an area of 1100 km². First destination was Urk. We started pulling out our genoa while autopiloting the boat. However once we wanted to take steering, autopilot got stuck. This ruined our initial enthusiasm and we were thinking about going back to Lelystad. After hassling back and forth, the autopilot released the steering wheel and we kept hand steering as the only method during the entire trip.

Approaching a new place is always under certain tension, however we docked easily and released a big scream of relief after doing so. Our decision to continue the journey was already paying off. First destination – Urk was ahead of us. As soon as we touched the land, we felt a special connection to this place. All 3 of us felt a very similar vibe to the Hydra island in Greece. It was for a good reason. Urk was an island in zauder zee until 1936, when salt water was gradually replaced with freshwater lake and dam was built. Even today, Urk still feels like an island if you approach it from the water. Second impression of Urk is somewhat of that one movie with the lighthouse. Urk is all about fishery. You can see that on every step of the way. Large fishing barges, net browning etc. Net browning is a long process that was used for keeping sails and nets longer in life by preventing fungi and bacteria to develop on material. If you want to learn about yachting there is no better place to be, but the Netherlands. Even the word Yacht is from Dutch origin. Jacht / pl Jachten . It means “hunt” and it was used for fast lightweight wessels for pursuing pirates.


After lunch nap time we went for night walk. We decided to spend two nights here. And it was a very good decision. Beautiful sunset announced summer to come and we enjoyed it all the way.

We had a great first day in Urk.