The Other

It was fresh when I woke up. Sure – it had been fresh, even cold before. But I have scratched ice from my tent and BEA before – so this might not be the best reference. The last days had been worm – kind of – which might be part of the reason why this felt almost cold. Also, after all those night in cities, I had camped out in the nature once again. This might just be imagination, but it felt like if it would be colder outside the city’s.

My camping mat is getting old, most of the air left it over night. Therefore, I had slept kind of slept on the ground. My bag was hurting.

After leaving the tent, I knew why it was so fresh. After all those days with bright sun, clouds hung all over the sky. They were to big for the sun to come through. Everything was grey.

After looking around I saw a men. The canoeist. He is already up and getting his stuff together. He is the other one who had been camping here while winter. It’s still early but he is up, I’m up and I can’t find a reason not to talk to him.

Going to him and talking to him was the right decision. I had just stood up but he was already getting ready to leave. Language wasn’t a problem and we had a nice talk.

I told him about my voyage with BEA and he told me about his. He was from here, knew the area. He loved canoeing, I loved sailing but beside that, we had much in common. Be both didn’t see the point in seasons. Sure, when it’s stormy, being on the water wouldn’t be the best idea. Neither in winter nor summer. And if the canals and lakes were frozen it was impossible to sail or canoe. But beside that? As long as it wasn’t stormy or frozen, it was a beautiful time to be on the water. He knew all the canals and lakes. Canoeing was his passion, almost every weekend and some vacations he had spent rowing over all those beautiful Frisian canals and lakes.


Thinking about that I asked him if this wouldn’t get boring at some point. Yes, it’s an beautiful area. Magical. But at some point – wouldn’t it be the same thing over and over and over again?

With a quite laugh, ne disagreed. No, everything was changing. Every day just a little bit. Of course, seeing new stuff would be great. Cause of that, he had spent many vacations in other provinces and countries. But he loved Frisia. And there was so much fascinating, little change. Some manmade. New houses, wind turbines. All those tourist while summer, empty water and almost empty ports and towns while winter. And many, many made by nature. Animals, plants. Changing every day a little bit. Summer and Winter. It was fascinating, magic to see the nature over time, changing slowly, bit for bit. Someone who wouldn’t pay attention to that would never see it, but it was so beautiful that he can’t even imagine that this could ever get boring.

I started thinking. Yes, he was right. There were many canals I had sailed and rowed on while both of my voyages. But they had been so beautiful and different. While summer, everything had been green. It had been looking… nice, cozy. But now, while winter, it was different. Beside some grass, nature was different. The trees without leaves. The reed, yellow-born. Everything was… wild. Both were beautiful. And totally different.

He smiled, knowing that I understood.

He told me about some of the other places he had been to. Like the Wadden Sea. And Zealand. But his favorite area was Frisia. For once, this was his home. But also cause of Marrekrite. All those berth in the middle of nature. Harbors are nice, sure. But there is nothing more beautiful than being out in the nature. And those Marrekrite Berth where it was allowed to camp made it possible to cruise around in Frisia even for people like him or me, people who couldn’t sleep on their boats cause they were too small. This province offered him everything he could ask for.

He had continued packing his stuff while we had talked and was now ready to leave.

While he was rowing out to the lake, I thought about what he had told me. His equipment might have been better than mine, but he still had even less comfort that I had. But still, he was so happy. So happy, that I couldn’t help myself then to be happy to. To smile. The weather wasn’t great anymore. So what? I was here. In this beautiful area!

I could have been in Warns in one, maybe two hours. There, I could pack my stuff into my car and drive home. In about eight hours I could be at home, in my warm apartment. Chill on my couch, eat something nice, something other than pasta or fries.

But I wouldn’t be here anymore. I wouldn’t see anything new anymore. And even so I fully agreed with what the canoeist had said, seeing something completely new as – if it was great – even better than seeing something slowly change. At least for now.

And I didn’t want to leave today. Sure, this voyage was coming to it’s end very fast. I was close to the starting harbor. And I wouldn’t get further away again. At least not while this voyage. But that didn’t matter for now. I still had a little bit time. There was no wind today, I couldn’t sail. But I could row. I could be on the water. See another, hopefully nice canal. Have one or two last adventures. Appreciate all this for a little longer. And I would do so as long as I had time and the weather allowed it.

But there was no point in hurrying. So I just ate breakfast and read a book. Enjoyed the landscape surrounding me. And finally, at some point, I got ready to untie the lines.

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All event’s happened on the 20th of March 2015

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