Archive | M/V Dirona RSS feed for this section

Den Helder

For visitors to the area, Den Helder is best known as the gateway to the island of Texel, the most visited Dutch island in the Wadden Sea. But the long-time military base and former naval shipyard has a number of other attractions. These include the Dutch Navy Museum, the Napoleonic Fort Kijkduin, the Nollen Landscape…

Dutch Navy Museum

Late 20th-century Dutch guided-missile frigates carried a large radar dome housing a revolutionary 3D radar that could measure an object’s distance, direction and height at the same time. The radar had a range of 242 miles (390km) and could track over a hundred targets simultaneously, making it the most powerful radar of its time (1975-2000)….

Texel

The island of Texel, with its extensive sandy beaches and abundant wildlife, is the most visited Dutch island in the Wadden Sea. Ferries make the 15-minute crossing north to Texel from Den Helder every half-hour during busy periods. Texel was popular historically as well. Texel Roads, off the southeast coast of the island, was one…

De Nollen Landscape

In the 1980s, Dutch artist R.W. van de Wint began an experimental project that became his life’s work. Over the course of 25 years, he created paintings, steel sculptures and large structures amongst old bunkers in the dune area De Nollen in Den Helder. De Nollen was the southern extent of the Fort Dirksz Admiraal,…

Vlieland to Den Helder

Den Helder is the main naval base for the Royal Netherlands Navy and the harbour is packed with large and imposing naval ships. Within the port is the Royal Netherlands Navy Yacht club, where we stayed for several nights in sight of all the navy ships plus many large commercial and Coast Guard vessels. From…

Vlieland

The beach Vliehors is an 8-sq-mile (20-sq-km) sandy plain, exposed to the North Sea, along the west side of the Dutch island of Vlieland. The Vliehors Expres carries visitors the length of the beach, leaving wonderful poems in the sand. Or you can visit by bicycle, as we and many others did. Below are trip…

Heligoland to Vlieland

We departed Heligoland shortly after daybreak on a 132nm run to Vlieland, Netherlands through the German Bight. The body of water, at the southeast corner of the North Sea, can be a nasty stretch and is our last offshore run off the year. We had blissfully calm conditions through much of the trip, with the…

Dune and Bunkers

The tiny island of Dune was connected to the Heligoland main island until 1720, when a storm flood destroyed the land bridge between them. As the name suggests, sand dunes cover much of the island and beaches ring the shores, making it a popular summer destination. The island’s healthy seal population also is a major…

Heligoland Storm

On our third day in Heligoland, a storm came through bringing southwest winds over 40 knots. In the large port basin, Dirona was moving around a bit in the wind and waves, and the boats in front of us on the dock were really tossing. The harbour would be removing the dock for the winter…

Exploring Heligoland

Heligoland is a dramatic archipelago thirty miles offshore from mainland Germany. Attractions include incredible natural beauty, extensive seabird life, seal colonies, naval ruins and many excellent restaurants. On our second day in Heligoland, we toured throughout the main island and particularly enjoyed the views and scenery from the cliff tops at the north end. Below…