Off Topic:Gouden Dolfijn
Just before sunset Klarie and I spotted the Gouden Dolfijn in a little marina off the Lauwersmeer.
In the summer of 2018 Klarie and I were driving around Dokkum when I suddenly saw the Gouden Dolfijn lying in a canal.
'Stop the car' I said and went looking at the boat which I had not seen for more than 30 years since it was built.
The owners, Rene and Monique were just returning to their boat with some shopping.
We met and became friends.
The Gouden Dolfijn began its life as a 'Helderse vlet'.
This type had its origins as a workboat in the harbour of Den Helder in the North of the Netherlands.
Its owner Sjef had a vision to transform the Helderse Vlet into a 'bawley',
a small fishing boat which owes its name to the boiler on deck where the shrimps were cooked.
He lengthened the 'vlet' by more than a meter and built up the sides and converted it into a small sailing cutter..
My connection with Sjef is that we both rented building space in the same factory complex in Uitgeest.
We met up each day over morning coffee and lunch breaks.
While Sjef was completing his bawley I was starting the build of a 7m cabin dory as a complete novice.
I owe it to Sjef that I continued with my project and gained the confidence in my own building despite my two left hands.
Otherwise I would not have built other boats leading up to Hatseflats.
The dory was unfortunately never finished by its owner and after many years was sold off to somebody else.
The bawley was launched in late 1984 and its remarkable story featured in an article in Spiegel der Zeilvaert a year later.
Sjef found a new love and later sold the bawley to a new owner.
Much later, the new owner put the bawley on the Dutch online auction 'Marktplaats' and sold it to Rene.
Over many years, Rene restored the Gouden Dolfijn to its former glory and used it for small trips around Friesland.
One of these led to parking it in a canal in Dokkum while Rene and wife Monique did some shopping..