Day 3: 'S' stands for Shipwrecked and Sea.

Texel Travel Blog

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At the Beachcombers Museum.

I'm shipwrecked, I might as well be shipwrecked
I'm helpless and alone drifting out to sea
I can't believe what you said to me

Shipwrecked - Genesis

Getting up as early as I'd planned proved to be more difficult than I had expected. Weird dreams had troubled my sleep (one shrimp too many?) and I had a slight headache (one cold beer to many?). The weather was no too good this morning. Lots of wind (force 6) and occasional showers made me decide not to go for the planned bike rentals today. After a slow start of the day with breakfast, a short
chat with hotel owner Walter and getting ourselves a souvenir T-shirt at the Paracenter (they had been closed when we touched ground on Thursday) we made our way to the Schipbreuk- & Juttersmuseum (Shipwreck & Beachcombers Museum) Flora around 11 o'clock.

At the Beachcombers Museum.

The museum consists of 4 sheds (one of which built from the parts of a stranded ship). The least interesting of these contains a collection of tractors and name signs. As I expected these were not found washed up on the beach so they were a bit out of place. The other three sheds were stuffed with the most remarkable collection of junk you can imagine. Indeed, even more junk than can be found in my own attic. All of this stuff had washed up on Texel or got caught in the nets of fishing boats like the one we'd been on yesterday. Most of the stuff originated from ships that had either lost cargo in bad weather or had even stranded on Texel or got shipwrecked. Besides the more obvious materials there was a large number of absolutely weird stuff that the beachcombers had found.

Letter accompanying ashes.
Among these were the ashes of one John Lea (with accompanying letter), an inflatable doll and a huge pile of sanitary towels/pant-liners. And let's not forget the 'love box' full of pictures, cuddly toys and even two vibrators (!) that a heartbroken English boy had thrown into sea after his girlfriend had broken up with him. What an interesting way to let go of your memories and try to get closure. (:-o

Small signs, newspaper clippings and pictures gave background information about the collection. An interesting part of the whole exhibition was the section on all the various ships that had stranded on Texel in the last couple of decades. But the absolute highlight of places like these are always the stories of the people behind the collection, the beachcombers themselves.

At the Beachcombers Museum.
Back in 1997 I had loved the stories by one of the beachcombers working in a different museum. In this one they had a 90 minute DVD presentation in which beachcomber Uitgeest told the public all his amazing stories. Ranging from stealing life buoys of stranded ships as souvenirs, collecting 4000 cans of milk powder from a washed up container and the difficulties in trying to get rid of them before they spoiled, but also more tragic stories like the stranded Nautilus of which 23 out of 24 crew members had tragically died. All in all this made for a couple of fascinating hours.

The weather had cleared up a bit but there was no more time for the other activity I had in mind for today. Instead we made our way to the nearby beach at Pole 17 where some spectacular kite surfing was taking place in the wild sea.

At the Beachcombers Museum.
After being sand-blasted in the wind on the beach we had a drink and a nice piece of cake (I had a delicious hot pecan pie) at beach restaurant De Zeester.

A street festival with lots of music was supposed to take place in De Koog, but the wind must have either scared the musicians off or blown them away because I could only spot a lonely Dixieland band. So, it was back to the beach again, this time at Pole 20. I let the boys play in the surf for a while and enjoyed the occasional rays of sunlight that warmed me in the cold breeze. My plans to grab a bite in De Koog were sabotaged when the boys returned with soaked pants. Damn ! Back to the hotel it was.

After relaxing for a couple of hours it was time to grab that bite to eat.

The things sailors lose at sea ...
I didn't like De Koog all that much. It was a bit too tourist for my taste and seemed like a collection of restaurants and bars where people were ready to get absolutely shitfaced (think Temple Bar in Dublin or Renesse in Holland's Zeeland). I therefore decided to head back to De Cocksdorp which was smaller and quieter. But first we made a stop at Ice Cream Farm Labora, a farm that's specialised in ... oh well, it's obvious isn't it ? We got a delicious ice cream and I also bought a tradtional Texel farmers cheese (always good to be able to prolong that holiday feeling after getting back home).

In De Cocksdorp we first walked to the dike at the end of the small town and climbed it to overlook the lovely small harbour and the waters of the Eierlandse Gat, which were as peaceful as the North Sea was wild at the other side of the island. Unlike Thursday, when there had been a tourist market in De Cocksdorp, the place was all but deserted. Lovely, just what I needed for a moment. Now if only those two boys would shut up for a moment. ;-) Feeding them pizza helped a bit and after finishing off with another ice cream we returned to the hotel to chill for the rest of the evening.

anupa_rk says:
Nice blog! Thanks for sharing. Really enjoying reading it!
Posted on: Sep 04, 2009
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At the Beachcombers Museum.
At the Beachcombers Museum.
At the Beachcombers Museum.
At the Beachcombers Museum.
Letter accompanying ashes.
Letter accompanying ashes.
At the Beachcombers Museum.
At the Beachcombers Museum.
At the Beachcombers Museum.
At the Beachcombers Museum.
The things sailors lose at sea ...
The things sailors lose at sea ...
The things that seawomen lose at s…
The things that seawomen lose at …
I just *knew* it had to be here so…
I just *knew* it had to be here s…
Story of the love box.
Story of the love box.
The love box displayed.
The love box displayed.
The boys in the surf.
The boys in the surf.
Ice Cream Farm Labora
Ice Cream Farm Labora
Harbour at De Cocksdorp ...
Harbour at De Cocksdorp ...
... quite possibly the most peacef…
... quite possibly the most peace…
Texel
photo by: maryanntravel