Oh, and the Dutch still aren't done modifying it: they're planning to build 13 new islands as a luxury vacation destination on the inside of Brouwersdam ("Ibiza of the Netherlands"...).
Today it's the largest saltwater "lake" in the Netherlands. The salt results in clearer water, making it a popular destination for divers. If you look at the map (see bottom of post), you'll notice that there are quite a few islands in this lake, which makes for more interesting kayaking. We decided to paddle around Hempelvoet island, with a lunch stop at a tiny archipelago on the south side. You can't really land on Hempelvoet island since it's a protected bird area.
It was a pretty windy day: not super windy by Iede's standards, but pretty windy by mine, since I haven't really paddled in a lot of wind since California. We decided to get the hard part out of the way by paddling southwest from Ouddorp harbor, tackling the wind head-on. I think the thing I like least about wind is the howling in your ears, making it near impossible to chat with your fellow paddlers. Iede went off and did circles while I just tried to keep a steady forward pace, watching some wooden piles bordering the island move sllooowwwlllyyyy past me.
After what felt like hours (but was probably a little more than an hour). we made it to the west point of the island. From there it was smooth sailing! We paddled quarter-wind towards a little archipelago. I found it easiest to alternate between paddling parallel and perpendicular to the wind/waves rather than trying to paddle directly towards the island. Some surfing happened! Mostly by Iede...
Distance: (at least) 15 km (9.3 miles) - there were quite a few zigzags on certain legs of this route...
Duration: ~ 4 hrs including long beach stop
Weather: Windy (4 /5bft), sporadic rain/wind/sun