Exploring the tidal flats
The bottom of Willem Jacob is flat, this is a typical Dutch inner water feature of the clipper. Its flat bottom allows the ship to intentionally strand when the ebb-tide is running. Twice a day it is high water on the Waddenzee, with a bit of calculation the skipper is able to pick a beautiful spot, he will ‘park’ the ship or in other words run aground. During the next hour or so the ebb-tide will have taken away most of the water and the tidal flats start to show. As soon as possible you can descend and walk over the bottom of the sea.
Walk around the ship and find out what marine life we have.
During the ebb-tide you can easily wander around the tidal flats, however the water will rise again with the running flood-tide. With the flood-tide the ship will refloat and we can set sail again. The time you have to spend on the tidal flat is depending on height of tide and geographical specifics.
Would you like to experience this unique opportunity? Please contact us, our skipper is familiar with the tides and he will be able to inform you about suitable dates and times.
Wandering over the bottom of the sea is a wonderful experience.
We will sail towards a tidal flat during the ebb-tide. Once we are there, either we drop anchor or we manoeuvre the ship aground. The time between ‘grounding’ and the water being all gone depends on the location, however it is relatively fast. Soon it will be possible to walk around the ship without getting your feet wet. This is one of the great features of a flat bottomed ship, it is comfortable, no heavy listing and within a couple of hours she will refloat and sails will be set again.
How could such a trip look like?
- Approximately 5 or 6 hours previously of ebb-tide you will arrive aboard. General instructions will be given and we will leave port.
- We will sail over the Waddenzee for some hours
- Somewhere around 3pm a good spot will be picked to ground. Important is a place without any swell and preferably a nice hard sandbank, not a muddy flat, in order to walk comfortably.
- While awaiting low water there are several options, enjoying a meal, listen to some of the skippers wonderful stories, read a book and so on.
- As soon as the water is low enough a nice walk around the tidal flat can be made. See the marine life, feel the sand, wonder about nature and explore!
- As soon as the flood-tide starts running you will need to get back on board, because the water comes quickly. We only need 1 meter of water to sail again
As you can imagine, the time of low water is very important in planning these trips. Please contact us for any options or questions. In the example we chose for a 10 hour trip, exploring the tidal flats could be done in a 7 hour trip, however sailing will be much shorter and the tidal flat will not be entirely dry. If you have gotten curious about tidal streams or wish to take a look for any options you could visit this tidal website and pick a location from which you would like to depart.