Skipper Maud van Hasselt: "Sailing with the Zorg is a unique experience."
Maud van Hasselt remembers it like it was yesterday. She had just turned 18 and was a sailor on a charter ship when the Zorg met Vlijt passes her on the Ijsselmeer. "The shape of the hull, the speed, the beautiful lines. I thought to myself: "I would love to sail her one day."
Only a few summers later she could be found standing on the deck, as shipmate to Cas Korver and Jonas. All thanks to Facebook. "It's a small world, one big family", she remarks. For two summers she learns all about the Zorg met Vlijt's ins and outs.
Today, season 2020, she will take charge of the entire ship for the first time: "I used to work mostly on the front deck, trimming, setting the sails perfectly. That is still one of my favourite things to do, and it is something I want to take with me to the aft deck. As a skipper, I want to be in absolute control of the ship and also participate in races, such as the Pieperrace or the Bontekoerace."
She describes sailing on the Zorg met Vlijt as a unique experience.
"She goes fast without you even really trying. And if you do really try, she goes really fast!"
"So if you want to sail actively, there are lots of tasks for you. But you can also sit back and enjoy the experience: good sailing can be achieved with a small crew as well."
The ideal trip
"Stepping aboard on Friday afternoon and sailing into the sunset. Spent the night at one of my favourite anchor spots. Sailing towards the islands on Saturday. Fall dry during the low-tide, take a walk on the sandbank. Pick up some cockles and mussels for dinner or have a barbecue at sunset while watching the wad slowly fill back up with water."
"Visit one of the atmospheric and historical Zuiderzee villages on the way back. I love seeing the historical heart of Enkhuizen, Stavoren, Edam, Medemblik, Hoorn, Makkum or Harlingen; they take you back in time. Finally, we end our trip with a bonfire on an island in the Markermeer or the Friesian lakes."
How did Maud end up on a sailboat?
"From a young age I was always spending my weekends at the Friesian lakes. Surfboard, Optimist, dinghies, those were my first steps."
She became a surf instructor and attended the Enkhuizer Zeevaartschool. During her study of Mechanical Engineering she used the weekends to sail skûtsje competitions on the Friesian lakes with her student sailgroup Orionis from Amsterdam.
"As soon as I turned 18 I started working on a charter ship, first as a sailor, later as skipper. I got to work on, amongst others, the 25 meter long clipper de Verwondering and on de Bontekoe: the two-mast clipper of my father, sister and brother-in-law."
Open people's eyes
She especially loves it if people not only enjoy the sailing but also experience the wondrous beauty of the Dutch marine backyard.
"It is such an amazing nature reserve and it is very rewarding to experience that. With the children we often do experiments, to make them more aware. A good relationship between nature and water is extremely valuable, especially in the Netherlands. Ecology and sustainability are urgent but also interesting topics. Even I discover something new every trip."
In the moment Maud enjoys the surprises during the sailing. "It is living in the moment, without any boredom; each trip creates a new story. The togetherness aboard the ship is always amazing to experience. Not just sailing together, the cooking, eating, setting the route, everything is done together."
"Fall dry and walk on a sandbank. Find and prepare cockles and mussels for dinner. Enjoy a view of the islands and a starry night. It is a beauty which is hard to capture in just words."