October 31, 2018

Nineteenth century shipwreck found off Texel

Filed under: History by Orangemaster @ 11:14 am

Off the Dutch island of Texel, a diving team has discovered the wreck of a two-masted ship, the SS Nordlyset (not shown here), a cargo ship that sank during a storm – as ships usually do – while transporting a load of grain from Riga to Antwerp.

Back in the day, many rescue workers from Den Helder, North Holland were killed during a rescue operation for the ship’s crew, as out of the 23 people who ended up in the water, nine drowned, while the others made it to shore.

The shipping company under which the Nordlyset sailed apparently still exists. According to the divers, the company is enthusiastic about the discovery.

‘Nordlyset’ means Northern Light (singular) In Norwegian, and if you know anything more about this cargo ship or my interpretation of Norwegian, let us know.

(Links: nltimes.nl, nos.nl, Photo of the Batavia replica by Wikimedia user ADZee who released it to the public domain)

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September 10, 2015

Dutch fishing boat scoops up a Lenin

Filed under: History,Weird by Orangemaster @ 12:52 pm

A Dutch fishing vessel from the island of Texel has caught a bust of Lenin in its net.

It’s made from bronze and nobody knows why it ended up in the sea, but we can guess and make jokes.

One of the fisherman took it home to Den Oever, North Holland, a town adjacent to the 32-kilometre-long ‘Afsluitdijk’, a dike road that connects the province of North Holland to the province of Friesland.

Back in 2013 we told you about a 10-metre statue of Lenin hovering over downtown Assen, and here are some pictures of it.

(Link: www.rtvnh.nl, Photo of Lenin in Ukraine by covilha, some rights reserved)

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May 13, 2015

First-time spotting of nesting gull on Texel

Filed under: Animals by Orangemaster @ 4:10 pm


The Society for preservation of nature monuments in the Netherlands has recently found a nesting great black-backed gull on the island of Texel, officially the first time this bird has decided to nest there.

The great black-backed gull is the largest gull in the world with a wingspan of about 170 centimetres and a huge beak, which usually breeds in Scandinavia when in Europe. When the gull does decide to pay a visit to the Netherlands, it chooses Groningen where no more than 10 breeding pairs per year have been spotted. The first great black-backed gull nesting in the Netherlands is said to date back to 1993.

(Links: dearkitty, www.ecomare.nl, Photo of Great black-backed gull by Robert Eliassen, some rights reserved)

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April 30, 2015

Salt water crops farmed on Texel island

Filed under: Food & Drink,Sustainability by Orangemaster @ 1:44 pm

A team of farmers on the island of Texel are successfully farming salt water potatoes and other crops, as a sustainable solution for the increasing lack of viable farming land around the world.

Project ‘Salty Potato Farm’ was started some 10 years ago by team leader and farmer Mark van Rijsselberghe. Supported by the University of Amsterdam, the team has apparently planted 30 types of potatoes. Van Rijsselberghe says that, “anything that dies in the saline environment is abandoned, and anything that lives we try to follow up on.”

Experimental crops of carrots, strawberries, onions and lettuce are also being planted. Neither genetically modified organisms (GMOs), nor laboratories have been used for growing their crops in salt water environments. However, the price of the potatoes is still too high, with one kilo selling for five euro, compared to less than a euro for the same amount of regular potatoes, but one thing at a time.

(Link phys.org, Photo of Texel island by Searocket, some rights reserved)

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July 16, 2013

Dutch tourist tax is the top moneymaker for municipalities

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 12:00 pm

This year Dutch municipalities expect to rake in 162 million euro in tourist tax, 62 million more than in 2010. In 2011, 174 of the 418 municipalities hiked up its tax and in some places, the tax at hotels simply doubled.

Of all the municipal taxes, it is the tourist tax that goes up the most each year. And this year 76 percent of municipalities are collecting this cash cow of a tax, as compared to 72 percent last year. Tourist tax on the Wadden Sea islands is quite high with Texel at 26 percent and Vlieland at 42 percent.

The winner is Amsterdam, cashing in on 37 million euro in 2013, and the year isn’t over. A dubious honourable mention goes out to Rotterdam, which got rid of the tourist tax in 2005, but brought it back in 2010.

Paying tourist tax in your own country as a Dutch person does not seem to make much sense, but you could easily argue it. However, it is unclear when and where you pay tourist tax, as every municipality has either a fixed rate or a percentage, looking like a typical Dutch bureaucratic free-for-all that nobody can keep straight.

(Link: www.nieuws.nl, www.etoa.org)

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November 19, 2011

“On the beaches of Texel only left shoes are ever found”

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 12:16 pm

The producers of the above video write:

Flotsam & Jetsam is a documentary based around the beachcombers of Texel, one of the largest Frisian islands north of Holland.

Due to Texel’s geographical position, tidal system and strong winds, an estimated two tons of Flotsam & Jetsam washes up on its beach each day.

The film follows the lives of the beachcombers (or Jutters as they are known), exploring their relationships and history as extraordinary people in extraordinary situations.

Beachcombers are people who ‘harvest’ flotsam and jetsam from beaches. I am not quite sure what the legal status is. Wikipedia claims beach combing is illegal in the Netherlands, but the only law text I could find (Book 8 of the Burgerlijk Wetboek, articles 550 and onward) seems to suggest that beach combing is a form of marine salvage, meaning that the owner of the goods can come and collect them up to two years after they were found, but must pay a decent wage in return.

The documentary is only 13 minutes long, and well worth your time.

‘Jutter’ Jan Uitgeest (73): “There are only eight of us left. Beachcombing is getting less popular because there aren’t that many finds any more. We are dependent on storms. Last year Terschelling had a large find of wood, and a container filled with snacks. On Ameland and Schiermonnikoog they found a container with mountain bike wheels and a couple of thousand coats, so that now the inhabitants of Schiermonnikoog are walking around in coats with nice fur collars.”

Link: Trendbeheer. Video: Vimeo / Flotsam and Jetsam.

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September 22, 2010

No more sex shop on Texel island for now

Filed under: Gadgets,General,Health by Orangemaster @ 12:26 pm

Due to family illness, the only sex shop on the island of Texel, owned by a woman and run together with her daughter, was forced to close after two years of existence. They tried to find someone to take over the business, but nobody responded.

Back when the shop opened, municipal rules had to be changed because a sex shop with adult toys was a no-no. However, since other shops like drugs stores and the likes sell sex-related articles, it was OK to have a sex shop on the island.

It’s the end of an era.

(Link: trouw.nl, Photo of Texel island by Searocket, some rights reserved)

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August 20, 2010

‘Smoke flavoured beer curbs the urge to smoke’

Filed under: Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 1:09 pm

On Sunday 22 August retired entrepreneur Frits Langeveld from the Dutch island of Texel where many a good beer comes from will be presenting a new beer called ‘Tessels Wrakhout’ (not the one shown here) with a real smoky taste. So smoky according to some smokers that they don’t feel like reaching for a cigarette. The key ingredient is smoked malt that is apparently not used by breweries much, although German ‘rauchbier’ has been around for ages.

The idea was that smokers now have to go outside the bar to have a smoke and that maybe smoked beer is the answer to keeping them indoors and not interrupting the fun. It’s surprising nobody in the Netherlands thought of it this way before.

I think it’s exaggerated to call it innovative, in fact doing so is symptomatic of the rampant short-sightedness in the business community. I’d call it resourceful: finally looking outside Dutch borders for answers.

(Links: bizz.nl, bier.blog.nl, Photo of Bamberg Rauchbier by David Fischer, some rights reserved)

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