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North Friesland

North Friesland and the Sea of Halligen  is characterised by a large number of islands. To the west protected by huge sands and separated by deep tidal channels and vast shallows that dry out at low tide. The bigger islands of Sylt, Amrum, Föhr and Pellworm are all protected by huge dikes that will give shelter even against the biggest of floods. However, there are 10 smaller islands: the Halligen which are islands only protected by so called summer dikes and regularly flooded during autumn and winter storms. In November 2007, just a few month after our visit, a web-cam at Hallig Hooge registered a so called "Land Unter" i.e. a flood that covered all Hooge except the so called werfts on which the farmhouses are located (see pictures here).

The whole area is of course cmpletely dominated by the tide and its changes every 6 hours. At low tide almost 80% of the area lies dry. A multitude of birds invade the muddy expanse and seals enjoy the sun while resting at the sands. As the tidal range is between 3 and 3½ meters everything is covered with water at high tide. As far as the eye can reach the sea is only interrupted by small lumps of land, where the halligen settlements are situated on waften rising above the horizon. You are completely alone, except for the odd seal curiously watching the intruder.

Even if the area is exposed directly to the North Sea, the large areas of shallow water and the protecting sands to the east ensure a relative calm sea, and the perfect adventure awaits you when you enter the area. We visited the area for the first time (but hopefully not the last) in the summer of 2007

The  2007 cruise also resulted in a small article: A differnt Cruising Ground (452 Kb) published in the Southerly Owners Association Bulletin

Hallig Hooge. It's not always easy to find the right place to take the ground and we did not sleep that well (ask the locals)

The drying harbour at Hallig Hooge at high water. A visit to Hooge is a must when visiting the area

  

Top: Curlew (Numenius arquata)
Bottom left: Shelduck (Tadora Tadorna)
Bottom right: Oystercatcher (Hematopus Ostralegus)
Werft ie. a small, artificial 3-5 mrter high mound, created in order, to secure a dry shelter during flods

Typical halligen landscape, well suited for cykeling

The white sands of Amrum

Winter dike at Föhr Troldand dryed out at Hallig Langeness

 

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