We spent two nights in Meppel. Then we headed further north through Assen (pronounced ah-sin) in the
|Canal in Drenthe province
province of Drenthe (pronounced Drenter). It’s no surprise that Holland has reclaimed land over the years. But some of it only fairly recently. Lelystad area for example has new buildings, lots of canals for drainage and not many trees. Drenthe province is the complete opposite. Lovely tall trees line the canals and you can see farm houses with heaps of olde worlde charm.
Also noticeable – we encountered locks. The trip from Meppel to Dieverbrug had a combo of 4 locks and 10 bridges in just 21 kilometres. We bought an el cheapo, lightweight pair of gloves for me at the local hardware in Zwartsluis before we left and they were brilliant. Not water-proof, but light and prevented my hands from chaffing with all the rope work in the locks.
The speed limit in this area was much less than we were allowed to travel before. Probably because the canals are shallower and narrower. It took us a far longer to travel less distance. Our engine didn’t get hot enough to heat our shower
|Public mooring near Dieverbrug
water. It’s important to check the travel guides so you know these things when planning a route.
That said, I leave all the planning to my husband. He’s a plan-o-holic. I try to listen and take it all in, but I don’t, and then promptly ask stuff he has already told me. In my defence, there is a lot to take in.
We over-nighted in a public mooring just outside Dieverbrug. Marinas have shore power, decent sized showers, hot water, proper toilets and fresh clean water available – at a fee. Most functions use 50c coins. A five minute hot shower = 1 coin, 100 litres of fresh water = 1 coin, shore power = 1 coin per 2 kilowatt hours. Heating water with shore power
|Country house Drenthe province
can deplete your coins in half an hour.
You pay to tie up at a marina. The longer your boat, the more you pay. Our boat is 12.6 metres long and 3.6 wide. We paid €11, for two, per night. The fee is more about the length of your boat than how many people on the boat.
Public moorings are spaces on the side of the canal that offer no more than an bollard to tie up. We needed to use our pegs as some bollards were missing. You use your own water and power supplies.
|Sluis (lock) Peelo
A boat is not that different to a caravan, except it’s a different shape and floats. We noticed that marinas often accommodate camper wagons, caravans and tents near the boats. We both agree that we don’t find traveling in a caravan the slightest bit appealing. Can’t explain what the difference is, but we are not campers. Not at the moment.
Now that we have our own boat, half the fun is walking past other boats moored nearby and looking at them. We look at what people have done with their boats and pick up good ideas or wonder what were they thinking? We analyse and compare.
I’ve said before that no two boats are the same from a design and technical aspect. But also how people live on them. Some boats have satellite communication, plush leather seating and designer interiors while others look like rust buckets with mouldy curtains.
|The captain and myself
Both owners sit on their decks at night and plain and simply enjoy being on the water. I know super yacht owners compete for bigger, better, more on their boats. When it comes down to it, it’s all about that feeling of having your own boat, and being on it, in the water.
I’m always amazed at how many dogs travel with their parents on these boats. We even saw two cats – on leashes – tied to the side of a particular boat. Inside, they had cat litter trays and two budgies in a cage. One has to wonder how happy a cat is living like that, but I don’t have cats, so I can’t say. The poor budgies can’t have loved living with two cats tied in such close proximity.
Continue to Part 5 – here.
Go to – My Holidays and Trips – at the top of this page to read about other places we have visited. Or just click on – this link.