Barging through the Netherlands – Part 17 – Final

Barging through the Netherlands – Part 17 – Final

Stowing our glassware before IJsselmeer

Go to the start of this travel blog – on this link. Or to the previous post – on this link.

We left Urk knowing there was rubbish weather brewing. All our glassware and breakables were stowed safely. Our boat was rolling a bit, but we only had a short distance to cover and then we entered the Ketelmeer.

We did the short distance in force 3 winds with 3 metre waves on the beam. Do I sound like I know what I am talking about? Don’t be fooled. My better half told me that. But you know what? I’m glad we dodged the brewing

Bouncing about on IJsselmeer

storm. We later bumped into people, who told us, they heard on the radio that over 30 boats had to be rescued on the IJsselmeer and Markermeer later that day. Winds climbed to force 7 on the IJsselmeer.

Our next stop was Kampen Buitenhaven. We knew we wanted to stay there coz we had stayed there before. It’s a compact harbour. It’s walking distance from the city and has full amenities. We tied up at 13.00 by which time the marina was almost full.

Double, double banked boats in Urk

While we were tying up, two more boats came in. Within an hour of us arriving, there was no space left in the marina. This was Saturday 14th September – hardly high season. If we learned anything about the waterways in The Netherlands, it is this – find a marina early! The next day as we

Traditional clothing in Kampen

were leaving – at 10.30am – new boats were already coming in to tie up.

We didn’t even try to explore Kampen. We’ve been there twice, the weather was shite, and it was a Sunday. Nothing happens on Sundays. The following morning, we set off for another “wild” stop en-route to our home marina in Zwartsluis along the Ganze Diep. We were feeling pretty pleased with ourselves and our boat. We entered Ganzesluis (Ganze lock)

Fishing nets in Urk

which was a peasy few inches and as we were about to exit the lock, nothing happened. The lockie motioned us out and I waved at my other half to say “We can go now”. To which he replied “If only I had an engine”. Turns out the engine wouldn’t start.

You have to turn motors off in a lock. NOT the best place to bomb out. The lockie helped us pull our boat out the lock. As it turned out a boat mechanic lived right next to the lock. He wasn’t thrilled to be summoned on a Sunday – at lunch time – but he kindly came aboard and ascertained our ignition switch wasn’t working. He bypassed it and jump-started the engine to get us going. Then he did it again to show us how to do it. He wouldn’t accept money. We

Wild stop near Emmeloord

were beyond grateful and I guess he didn’t feel like having his Sunday interrupted with a full-on repair job.

Our over-night mooring was in the middle of farmland. We had cows to the right and sheep to the left. Two other boats were also tied up but we hardly saw or heard them. We were using up food, so it was a meal of left-overs.

Last day in Zwartsluis

Nothing spectacular. We opened a bottle of bubbly to celebrate the last night of our first trip on our very own boat.

The next day, the boat started no problem and we headed straight to Zwartsluis. Our previous berth had been taken but we got an even better place to tie up. We thought we had mastered mooring the boat by now, but we struggled to tie up. In our defence, there was a brisk and gusting wind. We were thankful to get the boat safely in place.

The waterways back to Zwartsluis were quiet and the marina was bereft of people. Just one month earlier before we left Zwartsuis, the boats were full of families and friends. We regularly heard people chattering and the clink of cutlery on crockery. Now mid September, it was starting

Shangri La being lifted out the water

to get cold. We got battered with hail coming back from a mini shop-up in town.

The next day Shangri La was lifted out the canal and put up on the hard. Her water tanks were drained, diesel bug and anti freeze was added to the appropriate tanks, and she was wheeled away by tractor to a large shed to wait for the return of summer. We

The captain climbing a ladder to get on board

stayed on her one more night before leaving to go back home via Amsterdam.

Just like that, our 2013 Netherlands canal boat trip was over. The waterways are filled with boats, canoes,
water-skis and people swimming in summer. Then it goes quiet. The canals
freeze up and people come back to skate on them in winter. It goes quiet when the canals melt and it starts all over again. Next year we will explore the southern half of The Netherlands.

Watch this space.


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.

Barging through the Netherlands – Part 15

Barging through the Netherlands – Part 15

Read this travel blog from the start on – this link.

Stowing our kitchenware before heading to the IJsselmeer

Or start here.

We took a stroll and looked at a few private marinas. Some of them have gyms, saunas, luxurious bathrooms with unlimited hot water, high speed Internet, cafes and bars right on your boat doorstep. You pay more for all that. We desperately needed to do some washing so we decided on the first marina as it had a washing machine and Internet.But first we had to get there.

Greenie in gale force winds

We snuck onto the edge of the IJsselmeer via Lemstersluis. It’s incredible, the minute you move off the inland waterways into wide water and closer to the sea, the weather conditions change. We made sure to check the forecast first. Although the IJsslemeer is now a lake, it was once the Zuider Zee. The water can get quite rough. Our boat was rolling back and forth as force four winds blew behind us with wave heights of 1.2 metres.

I had hoped we would spend more time on the IJsselmeer but my other half wasn’t willing to chance it. We made sure to stow our glassware and breakables safely before we got going.

At the new marina a couple crashed their hired yacht into the posts of their mooring. They were quite obviously inexperienced. The wind was dragging and spinning their boat and they had no idea what to do. The harbour master

Trying to dry our clothing

came and guided them alongside. They made at least 5 or 6 attempts while my husband and the harbour master held their boat ropes and eased their boat in. No wonder boat hire companies require such hefty deposits!

We got going with the first of three loads of washing only to discover the marina had no dryer! And no washing powder. That was a

Greenie after slamming finger in hatch

first. It was too late to move. We walked to Lemmer beach to kill time. And then the rain came down. It rained and rained and rained. We had to make washing lines at the back and inside the boat. There was washing all over the place. We were ducking to move around our boat.

The view from a cafe in Lemmer

We don’t shave or wash our hair on the boat as it has a micro fine filter that clogs easily. If the filter blocks up then our shower water can’t drain. The filter is probably there because the boat pumps water out as opposed to water draining.

Sunset en route to Emmeloord

So we have use a marina shower every other day. Anyone who thinks boating is glamorous is either an oligarch or good friends with the likes of Bill Gates et al. Ordinary, everyday boating is not always comfortable.

I was feeling a right mess. My hair was due for a wash, my hands were rough and dry from rope work, my front tooth had chipped, my finger nail was blue from slamming it in a hatch, my clothes were creased or wet, I had bruises on my legs and I looked like I had measles from mosquito bites ALL OVER my body. Plus, I reeked of garlic from munching whole cloves at every meal to deter the

Catching up with Internet in Lemmer

mozzies from devouring me.

The last time I wore smart clothes and make-up was a while back. On the boat I live in tracksuit bottoms, T-Shirts, a windbreaker, a peak hat and light soled slip-on canvas shoes. The closest I get to grooming is brushing my teeth and putting on sunscreen. Our boat is big compared to others but the portholes are small and lighting is poor. And there really is no space. It’s not uncommon to see people brushing their teeth on the back of their boat, rinsing from a bottle of water and spitting overboard.

My husband cooked a vegan cauliflower cheeze with soy mince in a yummy tomato gravy. And he got the heating going on our boat. We spent the evening relaxing, paying bills and catching up with communications while we had Internet.

More on this trip – on this link.

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.

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