Elburg - Amersfoort

Last Monday, the 25th of September 2017, we were ‘forced’ (explanation hereunder) to leave pretty Elburg. But first things first, as they say. Therefore, before leaving we got rid of old engine-oil and a used oil-filter -both replaced a few days before- and a pile of rubbish, we bought 88 liters of diesel and took in as much water as possible at the same time. As this picture shows the quay was partly abandoned – unlike during the busy weekend. There’s another striking something visible here, being two (former) fishing boats (‘botters’) with the same registration EB18. A local man suggested that the blue-rimmed boat is an antique one and the brown one a new built. Whatever the explanation, it’s odd nevertheless.

Here’s the explanation of us being ‘forced’ to leave. Using harbours for overnight stops is a necessity sometimes – for properly topping up all batteries, taking in water, shopping and visiting interesting places. As far as the latter is concerned, think museums, restaurants and pubs. There’s a large ‘but’, however, see the receipt for a 2-day stay. On a monthly basis this is over € 750,00 – which is more than we are prepared to pay for mooring-fees. Over € 25,00 a day is ‘normal’ for a ship of our size, by the way.

We entered one of the Randmeren, the Veluwemeer, again after staring the engine at 2:25PM. It was, to be frank, a greyish, dullish, day. A ‘highlight’ was meeting this impressive twin-master around 4:00PM. It was just a matter of steady going forward, at a speed of around 3.7 nautical miles (over 4 miles/6,5 kilometers an hour). The Veluwemeer was followed up by the Wolderwijd. Wijd = wide, and the only thing one sees is, indeed, water – in any case under the circumstances of that day.

We crossed the aqueduct north of Harderwijk around 5:00PM. Our intended mooring space was next to the motorway, leading from Harderwijk (former fishing port) into Flevoland (former Zuiderzee), in front of Harderwijk’s harbour-entrance. ‘Providing there’s a space’ we said to each other. Well, there was – we were the only ones and switched off the engine at 5:23PM. That were 4 hours of moderate boredom.

Harderwijk from the position as shown with the picture before this one, with a view towards the dome of Harderwijk’s Dolfinarium (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolfinarium_Harderwijk). An interesting read, related to the Dolfinarium, is to be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morgan_(orca). Keeping wild animals in captivity will always remain controversial.

  • Vluchthaven (entrance)

    We said bye bye to Harderwijk the next morning at 11:30AM, initially following the marks (slender red-and-white) for pleasure crafts, as that was a shorter route than the broad red-and-green waterway. After, say, a quarter of an hour we (well, him of course) discovered to have made a risky decision because our map indicated the depth of the water further ahead at 1,10 meters. Just to be sure we want a minimum of 1,20 meters. So we were forced to turn…

  • Vluchthaven (exit)

    …around and yet to follow the safe channel. Guess which one of the two of us is the more conservative one (not meant in the political way!) and which one tends to take more of a risk. Together we are fairly well balanced – we think. Anyway after cruising the Nuldernauw, the Nijkerkernauw and even negotiating a rare lock we ended up opposite the town of Nijkerk, inside what is called a vluchthaven (= port of refuge) and the engine stopped making revs at 2:50PM.

  • Impassable landing-stage (1)

    On Facebook we indicated to be ‘amused’ when being in, well opposite of, Nijkerk. One of our readers/followers asked why on earth someone could be amused being in Nijkerk. (We’ve never been there. Is it boring?) Well, the reason is shown by these two pictures. We discovered the landing-stage to be completely ripped off its planks. That view made us chuckle. There was, consequently, no possibility to reach the bank. Not a problem for us but we know a few boat-/pet-owners that...

  • Impassable landing-stage (2)

    …wouldn't be happy with this. Therefore, pet-owners, avoid this spot under any circumstances! Information from our colleague-boaters taught us that a nude beach is situated nearby. Apart from the fact that no-one is bathing with the current temperatures we fantasized the planks might be removed to avoid boaters temporarily changing into peeping Toms. But no, later we were told by a fellow boater that the planks were partly rotten, so dangerous, already last year.

  • Heroes (1)

    On Wednesday the 27th we left the vluchthaven at 11:25AM, to enter the Eemmeer soon after. Again loads of water, water and more water. It’s almost beyond imagination that even in The Netherlands a water-shortage could occur. We, however, tend to accept science over skepticism (cynicism?), uttered by sheer opportunists. On the way we noticed these two heroes, inspecting or maintaining one of the numerous wind turbines that are situated…

  • Heroes (2)

    …on the north bank (= Flevoland). We can proudly declare not to have a fear of water. Fear of heights is another chapter though. When looking back a minute later we saw that the red telescopic ‘arm’ can reach as high as the centre of, errrr, let’s call it the wingspan. It’s therefore possible to maintain the entire wind turbine using the extending ‘arm’. Question: what would be the (maximized?) speed of the tip of a blade during high winds???

A farewell view, at least for this summer, to the last of the Randmeren, being the Eemmeer. The Stichtse Brug is visible in the far distance and the island Dode Hond (Dead Dog, the name is discussed before) to the left. We have already left the highway; the ‘side-road’ leading towards the river Eem is marked by the large red-green buoy. The still hazy view creates an almost unnoticeable transition between air and water. That’s deadly dangerous when flying without using instruments. Lucky us, we’re on a little ship, kept exactly at the required level by the upthrust of the water. Only thick fog is a real enemy for us.

The ‘side-road’ is very well maintained – as is visible by this combination of dredger and mud-carrying ship. The two blocked the way partly, but we could pass without a problem. In line with the kont (= rear) of the mud-carrying ship the entrance of the river Eem is visible. One knows by (1) experience and (2) the direction of the buoys.

We reached land again, in this case represented by the river Eem, around 12:45PM – and subsequently our home-province of Utrecht. Quickly after entering there’s a 400 meters/quarter-of-a-mile long quay for pleasure-boats. We decided to stay there and switched off the engine at 1:15PM. We would describe this scene as ‘typical colourful Dutch’. Several wind turbines at Flevoland’s south bank are visible in the distance.

Our stay at the Eemmonding (‘Eemmouth’) was made history on Saturday the 29th of September at 9:30AM. After a most pleasant cruise we arrived at the attractive city of Amersfoort. For the second year this will be the place to be for us during the coming winter. We could find a gap to our liking in between other boats. This picture shows our current position. Maybe we’ll move a bit backwards after the boat behind us has left (tomorrow?), but not all the way towards the last boat. We have been there last year and that space is situated in front of two benches on the quay. Those benches are very popular with young people, having (shouting) conversations at, say, 100 dB(A), endless using their mobile phones and frequently ‘forgetting’ to put their rubbish in the large and convenient bin next to the benches. And they look at us in the wheelhouse….

  • Violets on the 5th of June

    September This has nothing to do with cruising, of where we are, or what we do. It’s about flowers. We do have four flower-boxes on top of our boat. (Five in the past. One was stolen from our roof in Auxerre in 2015. It still hurts.) At the beginning of the season we bought violets. The look at the beginning of June is visible on the left picture. Lovely, isn’t it? Alas, at the end of that month we (= she) were no longer able to take care of them – we were away to the UK. For a good reason that was. After returning we bought geraniums. Not as pretty as violets, of a lesser quality – and no- one...

  • Violet on the 26th of September

    ...wants their odour indoors. Lucky us: they are situated outdoors. Anyway, careful nursing brought the geraniums back to life. And to our surprise there was a surviving, almost naughty, violet this week. That was it for this week. IMPORTANT! Since the cruising season is over, the frequency of this blog will be reduced to ONCE A MONTH – the first Sunday, to be more specific. So from now on: 5th of November, 3rd of December, 7th of January, 4th of February and 1st of April. Thanks for following us – we hope we have been able to create some amusement for you.