Hasselt - Hasselt (FYI: an eventful up-and-down)

We’ve been at Hasselt because of a health-related issue – to be dealt with at the Isala hospital at Zwolle, already mentioned two weeks ago. At long last we could leave this pretty little town on Tuesday the 1st of August 2017, 12:01PM. We planned to remain in Zwolle’s surroundings for the time being, so decided to cruise the river Vecht (the Overijssel one, there’s one with the same name in the province of Utrecht). The meandering river offers some stunning views, as this picture proves.

  • Heron & duck

    On the way we spotted this highly successful heron. ‘Highly successful’ because the skilled fisher had made a sensational catch. Only after zooming in on the heron it becomes all too clear that the predator must deal with a huge meal! The fishtail stretches...

  • Heron & (big) fish

    ...halfway the heron’s breast. We did not expect the hunter to put the fish back into its natural habitat. Once we even witnessed a heron gobble up a large eel. The eel tried to escape by severely resisting and curling around the heron’s neck. To no avail.

The river Vecht hardly offers any mooring possibilities, especially for ships measuring over, say, 10 meters. Therefore, when we thought to find a place on a little side-lake close to a suburb of Zwolle called Berkum, we changed course and entered the lake. This is where we moored at 2:01PM. It’s not all that comfortable but good enough for one night under the circumstances – and we had to care for a guest – a dog.

A yellow sign is already visible with the last picture. This is what is says: ‘Mooring prohibited. Owned by the sea-scouts’. And on top of it -the everywhere-to-be-seen blue one- ‘Access prohibited. Art. 461 Criminal Code’. We pretended not to have noticed these signs and to stay one night. (That’s called ‘civil disobedience’.) Unfortunately, we were approached later that afternoon by a strict man – not the type that could be persuaded to turn a blind eye to the situation. We were forced to leave at 6:06PM(!), without any idea where to go… Although we were indeed trespassing we dislike the sea-scouts since last Tuesday 😊. Shouldn’t they be at sea anyway?? They’re SEA-scouts, aren’t they?

The first of two locks on the river was reached around 6:45PM. The lock/weir’s name is ‘Vechterweerd’, near Emmen, Overijssel. Visible on the left is the lock; the weir in front is the largest we’ve seen in The Netherlands for ages!

Again, around the lock the mooring-spaces were very limited – and too small for us anyway. Lucky us, the lock appeared to be empty and accessible from our direction. A decision was quickly made; we entered the lock thus creating a more or less comfortable overnight mooring-space.

Vechterweerd-lock and surroundings

As we will be here only once -see hereunder- here’s a 43 seconds video of the pretty surroundings of the lock and weir.

The darker part of the lock-wall gives the difference of the water-level up- and downstream away. Because we found ourselves low in the lock we had to create a possibility to walk the dog. This has been one of the rare occasions that we had to use our gang-plank.

  • Versatile dog

    For the dog it was not a problem at all to conquer every obstacle she was confronted with. It was more demanding for her…

  • Happy dog

    …carer; he needed to be a bit of a contortionist (well, it was not that bad!). Doesn’t the dog look completely in her comfort zone?

A close-up of the adjacent weir, because it is a rare feature in our utterly flat country. Besides, the difference in level was striking, as was the amount of water coming down.

The next morning we were approached by a very friendly lock-keeper, informing about our draught. We think it is less, but just to avoid unwanted problems we always assume it’s 1,20 meters. He reacted by informing us that the next, second, lock guarantees 1,15 meters. It didn’t take long before we decided to return and go back towards the river Zwarte Water – were we came from. We left ‘Vechterweerd’ lock in reverse on Wednesday the 2nd of August at 8:29AM and re-entered the Zwarte Water. Almost immediately there’s a pretty gorgeous little lake, named ‘Streng’ on the right-hand side. We entered that gem of a little lake, found a space and moored there around 10:20AM. It is north/north-east of Zwolle, close to a little hamlet by the name of Genne-Overwaters. Great for the dog! Our little ship is seen here, next to a double-masted ‘Spray’, an American-designed sailing vessel – see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spray_(sailing_vessel). Interesting!

Genne-Overwaters (between Zwolle and Hasselt)

This is where we have been from Wednesday the 2nd through Sunday the 6th of August 2017. The adorable dog will leave us coming Monday. It was ideal for her, we immensely enjoyed her presence and the surroundings alike.

More dog – sorry, she is soooooo lovely. It was a joy to go out and to trow a tennis-ball with this throwing-device that is specially designed for dog-lovers.

An Australia Sheperd (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Shepherd). She is a true little darling.

  • Battered tennis ball

    This is what keeps her moving. Moving fast we may add! The ball proved not to be dog-proof in the...

  • Tennis ball beyond repair

    ...end. Such a ball maybe costs € 1,00. However, the joy we’ve had because of her has been priceless.

A short break after extensive sprinting for the (again and again and again) highly desired tennis-ball. In the shade of the gorgeous little lake, visible after the next short video.

Just a whistle and there she comes

Fast. Very fast. There’s just one disadvantage: the hairs. They are everywhere.

One of a set of three pictures, just to show the beauty of the area we are in – accidentally even, meaning: not planned.

The second one, with the lake and our little ship in the background. It is a real joy to be there.

And the third one, a view from our wheelhouse towards the east. It’s a picture-perfect composition of the firmament and the land beneath.

  • August 5th 2017, 9:32PM

    The sun setting in the west…

  • August 5th 2017, 9:33PM

    …and the moon rising in the east.

Sunday the 6th of August, we left ‘Streng’-lake at 9:00AM sharp. Our destination was Hasselt again, as our guest, Macy the dog, will be collected by her rightful owner, being our daughter. We will dearly miss her – less so her hairs! When we arrived at our destination -a journey of less than half an hour- there was no room for a ship like ours. Some friendly people on a cruiser, named ‘Storm’ (yes, this is proper Dutch for ‘storm’), made some more room in front of their boat, thus making it possible for us to moor to the quay with the bow of our ship and diagonally positioned with the rear tied to theirs. That certainly was worth a bottle of wine! (The dog agreed, she could reach solid ground to do what dogs sometimes need to do.) Later on a ship left and we eagerly took its place – and that’s what is visible here from the opposite bank. Quite a walk!, but worth the trouble.

This afternoon the women football-team of The Netherlands beat Denmark 4-2 in the final, thus becoming the European Champions. The Dutch ladies made us extremely proud. Chapeau!! So we end this week with a big BANG!!