Maastricht- Veghel

  • 'Maria del Mar'

    As you’ll understand we regularly meet ships that attract one’s attention. Like our neighbour ‘Maria del Mar’ – in mint condition…

  • Zeeg

    …or this one, named ‘De Strijd’ (The Struggle (battle, combat, fight if you like)) built in 1897…

  • 'De Strijd'

    …as a rigged Klipper(???) and equally well maintained. As always we love its ‘zeeg’ ( - only in Dutch).

We stayed in Maastricht during 4 nights, 2 of them with our visitor. Eventually we reluctantly left on Thursday the 11th of August, 2016, with all the drinking water we are able to take in and all laundry done. In between we frequented the lovely city as much as we were able to. Soon after leaving and going downstream the river Maas (Meuse) is no longer navigable, so we followed its lateral canal named Julianakanaal. On our way we passed Elsloo, a little town where our son lived for more than a decade when employed at Maastricht-Aachen Airport.

  • Rear-view

    We finished (not: finished off) the Julianakanaal at Maasbracht, crossed the river Maas and entered the Kanaal Wessem-Nederweert. After just a few hundred meters we left the canal and cruised onto a large lake, called ‘Polderveld’ for an overnight stop. We are seen here at one of its not-attached-to-the-shore pontoons, looking towards the rear...

  • Front-view

    …of our little ship and looking towards her front, as a ‘prove’ of our obligation to dive and swim in case of an emergency. The spot was great, though the noise of the A2 motorway was noticeable because of the actual direction of the wind. Nevertheless we slept ‘like an ox’ after almost 6,5 hours of cruising, three locks included.

  • The mouse and...

    The next day, Friday the 12th, we left at 8:54AM, ascended the impressive Panheel-lock, completed the canal and entered the (Dutch) Zuid-Willemsvaart, followed by descending its locks 13, 12, 11 and 10. Based upon information given by fellow boaters we entered a disused arm of the canal at Helmond. Our Dutch waterways guide also states that there’s room to moor for pleasure-boats in front of lock 9. Almost the entire space 'for...

  • ...the elephant

    ...pleasure-boats’ proved to be occupied by two large commercials. Initially we moored (illegally) behind them but, after discovering there was some room left, later on in front of them. We are a bit dwarfed here by the other two, each of them around 60/70 meters (200/230 feet) long. The second picture illustrates the difference in size and shows lock number 9 in the distance. There’s still some room in front of us, say around 75 meters (250 feet).

If, coincidentally, one of his anchors would drop down we are in trouble!

We cannot remember how long ago we had to use pins. It must have been years ago – somewhere on a canal in France. Anyway, there was only one bollard available, so we had to use them. Old tennis balls (‘new balls please’) protect us -and anybody else- from the burred(??) edges of the pins.

This picture shows the three of us, again, in front of the lock. It clarifies why…

…two commercials that arrived later (late?) that night, around 9:30PM to be precise, fitted the next morning in the lock not one at the time but together at the same time. The wide shape of the lock is clearly visible with the last picture. It took them a lot of manoeuvring when arriving and leaving alike. We were completely crammed in during the night and planning to take some pictures the next morning. Alas, they already left at 7:00AM – not an appropriate time to rise for a pensioner, we’d say! Anyway, here they both are, the first one already positioned inside the lock-chamber.

On we went the next (Saturday-)morning, leaving 8:32AM. Distance that day: 26 kilometers (over 16 miles. Locks: 4, all descending. From a distance the last lock looked painted green. It proved to be duck-weed all over the place.

We moored in a branch of the canal at Veghel at 1:40PM. Another long, 5-hours, cruise. We booked for (at least?) 3 nights here. Quietness is what we are looking for!

A shot of nostalgia to end with. There’s a little square-like space in front of Veghel’s marina. We noticed there an old fashioned ANWB-signpost of which we thought they’re all gone. Not in Veghel they are! And pretty accurate, too, mentioning even the 1/10 kilometers! It makes us think of the UK (3/8 miles, or so, would be 0,6 in ‘kilometer-countries’). Tot volgende week! (Use Google translate, if necessary.)