Hasselt - Nijetrijne

Monday the 29th of June we were still in Hasselt. The night before, when walking the dog before going to sleep, we’d seen a huge ‘something’ passing by in the dark. It must have been a commercial ship, but that impressive big?? This ‘riddle’ was solved on Monday afternoon. It was a combination of a 73-metre cargo box, attached to and pushed by a commercial motorized 110 metre vessel. A 183 metre long combination! On the front it had crew-members, provided with walkie-talkies, obviously informing the skipper about the course to follow. The combination was too long for just one picture.

Sufficient clearance

The Hasselt-bridge is equipped with a movable part, to make life easier for big/high vessels – or even small sailing vessels (mast). This movable part was under maintenance and, therefore, not operational. As shown by the previous picture the vertical clearance was around 5,4 metres (18 feet) – evidently enough for this combination. Large commercial vessels nowadays are capable of lowering the wheelhouse if necessary. That’s what this one had to do, too. Sometimes the wheelhouse drops so low that the skipper no longer has a forward view. In that case a small hatch opens in the roof and you can see the skipper's head sticking out. The steering must be done with a joystick then, we assume. Moral of the story: know the height of your ship – the stuff on the roof (satellite finder, car!) included. Note the crew member on the roof, keeping an eye on things.

On Tuesday the 30th of June we finally left Hasselt – after having been there for even 8(!) days. For free! The engine started working already at 11:11 and we cruised a part of the Zwarte Water up to Zwartsluis, after which we had to wait in front of the lock, leading towards the pretty Arembergergracht (https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arembergergracht - only in Dutch). Along this waterway one sees reed (thatch?) growing wherever one looks. The thatched roof companies are still prosperous (we hope) in this region.

Unexpected heavy swell

The Arembergergracht was followed by, let’s say, a medium-sized lake, the Beulakerwijde (https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beulakerwijde - only in Dutch). The last picture already gives away the high wind on that day. That developed into a strong, unpleasant, crosswind on the lake. Head- or tailwind is no problem; crosswind is! The female half of our crew had to go down from the wheelhouse to save the contents of our open cupboards (self-evidently: the booze). Making the video we were forced to stop after less than 20 seconds because our little ship was completely blown away. Note the sound of the rattling cups after 3 seconds and the green buoy after around 12 seconds in the left front – we’re obviously no longer on course. No damage, though. Lucky us.

At 2:42PM we stopped at the Walengracht (https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walengracht - only in Dutch), close to the utterly charming hamlet Jonen (https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonen_(Steenwijkerland) – only in Dutch).

Ideal for the dog – we thought, until he got into the water. Clear water with a shallow, muddy bottom. So you’ll understand what happened…

The view from our position, over the lake, towards (possibly) Sint Jansklooster. It’s a bird’s paradise.

Foraging stork

We’ve been there for 3 nights and spotted a regular visitor, being a foraging stork. One sees this impressive birds only rarely, at least where we live most of the time, so it’s worth the effort to make a short video. His/her way of walking is, err, majestic.

Sunset as seen from the rear of our little ship on the 2nd of July, around 9:00PM. Stunning.

On Friday the 3rd of this month we set sail again at 9:55AM. We consecutively cruised the Walengracht, the Giethoornse Meer (a small lake), the Riete, the Wetering, the Heuvengracht and the Kalenbergergracht. It’s just a joy to cruise this area, take our word for it! After some 10 minutes over 2 hours of cruising we found a mooring space inside Ossenzijl’s Jachthaven ‘De Kluft’ (https://dekluft.com/yacht_marina_ossenzijl/) . We hoped for a shore-connection, strong enough to power our washing machine. Their system, however, reaches no further than 6 amps while we hoped for the ‘normal’ 16 amps. Well, at least we could take in water (not for free) and they delivered delicious croissants (not for free either) the next morning.

After arriving we sat outside, though the shawl around the mistress’s body proves it was not that pleasant. The dog, however, appreciates being outside very much. Even on a (long) leash. ‘Alles voor de hond’ (‘Anything for the dog’) is our motto nowadays.

Because of the aforementioned motto we decided to cruise to an island, just over the border between the provinces of Overijssel and Friesland, opposite the ‘Paviljoen Driewegsluis’. No sooner said than done – on Saturday the 4th of July we left at 1:12PM and arrived at our present spot almost exactly an hour later. Despite a genuine storm we were able to moor handsomely and discovered that this is the area of the Nijetrijne-community, part of the municipality of Weststellingwerf. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nijetrijne (yes, in English). This picture shows something about the present weather. In short, rainy and stormy.

Long live Google Earth. Yesterday we arrived from the bottom left, after negotiating the Mr. H.P. Linthorst Homansluis (who decided about this intricated name??) We are moored now approximately where a white spot (a boat?) is visible. The Driewegsluis (Three ways lock) is visible ‘underneath’ our position.

Here it is: the Driewegsluis. As the name already gives away the sluis (= lock) is designed with three pairs of lock-gates. Not one-after-another no, one pair on one side, two pairs next to one-another on the other. The single pair of gates lead into the canal Jonkers- of Helomavaart/-vaort (in which we are moored); the double pair of gates lead into the river Lende/Linde. When going upstream into the Lende/Linde the left lockwall is kinked to make leaving the lock easier.

This week’s statistics.

Engine ran during 5 hours and 36 minutes (5,6 hours) – Tuesday 2,5, Friday 2,1 and Saturday 1,0 hours.  

Generator this week a few hours.

Weather: Unsteady – cloudy, often showers and storm too…

Hope to see you next week again!