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#1 Chrisc

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 04:19 AM

We are finally out of Rotterdam and on our way south. We were ready to leave in the middle of last week but delayed the departure until Sunday as we were advised that the traffic through Europort was quite reduced as most of the european barge traffic are Dutch flagged ships and the Dutch being an eminently sensible race tend to devote Sundays to their families. The first order of business after undocking was to negotiate the Parksluis (lock), about which we were somewhat nervous so a couple of days prior we cycled to the lock from our berth to watch the ships transiting the lock. By ships we are not referring to the ocean-going variety but the canal barges. These are big vessels none the less, 60 - 80 metres LOA and are crewed usually by a family, mum on the wheel and looking after a couple of kids as well and dad on deck handling the lines. So, we thought, how hard can it be? That is until I saw dad give an almost imperceptable flick of the wrist and a line snaked out 6 metres or so and dropped over a bollard just as nice as you please, a performance he repeated again and again as mum held position with engine, helm and bowthruster. So we realized that you can look all you like but there's no substitute for experience.
However, the lock and the busy Maas was all good. The traffic control system in place is amazing and we heard ourselves frequently referred to by the controllers on the VHF as 'Vessels in Sector such-and-so be advised of a private vessel heading east through your sector..'
From the Maas we entered the Noordkanal and then the Wantij at which point we were overtaken by the most incredible thunderstorm and torrential rain so we ducked into a national park area called the Biesbosch where we found a free berth. And being such a beautiful area for cycling and walking, one day stretched into three. Planing on leaving again tomorrow, destination uncertain.20180529_103645.jpg
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#2 muzled

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 07:42 AM

 destination uncertain

 

That's awesome!

 

How does tying up work?  Do you have to pay or is it first up best dressed?


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#3 Chrisc

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 07:58 AM

All the berths along the canals and in public places and parks are free. Most have water, some have power although in some of them you have to pay for the power. You are expected to move on after three days in the high season but it's ok to stay longer at this time of year.
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#4 ex TL systems

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 08:43 AM

Congratulations you have turned your dream into reality,enjoy.
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#5 Island Time

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 09:05 AM

Sounds awesome!
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There is nothing, absolutely nothing, half so much worth doing, as simply messing about in boats


#6 Steve Pope

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 09:34 AM

Great stuff Chris / Joke!!


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