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So now we are home in Whangamata after the usual misery of 26 hours flying and freezing our butts off in this winter weather.

After fooling around on a few Overijssel rivers we finally concluded that we'd better get our A into G and get organized about coming home and it all went very smoothly and quickly indeed.

The boat is in a marina in the city of Hasselt, population 6900. Pretty small for a city these days but because of its strategic location it was granted city status in 1252, and again because of its location on the Zwarte Water River Hasselt became part of the Hansa League trading bloc in 1350. So it's been here for a while. As part of the Hansa League the city became prosperous which resulted in a large number of very imposing buildings from the 16th - 17th century around the town square, making it a most attractive town if you like that sort of thing.

Here's a view of Hasselt from the water.




And one of the city gates.




The marina is very nice and an average size for Holland at 300 berths plus a good haul out area and all on-site services.




We were a bit blase to start with about winterizing the boat until the marina man told us that a couple of years back he had to replank the end of one of the piers and it was winter time which was good because instead of walking all the way round from his workshop to the pier, he just walked from his shop to the pier end across the frozen ice of the marina. So we ended up pretty serious about water tanks, toilets, pumps etc and everything is well lathered up in antifreeze. So we left the boat covered in the middle of the yard and by now they have shifted her into a protected little corner in the lee of one of the buildings.




And so ends the cruise. Back there next year, maybe have a little look around Belgium.

Thanks to all on the forum for the opportunity to post about the European canals, and since we feel we are starting to get to know a little about the canalling life, always available to answer any questions if we can.

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Thanks for your updates.....What is the cost per month in that marina ?

Not sure. As a visitor a berth is NZD12 per day.

We got hauled out on the 27th September, waterblasted, cradled and put into a work area for a couple of days. Then shifted into a sheltered spot in the lee of a large shed and connected to shore power to keep our batteries happy. Relaunching on or about 20th April next year. All up, €730, about NZD11OO.

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Yes,NZ prices are pretty steep.

Our take on boating the canals is that the general public, marinas and various authorities view boaties as a positive as we add a bit of colour (been told more than once by passers-by that they enjoy seeing the boats on the canals), and that we are appreciated because we bring in a bit of cash to the local economy. Consequently, service providers are not out to stiff us at every opportunity.

Just before we came home we went into a little 14 berth council marina in a place called Dalfsen for a day and ended up staying nearly a week. As we arrived two people from the Council offices located in the marina came down to the boat as a welcoming committee, offered the use of the Council amenities, gave us maps of the town and surrounding area, gave us telephone numbers should we need anything and then brought out two bicycles for us to use during our stay. They did this for all visiting boats. The rate was €8 a day inclusive of power and water. We felt pretty appreciated.

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