Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Tuesday 29th April 2014 Treptow to Spandau south. 22.2kms 3 locks.

Treptower Park, moored trippers  
7.6°C Sunny and getting warmer. Woken very early by loud noises outside. The charter boat had left early. We set off at 8.45 am. The farthest end of the park was full of moored trippers and houseboats; a Shell bunker boat was making his rounds between them doing some refuelling. Then the trippers started moving. Under the S-Bahn railway bridge and road bridge. Coming into view was the giant statue called Molecule Man on the site of Wall and beyond that the Oberbaumbrücke, famous for being a border bridge between East and West Berlin, the far side was Allied-held West Berlin, where we were was Soviet controlled East Berlin. The
Bunker boat refuelling trippers. R Spree
entrance to the Landwehr kanal was just past the statue on our left. Two trip boats were overtaking us so we stooged slowly up the right hand side of the Spree, then a slow cruiser came past the opposite way heading upriver. Mike called the lock control on Ch78, as usual no reply. However, the top end gate lowered (one of the type that drop down to lie flat on the canal bed) and the lock lights changed to green. I took a photo of a large commercial being unloaded on the left just before the lock. As we attached to a bollard a tripper came up behind us so we moved right so that he could come into the chamber as it was an old square one that formerly had
Anything that floats - as long as it's less than 15m long!!!!!
offset gates but now had in line ones on the left. The tripper stopped outside the lock and its skipper came shouting at us in German. He changed to English. We weren’t allowed in the lock before 11.15 am, police rules and we had to leave the lock and wait. How stupid. Whoever invented that regulation? It’s bad enough that the Landwehr is now one way, but now it’s time-restricted for sportboots too. Trip boats rule! We backed out and tied to the dolphins above the lock. I said the next thing will be “you’re not allowed to moor there!” The tripper went down the lock and I caught up with the blog from the day before. Mike made a cuppa and sat out on the stern
Old crane by flats R Spree
reading the Kindle. At eleven o’clock someone arrived at the lock and started shouting. Mike wandered down to the lock side to see what he was shouting about. You’re not allowed to moor there, police regulations – and you’ve come past a red light, you should be on the sport boat waiting area. We hadn’t seen it, or the red light, it was on the on the far side corner by where the big boat had been unloading. Can’t we just wait there for another ten minutes? No, Police regulations! Another tripper was heading for the
One of the remaining sections of the Berlin Wall
see link to Wiki
lock. Meanwhile the bloke was having a right old slanging match with two guys in a canoe who’d come up in the lock – they’d passed a red light and they were going the wrong way on a one way canal!! We gave up and backed off to the sport waiting place and as soon as we got there the red light (specially for that waiting area) changed to green. The two lads in the canoe spoke English, as they came past us I said did you have a telling off too. One replied yeah, the guy’s a complete asshole! Much spluttering from us as we followed the tripper into the lock and shoved over to the right again. No sign of the lock-keeper or whoever he was. Mast off while we went under the
Molecule man, on site of the Wall on R Spree
low bridge just beyond the tail end of the lock. When we first came here in 1999 there was a hippy peace camp on the left bank of the canal where the Berlin Wall was – left bank East Berlin, right bank West Berlin, the peace camp was still there or at least the hippies were. A short distance and we passed mooring no 10 (we’d stayed there a few times over the years, now it had a time restriction – no mooring between 13.00 and 14.00hrs) The Wall turned left roughly following the Neukoliner kanal, we turned right staying on the Landwehr. A long street market was in full swing along the left bank and some mouth–watering smells were coming from several stalls. Past mooring no 9 on the wide Urbanhafen (no mooring 12.00-13.00hrs). A few trippers and restaurant boats were moored there, but it was so busy with passers-by and overlooked by high-rise flats that we’d never fancied staying there. The tripper in front was pulling away, we were doing the speed limit of 6kph so he must have been speeding. Another was soon catching us up. Herons were so tame they stood by the
Molecule man and Treptowers R Spree
banks or in trees and watched us go past without flying off and there were many swans and ducks about. Under a succession of bridges close together, an X bridge with a crossroads on top (and a hippy shop next to it) and then an elevated section of the U-bahn railway was right next to the canal and I took photos of a train in Möckenbrücke station, round a right hand bend then the Deutsches Technik Museum was on our left with an American Liberator aeroplane hanging from its roof. Mike took photos of bullet holes in a wall alongside the right bank of the canal then photos of the plane.
Oberbaumbrucke, former East-West crossing
See info on Wiki
Potsdamer Platz was off to our right with many tall buildings, the National Gallery, the Statsbibliotek, the Kultur-Forum. We slowed down for the tripper to overtake us in a wide section. Good thing we did as Belvedere was a wide as most of the bridges (NOW we see why the canal is now one way – two like that would have a hard time finding passing places) The tripper crawled through the next arched bridge on a bend. All the top hotels were lined up on our left as we passed the Tiergarten on our right and under the twin Lichtenstein

Following tripper out of Obereschleuse - mast down for that bridge!
footbridges in the park. Kids on bikes were crossing as well as many pedestrians. The next lock, Unterschleuse, could be called on Ch81 – but not by us as that channel is missing from our new VHF Marine radio (still no message from the seller or Yaesu). The big tripper was squeezing into the lock, no room for us, so we hung ropes on the fence and waited in the designated area. Cameras everywhere, like the Obereschleuse, making this a remotely operated lock so the keeper
Bullet holes in stonework of bridge. Landwehr kanal
could be anywhere. The next tripper was a slimline one, Spree Prinzses, so we followed him in and dropped down 1.3m. Below the lock there was a WSA workboat (flourescent green!) waiting to go up the lock. We passed the moored houseboats in the weirstream below the lock, right next to Charlottenburgtor (gate). One of the guys who lived there asked us when we came here first if we’d like to moor alongside his boat for the winter and keep an eye on it for him. We declined as we’d already booked our winter mooring at MYCEH. It was 1 pm and
Elevated section of U-bahn next to Landwehr kanal
getting much warmer. Lots of people were picknicking or sunbathing along the sloping grassy canal banks under the trees as we ran down to the crossroads junction with the Spree and the Charlottenburg Verbindungskanal (the latter went straight ahead). We turned left heading downstream on the Spree after a tripper had gone past left to right on the Spree. Tripper Belvedere was on its way back into the city on the Spree. Under the Röntgen-Darwinbrücke there were beds laid out where the homeless were camped – first ones we’d seen in Berlin.  A little further on the little Dutch barge (belonging to the father of a young
Deutches Technikmuseum
man who we met at Burgwall) was still tied on the mooring area, all alone. At the next bridge there was a 24hr mooring and there were a couple of boats on it, a Pénichette called Ruddelin and a catamaran called Catfish of Chester with a red ensign on the back – but no one home! Probably sight-seeing round Charlottenburg schloss. There were gates and fences under the bridge leading into the palace grounds, must be locked at night. A Le Boat hireboat went past heading upstream, followed by a cruiser. We were overtaken by tripper Spreekrone, who winded by the weir taking up the whole of the canal to do so and causing Mike to go into reverse.
Following tripper Belvedere
Trippers rule! The Westhafenkanal went off to the right and we turned left for Charlottenburg schleuse. A cruiser was sitting on the corner, not tied up or anchored and a couple were standing on its bows talking. Wonder what that was about? Green lights for the big lock, just us and no lock keeper, all operated by someone at a desk somewhere. We dropped down just over a metre and left the lock free for loaded 80m tanker Regina W who was waiting below. 5kms left of the Spree to the junction with the Havel. I made some sandwiches for lunch so it would be ready when we tied up. Past the power station serving a big industrial complex and Siemens Stadt to the north. Noted there were coal boats – but not brown coal.
Waiting "fence" abv Unterschleuse. Landwehr kanal
Nothing moving and no boats about, the moorings were empty at Spandau south, mooring no 12(and no sign to say no mooring between 12.00 – 1300hrs). Secured the boat between the dolphins and Mike went to take a photo from the bridge as a tripper went storming past causing the boat to rock quite a bit. Lunch. I started work on the log and blog while Mike checked e-mails etc. Around 6 pm a passing loaded commercial made the boat bang against the piling so we went out and tightened up the ropes, using a sheeting knot to make them as tight as possible.
Below Untershleuse - Charlottenburgtor
Leaving Charlottenburg schleuse
Junction R Spree & R Havel Spandau lock to left out of view
Mooring at Spandau R Havel

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Monday 28th April 2014 Schmöckwitz to Treptow 29.4kms no locksM

Entrance to Gosener kanal
10.8°C Sunny and warm when sheltered from strong breeze. Mike decided not to bother getting any bread as we had enough to last us several days. Set off at 9 am with pins in and the Markon generator running to do some washing and ironing. The new washing machine wouldn’t start; up came error code E5 again. Mike had the engine revvs set to produce 230v, must be too much for it, so he lowered it to 220v and then it worked OK. The Seddinsee was empty except for us. The guy with the cruiser
Cheeky garden ornament. Muggelspree.
(FKK = naturist) 
had moved back into the old basin. He must oscillate between the two moorings, there and Schmöckwitz. Into the Gosener kanal with forest on both banks, the little town of Gosen off to the right in an area marked on the map as marshland. We emerged from the canal into the southern end of the Dämeritzsee, didn’t take the first left – the Alter Spreearm – as it was winding, narrow and had low bridges that needed the mast lowering and at generating speed we didn’t want to do that, so we did a left in the corner of the lake and joined the little river Müggelspree. A big charter
Neu Vendig - New Venice
boat went past us, all the crew were waving. The banks of the river were lined throughout with smart expensive houses – gardeners were at work (and an automatic lawn mower at one house with a large expanse of lawn) – and lots of wooden bungalows. Took photos of the junctions with the many little canals between the houses in an area named Neu Vendig (New Venice) - all were for the residents use only. Nearer the lake there was a fisherman’s mooring with an old tug boat and piles of fishing posts and nets, looking very out of place now among all its posh new neighbours. Through the buoyed channel of the Kleine Müggelsee and out
Church in Neu Vendig - New Venice
into the Groβe Müggelsee, a cruiser passed us and then we paused while Mike took the pins out. In the few minutes it took to restore normal drive the strong wind blew the boat round until it was facing the north bank as a windsurfer went past us. On our way again. On our right two medium-sized trip boats were doing a circuit around the lake. Into the next river reach at Friedrichshagen and we started looking for a tap to refill our water tank as we were down to 200 litres. Paused at Windrose restaurant and moored on their guest mooring. There was a coin operated water tap with a long, long hose. The charter boat was back and he also wanted water, he went on to another mooring, then two men came round to see how long we would be and asked how much water we needed, only about 400 litres. The charter boat was hovering as we left. On through Friedrichshagen and into Köpernick where some old mills had been converted into flats and were surrounded with new-built blocks of flats. A new footbridge had been built across the end of the Baumgarten insel for easy access to the town
Tug at fishing dock Neu Vendig. Muggelspree
from the new flats. A big tripper called Mark Brandenburg went past with lots of passengers sitting out in the sunshine. A large masted klipper, called Ars Vivendi, was moored in Köpernick, it was advertising forthcoming events on banners. At the junction with the Dahme, to our left was the wide river, here called the Langersee, which lead back to Schmöckwitz; we continued on the Spree into Neider (left) and Obere (right) Schöneweide. Spotted a moored narrowboat! A short one called Warwick, which was now German registered and flagged. The camera wouldn’t focus, had trouble taking photos of it. A hired floating shed went past 
A bit choppy. Friedrichshagen from Grosse Muggelsee
heading upriver, its cabin full of young men with beer! There was a lot of singing and shouting going on. Hope the steerer remains sober. Just past the junction with the Britzer Zweigkanal there is a large police station with several WSP patrol boats moored in boathouses facing on to the river. Beyond it a new ferryboat was winding (on the right bank) and heading back to the Treptow (left) bank just downstream of the police station. In front we could see the chimneys of the Berlin C
Berlin Burger Brau at Friedrichshagen
oncrete Works and a power station (Klingenberg) where there were lots of moored pans of brown coal and empty pans. We’d just seen two tugs heading upriver, one with a pair of empty pans. A tripper went to the back of a small island and a large one, Ernst Reuter, overtook us followed by a wedge shaped cruiser. There was a mooring for the trip boats at the back of the island and a new basin had been excavated where several were now moored. Round a left hand bend, a police boat was following the cruiser that had just overtaken us up the Rummelsburgersee to our right and 
A hired floating shed, men, beer and sunshine
we went behind the Insel der Jugend  passing lots of moored boats, a big cafe with masses of people sitting outside and a parked sea plane, which does tours. We moored downstream of a cruiser at 2.20 pm by Treptower Park, only about fifteen minutes’ walk from the shopping centre we went to by car last week. There was enough room in front of us for maybe one small cruiser and then there was a place hiring out little day boats and pedaloes, beyond that was another café with people sitting out. 
Entertainments at Treptow Park
Mooring at Treptow Park
Sea plane at Treptow
Berlin Concrete works and power station
+ brown coal waiting to be unloaded

Monday, 28 April 2014

Sunday 27th April 2014 Basin on Seddinsee to Schmöckwitz 2.29kms no locks

Mooring by the wall at Schmockwitz
10.9° Grey skies and not very warm, brief sunny spells. The blue-hulled cruiser that had moored by us at Schmöckwitz left around ten. Mike wanted to go back to Schmöckwitz so that he could get some fresh bread in the morning before we set off for Treptow. One of the small boats behind us had left and we didn’t notice it go. Just three small boats left in the basin when we set off at 1.20 pm. A bunch of medium sized yachts were sailing at the north end of the Seddinsee lake as we turned south. Just a couple of cruisers up and down and a few inflatables and open speedboats looking after more dinghy sailors at the southern end of the lake. Turned left on the Dahme, passing the old Chinese restaurant and turned right to moor next to the park – except there were three cruisers moored there and not enough room for us. Nothing else for it but to tie to the posts along the base of the wing wall of the road bridge. We had just tied up at 1.45 pm (with an audience up above us on the bridge) when a tug and two empty pans went past heading up the Dahme to the coal berths. I made a cuppa, put the laptop on to do the log and blog and Mike went out to take some photos  from the bridge of a tug and loaded pans of coal heading down the Dahme. As he came back the crews of two of the cruisers gathered all their BBQ gear back on board and set 
Tug and two pans of brown coal heading down the Dahme
off so we moved back into our usual spot. The other boat was the blue-hulled cruiser which had been moored here last week and had also been in the basin on the Seddinsee. Mike said an animal (probably a fox) had been climbing on the car and left muddy paw prints over the bonnet, roof and front and back windows, he took a bucket of water and the mop to clean it down then he drove up to the supermarket to see what time it opens - 7 am. The blue-hulled cruiser had moved down the quay to close up the gap and leave space for anyone else who wanted to moor. He left early
Tug and two pans of brown coal heading down the Dahme
View from the bridge. Schmockwitz

Friday, 25 April 2014

Friday 25th April 2014 Schmöckwitz to basin on Seddinsee. 2.29kms no locks

Distance markers on bridge at Schmockwitz
9.6°C Sunny with a chilly breeze. Mike re-welded the boss on the swan’s neck as he said I’d broken it by leaning heavily on the tiller when sitting up on the cabin roof. Later, he revised this and said my weight on it was probably the last straw and it needed re-welding anyway (it only had four spot welds that he did years ago, when he finished it this time it had a full ring of weld). I did the usual chores and fetched some bags of summer clothes out from under the bed while the mattress was
Yacht coming at us on collision course and almost hit our bows.
 lifted. Mike put his welding gear away and we set off at 10.50 am watching carefully for commercial traffic coming through the road bridge. Under the bridge and turned right on to the Seddinsee. I took photos of the former Chinese restaurant which used to be really busy and surrounded by moored boats, now empty and gone. A sailboat had just set off from the moorings beyond the restaurant and gone north into the Seddinsee through the gap in the Weidenwall (two islands with trees). Two speedboats travelling at a great rate of knots were coming down the lake towards us and a school of
View north of Seddinsee
dinghy-sailors were milling around with two instructor boats herding them together like little lambs. The sailing yacht (which had set off up the lake same time as us) with a varnished wooden hull (an old one) was tacking across the lake from our left and on a collision course with us. Mike kept a straight course down the middle as he didn’t want to tangle with the kids in dinghies coming up on our right, but the yacht kept coming and turned, tacking just a few feet from our bows, shouting something we
A friendly yacht, passing behind us.
wouldn’t like to translate as he went back to the left. By complete contrast, a yacht travelling with the wind straight down the lake went past smiling and shouting hello! The other yacht, (travelling up the lake) came back again but went behind us this time, still shouting obscenities, but by this time we were passing the schoolkids and started heading left for our mooring. Glad to see the back of him! Mike steered into the basin carefully keeping an eye on the depth via the echo sounder. It was OK so he backed out and winded to reverse alongside the quay on the northern edge of the basin –
Rescued - it was in the water before its wings dried out
there was also another concrete wall on the far side but overgrown with trees. He stopped when the prop started churning up mud, came forward a bit and we tied to exposed bits of rebar that made good mooring points. It was 11.20 am. We’d moved less than a mile and half but were now back in the forest with no houses within several kilometres. However, within minutes there was a pack of walkers passing within two hundred metres as there is a well-used forest road! I fished a newly hatched dragonfly (a yellow and black gomphid) out of the water, took a photo of it and set it on a tree branch to finish drying itself out. Five
Moored in the old basin on the Seddinsee,
just north of the Oder-Spree-Kanal
minutes later it had gone. Finished tying up and putting all the gear away. Mike took photos and I made some lunch. He said there were a lot of trees close by that had been chewed by beaver. We hadn’t been here five minutes when a hired (55€ plus petrol, it said on the side of it) speedboat with man and two children arrived, moored behind us for five minutes then left – toilet break for kids? After lunch I did the log. Mike put the Internet on, oh dear, - GPS. He put the antenna on the roof and got a 3G signal. He’d had a reply from a chandler in Ireland who had checked the channels for him on a similar Yaesu Marine VHF radio to ours and said it had all the channels that we were missing. Mid-afternoon three small boats came and moored behind us – popular quiet spot!

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Wednesday 23rd April 2014 Wolzig to Schmöckwitz 31.6kms 1 lock

Misty morning Wolzigersee
10.2°C Grey skies and everywhere was wet after yesterday’s downpours. The sun burned through the mist by lunchtime, then late afternoon grey clouds rolled in but no rain fell. We set off at 9.10 am on to a misty, windless lake. Nothing but us moving on the Wolzigersee. There was a lone goldeneye duck fishing along the reed bed by the canal entrance. The first passing boat of the day was an inflatable powered by an outboard motor with two men in lifejackets which went by as we entered
More fishing nets and poles
the Langersee, winding our way through the fishing nets to the buoyed channel. We paused in the middle of the lake while Mike put the pins in to test the new washing machine on Markon power. Turned right into the Dahme channel leading to the Dolgensee. Both banks were lined with chalets and houses of all shapes and sizes, no two were alike with simple wooden bungalows next door to mansions. Under the footbridge and out on to the lake. It was still, dead flat calm and only two cruisers were anchored by the banks. In the far distance was a cruiser which had set off from
Recovered wreck. Abv Neue Muhle lock
the Langersee. The sun was still hazy but getting warmer. Two paddlers went past heading upstream, keeping to the edge of the lake. Mike went in the cabin and said that the washing machine had stopped and had an error code E5. I had to put the Internet on to find out what that was, overvoltage. Now that Mike knows it’s very fussy about voltage he’ll keep it below 230v, it must have gone higher when the heater went off. Had to turn the power off completely and start again. Put it on a cool programme as it had already heated the water. It started again OK and continued washing. I did the washing up
Painting the bollards. Neue Muhle lock
and kept an eye on it. Made a cuppa and sat out, except I caught the speed lever and increased power, shut it down again as soon as I did it but the machine had another error code LE – huh, it thinks the door is open! Switched it off again, Mike brought the engine back up to speed and I set it to rinse and spin (no manual advancing of stages of the programme like the old machine) and it said it would be 17 minutes. Mike said we’ll be at the lock in 12 minutes according to the GPS. I kept watch on it. It finished spinning as we reached the lock waiting area. I turned it all off
Loading pans with 1000 tonnes of brown coal
and we hung on the fence above Neue Mühle lock. Took photos of a boat strapped on a WSA workboat, the cruiser had been mostly submerged at the top end of the Langersee for ages. There were no signs of damage or fire so we wondered why it had sunk. The lock gates opened, there was a small open WSA workboat in the lock chamber on the left hand side and a guy was standing in it painting the bollards and ladders down to waterline with bright yellow paint. We went over to the right hand side and I held the string while Mike took the keeper a pot of
Empty pans waiting to be filled with brown coal
seedlings. A younger man, he spoke English and seemed pleased to have a present from the odd English boat. Below the lock the brown coal loading staithes were working again now the holidays were over. Took photos and waved to the crews and crane drivers as we went past. There was a train of filled pans waiting for a tug to deliver them to the big coal-fired power station on the Spree in the north of Berlin near Spandau. Not much was moving still, then a tug set off from the Möllenzugsee heading towards the coal loading staithes by the Nottekanal hafen. I made some sandwiches for lunch
Tug motoring out of the Mollenzugsee
and we ate it on the move. An open motor boat followed us up the Zeuthenersee. I took photos of the Kuhnle hire base, all their boats tucked up again after last weekend’s holiday. The boatyard next door to it was decked out with fluttering metallic bunting – a favourite here for dissuading birds from perching on yacht masts, etc, and covering the boats with bird pooh. A police helicopter circled as we motored on up the lake. Another designer shed went past heading upstream. A black kite took us by surprise, snatching a fish about a foot long from the water about 50m from us and taking off before we could get the camera switched on. The quay at Schmöckwitz was completely empty so we backed into the corner at 2.20 pm and tied up. 

Monday 21st April 2014 Schmöckwitz to Märkish Buchholz 40.6kms 3 locks

Six empty coal pans moored at Koenigs Wusterhausen
9.7°C Sunny with white clouds, turning grey later and showers. We went out in the car to get some bread and a few groceries from the Rewe supermarket, but it was closed for the holidays so we went to the Total garage, which sold bread, and Mike bought six buns. Back to the boat, we got ready and set off at 9.50 am. Two large loaded commercials had gone past already, heading up the Dahme on the Zeuthenersee – same way as we were going – but they would be stopping in the Hafen at Königs-Wusterhausen. A rescue boat had just been launched and was s
Boat loaded with scrap in the Nottekanal hafen
etting off so Mike took a photo of it as we went past. Not much was moving yet, a few rowing skiffs and one solitary yacht under sail. The first boat moving was a Kuhnle hireboat with crew out on the top deck – they’d just set off from the hire base a few kilometres up the lake – they all looked stunned. Further up the lake, at Zeuthen, we spotted a small moored Luxemotor, couldn’t see a name on it - and it may have been longer than 15m; it was moored next to a tripper called Olympia. A collection of six big empty pans was moored by the A12 autobahn bridge, they were waiting to be loaded with brown coal for the power station from a loading staithe a
Two canoeists being apprehended by the police 
bit further on, each one was 67m long by 8.2m wide and carried nearly a thousand tonnes. Tugs usually push either two or four pans. Mike took photos of the boats in the Nottekanal Hafen at Königs-Wusterhausen, one large boat was loaded with scrap metal. We’d passed a cruiser at the top end of the Möllenzugsee (one of the smaller lakes on the Dahme) who had gone past, winded, and overtaken us and was now hovering in the middle just beyond the silent (on holiday) loading station for brown coal. Looked like he’d decided to get some fuel as
Leaving Neue Muhle lock
there was a useful (if expensive) bankside Tankstelle. Mike took a photo so he could have a look later to see how much they were charging. 1,42.9€/litre! We’d paid 1,35.9€/litre yesterday. A police boat was just in the act of apprehending two canoeists, what for we have no idea. As we approached Neue Mühle lock two cruisers came out of it and we got a green light to go in. Another cruiser (called Santana) joined us and we rose 1.4m. The skipper told Mike he had a book on English canals with lots of pictures of boats like ours. The keeper went to 
have a chat with him. Above the lock the crew of another Kuhnle hireboat were having
No sooner had they got it tied up than the lock was ready!!
great difficulty (even with a bow thruster) with the light breeze to get next to the 1.5m high fence for boats to moor next to and wait for the lock. A small yacht was cowering at the end nearest the lock. They got a rope around the stumps just as we left the lock. The yacht’s skipper called them past him to send them into the lock first, sensible chap! Out on to the Krimnicksee which joins the Krüplesee forming an upside down W-shape (with an additional long narrow lake pointing north) heading eastwards back into the river. As we crossed the lakes there was one lone rowing boat and a windsurfer, nothing else moving. No signs of the cruiser,
Smarter than your average floating shed, eh?
maybe he’d tied up, there were loads of moorings all around the lakes. We were sheltered from the wind by the forest as we went into the next river section. Before Bindau we saw a very unusual hire boat, an elegant designer shed. A smart open boat, with two couples having a picnic, overtook us - the type of dayboat very popular in the Netherlands with a thick rope fender all around it. At KP17 there were fishing nets with sticks for markers (lots of these about) that stretched out to the middle of the river from the right hand bank just before a left hand bend – under normal circumstances we always take the outsides of bends where the water is usually deepest, luckily here the middle was about 1.5m deep. Mike saw the first FKKs (nudists) of the year,
Half sloping sided lock - Hermsdorfer Muhle
a not-so-young couple paddling a canoe. At the entrance to Dolgensee we were overtaken by two very large and expensive cruisers – they won’t be going where we are, too high and too deep in the water. It was windy on the lake and nothing about except the two big boats, who were very quickly leaving us behind. Mike noticed that our chart said the next lock, Prieros, was closed until 1
st May. We carried on to have a look anyway and as we got closer the lock started to empty. The keeper, a man with white hair, came out to say hello and work the lock for us.
Goldeneye ducks. Beautiful but shy.
The notice board said the lock was open all year, but with different hours in the winter to the summer. He asked if we were going on to Märkisch Buchholz and I said yes, coming back through the next lock, Hermsdorfer Mühle, tomorrow and back here on Wednesday. OK. Mike gave him one of his pots of seedlings and told him it was for the house and would have beautiful flowers in two years’ time. He looked very pleased. We continued up the next section of river and into the Streganzersee, a small lake with a reedy island at the top end by the entrance to the next river reach where our friend Bob got his boat stuck back in 1999. There were nice little houses and chalets around the lake, two fishing boats went past, their crews smiled and waved. It was surprisingly quiet beyond the lake with few moored
Trolley on the bootschleppe
to take canoes up to the canal above the weir
boats and just a couple of bungalows in the forest. The further upriver we went the more it became remote, with water meadows backed by forest. The old quay we’d planned to moor at on Tuesday night had gone, now the layby had sloping rocks to the meadow above and had a fence around it. Disappointed with that as we’d been thinking of having a BBQ there as we’d done twice before. Below Hermsdorfer lock there was a crowd of fishermen, all fairly amiable, their cars were parked by another old quay. Sandbanks were forming below the weir off to our left, so the channel was marked with red buoys to keep boats very close to the right hand bank. We’d
Greenfinches by the bootschleppe
forgotten that the lock had been rebuilt shorter (28m long instead of 43m) and with the right wall sloping. We attached to the vertical poles on the right and Mike took photos then went to see the keeper and gave him a pot of seedlings. Beyond the lock we chased a pair of goldeneye ducks for ages, they would fly off in front, land, we’d catch them up and they’d take off again. Mike stood on the front deck and took photos of them. Two trees had fallen across the navigation at KP 36 and were blocking
Moored across a slipway for small boats.
Markisch Buchholz
three quarters of the river. A bit further on, at KP37.5 another tree had fallen in the river and was half way across the navigation. Neither looked like it had been felled by beaver, although there was a lot of evidence of the presence of beaver in the forests. A couple were hauling canoes into the river in Märkisch Buchholz and asked if we were stopping there. No, we’ll see what the mooring is like at the very end, up by the weir. There was a sign board that said charges for overnight were 5€ per person, so we wouldn’t have stayed there anyway. As they paddled past the man (who spoke good English) told us there was a place for cooking with toilets and showers. We told him that it
The weir and the inaccessible (for us - no lock) umflutkanal beyond it
was very good for canoeists and campers but we were OK we’d got all mod cons on board. We winded and moored across the trailer boat slip (which didn’t look used) and tied the stern half to a little landing stage for launched boats and bows to a stump. If anyone wanted to use it we’d have to move, but no one did. Mike went to take photos of the bootschleppe, a trolley for hauling small boats past the weir and on to the navigation above. The canoeists had just used it and were setting off on the Umflutkanal.
 When they built the new weir they added a hydro-electric plant but omitted the lock, so now the link from the Dahme to the Spree via the Neuendorfersee and Alt Schadow and Kossenblatt locks is no longer viable. A great shame as it would have made a beautiful round trip for people with small boats, now it’s only usable by canoes. It was 5 pm by the time we’d tied up. When Mike took his walk up to the weir to take photos of the boat from the bridge he had a bonus of spotting of a small flock of greenfinches. By the time I’d done half the log I was nodding off. Mike had tried the Internet and found that although we’d got EDGE on full strength it was too slow to be useable.