Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Monday 19th May 2014 Nordholz to Hille. 18.6kms no locks

Building a new lock next to the old one at Minden
10.7°C Grey overcast until mid-morning, and then sun came out and it was actually warm. Set off at 9.35 am heading the wrong way first to make sure we had enough time to run a short wash programme before arriving at the water point in Minden. Julien (80m 1118T), loaded with coal went past heading for Hannover. The washing machine wouldn’t spin dry a big bath mat as it was heavy and it couldn’t get it balanced, so I had to abandon the programme and tried a simple spin – it still wouldn’t spin it. Heaved the mat on to the front deck and hung it over the top plank to drip. Paused at Minden for water and topped the tank up. We took on 430
Police boat no 22 from Minden
litres. Mike used the new water fitting with claws but managed to lose the washer out of the hose connector, it dropped in the canal and sank – something else for the shopping list as we haven’t got another. A cruiser went past and a loaded boat from Zwartsluis while we were on the water point. Minden seemed to us to be quieter than normal as we set off again at 11 am, perhaps because it’s Monday and lots of boats reached their destinations over the weekend and are now loading or unloading. Dealo from Merksem NL was unloading what looked like peat. Both moorings for private boats in Minden were empty and we noted that one had now got a blue box for electricity right at the end and easily reached by sport boats. Police boat WSP22
Bows of empty push-tow Damar and Trias
Minden overtook us, crew waving as we passed just before Br 139. On the long mooring quay for commercials in Minden there were only two boats tied up. Another cruiser went past followed by a loaded boat, then an empty double 80m pusher Damar and Trias from Ridderkerk NL and a Dutch cruiser. A longish gap then 85m empty called Petershagen went past at KP93.5 followed by another Dutch cruiser. At KP92 an empty called Mississippi went past, then a loaded boat called Alina from Datteln went by stirring the mud up as he passed us. At KP90 a loaded boat called Sachsenland (80mx8.20m 1129T) also went past stirring up the mud. Mike said he’d noticed that the canal depth until we got to Minden was around 4.5m on our echo
Mucki being unloaded
sounder, but since Minden it had been around half a metre less. Desafio, a loaded Dutch boat (82mx9.30m 1635T) went past at KP89.5, gleaming paintwork and not a dent in sight. Many boats on the canal are well and truly in need of painting and some have many dents, especially around the bows. There were two boats unloading at the quays just before Hille, Silja a Czech boat on the left, while on the right there was a boat being unloaded by digger into tipper lorries, its cargo was a fine white powder - it was called Mucki from Duisburg (86mx10m 1635T). A few minutes and we were at our destination, Hille, where the car was parked right next to the mooring. It was 1.15 pm and we were just in time as the WSP boat that had been
Long empty commercial quay at Hille
moored half way along the commercial quay was on its way back when it stopped behind us and a policeman went to take notes about our car and a lady with a dog went to speak to him. Turned out she’d reported the car as being “stolen” as it had been parked there since Sunday morning. Mike went over and explained it was our car. The policeman put his notebook away and the lady was full of apologies. WSP22 set off back to Minden and we explained as best we could to the lady with the dog that Mike does the trip three times, once by boat once by car and once on the moped.
A family of Egyptian geese
on the rocks in front of the boat

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