Monday, 26 May 2014

Monday 26th May 2014 Ibbenbüren to Altenrheine. 17.5kms 2 locks

Ibbenburen hafen MLK
12.0°C Sunny spells and clouds, breezy in the morning. Clouding over after lunch, thunderstorms and torrential rain later. No one but us and the boat for sale (Blomholm) in the corner. Set off at 8.50 am and turned left on the last 4kms of the MLK. Met the first loaded boat by the first bridge, Aquarat (85mx8.15m 1199T) with a Dutch car on the roof but no flags (and no polish either, needed painting). Another was catching us up as we turned right at the junction on to the Dortmund-Ems-Kanal (DEK). Oriana (loaded) followed us round the corner to Bevergern new lock. There was a commercial already going down in the deep lock (8.1m fall) and Oriana went on the dolphins
Looking back up the MLK from KP0 junc with DEK
on the right, there was nothing for us to tie to and when two more loaded boats arrived we backed out of the lock approach, winded and went back to the junction. It was too windy to sit above the lock, the wind was gradually blowing us to the left with was a steeply sloping bank with rocks. Mike said the guy at the chandlery place speaks a little English we’ll ask where private boats are supposed to wait for the lock. The young man sent us another 500m towards Münster where there was a mooring place for sport boats (noted this one has an electricity box right next to it). There was a cruiser called Flying Saucer moored there and a
The queue above Bevergern lock DEK
young man was washing it down with buckets of canal water. He was German but spoke very good English and Mike asked him if he would use our radio and tell the lock keeper we were waiting for the lock. He did. The keeper said it would be about an hour and a half, then we could follow tanker Wotan. Great. We had a chat with the guy who said he was about a day and a half from his home mooring at Waltrop on the Datteln-Hamm-Kanal. His girlfriend arrived with a bagful of shopping. I went in to make a cuppa. At 11.10 am the keeper called to say we could come down to the lock. It took us ten
Behind tanker Wotan in Bevergern lock DEK
minutes to get there and three boats were moving, Wotan was going into the chamber and empty Corrado was moving on to the dolphins with loaded Libertas coming alongside and Mondial from Sneek was at the head of the queue. We followed the 85m tanker into the 160m long chamber and attached fore and after to bollards recessed in the concrete wall and went down seven bollards as the lock emptied. Left the bottom at 11.55am. A yacht was waiting on the quay below the lock and two cruisers were hovering in the middle. Mike kept our speed up above normal cruising
Top end gate rises up from the depths. Rodde lock DEK
to keep up with the loaded tanker on the short 3kms pound to Rodde lock. The lock was ready for us and we followed Wotan into the lock and dropped down 3.8m. It was 12.45pm when we left the bottom on the 6kms pound to Altenrheine. Loaded boat Julia from Priessen (86mx9.6m 1500T) was coming up the pound towards us. Mike waited until Julia had gone past then tried calling Wotan on the VHF. No reply.  Christine from Datteln (80mx8.20m 1089T) was unloading sand at a long silo quay at Bochert. Mike tried calling Wotan again and got an answer (German was not the first language of the cheery guy who replied) and told him we
Wotan leaves Rodde lock and we follow at a safe distance
were stopping above Altenrheine lock. OK, he understood. He could tell the keeper in his far off office that we’d stopped, we hadn’t got channel 82 to tell him ourselves anyway! Christine had finished unloading and was winding at the end of the quay to set off back towards Münster. Wotan went into the lock and we went to the left and moored next to the lock island wall in what was the entrance to the old lock (which had been filled in and completely obliterated). There was a small German yacht moored at the canal end and a permanently moored cruiser at the land end. We winded and
Coot and chicks at Altenrheine
tied up with our stern rope on the first bollard after the blue electricity. box. It was 1.30pm. Lunch. Gave Mike a hand to get the moped ready. He connected up the electricity, I checked how much water we had in the tank (3/4 of a tankful) and then I sorted out some washing. Thunder was rumbling round then it started to pour with rain. Mike had missed the rain. I helped get the bike back on board and he moved the car to a visitor parking place by the lock (where the old lock chamber used to be). A Dutch cruiser arrived and moored behind us, crew looking like drowned rats. Another cruiser arrived and moored in front of us, tucked in behind the yacht.
Moored in the old lock approach Altenrheine DEK
The rain came down in stair rods and we had a cracking thunderstorm, which rolled around late into the evening.

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