Thursday, 22 May 2014

Thursday 22nd May 2014 Bad Essen to Pente. 30.4kms no locks

Half-timbered farmhouses nr Herringhausen
15.7°C Hazy sunshine. Light thin clouds. Windy from midday. Set off at 8.20 am noting that they’d built a new offline basin by the new houses next to the ancient silo building. No more temporary convenient moorings for cruisers and commercials to go and shop at Aldi! Just after we set off loaded boat Balge (100mx9.5m 1822T) overtook us as a loaded Bromberger BM5512 went past. At bridge 59 we heard what must have been an owl, the surroundings were very noisy with traffic on the bridge and construction work going on very close by. At KP60 a loaded
Half-timbered farmhouses nr Herringhausen
Czech boat from Decin went past. A short distance later we passed an unloading quay where the crane driver was hard at work stripping the bark off some very large tree trunks by lowering them on to a set of four pairs of contra-rotating discs with serrated edges. Typically, the batteries in the camera expired. Two kilometres on we passed an empty called Harmonie (80mx9.5m) from Duisburg. The banks were filled with the purple spikes of wild lupin and clusters of white ox-eye daisies. Near KP56 there was the most awful pong that immediately brought back memories of an East Anglian maggot factory, even with two sets of four tall ventilator stacks it still stank
Old barns with modern solar panels nr Herringhausen
abominably. We were very glad to get upwind of that! Through gaps between the trees there were views across to the distant low Wienhengebirge hills and in the foreground half-timbered farmhouses among fields of wheat. A Belgian boat, a rare sight here – and we’ve yet to see a French boat beyond the French border – Catania (67mx8.2m 890T). I made a cuppa and Mike put the sunshade up. A gap of 3kms before Eiltank67 (85mx9.5m 1605T) a loaded tanker from Duisburg went past, churning up
The white dots are BEES!
loads of mud. Strangely it was sporting a Friesland (northern NL province) flag on its bows. Around KP50 Mike spotted a load of insects and as we got closer it became clear that they were bees, swarming. He took a photo. Then we had the quietest spell for a long, long time, nearly 5kms with no passing boats. It was nice to have the boat running straight without having to keep shoving the tiller to compensate for the stirred up water. A speedboat cruiser with an orange hull put paid to that at KP46 as we crashed through its wash - bank to bank waves, watering the towpath. It was closely followed by Marjolien (80mx8.2m 1101T) an empty Dutch-
A Springer like you've never seen before
flagged boat with a German car registered at Hamburg on its back cabin roof. Two kilometres and Berliner ED-line’s tug Edlena went past pushing two loaded 32m long 400T pans. Fast catching the tug were five cruisers, four Dutch and one Belgian. At KP41.5 two empty pans were the only boats moored on the long commercial quay. Just after that Amazone went past, an empty Dutch boat from Krimpen-an-der-Ijsser, with another orange hulled cruiser overtaking it. Close behind that was an empty Polish boat, Alfa (57.61mx7.6m 514T) from Szczecin, one of the smallest boats we’ve seen working on the Mittellandkanal. Dorothea from Dortmund (100mx9.5m) loaded with coal went past, followed by an empty called Rolfe
Moored at Pente - the blue thing is a sperrtor
- a flood protection gate
as we were being overtaken by Ambulant from Minden. A Polish tug Bizon06 pushing three 32.5m long loaded pans was being overtaken by Blackbear (85mx8.2m 1333T) a loaded tanker as we went past, which made the water very lively for a while. At KP34, as we passed the silo quays at Gartenstadt, another loaded tanker went past, Minor (80mx8.2m 1214T) from Rheinberg followed by Thekla (100mx9.5m 1771T) a loaded boat from Dortmund – whose crew were lighting a BBQ right on the stern of the boat. A Czech boat called Margit went past at KP32.5 loaded with finely minced, very smelly steel scrap. A cruiser went past as we winded at 1.25pm to moor on the quay in Bramsche. As we finished tying up a loaded coal boat called Samaro from Minden went past to test the ropes. Gave Mike a hand to unload the bike and get his gear ready and he went off at 2pm to collect the car from Hille while I attempted to catch up with log, blog, photos and e-mails. Hope the Internet is a bit faster at Pente.

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