Friday, 11 July 2014

Friday 11th July 2014 KP40 to KP9 Almere golf club. 30.2kms no locks.

A working Dutch barge - Voorwaarts loaded with sand
15.5°C Sunny with hazy clouds. Hot and still muggy even after last night’s very heavy rain. Mike got up early, so did I, and we set off at 8.20 am as we knew we’d a long way to go. The other three boats were still on the moorings when we left. After a short distance heading southwest we turned right heading northwest for about a kilometre, around a left hand bend and then we were running due west, still on the Hoge Vaart. It was very quiet with lots of birds about, coots, mallard, grebe and house martins. Caught several glimpses of big birds of prey but
Voorwarts heading back to Ketelsluis empty
not enough to identify them. Mike took photos of the dividing dike, Knardijk, which separates the two polders, east and south Flevoland.  Voorwaarts went past us, running empty, back towards Ketelmeer. Shortly after we went past where we were sure he’d unloaded by the unloading quays at KP27 Trekkersveld. A cruiser went past heading for Ketelsluis, then Climax, another boat loaded with sand, went past at KP26 – we know where he’s going to unload! Bet his sand came from the Markermeer. A small cruiser was pootling along in the wake
Another sand boat coming from the other direction
and churned mud behind the commercial. Mike made a cuppa then I went in to get on with the chores. Several more cruisers went past heading in the opposite direction to us and two were fast catching us up. There was very little wind and the big wind turbines, here scattered across the fields – not in lines – we all still. As we went past one giant wind generator tower next to the canal I picked the binoculars up to check what I thought was a bird sitting on top of the tower – it wasn’t a bird it was a man’s head and shoulders sticking out through a
Hoge Knarsluis, floodgates in the Knardijk
trapdoor in the power house of the generator, he was on the phone! The first cruiser that overtook us was a low one without a rooftop steering position, the couple on it were sitting comfortably on a seat right at the stern and Mike spotted that the guy was steering using a little joystick remote control. Neat, we ought to have one and sit on our comfy seat in the bows! The second cruiser overtook us, then around KP15 two open boats went past - one was a trailered speedboat, the other one was one of the much favoured in the Netherlands
No it's not a bird - it's a man making a phone call
type of open boat that looks like a small lifeboat with inboard engine and thick rope fendering all around its gunwales. The sun was obscured for a while by the hazy clouds and it became even hotter. At 1.15 pm we arrived at the intended mooring in a small layby with an island at the golf club in Almere. A very large three storey cruiser was moored parallel to the bank with his bows right into the corner. I hopped off into the reedy jungle with the middle rope while Mike asked very nicely if the skipper would mind moving back down the wooden
Moored by the golf club
quay by about a metre so we could tuck our bows into the corner at ninety degrees to his and our stern then wouldn’t be sticking out into the main canal. OK, after he realised our boat was too long to moor behind him (there were fishermen there anyway). Mike knocked some pins in and I made some lunch. After lunch Mike set off on the moped at 2.15 pm to collect the car from Ketelhaven 60kms away on the far side of the island.

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