Friday, 4 July 2014

Monday 30th June 2014 Uffelte to Arembergersgracht. 26.8kms 4 locks

Below Paradijssluis
10°C Grey clouds, sunny spells and heavy showers. Breezy. Mike went by car to get some bread from Albert Heijn in Havelte before we set off. Unusually for NL, the keeper for the next bridge came up on his scooter to ask what time we were leaving. Mike told him 15 minutes and we set off at 9.25 am. It was just a short distance to Uffelterbrug, which the guy on a scooter worked for us. On into Uffeltersluis which was worked for us by an older man who spoke excellent English and told us his daughter lived in Bury-St-Edmonds. Down another 1.9m and the young
Lokbrug swingbridge
man off the scooter helped open the gates. Below the lock the tjalk that was following us a couple of days ago was moored, no name on it.  A cruiser heading uphill passed us as the rain started again. As we came around the bend in the canal and could see the bridge in the distance we saw that there was another cruiser coming through Havelterbrug that had just come up Haveltersluis. Again there was a keeper to do the bridge and another to do the lock. Mike asked if he could close the gate for the keeper and he said OK but he was not at all happy about us going out through one gate and started shouting (the second person to do that in 21 years Continental
Three limekilns (now attached to a restaurant)
boating!) Why we have no idea, regulations probably. There was a beautiful dog on the lockside running up and down like sheep dogs do, it had a grey/blue coat and a white tail so I asked the keeper if his dog was an Australian sheepdog – he just said “it’s not my dog” so maybe he was having a bad day. Two cruisers were waiting below to go up, hope he was pleasanter with them. A short distance to Boschkampsbrug, where the busy N371 road crosses the canal right to left. It was a double swingbridge, cycle path and road deck, and was operated by a keeper in a cabin. In the few minutes it took to open it, us to pass through and then close it we had a queue of fourteen cars, lorries and vans. Just beyond the bridge there were lots of boats moored by a toilet block, many of them braving the showers with washing hanging out to dry on their side and bow rails. Not far to Lokbrug, another swingbridge where a minor road joined the N371. An older man pressed buttons on a panel by the bridge, this time just two mopeds had stopped by the bridge. The canal passed through lots of open meadows

Railway swingbridge by A32

with herds of grazing cows and horses as we went down the long straight to Pijlebrug swingbridge just before the A32 motorway where our busy road disappeared off to the left. Five cars and a double-decker coach stopped by the bridge this time. The next bridge was a swinging railway bridge and worked at set times. A train had just gone across it as we stopped by the wooden stumps, Mike spotted the big red button which was above the notice that said call here, 2m above the water. Glad he could reach it, I couldn’t! I checked on an old railway bridge opening times chart that we had, and we were in one of its
Contrasting cloud formations
times for opening – before I could ring the number on the board it swung open for us. On down to Paradijssluis. There were lots of boats moored by the lock and we had to tie up and wait as the lock was empty with both bottom end gates open. The keeper spotted us and refilled it. No problems with him when we went in through one gate. He was beaming smiles as we went into the lock. Down another 2m and out through one gate. There were two boats waiting to come up so he had to walk round and open the other gate, wishing us a good journey as he did so. It
Houseboat. Mepperlerdiep
was 11.55 am as we left his lock, the last on the canal. Now we were on to the river that runs through Meppel called the Meppelerdiep. There were islands in the river and a long row of houseboats behind them. The first commercial we saw was Wendelien (85mx9.5m) that was moored by the dry dock as we came into Meppel. It was almost 12.15pm as we tied on the quay wall by Galgenkampbrug liftbridge. The notice said it opens on the hour and half-hour. I made some lunch and Mike gave the keeper a call just before 12.30pm on VNF channel 22, the reply came back immediately that he would open the bridge, which he did. We waved as we went 
through the next bridge, Kaapbrug – a footbridge - where his control cabin was situated. On to the next Eshuisbrug which lifted as we got near to it. There was a row of pans (and a tug) which were being loaded at the silos and Vogue (110mx11m) was loaded with containers at the next quay. Meppel was bustling as usual, boats everywhere. Several huge marinas were full of boats of all shapes and sizes. A tug went upriver pushing a pan with tubular legs that lower to anchor it to the bottom. On down the Meppelerdiep and out of the town back into open windswept countryside. Three large cruisers came out of the Hoogeveenschevaart, two went upriver
Barn for storing cut reeds for thatch
and one down. More cruisers were coming upriver as a big black cloud started dropping a lot of rain on us. An empty called Lukkelie (85mx9m 1300T) overtook us as we went past the town of Baarlo as three large cruisers came out of Beukergracht on our right and sped off downriver. Into the town of Zwartsluis, many more moored boats and a slipway with big boats out for docking. It looked like they were making a bigger cabin for maybe a new bigger swingbridge to the left of the current one, there was lots of building work going on so maybe a new flood lock too. Under the deck of the
Just one of the many beautiful houses
and gardens 
liftbridge with ample headroom for us without having it raised and out on to Zwartwater, turning right, more moored boats and another huge marina full of boats. Round the left hand bend and turned right under a low bridge (3.3m) with our mast down and into the little harbour before the Arembergersluis. A short wait while a cruiser came up in the lock and we went down in the little lock, worked for us by a white-bearded keeper; he gave us a new chart of waterways of the northwest Overijssel region. Mike’s Mum loved the houses and gardens below the lock and the barn full of cut reeds for
Moored at Arembergersgracht
thatch. A reed boat towing an empty boat came out of Oosterlijke Wetering, a narrow channel through the reed beds on the right to the gracht, then left into another narrow channel. A deer started to swim across but saw us and turned back before I could grab the camera. There were about a dozen boats moored so plenty of space for us to choose a mooring. Tied to the wooden stumps and almost sank into the boggy grass along the moorings! Three hungry ducks came to beg for bread before we’d finished tying up. It was 3.15pm.
Reflected clouds. Arembergersgracht

No comments:

Post a Comment