Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Monday 7th July 2014 Arembergergracht to below Ketelsluis Flevo. 33.1kms 3 lks

Rainbow over Arembergergracht
12.5°C Grey clouds with hot sunny spells. We set off at 9.15 am, winded and ran south down Arembergergracht to the lock Arembergersluis. A cruiser overtook us halfway there. More boats had just gone into the lock so we both had to wait until they’d gone up and the lock emptied again. We couldn’t fit in with the one who’d overtaken us, the lady keeper said he was 11m long and the lock was a touch under 28m long. No problem, it didn’t take long to turn it round. She said she’d seen another narrowboat the previous week, a green one, heading north (later someone else told us it was called The Hustler). Must have missed it while we were out joyriding round the dike roads. We were soon heading for the Zwarte Water where we turned right and followed a cruiser that was also heading towards the Zwarte Meer. The Genemuiden ferry was still carrying bicyclists across the river although the road on the far side (N331) was completely closed for resurfacing. We paused while Mike put the pins in so we could do some washing. At
Tug pushing a pan of dredgings. Sheepvaartgat
the start of the Zwartediep we turned left into the Sheepvaartgat, a narrow, shallow channel along the southern edge of the shallow, reedy Zwarte Meer. We were surprised to see the bows of a commercial coming towards us and a cruiser catching us up fast. The commercial turned out to be a full dredging pan pushed by a small tug - the dredger was working just around the sharp left corner in the wider channel called the Groot. We passed a cruiser on the bend which was followed by a large LeBoat hire boat with student Australians on board. Had to slow off for the dredger which was listing over well with the grab
Dredging in the Groot.
out as far as it would reach. Mike took the mast down and the flagstaff off to go under the only liftbridge on the navigation, called Mandjeswaardbrug, which was remotely operated and lifted as we approached it with perfect timing. Mike put the mast and flag back up. I changed wash loads. There were cruisers everywhere going upriver into Kampen on the Ganzendiep, two were overtaking us as traffic was coming towards us. Big sweeping bends of the river were lined with holiday bungalows, each with its own boat, or two, of all shapes and sizes. The Ganzensluis was closed for lunch when we arrived. Tied on the wooden stumps with a cruiser behind us. Within
Garden ornament or a real radar speed trap for boats??
five minutes another lady keeper pressed buttons to lift the guillotine gate and we went in, followed by the cruiser. We rose a matter of 2cms and the top end guillotine went up. A crowd of cruisers were waiting on the other side for the lock, some were milling about as there were not enough stumps for all of them. Down a short channel and we turned right heading downstream on the Ijssel in Kampen. The far bank was lined with old buildings and old sailing boats. A fast open speedboat went tearing past us on the wrong side, then stopped to fish! The river was very busy with pleasure
Waterfront. Kampen on the banks of the Ijssel
boat traffic in both directions, including another very large LeBoat hireboat. An empty commercial overtook us, just before the junction with the Katerdiep off to our right; Nawa 9 (80mx8.8m 920T) from Szczecin, was the first Polish boat we’d seen in the Netherlands. We carried on, following him straight on down the Keteldiep towards the Ketelmeer. A large wedge-shaped German cruiser was fast catching up but he eased off to go past. In a lull in the traffic we drifted for a few minutes while Mike disengaged the Markon drive. Soon after a small empty coaster, called Klagarie, went past heading upriver. A cruiser following it went up on the plane after he’d passed us. A loaded boat called Takana (70mx7.20m 853T) from
Kilometre marker 1000 - from upper Rhine?
Rotterdam went past heading upstream as we reached the lake. I’d forgotten how many swans live in the shallow lake, hundreds and hundreds of them, tails in the air dredging the plant life off the bottom. We went across the corner of the Ketelmeer to wait above Ketelsluis at Ketelhaven behind another cruiser, which had also just arrived. We could see there were now cameras surrounding the lock and the couple on the boat in front said they had rung the keeper (who resides in an office in Lelystadt and works everything on the island from there) and the lock would be ready soon. Ah! No lock keeper means no drinking water at the lock now,
Motorway bridge with lifting span
so we decide to shove across to the yacht haven opposite and get some water. As we moved off the lock gates opened and the cruiser went in. A very pleasant young woman with two small boys who were playing by their boat told us where the tap was. There was no coin in the slot but she said the harbour master would be back in about an hour. We’ll still be here, it wasn’t a fast tap. We had just finished refilling when he arrived and he had a chat with Mike. No charge! That was very nice of them. While we were filling up, a Waterways boat came past with masthead light and full navigation lights on – Mike was on his soapbox – “you’re the first boat we’ve seen this year travelling with lights on in full sunshine!” – they waved. (We’re used to a big percentage of the Dutch driving their cars around with lights on in daylight, so it was only a
Waterways boat - all lights on!
question of time before we saw the first boat doing it!) We moved over to the waiting area for the lock. Mike called on VHF Ch18 and got no reply; he called the number on a notice board - no reply to that either; there was a button to press – he tried that and got no response. Then another cruiser arrived whose skipper spoke a little English and told us that all the VHF radio on Flevo was on CH1. The guy said the controller was probably busy, just as a loaded 40m commercial called Voorwaarts arrived – looked like he’d been sand dredging as he had a hold completely full of wet sand. Strange to see such a small boat still working in the Netherlands. It wasn’t in a very good state of repair and Mike said to me if you want to know what gearbox whine sounds like listen to that as the skipper put it in reverse when his bows were almost in the lock gates. I made a cuppa as it was going to be a long wait. Eventually the lock refilled and we dropped down 5m. Moored among the cruisers next to a wooden landing stage with square wooden mooring stumps. It was
Moored below Ketelsluis - 5m below sea level
4.50 pm. Unloaded the moped off the roof and Mike went to get the car – a long way round as the N331 was still closed and the best and most direct route would have been across the Ijssel on the ferry at Genemuiden to the N331. 
Ketelsluis - 5m up to the Ketelmeer

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