Friday, 11 July 2014

Thursday 10th July 2014 Ketelsluis to KP40 De Hoop. 22kms no locks

Long straight on the Hoge Vaart. Flevo
15.9°C Sunny and hot with hazy cloud cover at times. Set off at 9.35 am heading southwest down the Hoge Vaart. There was a narrow-beamed DB moored in front of us called Trio 4 and as we went past a hand came out of a port hole to wave and a voice said good morning in excellent English with no accent! A cruiser had set off just before us, heading in the same direction and it wasn’t long before there was no sign of him. The first of traffic going the opposite way to us, a small cruiser, went past just before we reached the first road bridge
Wind turbines. Flevo
(carrying the road to Dronten) and the first bend. It was 10.20 am. Passed two more by the new railway bridge. A train went over the bridge as we went underneath it. On either bank there were massive open fields of corn or cabbages. Distant farmhouses were hidden in copses, trees to form windbreaks. The first mooring was called De Nabbert, at one time it had been the fishermen’s landmark spot in the former Zuiderzee. One small cruiser was moored there. A large dead zander was floating in the canal and a bit
Nesting holes in concrete. 
further on a seagull was struggling to carry a fish that must have been at least its own body weight, it dropped it and it sank. Two more cruisers went past as we went under the overhead power lines. On to the long, long straight (10kms) that goes through and beyond Biddinghuizen. We continued through fields of spuds and wheat, more distant farmhouses and rows of wind turbines, turning gently in the light breeze. It was a butterfly day, peacocks and red admirals were the ones that came close enough to identify – and blue darter dragonflies. In a field
Grebe being brave and not diving out of sight.
before Biddinghuizen there was a diving board sticking out over the canal from a small reed bed, noted there was no ladder beside it to assist anyone to get out again - and who would want to swim in water the colour of chocolate? As we came into the outskirts of Biddinghuizen there was a yard on the right with piles of sand and several piles of broken bricks and concrete. At the end of this there was a wall made of concrete slabs with holes in them that a flock of house martins had made nests in. A man in a small open fishing boat went past and waved. There were lots and lots of ducks and coots opposite the silos. Four cruisers were moored on the outside of the offline
Biddinghuizen moorings
marina, which was now almost full of boats; four more cruisers were moored on the wooden staging in a layby in the town. The long piled quay that occupied the rest of the layby remained empty with its “no mooring” signs. Mike said it was just for show! Beyond the town there were trees on both banks for a kilometre plus. A road with busy traffic was screened form the canal by the trees on the right. Open fields again on the left, still with trees along
Moored at KP40 De Hoop
the road on the right. Several brave grebe swam past without diving or flying away. At the end of the 10kms straight there is a kink to the left and another wooden staging for mooring (this one is called De Hoop). One largish cruiser was moored at the far end, so we winded and moored at the other. It was 1.15 pm.

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