This will be short pictorial record of our first few days aboard “Elle” which went past in a bit of a blur of newly learned experiences, bearing in mind that we had never travelled the Netherlands inland waterway system and that I am probably the world’s worst mechanic – and never having had any experience with inboard marine engine systems did not help!
Our first objective was to reach Amsterdam in time for Ian and Sian to catch their flights back to Lisbon and Horta on 9 June and then to continue until we found a place to winterize "Elle" before flying back to South AFrica on 30 July 2014.
3 June 2014: Sneek to Echtenerbrug - 26 kms.
We didn't stay in Sneek for very long as we had visited it a few times in March and while we were waiting for the engineers to finish up - but a most enjoyable city with a great vibe.
The journey to Echtenerbrug started in lovely weather which deteriorated and the wind was blowing quite hard when we crossed the Tjeukemeer. Echtenerbrug marina area is well recommended with diesel, a big chandlery and a Friesian pub (which we did not try).
4 June 2014: Echtenerbrug to Zwartsluis - 40 kms.
Lovely trip with a two hour hold-up along the way but outside a pretty town with a lovely bank-side mooring. Great mooring at Sluispoort, just across the bridge from the old town.
- Mooring fee €1/m
- Tourist tax €1 per person
- Electricity €0.50/kw
- Water €0.5/100 litres
|Ian operating manual lift bridge.|
|Scenery en route.|
|Early morning Zwartsluis|
6 June 2014: Zwartsluis to Almere – 70 kms.
Stunning day – sunny and no wind.
07h30 departed Zwartsluis
17h35 arrived Almere.
Free public mooring with no facilities right on the edge of suburbia. Bit of a scruffy town center but lovely, green suburbs.
|Public mooring #1|
7 June 2014: Almere to Amsterdam – 34 kms.
08h00 Departed Almere.
12h30 Arrived Sixhaven Marina, Amsterdam.
Another stunning day and a special one as we crossed the Markemeer which is to the south east of the Ijsselmeer and which felt like we were in the ocean.
|Zuidsluis before entering Markemeer|
The liner Queen Elizabeth left her Amsterdam mooring as we arrived (I thought all the horns and sirens were announcing our arrival!).
|Heading to the Markemeer to make a U-Turn|
|And off she goes!|
Sixhaven Marina has a fantastic position as it is across the river from Amsterdam Central Station which you reach by a short ferry ride. But the marina can get really full so if you want to make an early departure, make arrangements with the port captain or you could be well and truly parked in.
We found Amsterdam a bit tatty and jam packed with tourists, especially the Red Light district but I think we owe the city another visit.
|Ferry arriving at Amsterdam station.|
This is where we said "Totsiens" to Ian and Sian – we would never have gotten past first base without all their help, support and Ian’s seamanship coaching.
Thanks again Guys.
And now we were on our own!