Zeewolde - Ketelhaven

We made Zeewolde history, at least for this season, on Monday the 14th of May 2017 - starting time 10:30AM. After re-entering the Hoge Vaart one of the first things we noticed was this sign ‘Schippers en roeiers varen hier samen’ (Captains/Skippers and rowers are navigating here together). As if we didn’t know! Mind you, we have been the entire day virtually on our own. The waterways-regulators sometimes overdo a little.

Inevitably one becomes a bit occupied with Flevoland’s production and transportation of electricity. As said before this province, a former sea, is almost flatter than flat and the huge energy-producing windmills omnipresent. As one can see there’s a system for transportation of the created energy too.

It’s self-evident that the system cannot exist without regular maintenance. That applies to the (astonishing long) wings as well. Image the speed of a wing-tip when the wind is blowing at, say, force 5 on the Beaufort wind force scale. We have no idea about it – but it’s surely over a 100 miles an hour? Anyway, the admiration for the guys inside the ‘maintenance-box’ as visible here is huge, as fear of heights is not unfamiliar to us. No, not at all! We, clever as we are, have concluded there must be at least one opening in the mill-shaft to be able to reach the wings.

It’s not all electricity-stuff that is visible when cruising Flevoland. Spring provides us with rich banks, full of different green, and other, colours. It’s just a feast for the eye.

We already switched the engine off at 1:03PM at a stopover-spot called ‘De Hoop’ (The Hope, same pronunciation, it’s that simple), near Biddinghuizen. As in the provinces of South- and North-Holland there’s some flower-bulb-culture within this province as well. The flowering-period is moving towards its end but as this picture proves not all flowering is over just yet.

After two nights we left at 8:38AM and moved towards Biddinghuizen itself, where we arrived at 9:40AM – a journey of just over an hour. Our engine did not even have the time to heat the water up to a comfortable temperature, so we both suffered from a cold shower. Yes, dear reader, sometimes permanently living on a boat sucks a little bit! As usual we survived. We did not notice any special feature on the way -or did not pay enough attention- and are forced to do with a picture of our little ship when moored in front of Biddinghuizen’s edge alongside the canal.

This week was not all that eventful, reason to show you again a picture of the evening-sky, this time while living in the vibrant town of Biddinghuizen.

  • Double-deck train

    It took us three nights before deciding to leave Biddinghuizen. Even an extra morning, as we left not earlier than 12:04PM. On the way there’s more of the same -not at all meaning that it’s boring, on the contrary- so we look at things worth mentioning. One item was this double deck train, traveling from Zwolle to Lelystad. (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NS_VIRM.) Their capacity is amazing! And necessary at the same time, as we experienced last winter. It’s no exception when a train is ‘sold out’, meaning several passengers only can travel just standing up.

  • Diving board

    Another one was this diving board, simply erected on the bank of de Hoge Vaart. No house visible in the wide surroundings! When seeing something indistinct, off white, pointing from the bank from a distance there’s only one question: ‘what could that be?’ Well, it was something completely unexpected: a diving board. What else? The canal-water is very clear, by the way. We are permanently able to see the bottom – and large fish sometimes, too.

  • Collecting water

    The farmers are lately confronted with a shortage of natural rain. No problem for them, they pump it out of the canal into their own dammed (not: damned) ditch. Luckily there’s still sufficient water left in the canal!

  • Spraying it

    Thereafter they distribute the water, using ‘water-cannons’, where it’s needed. Huge wide, long, hoses on an equally huge reel (no picture, unfortunately, forgotten when looking at them in awe) move up and down next to the ditch. A simple and effective system.

We arrived at Ketelhaven (Ketelsluis) (ketel = kettle, you know about ‘haven’ and ‘sluis’ by now, of course) at 2:24PM, hoping to find a place at what we thought to be a real hot-spot. We did (phew!). Here we are, gloriously moored at the far end of the landing-stage. If we can we prefer to be in this position for two reasons: a. it tends to look anti-social when mooring randomly and occupying more space than necessary (we’re big compared to most other craft) and b. we cause the least disturbance when using our generator when away from ‘the crowd’ as far as possible.

The last picture was made when standing on top of the combination pumping station/lock. The pumping station is named ‘Colijn’, after Hendrikus Colijn (1869-1944), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hendrikus_Colijn, more comprehensive in Dutch). For the Dutch: ‘Ga maar rustig slapen’. The station drains the Flevoland area and is equipped with three pumps, two of them connected to the Lage Vaart, capable of pumping approximately 1.000.000 liters per minute(!) from the polder back into the IJsselmeer, the third one connected to the Hoge Vaart, capable of pumping back approximately 550.000 liters per minute(!). That’s how dry land below sea-level is kept dry! There’s a fish-passage built in as well. Also very interesting, but too complicated to dwell about it here. In case of uncontrollable curiosity: see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fish_ladder. This was again the week that was. Bye.