Amersfoort – Eekt (Elburg)

Our summer cruising-season started in earnest on Monday the 2nd of April 2018 (‘second Easter-day’), after we started our engine at 11:25AM to be in time for the bridge, opening at 11:30AM sharp, as agreed before. Amersfoort was, subsequently, left behind for another 5½ months – at least, that’s the plan. Our first stop was close to the mouth of the river Eem, after a cruise of 2½ hours. This is what it looked like. Admittedly not very exciting, but it’s the first one of the season, isn’t it?

The next day we left at 10:15AM and were almost immediately -we hadn’t even left the Eem yet- overtaken by a large, empty, commercial ‘Stormvogel’ (Petrel). Mixing with the big ones again!

After entering the vast Randmeren and tackling the Eemmeer, followed by a rare lock and the Nijkerkernauw we stopped at 1:15PM at a mooring-space within the Nuldernauw, called Wij-land. The name is a pun, because a weiland is a meadow/pasture and Wij-land means us-land, better even: land of ours. (Wij = us.) The ij and ei are pronounced exactly the same, see for an extensive explanation. For the majority of mooring-possibilities along the Randmeren one’s charged € 0,70 per metre – in our case € 12,60 per night. Most of the time no-one arrives to collect. Not in this case, though, because the money-collector appeared to live in the boat that is just visible in the distance, behind the notice-board. Bad luck!

The same spot as showed by the last picture, two pictures combined this time. Immediately after taking the lower picture we heard geese(?) flying over and pictured them, too. That’s the upper picture. Together they make for a nice scene. The difference in blue of course has to do with the ‘ligt-intake’ by the camera. Or perhaps the (lack of) skills of the photographer.

The ‘Randmeren-journey’ continued on Wednesday at 9:25AM, not much later followed by passing Watercentrum Strand Horst where a joint over-wintering couple live during the summer. We sent them an app and they waved at us when passing. Later on they sent us a picture of us passing at a considerable distance. A picture of us ‘in full action’ is a rarity. Therefore there’s every reason to publish this. © Hilda – ‘Red Rose’

Especially the male part of the two of us showed some withdrawal symptoms because of dearly missing one of his relaxing possibilities, being a puzzle-book (for the insiders: Doorloper 6). Therefore we made a detour into Zeewolde Aanloophaven and entered the vast shopping centre on the double. We stayed there for 1½ hours and left with a Doorloper 5 (6 was damaged, we refuse damaged goods on principle, but regret it now a bit: level 5 proves to be too easy) for him and a Sudoku-puzzle-book for her.

Continuing our journey we passed the island Knarland, close to Harderwijk. Completely unexpected we spotted what looks like a lost Highland Cow (Schotse Hooglander). Maybe it’s a skilled swimmer, who knows?

Passing Harderwijk by cruising the, one could say: striking, aqueduct we entered the next lake, called Veluwemeer. At a considerable distance of the marked course of navigation an island, named Pierland (pier, among other meanings, in this case probably is (earth)worm) is to be found. We decided to give it a go – and did not regret it. This is where we ended up at 2:17PM, after some 3½, interrupted, hours of cruising. Magnificent, we thought – and still do.

The same spot, as seen from the opposite site of the well protected mooring-area.

Pierland - storm, rain, hail and lightning

Later on that afternoon, around 6:00PM all sluices up in the air were fully opened. It sounded and looked a sort of sensational. The next pictures will fully make clear what the worm-like things, seemingly glued to the window, are.

The word ‘hail’ is no exaggeration. This is a picture of the rear of our battered little ship…

…and the front after mother nature decided that is was enough for the day. When tying up we always look at the direction of the wind, next to ascertain whether we are able to pick up a telly-signal from Astra 3. The tv-signal worked out all right, the wind did not – ‘debris’ landed on top of our boat from all directions. Eventually we were covered all over by seeds from the white poplars (witte abeel) next to us. We’ve consulted Wikipedia in English and Dutch and concluded to male catkins (katjes). The next day we ‘broomed’ them all off. A considerable weight we can assure you.

That same evening the setting sun created lovely colours…

…causing us to be unable to resist to publish this picture also.

Still on the Pierland-island we noticed this toilet-building (and an out-of-order water-tap). If one has to go badly, don’t go to Pierland (yet). Fortunately we are in the luxurious position to have not one, but even two toilets on board.

Friday the 6th of April we reluctantly left pretty Pierland, the main reason being a need for (a) shopping and (b) getting rid of our rubbish. Departure time: 10:45AM. Destination: Elburg. The wind was still blowing, as proven by this picture. It was difficult to stay on the right track as the wind came diagonally from the front.

We moored at 12:45PM in Elburg and were able to occupy the prettiest spot, being in front of the former fish-auction-building. Possibly you remember our mooring spot here at the end of last September, in front of the houses and the restaurant in the background. We did the shopping all right, removed the rubbish, bought diesel, met dear friends and left at 3:45PM, thus avoiding an expensive (over € 25,00 for one night) mooring-fee.

Coming out of the canal that leads to/from Elburg the Drontermeer is entered when moving towards starboard-side – which we did. Already at 4:34PM we moored at an island named Eekt, apparently named after a sort of hamlet on the near shore of the former Zuiderzee, part of the municipality of Oldebroek. This is our initial mooring-spot.

Sunrise on the 7th of April 2018 7:41AM. This brings a very, very, good mood indeed!

Two pictures back the sand in front of our little ship is clearly visible; recently the bank has been maintained extensively. The downside is that, after walking outside, the sand comes inside our floating home, too. Because of this -and situating our solar-panels to the south- we turned 180° and moored on the opposite side. That’s where we still are today, Sunday. This completes the first week of our 2018-cruising-season. A lot more to come – we hope.