Harderwijk - Dronten (Drontermeer)

Though very interesting and pleasant, we finally left Harderwijk on Wednesday the 10 of June at 11.39 AM. One of the first ships we met when cruising the Veluwemeer was an old fashioned fishing boat, the HK 61 (HK = Harderwijk), proudly drying its nets high in the sky.

That day it wasn’t very busy on the Veluwemeer. So we took the opportunity to make a picture of the only ‘traffic-jam’ we encountered that day!

Our lovely dog just sleeps when cruising. All that water is soooo boring…

Permanent dredging on the Veluwemeer. We wonder whether it is to maintain sufficient depth or is it all about sand extraction?

When approaching the Elburgerbrug (after which the name changes to Drontermeer) a tour boat and a commercial one draw near us from the opposite side, using the fixed part underneath the bridge only to be used by oncoming traffic. We aimed for the fixed part in front of us – with the double yellow sign, meaning that use by oncoming traffic is prohibited. It is, however, always wise to trust not just signs but ones senses, too! The moveable part of the bridge is opened to allow for passage by the commercial vessel overtaking us. The available air draft, for your information, is 5.6 metres. We need 4 metres (mast, once called ‘matchstick’ by someone – really offensive), or 3,5 (flag-pole) or, if the first two fail, 3 metres (wheelhouse). The 3 metres is our minimum. We refuse to take down the wheelhouse after having done that once – passing the 3.333 metre (over 2 miles) tunnel, part of the Canal de Bourgogne, at Pouiily-en-Auxois, in France. It’s an unpleasant job!

Lucky again, one would say: we were able to moor inside the part of Elburg’s old fishing port. Our engine was switched off at 2:45 PM. This is what it looks like. We realize that we probably showed you this spot before. You never get tired of Elburg!

Our lovely dog waits patiently while we try to make the best possible picture. Bless him, a Brit would say.

Our view of the canal, as seen from the old fishing port, the next evening, on Thursday 22:43 PM. We’re told the sky suggest still daylight because of the lights inside the greenhouses, located in the province of Flevoland (Elburg is Gelderland), on the opposite side of the Drontermeer.

On Friday the 12th we were visited by our best friends W&W. Here we are -of course minus the photographer- in flawless Covid19-setup. And, as always nowadays, included Jay, the dog. For your idea: our little ship is moored opposite the houses which backs/backyards are visible here. There’s a moat around Elburg, a very interesting and picturesque little former Hanseatic town. By the way, we had a drink and a bite that evening visiting the café ‘Het Kleine Café’, clearly visible in front of us on the 6th picture. (For the ones that master the Dutch language: ‘Daar in het kleine café aan de haven – Vader Abraham. An iconic song.)

Seen in Elburg, at the gate of a backyard. Literally translated it says: ‘the dog is harmless – watch out for the mistress’. In, unfortunately, untranslatable (Elburg-)dialect.

On Saturday the 13th (yes, we stayed for even three nights, the harbourmaster persuaded us to stay one night more!) a botter (https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botter - only in Dutch) was hauled ashore, obviously for maintenance. So we were treated with a little show, just in front of us, before leaving.

A botter hauled ashore

A bunch of experienced volunteers did the job. Note (1) the thin planks they place underneath the cable, to avoid damage both to the cable and the slightly convex concrete surface and (2) our little ship whose bow is just visible towards the end of the video.

The final position of the botter…

…and as seen from inside our little ship’s wheelhouse.

On that same Saturday the 13th we finally left Elburg around 1:09 PM. Not earlier, as we had to make sure to make Jumbo’s day a profitable one. As always it’s nice to look our for wildlife when in the countryside. This time we noticed a mute swan (knobbelzwaan) chasing a rare black swan (zwarte zwaan). Jealousy??

The mooring spot Kleine Zwaan (‘Little Swan”) was reached within an hour. Yes, after just 51 minutes of cruising, de slow 1-kilometer-long canal from Elburg’s port towards the Drontermeer included. This was a deliberate action though, especially the mistress likes short cruises, followed by several days stay at a convenient place. It has to do with the dog, too. Anyway, here we are, the mistress and the dog visible in the left-background.

To end with, the pictures that is, a photo made by the female part of the two of us (the dog lacks any initiative when it comes to photography) of our little ship. We had arranged for a repaint last April. That’s postponed for a year because of the C.-situation. From a distance she still looks marvellous. At least that’s what we like to think. A closer look tells a slightly different story…

This week’s statistics.

Engine ran during 3 hours and 54 minutes (3,9 hours) – Wednesday 2,9 and Saturday 1 hour.  

Generator this week 0 hours, except today - Sunday.

Weather: Sunny on a regular basis, but thunder, rain and storm were there too.

Hope to see you next week again!