Blog for 2018


Our 2018 Itinerary by map

Below is the itinerary for our trip through the Netherlands in 2018. If all goes to plan, the total distance cruised was approximately 1,156 kilometers. 

Our current position on the European Waterways is indicated by the red boat icon below. The orange anchors is where we’ve been. You can also click on any orange anchor, to take you to that part of Susi’s blog which describes it.



View Our Cruising Intinerary for 2018 in a larger map

Morocco


Friesland - Holland


Overijssel - Holland


Central Holland


Southern Holland


Italy


Naarden and the road to Cinque Terre

On our way back to Amsterdam to catch a flight to Italy we stopped off in Naarden. The quaint historic centre of Naarden lies within the ramparts and bastions of the starlike fortification built by the Dutch after regaining control from the Spanish in the early 17th century. 

The outlay is another example of French architect Vauban's design with a few extra dams and locks to keep the seawater at bay thrown in. The cobblestoned streets are leading along beautiful dutch facades, gorgeous shops and cafés. The roof of the Grote Kerk (Big Church) was built by the local fishermen from 1600 planks of oak. It’s basically an upside-down boat. Once in place it was left to dry for several years before meticulously painted.

So far we were enjoying ourselves, and headed excitedly to the airport the next morning. We checked in - everything at Schiphole airport is automatic, even the baggage drop off is self service - and waited to board the plane. Then we experienced the “cinque terrors” of travel. Our flight was cancelled due to bad weather. But KLM had it organised and we were given vouchers for a shuttle, hotel for the night and all meals, and a small bag with toiletries. The only thing we didn’t have were fresh clothes. The weather in Amsterdam was quite grey and rainy and the forecast for Cinque Terre not much better.

The next day we arrived in Genoa but our suitcase didn’t and we stood in a row of people with the same problem. Utter confusion on both sides. After filling in details and descriptions of our luggage we managed to find the right bus to the train station. Unfortunately the train to Cinque Terre was also delayed, but on the positive side, the weather was much better than expected.

4 days later - our suitcase is still missing and our clothes are not any fresher, although we bought a few necessary items. However there seem to be only tourist/souvenir type shops with T-shirts promoting Cinque Terre or shops with beautiful linen shirts and dresses which are not exactly practical for climbing the steep walking paths of CT or for boating activities on the canals.

But, who cares when the Italian sun is shining, the Mediterranean is sparkling and the Campari cocktails cold and fruity.









Amsterdam/Born - Reunited

After a 6 am arrival in Amsterdam, we headed straight into the city centre in our Ford Fiesta hire car. In a very Dutch way bikes came at us from everywhere. They seemed to toy with our indecisiveness in finding a suitable parking space.

The weather was a drizzly 16 degrees but once we had managed to work ourselves through the bicycle ballet at intersections and found a car park, we enjoyed stretching our ‘jet-cramped' legs and ambling through the streets of Amsterdam. 

Soon enough we decided on a new phone and internet card while a cloud of distinct Amsterdam smoke coming from the “koffie shop” next door added to our jet-lag haze. Therefore we really have no idea if the data we purchased will be sufficient or over the top! The good thing is that for an extra 5 euro we will be able to use the cards in Italy, Germany and wherever else the wind will blow us in Europe. 

Two double shots of coffee later, purchased at a "real coffee shop", we were on our way to Born to reunite with the “Freshwater". It seemed longer than two years ago that we started our last boating season and yet, as soon as we saw the "Juliana Canal" and laid eyes on the first commercial barge and pleasure boats gliding by, we knew we were back!

Seeing the Freshwater was bitter-sweet. In spite of currently being stored in a large shed with her “bottom” perfectly anti-fouled, the Freshwater looked a bit worse for wear. Since we abandoned her in 2016 she had weathered two major storms and Dutch winters whilst exposed to the elements in dry dock. Her previously leaky canopy now hangs in shreds and she is covered with dust and grime. Scattered tools indicated that some work was still to be done. Can’t wait to meet with the shipyard owner and find out what’s going on! 

After a good meal and sleep at Hub Notermans B&B in Guttecoven, we met up with the "Kiwi Rose" crew, Max and Lucy, in the quaint village of Thorn, drowning our sorrow in a rather large glass of Dutch beer. We felt bad whining about our “minor” boat problems as the resilient and fun loving Lucy and Max have experienced quite a few boat problems of their own in the last 2 years and have not lost their sense of humour yet!




While waiting for the return of shipyard owner Guido from Holidays we explored neighbouring Sittard and discovered a beautiful basilica, the first church to be named a “basilica minor” in the Netherlands. The weather warmed up to 29 degrees C and we enjoyed sitting at a cafe of the towns market square in the warm Northern Hemisphere sun. 

Two days after our arrival we met with Guido and he assured us that all would be done by the time we get back from Italy on 7/6. Now we are still eagerly waiting for news from our sailmaker regarding our new canopy.


In the meantime we are having a big reunion with our mateys Jan and Bill (having driven all the way from Toul), Lucy and Max, and Jayne and Peter from Perth. 

Watch out idyllic Guttecoven!!!


© Austin Robinson 2019