09 May 2016

Northward From Gouda

Zonder Zorg's special winter moorage rates in the historic ship harbour of Gouda came to an end on 01 April, when the rate went from fifteen cents per metre per day to fifty cents. The canals were still closed until 15 April, with reservations required for each lock and lift bridge, so I decided to stay and pay the higher rate until unrestricted navigation began. Over the winter the moorage including water and electricity was €102 per month, but my two weeks of April cost €135 all inclusive.

On Saturday, 16 April, in a cold, light drizzle, I headed through three lift bridges and a lock to the Gouwe, then turned to follow it northward. The cool weather continued with overnight temperatures at or near freezing. Late April was colder and wetter than January and February. Rain was a daily occurrence, usually with blustery winds. I hunkered-down on a free three-day mooring at the edge of Alphen an der Rijn to wait for better boating weather.

In a brief spell of clear weather, on Tuesday I continued northward, then branched into the Amstel, the river which flows through Amsterdam. The lift bridge at Vrouwenakker was closed for repairs when I arrived, so I moored on the waiting station. By early afternoon, it was apparent the repairs were more complex than initially thought. I had a good solid mooring, so I decided to wait, rather than taking a circuitous route. On Wednesday, the engineers said Friday, so I pedalled into Uithoorn for groceries. The bridge finally opened on Saturday morning, so I continued to Uithoorn and moored in the centre of town.

The sign on the Havenkantoor showed that it opened on 01 May, so I stayed with free moorage and enjoyed the small city as the weather slowly improved, then continued north before moorage fees began. I found an open moorage in the heart of the small town of Oudekerk, the last isolated community on the Amstel before Amsterdam. The sign read 3x24, meaning there is three day limit, and it was adjacent to a supermarket, so I decided to stay a while.

Wednesday, 04 May is Remembrance Day in the Netherlands, marking the sacrifices during World War Two. Thursday, 05 May is Liberation Day, celebrating the surrender of Nazi Germany to the Canadian Army and ending their five-year occupation of the Netherlands. More than seventy-six hundred Canadians lost their lives in the final push to free the Dutch. Zonder Zorg's Canadian flag invited many offerings of thanks.

On Friday I continued north down the Amstel six kilometres, then east three and a half kilometres up the Weesper to a free three-day mooring in Diemen. This small town, only five kilometres from the heart of Amsterdam, is isolated from the urban build-up by fields and marshes. Across the Weesper from the barge is the stop for a tram directly into central Amsterdam.

The temperature rose to 25.5º Friday afternoon, but my shaded mooring and the light breeze made it very pleasant. The forecast shows many fine days to follow, and since the moorage isn't busy, I think I'll test the limits of the three-day signs.

9 comments:

  1. Great to see you back travelling and posting again. Always an enjoyable and informative read. Have a great season!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Ian. It's been too long since I've done much with this blog. Been too busy writing.

      Delete
  2. I agree with Ian. I've enjoyed your posts, your travels and your culinary delights since your adventures on Sequitur.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi David... I'll try to pick up my pace with posts. I've been neglecting this blog too long.

      Delete
  3. Amazing trip. The pictures are beautiful. Thanks for sharing. Hope all goes well for you. I'll be watching for your posts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sue... There's one more post after this one. Click the 'Newer Post' at the bottom of the page.

      Delete
  4. And I just slightly facepalmed, I could have stopped by. I actually saw the boat in Diemen (I live there), but it didn't click that it was Zonder Zorg.

    Oh well...

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is a very good post. Just wonderful. Truly, I am amazed at what informative things you've told us today. Thanks a million for that. Artis Bugil Pamer Toket Gede dan Memek

    ReplyDelete