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2015 European waterway cruise – Netherlands – Utrecht to Dordrecht via Schoonhoven

Dordrecht – Netherlands

We left Utrecht on the Friday. According to the weather forecasts this was to be the last of a week of rainy days, with occasional showers.

To get out of Utrecht in a Southerly direction means navigating through the town centre canal with its 18 very low bridges, the lowest being 2.9 metres.

Radar arch, both canopies as well as flag poles had to be folded down. Fortunately the rain held off for this or it would have been most unpleasant.

We did this bit through Utrecht last year. See this post.
But it is an interesting trip, winding ones way through this rather narrow canal, through the town and passing the loads of restaurants on the lower level.

Moored in Schoonhoven

Once clear of this section we had a long wait at the next bridge, and just in time we put up all the canopies and gear before the rain came down.

The next couple of hours were busy – through the Noordersluizen back into the Amsterdam-Rijn Kanaal, into the Lekkanaal, through Prinses Beatrixsluis and
out into the River Lek.

We were now in the slightly tidal area, and with both tide and current in our favour, we made good speed down the river and
moored up for the night at a tiny marina in Schoonhoven. Not very expensive at Euro 12 per night, but electricity was extra, although fresh water was free.

Ferry at Schoonhoven

I took advantage of this and topped up our tank. The ablutions were rather basic, but adequate.

I have noted elsewhere that most of the boats we encounter are Dutch, but here we were tied up next to a British couple on a similar sized motor boat.

A brief chat revealed they had sold up everything in the UK 7 years ago and now lived aboard their boat in the Netherlands.

Fine in the summer, but must be most uncomfortable at the height of winter!

Passing Lekkerkerk

Schoonhoven was a pretty little town and we had a drink up at a local pub in the evening, but there wasn’t much else to inspire us to spend
another full day.

So next morning we carried on down the River Lek, along the Maas Noord and Oude-Maas and into Dordrecht.

This last stretch was very busy with
commercial traffic, ferries, water taxis and pleasure boats.

On the Noord Maas

We tied up in the marina of the Koninglike Dordrecht Roei en Zeil Vereniging (Royal
Dordrecht Rowing and Sailing Club).

To get into the Niewe Haven here we passed under the Engelenburger Beweeg Brug, which opens every half hour for 10 mins.

We planned to stay here a few days so the harbour master gave us a mooring in the inner harbour – through yet another little
opening bridge.

Dordrecht –  KDR & SV

It was a lovely little marina, with electricity and fresh water included in the Euro 21 charge.
The ablutions were good, and washing machines and dryers available.

One of the reasons for staying here was to avail ourselves of the advertised wifi. Mmm – yes there was wifi available, but very slow and almost useless.
Completely hopeless to try and get blog posts out.

Dordrecht – inner canals

It is the one thing we have been continually disappointed in.

It is surprising that most things in the Netherlands are efficient and work well, but the marinas just dont seem to be able to provide good internet connections.

There are a handful of exceptions.

Dordrecht was another picturesque Dutch town with it’s old section, once a busy trading port, and a very modern extension with loads of malls and shops.

Dordrecht – new part

We ended up taking a few days break here.

I found a good marine shop – De Graaf Watersport – where I bought some bits and pieces.

Karen discovered there was an IKEA in a nearby town, and did a shop up there for some more boat things.

I also took the time to catch up on a bit of boat maintenance, checked oils and waters and greases, as well as fitting a new water pump as the old one had started to leak a little.

On the aft deck in Dordrecht

Still time for a glass of wine on the aft deck though!

Dordrecht town square

Next – on towards Belgium.

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