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The trip on the Pedro is already fading into memories. I had hoped to be able to post frequent updates from the boat, but the lack of internet access was the one and only disappointing part of our holiday in Holland. During our 2 weeks, we only had good wireless connection once. This was in the lovely village of Steenwijk. 2 other places supposedly provided this, but one did not work at all and the other was as good as useless. We always seemed to have good signal for our mobile phones, so I am sure if we had had one of those dongle things we would have been fine. So we know what we need for our own boat.

Typical marina and mooring in Holland

I mentioned at the end of my last post that our first night was at a tricky mooring in Ijsselmuiden. This is rather the norm than the exception in Holland. We have been used to UK or French canals where one can stop and moor up pretty well anywhere you like, as long as there is no specific ‘No mooring’ situation.
In Holland one generally goes to one of the marinas which take ‘passant’ or ‘passing’ visitors. These do though tend to be rather small and crowded, with not a lot of manoevring room. Sometimes you can berth alongside a jetty, but very often it is an end on mooring between to wooden pillars. And of course mooring here stern to is preferable from an access and power connection point of view. But stern to mooring can be tricky, particularly in windy conditions.
My first attempt was hardly the most elegant, but I take heart from the fact that I witnessed some other pretty bad boat handling going on during the 2 weeks.

Moored at a jetty in Zwartsluis

Our next night, we tied up at the marina in the very pretty little town of Zwartsluis.
Another tight marina on the inner berths, but we had a spot on the river side of the jetty – easy to berth at, but a little uncomfortable with all the passing traffic.
This did quieten down in the evening and we spent a peaceful night.
I had thought we might spend a couple of nights here.
We strolled up to the village, but picturesque as it was, there was not much happening at all. So the next day we moved on to Giethoorn.

Moored in a marina in Giethoorn

Another very pretty area, dubbed ‘The Venice of the North’.
A network of narrow canals running between the restaurants and shop.
Very touristy, though, with some appropriately expensive eating places.
We stocked up at the supermarket, ate on board as usual, and moved on the next morning.
A short journey along the canal brought us to Steenwijk.

Mooring in the centre of town at Steenwijk

Here we had a lovely mooring, in a narrow canal right in the centre of town. (And excellent intenet!)
The mooring here was alongside the quay and was relatively simple, even though there was quite a breeze blowing. It was here that I saw one of the attrocious boat handling examples – As we arrived, one boat was attempting to reverse out of the canal, and managed to crash into another of the moored boats in the process!
Steenwijk was a larger town, a mixture of old and new, with a pleasant town square. We enjoyed a beer at a sidewalk cafe and watched the people go by.
We would have liked to have spent another night here, but in my quest to by a boat, I had now lined up a couple of boat viewings, so we had to move on again.
(More on Steenwijk and the boats I have viewed in future posts)
Happy boating!

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