Kaageplaasen – lakes

Saturday 5th July

We left Leiden about 10.15 am having visited the harbour-master and got our key deposit back.

Rain was expected that day, and it started to rain, as usual, just as we left the mooring.

The route to Haarlem was across an area of lakes called the Kaageplaasen, and then along the Ringvaart van Harlemmerpolder.

Shangri La at Kaag marina

We would arrive too late in Haarlem so planned a stop at a marina on Kaag Island.

After passing pretty quickly through 3 BB (beweeg Brugge) and 1 fixed bridge, we were into the Kaageplaasen.

Crossing this area proved a touch more tricky than anticipated.

Old rockers at Kaag Jazz Festival

I have not yet splashed out on a chart plotter, so with the rubbish visibility due to the pouring rain, and not too many navigation marks, we had to do a bit of a circuitous route to find out which islands to go between to get to the marina.

(by the way, Pic 1 was not taken en route, but from Kaag island the next day)

All girl band at the Kaag Jazz Festival

Arrived and berthed at the Kaag Island marina at about 12.30 pm.

Our stay at Kaag turned out to be most pleasant, despite the rainy weather.

The marina was good, with a clubhouse and bar.
The ablutions were pleasant and there was wifi, although it was a bit weak as were were not that close to the aerial. But we managed. Cost – Euro 18 per night.

Ice-Cream seller in Kaag

That evening we watched the Holland vs Costa Rica soccer match at the clubhouse. Which of course Holland won after a penalty shoot-out, so there was much jollity and we had a late night!

Sunday 6th

The weather was still grim, so rather than do more boating in the rain, we decided to stay another night.

Traffic on the Harlemmer Ringvaart

And there was a local music festival on all day!

The only access to the island is via a small ferry which takes about 2 cars and a few people at a time.

For the festival, various bands, and food stalls had set up around the island which is only about 1 km x 1 km.

We wandered around the island, and were amazed to find some very good rocking bands playing.

On the Harlemmer Ringvaart

Being an island, there were also a lot of yacht clubs with loads of kids out sailing. Even the ice-cream seller goes around by boat!

Monday 7th July

Checked our route planning for the Harlemmer-Ringvaart with the harbour master.

He confirmed my suspicions that the first
rail bridge at Sassenheim was a very busy one, with limited, fixed opening times, the first one being 12 noon.

Haarlem – Grote Kerk

But with our radar arch and awning down we could fit through.

So down it all came again.

Fortunately the weather was good.

We got going about 1045, and straight through the Sassenheim bridge, past all the yachts waiting for the noon opening.

Haarlem – Gravesteenbrug

The rest of the trip to Haarlem was very pleasant, through 9 more bridges, and finally tied up near the Gravesteenbrug,
right in the centre of town at about 14.00.

As usual, berth spaces were scarce.

We first tied up at a not very nice spot with
no shore power, but about half an hour later, a space at the floating jetty, with power, became vacant and we quickly moved Shangri La.

Haarlem – Stadsaal

We ended up spending three nights at Haarlem.

Our next set of friends joined us on the Tuesday, quite late in the afternoon, due to delays on the Eurostar.

So we spent Wednesday doing the sightseeing tour of the city, and watched the Holland vs Argentina soccer world cup semi-final at a local pub in the evening.

Supper on board with next friends (crew!)

Haarlem is one of the oldest cites in Netherlands with loads of gorgeous old buildings.

It also has a much more laid back feel about it compared to other cities.

There was also our favourite organic shop, Marqt, where we shopped up, and wined and dined ourselves on board.

Statistics – Leiden to Haarlem

Distance              40 km
Locks                  None
Fixed bridges       3
BB                      12
Time                   5.5 hrs

Next week – Haarlem to Amsterdam.

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