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Netherlands inland waterway trip – River Maas to Cuijk and Kraaienbergseplassen

Little town of Cuijk on the River Maas

11th to 13th September 2014

Thursday we had a long motoring day planned as we wanted to get as far as Cuijk –

58 kms downstream, only 4 high fixed bridges and 1 lock, Sluis Sambeek.

This was a 3 metre drop where we fortunately arrived at the same time as 2 commercial barges so we had no waiting time at all.

Sluis Sambeek

It was relatively easy day in the end but we did have to keep a sharp look out.

Very often the big barges coming upstream would be showing their blue board on the starboard side telling us to pass on that side, contrary to the normal passing rules.

Passing barges on the wrong side

This is so they can keep close to the side to help them turn the corners.

We had also started to encounter a new hazard on the fast flowing rivers:

Wire pendulum ferries!

Wire pendulum ferry

These ferries cross from one side to the other under their own power, but because of the strong downstream current, they are attached to a long wire anchored in the middle of the river several hundred metres upstream.

This wire is supported by 1, 2 or even 3 large floats which move back and forward with the ferry.

So you have to make sure not to get on the wrong side of the wire!

River bank erosion on the Maas

We passed 6 of these ferries on this stretch of the river.

The Dutch are always working on their waterways, and here we spotted some erosion of the banks which will soon need attending to.

The little town of Cuijk is right on the river, but you cannot overnight at the little marina there (as our guide had advised) so we had to carry on round, through a rather industrial area into more of these lakes – the Kraaienbergseplassen.

WV Kraaienbergseplassen

At about 15.30 hrs we moored up at the WV Kraaienbergseplassen.

This was a relatively small, peaceful marina anyway, but as the holiday season was at it’s end not a lot was happening.

The clubhouse had a restaurant but it was closed.

The harbour master was very friendly – he actually lived on his boat in the marina.

Very low bridge on way to shop

On the down side, we were a long way from town, and the club’s bicycles were broken.

On the good side – the walstroom (electricity was un-metered, and the wifi/internet was very good.

We decided to take advantage of this and stayed the next day catching up on emails, banking, blogging etc.

Going shopping by boat

Ideas for where to go in 2015 had also been a topic of discussion, with Germany being a possibility.

I found on line the German Waterway Guide as well as a European waterway chart which I ordered (and have since received)

The next day (Friday) was also warm and sunny so I made the best of it did a spot of sunbathing.

Although the town was far away, we had learned that the was a Jumbo supermarket not far away on the plassen, with a quay and accessible by boat!
So, Saturday morning. after topping up our fresh water, we lowered all the gear to fit under the bridge and went shopping by boat.

Next – on to Nijmegen

Statistics:

Distance             58 kms
Locks                 1
Bridges              4 fixed
Motoring time    5.6 hours

Read Karen’s blog to get her take on our boating travels.

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