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Netherlands Waterway cruise – Amsterdam to Edam – inland route

Route – Amsterdam to Edam

Friday 11th July

We had to choose –

Either through Oranjesluis and out into the Markermeer and round to Edam which would entail a longish open water passage.

Or the more scenic and mainly inland route.

As we would have to do a long stretch on the Markemeer later, from Edam to Lelystad, we opted for the inland route.

It proved to be definitely more interesting, not to mention a bit stressful.

Tight fit! Bridge on the Noordhollandsch Kanaal

So the planned route was along the Noordhollandsch Kanaal to Het Schouw, branch into the Trekvaart Het Schouw to Monnickendam, through 2 locks up to the Markermeer and a short hop to Edam.

Once again we expected a lot of bridges, some low ones, so we lowered the radar arch in preparation.

Next obstruction – wire ferry on the canal

We left Sixhaven about 09.20 and after locking down at the Willem I sluis entered the Noordhollanschkanaal.

The passage to Het Schouw went quickly – about 40 minutes, as although most of the  bridges were beweeg Brugge, we could just slip under with
a few centimetres to spare.

Low bridge into the Trekvaart het Schouw

We did have to wait for a few minutes for the wire operated ferry to cross over, and then slack the wire down so we could pass safely.

At het Schouw, we went under the lowest bridge, 3.9 metres and entered the Trekvaart Het Schouw.

Houseboats line the canal

The canal here was both narrower and shallower than expected, with only about 20 cm under the keel most of the time (which was about 50 cm less than the chart had indicated).

So we proceeded very slowly.

The speed limit was 6 km/hr anyway.

There was also a lot of weed floating on the water, which made me a bit concerned about the cooling water inlets becoming blocked.

Manual bridge at Broek in Waterland

The next obstacle was a section where there were a whole lot of houseboats permanently moored, which made it even narrower.

And to add to it, the access road for these residents was on the opposite side of the canal, so each and every houseboat had its own little wire operated ferry!

A couple of these crossed ahead of us, and each time we had to wait to make sure they had lowered the wire down to the bottom of the canal.

Roadworks! Dredging on the Trekvaart

The last thing I needed was a wire round the propeller.

Things became even more interesting when we came to the tiny town of Broek in Waterland.

There were 2 low beweeg brugge here.

When we arrived at the first, there was no sign of any bridge keeper.
There was also no waiting place to tie up at.

Lock at Monnickendam

Eventually a bridge man appeared and opened up.

We passed through very slowly and I asked about the depth of water up ahead.

He was a bit dubious and said we would probably get through, but we might have delays!

We were not  sure exactly what he meant, but soon found out.

Leaving the last lock! Awning and flag pole down!

This chap then had to ride to the next bridge, which turned out to be a manually operated one.

Also I don’t think that a boat of our size had been this way for a while, as the opening of this bridged appeared to be a major event and half the town turned out to watch.

Once through this bridge, we discovered what he had meant.

Open water at last! On to the Markemeer

Not only was there now zero water under the keel, but they were dredging in 2 places in the canal.

Twice we had to stop and wait for the lone operator to move his machinery to the side so we could squeeze past.

Once passed the dredging, the water deepened and I had a whole 50 cm under the keel. Whew!

After a couple more bridges we came to the first lock at Monnickendam. No problems there.

Edam – original wooden dwelling

The next lock was depicted on the chart as being next to a low (3.9 m) bridge.

As we entered the lock we realized the bridge was directly over the lock – and guess what – we were about to lock UP!

Momentary panic.

The lock was remotely operated, and was already filling up.

The new crew now had a crash course in lowering the 2 awnings in record time. I think we got them down about 10 seconds before they would have been squashed.

Edam – Town Hall

Once clear of that lock, things returned to normal.

We headed out into the Markemeer, put all the awnings and radar arch up again, and made the 1 hour passage to Edam, where we tied up in the marina at about 14.15 hrs.

Edam turned out to be a much smaller place than I thought, and the town was quite far from the marina.

On our borrowed cycles from Edam

Fortunately we were able to borrow bicycles from the marina and rode into town.

Really not a lot happening here.

We wandered around the town and took
in a few of the historic buildings.

One interesting building was an original wooden house, that had somehow avoided be demolished when wooden structures had been disallowed, and was now restored.

Although Edam is famous for cheese, and there is a cheese shop there, it is not nearly as touristy as Gouda.

Anyway, we had a couple of cold beers at the inn on the square, and rode back to the boat via the resort town of Volendam.

This place was rather like the Dutch equivalent of Blackpool!


Distance               25 kms
Locks                   3
Fixed Bridges       2
Beweeg Bridges    7
Time                     5 hours

Next week – Edam to Lelystad – across the Markemeer.

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