Netherlands inland waterway cruise

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Route Kampen to Zwartsluis – Netherlands

The last part of the trip completed a full circle, taking us through Ganzesluis into Ganzediep, along the Goot with Maandjeswaardbrug, down a narrow channel called Scheepsvaartgat, back into the Zwartewater and to Zwartsluis.

We still had a bit of time in hand, so we took 2 days for this, with a last wild stop at a mooring on the Goot. (No idea of the where or why for this name.)


Before leaving Kampen I checked the charts for the route.

I was a bit concerned, as the chart showed that the depth along the Scheepsvaartgat was only 1.2 metres.

I asked the harbour master at Kampen about this, and he assured me that Shangri La, at a draft of 1.1 metres would have plenty of water.

Remote overnight stop on Goot

He proved right – we never had less that 0.8 metres under the keel.

Anyway, we set out about 11 am, and very shortly arrived at Ganzesluis.

All was going well – after a few minutes, one boat
came out, we went in and locked down about half a metre. (When in locks, you are expected to turn off your engine, which we had done.)

 Time to switch on – and nothing happened!

Last bridge of the trip – Maandjeswaardbrug

Several tries with the ignition key and – nothing!

There is a bit of history to be told here – right in the beginning, this had happened a couple of times, but the engine had always started at the third of fourth try.

We suspected the ignition switch. I had even bought a new ignition switch, and had looked at fitting it while on the trip.


These things sound easy, but actually getting to the wiring involved pretty well dismantling the driving console, so I had put it off.

And there had not been a moment’s trouble during the last 6 weeks.

But now, we were stuck in the lock, on a Sunday, at lunchtime.

Fortunately luck seemed to be on our side.

Cable Ferry

The lock-keeper helped us pull the boat through and tie up outside the lock.

He knew the man who lived next to the lock was a boat mechanic, and very kindly called him.

This helpful chap came out and had a look.

He confirmed it was the switch,and showed us a way to short circuit the starter motor and start the engine.

Whew! And we were on our way again.

Shangri La moored in Zwartsluis again

(Along with fitting new windscreen wipers, this replacement ignition switch is now top of the list of jobs for the mechanic at De Kranerweerd to do for me)

About 1 pm we tied up at one of these remote wild moorings on the Goot, and had a lazy afternoon and evening and making the best of our last proper night cruising.

We even cracked a bottle of sparkly to celebrate our journey!

Next morning, I turned the ignition switch and she started immediately – no problem! We set off, Karen driving, and she was to take us down the Scheepsvaartgat, which is a very shallow and narrow channel at the edge of the Zwartemeer.

She did a great job! This time I took a video of her negotiating the channel, and narrow gap at the end.

Now we were back in deep water on the Zwartewater.

The only obstacle here was the chain ferry. This little ferry pulls itself backwards and forwards across the canal on a wire which runs under the water, so you have to be careful not get yourself caught on the wire.

A short while later, we arrived in Zwartsluis, and back at Jachthaven de Kranerweerd.

We had to tie up in a different, more difficult berth, which proved quite tricky as the wind was blowing and gusting quite hard.

Once we tied up, got connected to shore power and let the guys at Krenerweerd know we were back, it was almost an anti-climax!

Mixed feelings – sad that the cruise was over, but elated that we had successfully done our first proper six week cruise on our very own Shangri La – a dream that  anyone following this blog will know has been quite a few years in the planning.

Next up – a few days in Zwartsluis, and wintering Shangri La.

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