2013 – wonderful memories

Time flies! Already nearly time for us to head north again, and get Shangri-La 2 back in the water for this year’s cruising.

Before we left the her at the end of last year, I gave a whole long job list to Wim at de Kranerweerd.

Hopefully he will have done all this before we arrive in April.

The 2 most important things to fix – the ignition switch and the windscreen wipers! We dont want any repeats of last year’s problems. See this post and this post for those stories.

We are also having the upholstery and curtains replaced. Really looking forward to seeing this. The interior is going to be a lot fresher and lighter.

Netherlands waterway charts

And as for where we are going to this year – decisions! decisions!

I bought a whole lot of new charts and started to do some planning.

There are some 6000 kilometers of navigable waterway in Netherlands so the choice of routes is limitless.

Screenshot from the AIS website

When looking at a map of the Netherlands, it is hard to see where the waterways are, but if you go to the AIS (Automatic Identification System) website, you get a very good idea. The waterways are rather highlighted by all the boat icons showing their position. (See picture of screenshot)

Last year we did the northern part of Netherlands going via Groningen and returning via the lake area in Friesland.

We still need to do the Ijsselmeer, Amsterdam area and the west, as well as the river areas near Rotterdam and far south to Roermond.

This year we will have three trips on Shangri-La. I have not got right down to the specifics yet, but the first short trip we will go to the Amsterdam area. We need to be in this area at this time due to the South african General Elections. We have registered to vote abroad and do this at the Hague on 30th April.

Chart for Gouda in Netherlands

The second trip of about a month, we will go through the central and west part of Netherlands, taking in places like Gouda, Delft and Edam and returning to Zwartsluis via the Ijsselmeer.

The third trip is the longest, about six weeks, so we will head south to Roermond, and return via the Maas River and the Rotterdam area.

Another first will be having some friends visiting us while we are there – three couple are planning to join us for 4 or 5 days each somewhere along the way. All very exciting!

And of course, if any experienced Netherlands waterway travelers out there have any suggestions or tips for us, we would love to hear from them.

Posts of our travels will start in about 2 weeks.

In the meantime – happy boating!

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