Deck crew ready for action

It actually didn’t matter where we were heading – it was just so wonderful to be back on the water!!

As I mentioned in the previous post, various circumstances dictated that we simply didn’t have time to get to Amsterdam and back, so opted for a short loop taking in Giethoorn, Steenwijk, Blokzijl and back to Zwartsluis.

We set out about 11.45 on Thursday.

There was some method in this – I knew the first lock, Beukerssluis, was about half an hour away, and I wanted to get through before the lunch break.

Locking down in Beukerssluis

Generally Dutch locks don’t operate between 12 and 1 for lunch.

We arrived at the lock at 11.05, and waited while some other boats came through from the other direction.

And then the local day trip cruiser arrived on our side, and of course took preference.

I worried we wouldn’t get through before lunch, but we did.

Crossing the Belter Wijde

Entered the lock at 11.48 and left at 11.55.


There were a lot of other boats waiting.
They would have to wait till after lunch.

That’s the way it is on the canals.

Once through the lock we traveled along the Beukersgracht, crossed the Belter Wijde, ( a wide open area of water but relatively shallow) and arrived at Blaawe Hand, a tiny tiny establishment.

Waiting at Blaauwe Hand Brug

Apparently it was a fishing village and got it’s name (Blue hand) from the colour of the hands of the people who worked in the cold water of the North Sea.

We arrived at Blaawe Hand brug at about 12.25, in the middle of the lunch break, so tied up and had lunch.

Promptly at 13.00 hrs the bridge opened, and off we went again.

The rest of the trip to Steenwijk was relaxing.

Bridge at Giethoorn

We went through two lift bridges, one at Giethoorn and one at Middenbuurt, as well as 2 fixed bridges which were high enough for us to pass under.

 I wanted to do this little trip, as we were here in 2011 when we chartered a Dutch Steel Motor Cruiser for 2 weeks, just to see if that’s the type of boat we really wanted.

So it was wonderful doing the same route, but on our very own boat.

Moored in Steenwijk

We arrived at Steenwijk just before 15.00, and tied up in the gemeente or public mooring right in the centre of town.

Still early in the season so no problem finding a spot.

We tied up close to the fixed bridge – 3.5 metre clearance – if we had dropped the radar arch, we could have gone through, but no point really.

More about Steenwijk next week.

In the meantime – happy boating!

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