This is "Onbekommerd"!

Friday, May 6, 2016

15 miles in 7 hours!

After Alkmaar, we had a short trip north and when we passed a jetty 'in the wild' near Oudkarspel, we decided to tie up there. It was wonderfully quiet, being woken up by the birds, followed by the crowing of the cock and finally the ducks was much more soothing than the Alkmaar traffic and police sirens.
At 10 we left and passed a few bulb fields, after the windmills a few days earlier probably the best known Dutch vista:

As we left, another motorboat passed and we followed him. No problem there. After about an hour we arrived at the first lock of the day, only to find that there was no lock keeper. He was away, apparently operating a different lock. During the wait a number of other boats appeared and they, together with the one we had followed, we part of a 'club tour', a group of 20 boats travelling together. They were the rear guard. After a wait of close to an hour, the lock keeper arrived and let us though. All 6 boats fitted in the lock. Not a lot further was the second lock. Here you drop 6 m into the 'polder' and the lock is quite a bit smaller but we all crammed in after quite a long wait. Then it was another 2 hours to lock number three. This one takes only 4 boats and with typical Dutch 'pushiness' there was a scrum to get in. If only the Dutch could learn to queue like the Brits or the Swedes.... A lock cycle takes about an hour so the total delay here was close to two hours. The fourth lock is only a mile further. But there were quite a few boats waiting already, so another wait. We finally tied up in Medemblik after 7 hours and 10 minutes, one of our 5 'longest' trips to date! But as the weather was very nice (sun, little wind and not cold), it was not all that bad an experience.

We rewarded ourselves with 'dinner on shore' and had a nice and restful sleep. This morning the weather is again excellent so we'll go and do a bit of a meander around.
We'll be here for about a week, we go back to London on Tuesday for a few days for a few meetings. So probably not too much blogging until then, unless we have something special to tell.

Location:Pekelharinghaven,Medemblik,The Netherlands

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