Our Barge, Odysseus

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Return to the Big City

So after a couple of months doing circles near the city, here we are! We found a marina recommended on one of the newsgroups we follow called the Sixhaven Jachthaven and the location is perfect. Right across the River Ij from the city, a free ferry that leaves about every 10 minutes is a five minute walk. The ferry drops you off at Centraal Station in Amsterdam.

(Where those two cameras are superimposed on the Google Earth picture are the free ferry landings. Centraal Station is below the picture and to the left. That boat in the entrance is making the very interesting turn in.) Since we'd spent time there at the beginning of our trip, we knew how to navigate the public transit almost like locals. Once again the weather after our arrival was appalling, with heavy rain and high winds so we spent time at the Rijksmuseum, reprovisioned at the Albert Cuypstraat Market, and revisited one of the restaurants we enjoyed from our earlier visit.
The jachthaven is really a scene.
Since it's not a big secret that the location is so good, its a very popular, and very small, marina. The havenmeister is a good-natured transplanted Belgian.

The Maestro

When you pull in, he spots you from his office in a converted barge wheelhouse and then directs you to an available spot using his whistle. By the end of the day, nearly every available square foot of space is filled with a boat, few tied to docks, mostly tied to each other. When it's time for people to leave in the morning it takes a couple of hours to unwind the raftup. The show can be really fun!
After three nights in a marina, however, it was time to move on and we decided to investigate some new territory, to the east and north of Amsterdam. Since Odysseus is a flat-bottomed boat, it's not really made to take on waves. Since we didn't feel comfortable taking on the Marker Meer, a pretty good sized lake, we would travel down the Amsterdam/Rhine Kanaal, with its heavy commercial traffic,

We're much smaller than these guys!

for about an hour to a small canal that would take us across to the Vecht River (you've heard of that before) and then north and east to our next destination, Amersfoort. Unfortunately, we failed to check the opening times on the two bridges at the end of the canal and they would have required an extensive wait to get into the Vecht. Back to the A-R Kanaal and back south to Weesp it was for the alternate route to the river. After the usual trial getting through the bridges in Weesp, it was north on the Vecht. By now it was pretty late in the day (like 3 pm!) but the stopping places further on were few and far between so we pulled up to a mooring spot on the Vecht just north of Weesp and settled in for the night.

1 comment:

Crew of the Solstice said...

Your blog is great! We're sailing to The Netherlands this summer, and your posts are really helpful in our planning. I found you when I Googled "Sixhaven."