Monday 24th June Ref: 2019/8
This was an even hotter day with concerns in nearby France the public health as temperatures hit 40°C and we were grateful for our installed sun canopy as we cruised from Zaandijk along the Zaan waterway to Alkmaar, overcoming a bow thruster failure and mooring in the quaint Turfmarkt haven where we enjoyed shore power and used our air conditioning to make the conditions just about tolerable. I stayed out of the heat and inside the boat for much of the time but joined the others for a nice visit to a local restaurant for dinner after which we took a cycle ride around the city
We had agreed to leave at 9am this morning, which just gave me time to cycle in to Zaandijk again, taking both Kathleen’s and my own bank card to withdraw €200 for each of us before returning to prepare Lady Martina for today’s cruise. It was our plan to cruise north along the Zaan waterway to Alkmaar and we set off from our Zaandijk moorings when my bow thruster worked well enough then, but it failed soon afterwards leaving me to steer using just the helm and both engines.
We cruised under the Julianabrug, which raised for us immediately after I had contacted them on VHF channel 18, and then through two more bridges by use of the same channel, the Zaanbrug bridge at Wormenter and then the Beatrixbrug, where there were many marinas on the port side for potential mooring, before we entered the wide open Alkemeeder Mere where Kathleen took the helm as I started raising floorboards to find out what happened with the bow thruster. It seemed to be an electrical fault but there was not much we could do until I found somewhere to moor on the meer.
After first looking at the free public moorings at the north of the meer, and eliminating them as they were difficult mooring ‘boxes’, where I would need to manoeuvre, I then took us to the meldesteiger, or arrival pontoon, of the boatyard on the north bank, where I rasied the floorboards again and used my test meter to establish that the fuse for the bow thruster had blown meaning a relatively simple repair could be made provided I could find a suitable spare! Kathleen then helped me search through my boxes of spares and, with some relief and a sense of triumph, we found the relevant fuse and I was able to fit it and restore the use of the bow thruster so that we could continue our cruise.
This took us further along the rather dull Noordhollandisch Kanaal and under the Leeghwaterbrug, which also opened for us so that we could then enter Alkmaar and moor up at their Meldesteiger where a friendly young fitness instructor, working in the summer for the town, came to collect our money and direct us through a small opening bridge into the Turfmarkt Haven, where I could connect up our electricity and comments our stay.
Unfortunately, with the heat from the hot engines percolating through the floor and the sun trap that this enclosed haven represented, it was unbearably hot and it was all the air conditioning could do to keep the inside temperature in the low 80s° Fahrenheit. Unlike our friends, we stayed inside for a long time struggling to resume our composure as I tried to do some work but could not really achieve very much. Eventually they took a bike ride around the town of Alkmaar and then changed for dinner in a local restaurant and I joined in with Kathleen and we had a nice meal and followed that with a collective bike ride around the town.
On this ride we took in the sight of the regular Friday cheese market venue in the town square, where countless people were out drinking and enjoying themselves, and also took a ride down the main shopping street and saw the Grote Kirk and town hall buildings which were very fine. There were also many quaint back streets where local people maintain their houses beautifully, encouraging flowers and plants outside in beautiful display.