Wednesday 26th June Ref: 2019/10
Today, we set off from Purmerend down the Noordhollandsch Kanaal towards Amsterdam, experiencing some problems with the locks but eventually emerging into the Noordzeekanaal. Then making our way through the Oranjesluizen into the Markermeer where, in choppy waters and a fresh breeze we cruised north to stop the island of Marken alongside at the Oude Haven where we relaxed with sparkling wine to celebrate our achievement before spending the night with the chirping and friendly sparrows there
After an early planning session with Chris and Maggie, we set off from Purmerend down the Noordhollandsch Kanaal towards Amsterdam at the start of a full day of cruising that was not without difficulties, but, together with the crew of Ikon, we celebrated our achievements of navigating some 27 nautical miles through 3 locks, 12 bridges, a congested and tricky section of the main river at Amsterdam and then a choppy exposed Markermeer to arrive safely at the haven of Marken.
Paradoxically, on the map, we were only some 10 miles east of our starting point, when we arrived, but, because there is no waterway between Purmerend and either Edam or Monnickendam which allows anything but boats with very low headroom to navigate, the big detour was necessary. It also made a change, gave Lady Martina and Ikon an opportunity to open up their engines and fulfil their proper functions and was exhilarating for the crews of both boats, making a change from plodding through the waterways.
The passage through the bridges on the Noordzeekanaal was not without incident, as there was a long delay with a problem with the Buiksloterdraaibrug before somebody came to operate it, despite its to red lights warning of its un-serviceability. Care was needed to navigate the Amsterdam section of the Noordzeekanaal, because of the crossing ferries, commercial barges, passenger ships and all else and also because of the need to utilise the small boat channels to comply with the regulations.
Once we entered the Markermeer, it soon became apparent that the fresh northerly breeze against the outflow from the River IJssel, would be kicking up short choppy sea in its shallow waters but at least this was on the nose of our vessels which only started rolling when we turned broadside on briefly during the passage. Even so, a few items on unprotected surfaces in both boats were casualties when we fell into the trap of not treating these inland lakes as the seas they really are.
Upon arrival at Marken, we moored against the east quay in the Oude Haven and then the five of us shared two bottles of sparkling wine to celebrate our achievement, as the countless local and friendly house sparrows ate titbits from the deck. The weather today had changed remarkably with fresh air from the north replacing the humid air from the south, making conventional clothes more suitable again and made for a much more comfortable experience.