This morning we woke up to an overcast winters day in Muiden N.L. It is Halloween and also daylight savings time. Kids adjusted instantly to daylight savings waking up at their normal time of 0630 (new time)! We made the most of our early start re securing rigs, removing the spreaders and clearing the decks. Rich re checked our max height at 2.88m so we have 12cm clearance at the lowest bridges on our planned route. Issy found a stick to tape to the front of the rig to make sure we don’t touch!
At 0900 we departed Muiden as soon as the locks and bridges opened. As we departed Muiden we enjoyed watching all the historic fishing boats snd ships lining the canal.
Fishing boats were soon replaced with house boats lining the banks. Beautiful little cottages about the size of our house in Cremorne Tasmania. Out of place on the river was mini transit proto #454. The scenery along the Vecht canals is nothing but spectacular.
We parked at the local Yacht club in Weesp and walked to town to do some shopping and find a bakery. Kids enjoyed looking at the swans.
We continued to motor down the Vecht canal enjoying the sites, only to find the bridge keeper at Luenen had gone to lunch. We took the opportunity to enjoy soup and today’s before the bridge opened and we continued past the mansions, beautiful estates, windmills, and even a castle or two!
At 1445 we exited the Vecht canal and joined the Amsterdam river. We were now in the commercial zone, a far cry from the tranquility of the previous 6 hours. Commercial traffic and the wider river makes for bumpy motoring. The kids retreated downstairs to play some games.
After an hour on the river we passed into the Mewede canal…. ahhh tranquility again, but a little more surburban. At the First lock we learnt a few locked lessons as this was the rise we have experienced thus far. A bit different from blue water sailing!
The rain started to pour down and the weather got chilly so at 1630 we found a nice place to stop along the banks of suburban Nueuwegein.
Thankful I had installed a 4Kw heater we enjoyed playing cards with Issy and Max while sipping a glass of red to the sound of rain pouring on the deck! Oh the joys of a warm dry boat on a river!
Last week I came aboard our new Koopmans 45 in Hinderloopen N.L and began preparations for our first expedition from the North Sea to the Mediterranean by way of the canal system.
The beauty of a Koopmans 45, apart from her stunning lines and solid 6mm Aluminium construction is that she has internal ballast and lifting centerboard so with centerboard up we only draw 1.2m, and with the rig down we can squeeze through the canal system. Bernard Moitessier would have been very jealous of our selection of yachts!
On the 27th October 2021 the previous owner Peter (80 years young) who has owned the yacht for the past 27 years joined me for a handover and to prepaid for our journey.
On the 28th October we sailed from Hinderloopen to Lelystad where Emilie and our children Issy (5) and Max (4) joined onboard as Crew.
This morning it was all go and we lowered the rigs to the newly constructed deck supports, then at 1400 we waved goodbye to the friendly club members at WVL yacht club and entered our first lock of the passage before motoring to the start of the canals in Muiden N.L
We arrived in Muiden to find a regatta of traditional fishing boats filling the Harbour. Full of spirits (and some schnapps) we tied up next to an old fishing ship, put the newly installed Wabasto heater on and settled into the evening.
Stay tuned for more adventures
Photo 1. Hewson family on the dock at Lelystad before departure. You can see the crane in the background taking out their second rig of the day
Photo 2. Arrival in Muiden N.L
Photo 3. Traditional Dutch fishing boats
And we are off! After two years of marking time we have finally purchased our new expedition yacht, a Koopmans 45!
For those unfamiliar with the Koopmans they are an Aluminium Dutch designed yacht, https://www.dickkoopmans.nl/over_ons/het_ontwerpbureau.html
”Classic design by the famous D. Koopmans Sr. As with all his designs, they excel in seaworthiness, cruising performance and safety. Spacious, shallow draft, “Sunday Island” combines it all with her centre board (1.30/2.45 m) and cutter rig. Very well thought interior layout what makes her perfect for longer sailing passages.
Dimensions Built 13,86 x 3,90 x 1,30 / 2,45 (m)
Material Aluminium 6mm
EnginePerkins 4236 diesel