Tuesday, 9 August 2016

The watery motorway to Amsterdam

0930 still on pontoon in Seaport. First lock in is now. Lots of yachts left in last 30 mins. We thought we'd be smart and go for 2nd lock in guessing it might be 1000. Now huge storm is upon us,  Big winds and lashing rain. So we sit tight and worry that we should have queued up earlier because there won't be any spaces left in the marinas we want and we'll be left with tying up somewhere weird where there's no ferry to the centre of town. Rookie mistake trying to game the system.
Pic: the Imjuiden Kleinesluis (Little lock) - imagine what the bigger, commercial ones are like.

1200 All is good. Dutch couple helped us get off pontoon though we could not turn her into the wind from sideways on so after some strong reversing we went further into the marina where we could drive forward through the wind and turning to starboard with reverse and bow thruster she comes round in her own length ... which is good as we only had a metre spare fore and aft. We tied up outside the lock and waited 15 mins for it to open, processed in with 8 other yachts and large motor boat, tied up using the recessed bollards (bow thruster useful again to get to the wall because you can't throw a line over these). 
Pic: the Noordzeekanaal with a yacht ahead, a ferry crossing at right angles to the right, and a big ship coming the other way.

1400 I could kiss the helpful Dutch couple because as they motored slowly past us up the 13nm Noordzeekanaal he shouted to us to telephone Amsterdam Marina to book a place. We did which took all the stress out of the journey knowing there would be somewhere good to tie up. And here we are in berth Q5 not too far from the facilities (unlike Ijmuiden which was a 10 minute walk along endless pontoons). L brought us in very gently & quietly. 

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