Hot days with wonderful company

We liked the picturesque Vecht so much that we decided to cruise it again with my brother Thomas and sister-in-law Vera.

They stepped onto the Freshwater laden with bed linen, towels, water, wine and Vera’s extraordinary delicious home-made jam.

As the long lasting heatwave came to a crescendo we made our way down the Vecht from Maarssen to Weesp. There were even more boats around than last time we were here. The extreme heat had drawn city dwellers to the water in droves. Kids were being dragged behind boats in blow-up biscuits, half-clad ladies were sunbathing on the bows and teenagers daringly jumped from bridges and pontoons. It was so hot that even the cows abandoned their paddocks and joined into the fun.

Thomas and Vera were astonishingly resilient and kept us all well hydrated. 

On the second day with our new crew we travelled once more to Muiden and entered the lock leading into the Ijsselmeer. The water level in the lock only rises by about 10 cms and offers little excitement. As a matter of fact, all the locks in this country are so tame - you might as well call them “doors”!

Even Thomas’ first go of sailing the Freshwater passed uneventfully. He had no problem steering safely around bends, swimming ducks and kids, buoys and boats.

The only incidents interfering with our relaxation were, when a swarm of midges in 'biblical proportions' (of which we had been warned by Richard on the “Yalli”) settled on our boat half way into the Ijsselmeer and on return to port, when Austin squeezed into a mooring spot with no more than millimetres to spare!

On our way back upstream we stopped once more in Vreeland and spent the afternoon trying to keep cool with damp towels, dips into the water, ice cream and lots of water. 

Two young Dutch boys approached us quite politely, 'would they be allowed to jump into the water from our boat?' After a cautious first attempt from the gangway they then progressed to using the top deck as a diving platform. We watched their acrobatic jumps and smiled about their thrill of: “this is better than jumping from the bridge!”

As we had several reasons to celebrate, for one Vera and Thomas’ impending 40th wedding anniversary, we booked into the Michelin Star restaurant De Nederlanden and enjoyed a beautiful dinner. To Austin’s delight after a Peach Melba made from a white chocolate peach filled with mousse and served with peach sorbet, the kitchen presented us with a second dessert of a coconut soufflé over lavender ice cream.

We slept well that night and were only woken by the forecasted climate change in the early morning. Cherishing the cool breeze after some much needed showers we returned to Maarssen and said farewell for now to Thomas and Vera until we see them again in Germany later this year.

© Austin Robinson 2019