Trouble in Paradise!

When we started our tour through The Netherlands, we were told: “you'll know your are in Holland, when the rain is driven horizontally at you! We just experienced such a day! The office of marine meteorology had the windspeed at 101 knots which is nearly 190km/h. 

We left Joure in sunshine looking forward to the last week and a half of cruising, when our motor started to splutter just as it had done on the previous leg. Before loosing power entirely, we found a pontoon in front of a small harbour. Unfortunately switching to another tank and fuel line had only fixed the problem temporarily. Dr. Austin diagnosed that it could only be the diesel filter. Big, black clods, usually a sign of bacteria in the fuel, had settled within and atop the filter! 

As we were contemplating the situation we got the news of a bad accident in our old home port in St. Jean de Losne. The fire affected three boats but, thank god, there was no fatality!

We were counting ourselves very lucky with our small boating problem and decided to stay put for the day!

Always having “the finger on the pulse”, Dr. Austin retrieved out of his box of greasy wonders a spare diesel filter! 

The next morning, once the filter was exchanged, the engine had it’s usual “heartbeat” back. Now at least we could cross the Tjeukemeer in mere 36 knots gusts (66.7 km/h), knowing that the following day there would be more than double that! As we followed the channel through the big lake and had the wind grabbing us from the side, the ride was rocky enough for me!

We stopped at a place called Ossenzijl, home of “Contessa” boats and battened down the hatches. There wasn’t much to do  in the wild weather, except of digging out the slow cooker and cooking a warming Persian chicken. 

In more pleasant conditions we continued on to Steenwijk. The harbour seemed deserted as more and more boaties had obviously gone into hibernation or fled to warmer climates. The town centre looked interesting but when asking for information and a map in the tourist office, neither was forthcoming. 

As a matter of fact, we were told that there was really not much to see at all! We had read in one of our books that the town had two museums, but by the time we found them they were both closed, and with the temperatures dropping drastically, we fled back to the comfort of our boat and the diesel heater!

The next day it rained cats and dogs, or should I say: cows and clogs! We were confined to our quarters playing checkers and sorting piles of maps and travel info.

One week to go before leaving the Freshwater. We are getting quite home sick and are not looking forward to more sorting, packing and cleaning before we leave! But we still kept one Dutch gem to last! 

© Austin Robinson 2019