Last days in the Netherlands

Commercial Barge carrying 44 full-size shipping containers
Affectionately called a BBB by us Boaties (Bloody Big Barge)

The Zuid-Willemsvaart and Wessem-Nederweert Canal took us from ’s-Hertogenbosch to Maasbracht a place where we had a few problems with our boat fixed in the past. And as if the Freshwater knew it, sure enough, things started to go wrong again!

But first, we almost regretted our choice of coming this way, because except of a few industrial barges there was not much to look at at all! However just when turning into the Wessem-N. Canal we found a nice green mooring, which means a free spot with bollards to tie up to but no electricity or other facilities. This one had forest all along and we cooled down on deck watching the sun set, which happens here at about 10:15pm in late June.

Putting the kettle on in the morning I noticed my feet getting wet. The fridge had defrosted over night. This could only mean two things, both of them expensive: either the old fridge had finally given up fighting the current heatwave or one of the batteries had gone! It wasn’t far to cruise to Maasbracht and there our fridge, connected to 240 volt, shook back into action again. We couldn’t believe that our nearly new batteries would be the cause and so we decided to call our friendly mechanic from 2 years ago, Guido Willems.

When we stopped at his shipyard the next morning we got the bad news: One of the batteries had gone! In the meantime our laptop was also playing up. The screen showed us just pretty stripes and colours and nothing else..

Anyhow, you’ve heard enough of me dramatising our small mechanical or technical problems over the past years that rarely impede our enjoyment of boating. We always very feel lucky of living this life we lead. Just to say that a new battery was ordered and we moved on to Maastricht where it was fitted by Guido a few days later. 

A Highlight for us was that my life-long friend, Mareike, was coming to visit us on the Freshwater. She put up with traffic jams on the Autobahn and 34 degree heat bringing home-made gifts and smiles. We spent a lovely few hours together, chatting about this and that, while we were thoroughly roasted on deck of the Freshwater. Thanks for visiting Mareike! Next time we park a bit closer to Remscheid and we choose a cooler day, so we can offer you more than just cold water!

The following day it cooled down a little and we recovered from our heat exhaustion by doing absolutely nothing!

 We didn’t get to do any sight-seeing this time because Just now the town is filling up with tourists who come to see one of several open air concerts André Rieu gives here in his hometown. 

if you wonder what glamorous things we did do for the next two days while waiting for the battery: 1. washed our bed sheets and towels, 2. cycled 2 kms to the Apple repair store, then 5 kms to a nautical supply store, another 3 kms from there to a hardware and back to the marina again, 3. cleaned our tender, let it dry, 4. Forgot to get Acetone to clean off glue - cycled back to the shops, 5. Had a nanna nap, 6. Glued the leaks in the tender, 7. Cycled back to shops to stock up with drinks and food - are you asleep yet????

If you are interested in Maastricht and Maasbracht you may want to look at our 2016 blog by clicking here:

© Austin Robinson 2019