New Aussie Crew

Our new shipmates, Nina and Callum, arrived! They took straight to the Dutch life style and after a safe arrival drink swung themselves on bicycles to explore Amsterdam. 

While they met a friend in town, we caught up with Dianne and John from Perth, whose boat “Dijon" among another 3 Aussie boats was moored in the same harbour. 

After another day of experiencing Amsterdam including swinging “over the edge” on the A’Dam Tower (see, Nina and Cal were put to work while cruising via the Markermeer to the Vecht. There was a lot to learn like how to flatter the captain, how to keep the boat spick and span and taking over the wheel when asked for. Callum took to the challenge with great nonchalance while Nina was a little distracted steering the Freshwater past overhanging trees while marvelling at all the beautiful homes and gardens along the river Vecht. They finally found their ideal home near Utrecht, Kasteel de Haar, and are still taking applications from servants, I believe.

We eventually had to feed our crew and they were introduced to Dutch Pancakes, cheeses, ice creams etc.

As Nina and Callum were getting too comfortable with the challenges of adjusting fenders, mooring and casting off and were no longer concentrating in locks, they were demoted to riding in the tender.

We allowed them back on board for the high visit of my brother, Thomas and Vera who had driven from Ahlen near Münster in Germany to Utrecht to see us. On the first evening they treated us all to a delicious meal at a restaurant called “Zakkendrager”, which my brother charmingly translated as “Handbag Carrier”. In reality, the Zakkendragers of Utrecht were not that refined. 

Their actual job  was to carry heavy “sacks" filled with grain, peat or coal from the barges on the canal to the storage and warehouses found all along the Old Gracht in town. Nowadays these cave- like storage places are artist studios, restaurants and bars, where from the outdoor seating one can watch small party and tour boats float by.

On the day of Ninas and Cals late night departure we all drove to" Zaanse Schans”, a charming Dutch village with everything Dutch in one place: windmills, cute houses and draw bridges, cheese factory, clog makers, weavers etc., including hundreds of tourists. 

By the way, there wasn’t an animal in Holland, whether duck, sheep, dog or cow, Callum didn’t make friends with and Nina and he embraced everything the country had to offer with great interest and enthusiasm! 

We are missing you already Nina and Cal! Thanks for spending some time with us on the Freshwater and say hi to Freshwater in Oz and all our beautiful family and friends there!

© Austin Robinson 2019