Here and on our website ’t Majeur we tell about our live aboard and the adventures to be as we barge trough Europe.

For a Barge holidays for a few days on board see the web site

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Saturday, 25 September 2010


We travel in a snail's pace since we are still on the Hollandse IJssel and so untill now have not decided wich route to follow to Haarlem.
From Montfoort are we went to Oudewater, a distance of only 8.5 km that took us about 2,5 hours. The Hollandse IJssel, especially that part, is very narrow and because we are big and therefore move much water we can go only very slowly to ensure that we don't get "unmanageable" because there is not enough water under the keel.
 That's no problem because you can control it,  much more annoying is oncoming traffic that does not move to the side and expect us to swerve to the side so far that it;s sometimeswe have that the tricky to get back to the center, especially rental boats are a nuisance.

In Oudewater we stayed until after the weekend, Michel went to Amsterdam for a day and we enjoyed the Port Days  of Oudewater,  much noise and when it grew dark and an illuminated procession of decorated boats that were sailing past us.

When walking in the neighborhood I saw the littledredge boat, I thought it was a goodsystem.
 A small boat with a huge pipe behind it. the booat was kept in the middle of the ditch  with two lines to trees on the side and the skipper pulled his boat forward. It was slow but it worked

In Oudewater we also found the perfect lamp above the table in the wheelhouse. 
Waaiersluis near Gouda
 Monday morning we left Oudewater with the intention at least get to Gouda. To get there we need  to pass the Waaiersluis, the transition of the channeled Hollandse IJssel, which we navigate  now to the Hollandse IJssel, the tidal river.
The lock is not big enough for us, just 24.5 meters,  but 4 times a day but the water level is equal on both sides and  all doors can be opened at the same time for 10 minutes to make  passage possible.
We had called and understood that we could pass at 13.00 hours. That was a mistake, we had to wait a couple hours.
Lock and ship in the morning
The place is so beautiful and a only a short biking distance from the center of Gouda, so we are still here and spent our time working on the wheelhouse
The lock was bild around 1850 and the special thing is that there is a double set of doors and the doors, through an ingenious system can be opened against the current.

 Autumn is coming now, the leaves change color and the morning mist hangs over the water, good for pretty pictures.

 After another visit to Amsterdam we leave here Tuesday, and than have to determine the route.

I forgot to report on developments in the vegetable garden, which was/is no easy task! The first seeds hardly grew since the combination of sun and wind is too intense. The earth dried out to much, despite my faithfull watering. I made a sort of wind screen around it, put in some new seeds and some small plants (otherwise it becomes too frustrating). Now  that it gets much colder at night and also occasionally we heavy rain we made a kind of greenhouse which  can be opened during the day and closed at nicht, it keeps me busy. Now the lettuce grows, the radishes are doing well and I'm  learning. Next year with the greenhouse I can do some early sowing.
All the flowers and the garden get a lot of, positive, comments  from passers by, both on the water and on the side.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010


It is been outrageous long ago since I've updated the blog and I will now try to make up. It was really caused by poor internet, but also because we have been very busy, yes you can be very busy even if you lead a life like ours!
Many visitors, very nice, we made several day trips, beautiful, went ourselfs for a few days to France, something different, and we have done no work on the boat, so that remains to be done!

The Mill in Dieden
After we left Nijmegen we stayed a week in the little village of Batenburg on the Maas (Meuse), our friends live in a beautifully restored mill just opposite in Dieden. With a little footferry we could cross up and down for visits. 

From there we moved on a little to Alphen a/d Maas, new scenery but still close enough for visits.
We moored ther on a pontoon, the ship that had it for a permanent place was on holiday. When they came back it turned out that they were the ones that moored alongside us in Doesburg ( see blog Doesburg)

beautiful views and skys

We were moored in a big sandpit and had a beautiful vieuw over the lake and the Maas behind it.
We had friends and family who visited us and I payed a visit to the model gardens of Apeltern. They are beautiful and you get great ideas, though of little use in a square meter garden.
Because we liked it there and we were sheltered during the few days that the weather was very bad and we had a beautiful setting for skating, barge daytrips and cycling during the days that the weather was fine we stayed there until we left Saturday, August 28.
The trip to Arkel took a long day sailing. Usuely we  do no more than 4-5 hours a day, which we think is long enough. That day the weather wasn't very nice and we passed no enticing places to stay, so we continued.
The plan was to stay for a few days in Woudrichem, because it is such a beautiful town, but the mooring fees that they charge are so excessive that we have passed it and crossed the Waal, strong winds and waves but thankfully just a short bit and then through Gorinchem and on to the Linge.
Only just
the pole to measure
 To get there we had to pass under a bridge that, accourding to the almanac, was just high enough. We have a small flag pole on the very forefront of which the upper part by a bending spring is connected to the lower part. The height of the pole is 10cm higher than the rear deck of the ship. So we knew that if it the pole does not bend the rest of the barge can pass underneath. This was until that time theory so now was the hour of truth. Slowly we crept under the bridge, the pole went well, with little slack, but it fit. With pinched buttocks and ready to kick back, we went further and now we know that the theory stands correct in practice.

In Arkel also we had a busy social life with lots of fun and visitors.
It is obvious that we are away from the north, the distance to get to us is more manageable for many :-).

 We ourselves went a couple of days to friends in their house in Normandy. While the boys  have felled trees and did other heavy work, the girls have been to Lille. We have talked about going  to the big annual flea market for years but always something came in between, but now we really did go, full of anticipation.
It was very big, noisy, busy, expensive, and basically everything 'to', but a fun time we had. The next day we went to the annual flea market in the nearby village and we found little treasures for a good price  and there was not much noise and there were not many people and ...... we enoyed it so much more, am I getting old ??????

the Linge
even the ducks like the quiet Linge
From Arkel we made several daytrips, with an without visitors,  it is a peaceful, beautiful and tranquille river and countryside.  We did not go up to Geldermalsen, there we would have had to turn anyway but Michel moored 't Majeur on the jettie in Leerdam, a true piece of steering especially since he had to go back again without turning, we had a lot of attention from all the yachts moored there.
for sale

We liked it so much that we even inquierd with a state agent about a plot for sale that we had seen near Heukelum. It had no building permission but would have been a great place for winter mooring. Unfortunaly 15m was the maximum lenght to more there, tant pis

Yet there came a time when it began to itch again for both of us so we departed from Arkel, September the 12th,

from Vianen you can go several directions
Arkel to Nieuwegein
Through the Merwede Canal on Sunday, nice and quiet because most of the big boys are moored for the weekend, we went north. 
This was another good stretch, we continue to rejoice on the Dutch waterways.
We passed the lock in Vianen and crossed the Lek river to continue the Merwedekanaal to  Nieuwegein.
From the Merwedekanaal you turn 270degrees to the Hollandse IJssel through the very, very narrow Doorlslagsluis (which fortunately is open) and exists of three parts that are not in line. In no time there were a lot of people, especially men, on the side who wanted to see where this went wrong, but it didn't.  Michel even got compliments from the shorepublic.
Meanwhile, we had again done more hours than planned and wanted to more there, as  the ANWB card indicated was possible. It was clear however that it was no longer the case but we moored for one night anyway (illegally) almost in front of the St. Antonius Hospital, very special.

hurry, hurry
The next day we continued on the Hollandse IJssel. First you sail through the city and then through beautiful  countryside

This water is even smaller than the Linge and sailing has to be very slow but the smaller yachts always are in a hurry and want to overtake us as soon as possible, they do not seem to realize that they have to wait again till we reache the next bridge.

 We are now in Montfoort and it has rained cats and dogs all day, good wheater to update a blog. Tomorrow we bike to Utrecht to buy our special Espresso Coffee, we can get it only there. For us it is also useful to be nearer the Randstad. We want to stay a few days in Oudewater, the next village and then continue through Gouda to Haarlem.
the red line is a possible route to Haarlem but from the yellow sign on all the green line are alternative routes
From just north of Gouda, we can choose from different routes to get to Haarlem, we have not decided what to do, more on that the next blog.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Internet troubles

Because of troubles with our internet connection I have not posted new blogs recently.
We are working on it and hope to have stronger internet as of next week.
Keep an eye on this blog