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Day 7 Urk to Oude Wetering

Just as Hans had told us, the wind died down and the Ijsselmere was calm again about a force 2). It dawned sunny here at Urk today, and we got away at 06.15 determined to reach Amsterdam in the good weather.

Early morning in Urk

We had a good run to Amsterdam reaching the lock at Lelystad at 08.15. From there it was straight to Amsterdam. We got there at 11.15, so we made good time. Chugging our way through the city we looked for somewhere to stop and eat. We were hungry by this time, as we left on a cup of coffee and a biscuit each.

A final look at Urk as we left

We moored up just in the centre of Amsterdam just before a bridge, where we both had a good fry up, although our stay was cut short as we were told the bridge would be open in a few minutes, but would then not open again until 6pm. Martin rushed out to cast off, and I rushed around putting everything away (I didn’t want a repeat of the Ijsselmere saga, although that was unlikely on these tranquil canals). Another large commercial boat was in front of us, so we had to painfully follow this slow vessel all the way through Amsterdam. Much to Martin’s frustration the boat would speed up towards the bridge and then slow down as soon as it was through making us hang back before being able to go under the bridge ourselves to avoid travelling in his spoil. We finally lost the commercial boat on the other side of Amsterdam, as it turned off and left us to travel on towards the outskirts of the city.

We needed more grease for our new prop. Shaft, so we stopped for a time at a marina to purchase some, but we were conscious that we should press on, so didn’t linger there. However, e had a natural break when we reached a very low bridge. We approached, but could not find any signs of anyone operating it. Martin then noticed a post with a green push button on it. Perhaps we served ourselves here we thought. We drove up alongside and I pushed the button “Hello” came a voice from the speaker “we would like to go under the bridge please” we said, “are you commercial or sport?” “sport,” we said, “Oh I’m sorry, but you will have to wait until 6 pm for me to open it for you”. I looked at my watch, half an hour to wait. But dead on 6 pm the bridge opened and we went through. We noticed though that there was a ‘6 pm’ queue of traffic waiting either side for us to get under the bridge. I don’t think either of us have caused a queue that long before.

The traffic waiting for us at the bridge

The weather up until this point had been sunny, but clouds formed overhead and it rained and even hailed for a time. Again we had not really travelled quite as far as we would have liked today (disappointing after the good time we made from Urk to Amsterdam), so we pressed on eating our meal on the hoof as we glided through the smaller suburban areas on the edge of the city.

We passed tulip fields along the way

We finally moored at Oude Wetering outside the church after a fourteen hour day. A beer and then bed was in order. We both slept soundly, even the church bell ringing didn’t keep us awake.