Night convoy through Amsterdam city center and going south

We are going to sail the staande mast route during the night. Announcement of our intent to join was necessary but not possible. Our Sixhaven neighbors decided to join us on the same route. We get ready and leave the dock at 22:30 hours. It’s a full moon. Clear skies and still warm. On the way to the convoy starting point in the old Westerkanaal sluice we picked up Armin, who had been working until 22:00, at Amsterdam CS. Seven other boats are waiting for the event. My sister Corine and Armin sit and eat crackers and cheese while the captain takes a nap. At midnight we are notified that the first bridge will open at 01:35. After sleeping a bit we get on our way. Bridge after bridge show us the green light and we’re moving forward swiftly. The lights on the water surface and the boats around are beautiful. At 03:15 we reach the lake Nieuwe meer, and are out of the city center. After another fifteen minutes we come to the bridges across the main highway and railroad tracks. It’s not opening until 05:00. We go to sleep with the radio on to listen when we’re back on track. At five minutes to five o’clock we get the green light again. Armin and I drive the boat until we get to a lake, Westeinderplassen. We drop anchor in 0.5 m water, leeward of a park-like patch of land, and go to sleep.

After we wake up at 10 am, eat breakfast and get going to the city of Leiden. It’s raining and we are pretty much by ourselves as we putter along. The bridges open quickly and efficiently. We’re in Leiden before short. The electronic signs at the bridge into the center tell us the harbours are full. We find a small marina at Waardeiland. Here we leave Isabell and go into town. It’s been great.

Author: captain

Johannes, born in 1960 at Zierikzee, The Netherlands, and living in Nacka, Sweden. Owner of S/Y Isabell.

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