Following the Meuse upstream

At this time I am at a marina in the town of Kerkdriel, in the province of Gelderland. I have celebrated having covered 1000 nm since I left Stockholm in June, by taking a bicycle tour to the historic town of Zaltbommel. The Meuse sure is a special river. Back in the Roman Empire it formed part of the northern border. Then in the bourgondian era it was the border between the French parts and the Lowlands (Dutch) parts of the area. And even later, today it still is the border between two provinces of the Netherlands, Gelderland to the north and Noord-Brabant to the south of the water. So I am actually sailing in two different regions all at once. Along its shores are a number of famous castles, fortifications and stronghold cities (now small, fortified towns). Beautiful sceneries and very quiet.
To get this far I have had to bounce around on the rivers Old Rhine, Gouwe near the city of Gouda, Hollandse IJssel, Merwede and the canalised Nord and Dorthse Kil. On these waters there was a lot of commercial traffic, I mean a lot of big ships. Now the river Meuse is small and it has 7 weirs with locks, so it does not have a strong current. Beautiful for having to motor upstream. And finally I am getting a break from all the torrential rain that has fallen. The weather is clearing up and from a bottom low of 9 degrees Celsius the other day it is up in the high 20’s again. Nice! I needed that. As I was coming up the Meuse, there are a number of air force bases, and I got to see attack helicopters training to fly right over the tree tops, sometimes it looked like they would actually fly into the tree tops. And they were practising hovering and landing right next to me. I waved to the pilots! In short, I am having so much fun and have been so busy with whatever is happening, that I haven’t had so much time to post stuff here. Isabell is performing nicely with the mast tied down, very stable and well balanced. I have gone through many bridges without them opening, which I have still to get used to. Scary in the beginning. And I have made it through two locks without any troubles for the mast sticking out. From here it is only a few miles to the next huge lock, at the power plant weir of Lith (owned by Vattenfall). From now on I need long lines and do some climbing up the lock walls, since I am going up in the landscape and each lock lifts about 3 to four meter. It all feels a bit new, but fun to learn how things work.

Author: captain

Johannes, born in 1960 in Zierikzee, The Netherlands. Owner of S/Y Isabell. Retired environmental toxicologist, now living aboard and sailing south.