July 30th, 2010

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Friday July 30 In Lobith on Dutch-German border

Friday, July 30th, 2010

“Glisando” is expected to arrive earlier than first expected. We are to rendez-vous here in Tolkamer/Lobith this evening around 10 p.m. I arrived here already at 9.30 a.m. figuring to be staying the night here. Last night I anchored in a bay off the river about 10 k.m. down stream. Yesterday was a bit blustery but I had the wind from behind. The current is now quite noticeable and on the last part I slowed down to about 3 1/2 knots/hour. I passed by Rhenen, Oosterbeek and Arnhem. I went under “The Bridge Too Far”, in Arnhem, where the allied forces were pushed back by the Germans in the fall of 1944. The totally flat landscape of Western Holland has now changed to rolling hills. I’m still learning the tricks of handdling the boat with the mast sticking out so far behind me. When I pulled away from the dock in Wijk bij Duurstede I did not realize that a high piling was in the way when I turned away from the dock. The top of the mast hit and I broke the base of the tricolor masthead light. It can be fixed. Then I had another battle in the locks at Amerongen. The previous lock I had been able to raft up on another boat and the couple crew handled my lines bow and stern and since I moved up with their boat did not have to worry about changing the lines to the higher wall cleats. In the second lock I was on my own and I was not prepared for the strong flow of water rushing in, pushing my bow away from the lock wall. I managed to hang on to the bitter end of the bow line with all my force but the mast end once again struck the lock wall, no harm done, but another lesson learned for a new trick.

At least on the ocean you get a little more time to figure out the new plan. Single handling is a new game on this part of the trip. And there is very little opportunity to go below for more than a minute because of the winding rivers and the traffic.

We will stop in Cologne for the Sunday and then continue to Koblenz on Monday morning, where we expect to arrive Monday evening. I will be staying on “Fleetwood” for this night and see how things go. I hope I’ll get some sleep and get used to the new way of travelling.