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Amsterdam, 28/10/2019



End of the sailing season 2019 - winter in Amsterdam



Dear friends



Begin October, we arrived at the winter berth in the marina Twellegea in Amsterdam. This concludes our trip this year, which took us from Potsdam over the Emsland to the Ruhr area and from there via Friesland to the Dutch metropolis. We reported on the first part of this journey in our newsletter dated June 23, 2019. This report follows and tells about the rest of our journey in 2019.



After our varied experiences in the Emsland, we said goodbye to Leer on 4th of June 2019 and sailed from there via the Ems and the Dortmund-Ems Canal on a direct way to the Ruhr area.

Can the Ruhr area be a destination, worth to see?

Anyone who still has pictures of the Ruhr Valley of the sixties in their heads will be delighted to see how far this metropolitan area has developed into the green and the restful.



To find out, there is nothing better than to explore the area on the left and right of the waterway by bike. Helga, our friend from Aachen, arrived in Fuestrup on a fully packed e-bike, to stay with us some days. She encouraged us to make some magnificent bike tours along the upper Ems and the Werse. In the pedestrian zone of Greven, we had a small excursion into Greek mythology, when Helga grabbed the bull (sic. Zeus) by his horns while he was kidnapping the beloved Europe (daughter of Phoenician king Agenor of Tyre).


Next day, we "conquered" the little town of Telgte, still a place of pilgrimage these days. We had visited Telgte already once, on a warm summer evening in 2016, with Rebekka and Friedrich from Versmold, where we had a delicious dinner together on the place close to the pilgrim church.


From Fuestrup we sailed over Münster, where we said goodbye to Helga, to Datteln and via the Datteln-Hamm-Kanal to Hamm in the northeast of Dortmund. The whole city of Hamm was full of movement on our arrival. This weekend, the 4th gymnastics competition of the german state North Rhine-Westphalia took place with Special Olympics NRW and a accompanying program besides the gymnastics competitions. We could profit spontaneously from this program and joined a guided city tour.


In an entertaining manner, the city guide introduced us to the beginnings of Hamm as a settlement on the Lippe and the Ahse rivers on the basis of a city model in the Gustav-Lübcke Museum. Then she took us along the bunker on the Südring to the Martin Luther district, where more than 40 works of art revive the public space. Next on our way was a view of the old town hall and of the modern building, where the Upper Court of North Rhine-Westphalia is housed. Thats where many judgments are made, which often get relevant for whole Germany. Over the marketplace we went to the Stunikenhaus, which was built by the eponymous businessman and chief of the fire brigade. In his house the upmost floor was purely functional. The floor had a 360° panorama view over the rooftops of the city and allowed to notice every unusual smoke development at once. The view of the former Isenbeck brewery and the famous neon sign with the foaming beer glass ended the tour and led us directly to an inviting place with refreshing drinks and delicious cakes.

The Gustav-Lübcke Museum in Hamm





The Martin Luther Art district in Hamm


The bunker at the Südring, one of 11 WW II bomb shelters in the cityscape of Hamm, consisting of 2 meter thick concrete walls.

The Stunikenhaus on Antonistrasse 10, protected as a monument

The neon sign with a beer glass, in which Isenbeck beer rises from below and fills up with froth over the edge.


Our shady mooring directly on the edge of the spa park of Hamm was limited to 2 x 24 hours, which is why we moved up the canal two days later and moored in the former Westphalian port at km 43.4.

From this area you can visit the Maxipark with its glass elephant and the butterfly greenhouse, you can cycle to the Sri-Kamadchi-Ampal Hindu temple in Hamm-Uentrop and you can refresh yourself by taking a bath in the channel. Toni and Gerda, our Dutch friends from the winter of 2017/18 in Potsdam, came with their ship Ottoland II to visit us and we had splendid moments together.



Heinz had skin contact with a king swallowtail (Papilio thoas) from South and Central America.

The coal washery building on the former site of the Maximilian-Hütte (coal mine), converted into an exhibition and event venue with a glass elephant's head and tail. Through this architectural artwork, the elephant became the mascot and marketing mark of the city of Hamm.


The Sri Kamadchi Ampal Temple in Hamm-Uentrop surprised us with its colorful figures. Because there was an adoration ceremony in the interior, we had to be content with an outside view.


On the quay of the former Westfalenhafen on the Datteln-Hamm canal.

Fresh salad from the nearby horticulture with Toni and Gerda (photographer) on deck of Ottoland II.



With a short term decision, Gabi, our friend from Potsdam, saddled her bike and came with bag and baggage to visit us in Henrichenburg .

Since we had seen her in Oldenburg and her parents in Varel this spring, a lot had happened and there was much to talk about and to exchange experiences.

But just as determined as she had come, after one night she said goodbye again, because at home in Potsdam there was something important to settle.

Knowing Gabi, we wouldn't be astonished, if the following surprise is already waiting behind the next corner.


Our second focus on getting to know the Ruhr area was the navigable Ruhr River, which gave its name to the entire coal and steel area around Essen. On the way from Henrichenburg to Mülheim, Ursula accompanied us for a week. She had recently completed her teacher career and stepped into retirement. Ursula is repeatedly visiting Dagens 2.

On the journey across Lake Baldeney and back to Henrichenburg, Adrian was our guest. He was for the first time on board of Dagens 2. He too is in the transition to the age of retirement, which he designed in a quite ergonomic way and step by step.



With our guests on board, we visited the lock park of Waltrop-Henrichenburg, the gasometer in Oberhausen with the exhibition "The mountain calls!", the former coal mine "Zeche Zollverein" in Essen, converted into an industrial museum, the Camera obscura with the Museum of the early days of film and cinema, housed in the former water tower of Mülheim, on the southern slope of Lake Baldeney the castle-like "Villa Hügel" of the family Krupp, former industrial pioneers in steel works, and in Dortmund's building "U" the special exhibition "A feeling of summer ..., Dutch Modernism from the Singer Laren collection".


In 1899, the German Kaiser Wilhelm II inaugurated the ship lift Henrichenburg. It raised the ships by 14 meters and worked until the year 1970. The lift incl. entrance and exit of the ships took 45 minutes.

The Gasometer Oberhausen, a former gas holder and the highest in the Ruhr area, has been transformed into an exhibition space. At our visit the successful and therefore extended special exhibition "The mountain calls!" with a 3D projection of the famous Swiss Matterhorn, was shown.

The former colliery "Zeche Zollverein", converted into an industrial museum in Essen with the lift to the production well XII. Even though the dismantling bays can no longer be visited, the guided tours through the coal-washery and the coke-making plant are very impressive.

The former water tower of Mülheim, which was converted into a museum about the early days of film and cinema. In the dome, which is set up as a camera obscura (dark chamber), the surroundings can be projected onto a table surface in real time. Provided enough sunlight, you really can see cars driving, bikers moving and persons walking without any electronic equipment in between.



On the way up the Ruhr from Mülheim over the Baldeneysee and back we were accompanied by Andreas, a retired employee of the river and shipping administration of the district government of Dusseldorf. He lived in short distance to our berth in the upper water of the Mülheim lock and was pleased to once again visit by boat the places of his professional activity in the operation and maintenance of the waterway Ruhr. On the way, he told us much about the unpredictable nature of this river, its history and the various villages on its shores.

Sailing on the Ruhr with our guide Andreas


In Mülheim we enjoyed the full attention and support of the local waterway management and lock team. Grateful for that, we said goodbye on 17th of July 2019 joining all together for a brunch aboard Dagens 2.



Visit to the Villa Hügel in Essen. The estate was from 1873 to 1945 the home of the entrepreneurial family Krupp. With its 269 rooms in the midst of a 28-hectare park overlooking Lake Baldeney, it is in no way inferior to an imperial palace of the young German Empire. Today, the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen and Halbach Foundation owns the Villa Hügel and maintains it open to the public. Inside, the baroque splendor with illustrated tapestries, white stucco ceilings and rich chandeliers is almost indistinguishable from the model in French or Prussian castles.



Once again we sailed from Henrichenburg to Hamm in the most beautiful sunshine and summer weather. On board were our Swiss friends Anita and Felix. They had come for a week and we enjoyed days full of varied activities. We wanted to show them and let them experience the beauties of this part of the Ruhr area.

One evening, opposite to our berth, there was a houseboat with lots of activity on board. There were two television cooks with camera crew, who turned a follow of the TV cooking show "Tasty on board". When it got quieter in the evening, Anita swam across the canal, got into conversation with the ship owner Heinz-Dieter and within a short time we were all invited to an aperitif on board MS "unaone". From then on, we looked out for the release date of this episode. On  September 16, 2019 the time had come: "Culinary treasures around Hamm".

Anita and Felix in the middle of the the blooming Maxipark in Hamm.


After Anita and Felix had left us, we started our journey to the winter quarters in Amsterdam. That meant again, say goodbye:


>> to Uli and Andrea on their original, self-developed residential ship MS Buchholz in Henrichenburg

>> and to Ralph and Christiane on their MS Vagabond in the Yachthaven of MBC Lünen in Henrichenburg. From both we got a lot of advice about ship facilities (Ralph) and healing herbs (Christiane). The gifted tincture against mosquito bites has often proven itself in use.



>> to Rolf and Regina on MS Melanie in the Marina Alte Fahrt Fuestrup (Dortmund-Ems-Kanal km 80)

>> and to Thomas and Sybille on MS Jessilon, also in the marina Alte Fahrt Fuestrup. The two had "kidnapped" us one evening for a dinner, all together, in the cozy restaurant "Landhaus" on Franz Felix Lake near Greven

>> and of course to the friendly and helpful harbourmasters.



In Haren we turned left from the Dortmund-Ems-Kanal into the Haren-Rüttenbrock-Kanal, at the end of which we left Germany, entered the Netherlands and had to communicate immediately in Dutch. First, our active vocabulary was still a bit halting. But gradually the cerebrum brought it back to the foreground and we made good progress.


From Ter Apel north through Stadskanaal and Veendam there are countless lifting or swinging bridges and some locks between. In order not to have to wait in front of each bridge, the ships are grouped into convoys and accompanied by a team of bridge masters and lockkeepers. This worked perfectly.

With a good eye, the lockkeepers filled the locks - called "Verlaat" on this route - until no more water surface could be seen. Some skippers had to get used to this board aboard neighborhood. But thanks to the slowness and the mutual help it was always possible.



After Veendam we turned into the A.G. Wildervanck Kanaal, encountered professional vessels of 80 and 100 meters in length, enjoyed the greater distances between the movable bridges and made good progress.


In Groningen, between the A-bridge and the Visserbrug, we found in the middle of the city a beautiful mooring at the canalside "Hooge der A". We knew it from our stay in 2012 and had hoped, it would be free.

Groningen welcomed us with sunny weather and warm nights, because .... was "Noorderzon Festival". North of the Visserbrug began the festival grounds and it seemed as if every evening Groningen made a pilgrimage thereto. We of course were with them. Between drinking and dining opportunities, abundant in numbers, there were music stages and theater tents, pick-nick meadows and toilet containers. The beer had to come out again in a civilized way. We visited a stage dedicated to Groning's dialect and songs. Thanks to the introductory comments we understood the lyrics of the track, sometimes better, sometimes worse. But that did not detract from the good mood.

We were far from the last, as we made our way home.



At our mooring we met Michael and Diny, neighbors from the house on the opposite side of the street. Michael is a successful painter, works mainly with acrylic paints and allowed us to visit his studio in the suburb of Groningen-Haren. His picture of our berth: (of course before we came to lay there).

In 1672 Groningen was besieged by the Bishop of Münster, Bernhard von Galen. Under the leadership of Carl von Rabenhaupt, the city was freed from the siege on August 28. Groningen celebrates this event annually as "Gronings Ontzet" with dragon boat races, concerts and fairs. The Dragon Boat Race and an antiquarian market took place on the canal A and on quaiside Hooge der A. So we had to release our berth in the morning. It was once again a spirit of optimism in the air. We sailed from Groningen to the province of Friesland.

Diny has an ability of an above-average empathy. Bernadette could benefit from it  in a very personal conversation with her. As a farewell from Groningen, Diny borrowed a poetry book at the newly erected antiquarian bookstall and read out a suitable poem as a dedication to our journey. Then she put the book back. Truly a spontaneous and emotional farewell.



In the Frisian Woudsend and Heeg, the first Friesland meeting of the Swiss Club of the amateurs of inland navigation took place from 4th to 6th of September 2019. As members we had already registered in spring. It was on the way to our winter harbor. The approximately 30 participants - with and without a ship - enjoyed themselves and were offered a generous amount of culinary delights, as the linked report on this event shows.


One of the competition tasks at this meeting was to tie a formidable bowline knot behind the back. Pre-exercises were allowed.


With stops in Echtenerbrug, Elburg and Huizen, where we met our friends Fons and Marian on their ship Kabbelaarsbank for a few days, we reached our winter port on 2nd of October 2019, the yacht harbor Twellegea in Amsterdam-Noord. From here we are in a few minutes in the center of Amsterdam. The Culture Winter 2019/20 may begin.


We look forward to meet all the friends in and around Amsterdam, and to welcoming the guests who come to join us for some convivial hours or eventful days.



From the 2nd of October 2019 to the 1st of April 2020 we will be with Dagens 2 at the Jachthaven Twellegea in Amsterdam and can be found here in the winter months under the address:

Heinz und Bernadette Gubler
aan boord van Dagens 2
Jachthaven Twellegea, Nauticadam
Nieuwendammerdijk 284
1023 BT Amsterdam

Our e-mail and web addresses remain unchanged:





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