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Kudelstaart, 19/10/2020



Arrival in Kudelstaart, our winter location 2020 / 21





Dear friends

After a varied 2020 sailing season, we have arrived in Kudelstaart, our winter location 2020/21. Some readers of our reports may remember: we are wintering in the same port we stayed 10 years ago after taking over the boat. We spent the winters 2010/11 and 2011/12 here. Geographically, this closes a circle of journeys through navigable European countries. But it is not the end of our voyage of discovery, although we are already thinking about how it could go on in the foreseeable future.

But first back to our experiences in summer 2020. We consider ourselves lucky that, despite taking into account the Corona measures in the Netherlands, we did not have to endure any restrictions on freedom of movement on water and on land. The most ingenious sentence in the Dutch protective measures is: "Getting a fresh nose is allowed at any time." Walking, hiking, cycling without any mileage or time limit was therefore our daily delight. Navigation was not restricted for pleasure craft either. Only the toilet and shower facilities in the ports were closed. That was no problem for us with full sanitary equipment on board. The much stricter restrictions or obstructions in the surrounding countries of France, Belgium and Germany promoted our decision to spend this summer and the following winter in Dutch waters. Below is our annual tour.


Wonderful sailing experiences

Immediately after our departure from the Twellegea marina in Amsterdam-Noord, the crossing of the IJ and the east passage through the city of Amsterdam awaited us. The friendly words of a morning tai chi gymnast at the Rapenburg lock accompanied us on our journey south on the Amstel. Quite a few places seemed familiar to us from previous bike rides or walks, right up to Uithorn and the Tollhuis lock east of Kudelstaart.

Old memories reappeared when we reached the city harbour in Gouda or approached the Wijnhaven of Dordrecht on the Noord. River and canal alternated, but always offered a luxuriously wide fairway, which also allowed to encounter large cargo or passenger ships without slowing down.


Spontaneous meetings

Being out and about on a ship always offers the opportunity for surprising encounters.


When we waited for the Empel lock to open at 's Hertogenbosch in the Maximakanal, René and Toos suddenly appeared on their bicycles, strongly waving with their arms. They had done the interior work on our ship eleven years ago and then had sold it to us. Pure joy in seeing them again and a short chat over the railing until the lock opened its gates and we sailed on. Just as by chance, they dropped in for a coffee stop on our ship's terrace in Haarlem in September.


A car with a Bernese licence plate was parked on Maasbracht's market square, which immediately piqued our curiosity. We didn't have to wait long when the owners came back from shopping. We addressed them and found out that Ulrich and Hedwig were moored with their ship in the Van der Laan marina for a few days. Of course, a cosy drink on board of our ship followed and it turned out that we knew them for a long time, because they ran the bakery in Zollikofen under the name "Ueli dr Beck", where we regularly bought our bread at that time.



To Heinz's big surprise, on June 22nd, Helga from Herenlaak and Rosmarie and Rinze Marten from Haarlem came for his 70th birthday to our ship, which was ready to be lifted out of the water by means of a floating dock in Tinnemans' shipyard. A vitello tonnato and an apple pie from Bernadette's magic kitchen decorated the festival with culinary delights.

At the shipyard in Maasbracht we got to know Catherine and Roland on their new ship Caro. We agreed to meet again in Maastricht in July. There we experienced some days together, vivified by five dogs. On extended dog walks and with shared meals alternating on board our ships, countless tips and hints, experiences and solutions flowed back and forth that could simplify further nautical trips. In their company, we also celebrated August 1st, our Swiss national holiday - completely free of bangs and rockets, but with culinary fireworks.

In Tilburg on the quay of Piushafen, Michel and Lelia announced their interest in our ship. We invited them to take a look around and have a drink. In return, they showed us their Bed & Breakfast-Hotel. Lelia comes from Romania and is a professional cook. She served us small cabbage rolls with varying fillings as a Romanian specialty. These delicacies are very dangerous because you always want another one. During the meal, Lelia told us a lot about her native Romania. We had to admit that besides Dracula, Carpathians and Ceausescu we knew so little about this diverse country. Unfortunately, apart from the Danube, there are hardly any navigable waters, so our ship is not exactly a suitable means of transport there.

As soon as we had moored in the marina "De Rotterdamsche Admiraliteit", Helga from Herenlaak had spotted us with the "MarineTraffic" app. That same evening, she and her friend Leo were standing at the edge of the quay next to our ship. We agreed to meet for the following day for breakfast and for a trip to Hoek van Holland, where you can see the large vessels coming from sea, entering the port of Rotterdam. We had a lot of wind in our hair and were happy to have a little lunch in the sheltered restaurant "Vis Paleis" after a short walk, barefoot on the beach.

On their ship "Soeticheyt", which suddenly made our Dagens 2 appear small, Aad and Florence moored behind us in the Wijnhaven in Dordrecht. We did not hesitate to accept their friendly invitation to have a look at the inside of their ship and to enjoy a generous evening drink after the tour. They came from Hellevoetsluis, a place completely unknown to us. It shouldn't stay that way any longer.

That is why they invited us to make a trip thereto and be guests in their port. Said and done.

A few days later we were warmly welcomed in Hellevoetsluis. Florence threw a rich meal together on the table with tasty Persian specialties. The stories about her former home in the Middle East carried us up and away in a world that we don't know at all or only get information from the media as a caricature.

As a counterpart to this, Aad told us about the historical naval base Hellevoetsluis and about the changes in the watercourses in this area up to and including the barrage, which today separates the Haringvliet from the North Sea and regulates the water balance towards the interior. The next day we visited the barrage and the Goereese sea lock by bike. Grateful for their hospitality, we invited them both on board our Dagens 2 to a rich, let's say typical Swiss vegetable gratin with salads from Bernadette's kitchen, before we said goodbye the next morning.

A busy stay in the shipyard

In June we had an appointment in Maasbracht at the shipyard Tinnemans Floating Solutions.

There, as planned on June 2nd, 2020, the firm Tom Logisch from Kleinmachnow near Berlin installed a small biological wastewater treatment plant "enteron50" in our ship's bow. Since then we sail cleanly over the water and our so-called "black water" leaves our ship cleaned in bathing water quality. This releases us from aligning our travel plans with where we can find the next functioning pump-out station for faecal wastewater. Not a cheap investment, but one that offers noticeably more freedom in sailing and relaxed berthing. Since then, the system has been running fully automatically and without any breakdowns. No chemicals are used, and the daily power consumption is less than a 50 Watt light bulb, which our solar cells can easily provide.

We used our stay in the shipyard at Tinnemans Floating Solutions for a number of additional maintenance work on the ship and the engine, all of which were carried out to our satisfaction by the end of the month:

  • Periodic engine service
  • Underwater hull protective paint
  • new valve for cooling water supply
  • Check the clearance on the screw axis
  • new top ball on the flagpole
  • Forced ventilation from the engine compartment
  • Electric drive for dinghy
  • Repair interrupter in the supply pipe for diesel oil
  • Control of AIS settings
  • Periodic test of fire extinguishers and life jackets.

On the way we visited friends from our 2011 / 12 round trip

In Maasbracht we visited Marie-Louise, who still runs the wool shop 't wolheukske on Maasbracht market square and where Bernadette equipped herself with enough balls of wool to knit Heinz a warm sweater for the coming winter.

Leni and her adult great son Lucien live in Maastricht. They came on board Dagens 2 for coffee in their old freshness as they were, when we visited the port of 't Bassin in 2012. The next day we met in the Hotel "Beez" at Boschstraat 104-106, where Lucien works as a caretaker and bartender. The lunch salad there on the terrace was a hit.

Harbour master Nanni with her cheerful parents Jan and Paula also came on board in Maastricht for an evening lunch. Like 8 years ago, we talked in an exciting exchange of ideas and forgot the time. But the evening dawned and called for a breakup.

After selling their historic barge "Het Wapen van Arum", Marijke and Jacq moved to Weert in a house directly on the canal. From our mooring in Panheel near Maasbracht we made a day trip with our ship and moored right in front of their front door. The happy reunion was followed by a cheerful coffee session on our ship terrace. Also present  were Erich and Alexandra, who had come from Switzerland to visit us for a few days.

One morning in Haarlem, the motor sail ship Asmara lay on the opposite bank of the Spaarne. It looked familiar to us. Right, it was Peter who had stopped here for one night on his way back to Leiden, coming from a north tour via Helgoland and Friesland. After a short SMS exchange, he joined us on board for a coffee and told us about his travel experiences over the past 8 years. Of course, there is still a lot to tell. That is why we agreed to meet again during our winter stay in Kudelstaart.

Travelling guests on board

In compliance with the Corona rules of conduct, we succeeded on our trips in having happy guests on board.

During our stay in Panheel, Erich and Alexandra visited us. They had come from Switzerland by car for a few vacation days. Together we visited the Hergé Museum in Brussels, took the boat to Weert and back, looked for plants and pots for their new apartment in Leurs garden center in Venlo and tried out the newly purchased electric motor for the dinghy. In between we enjoyed lots of interesting conversations, funny games and the pampering program from Bernadette's kitchen.

Helga and her friend Leo assisted us on our trip from Maastricht to Maasbracht. They had taken their bicycles on board and could comfortably cycle home to nearby Herenlaak in the evening. We had already visited them there at the end of June on a bike tour and were invited to a rich lunch and a nice walk in this relaxing oasis on the non-canalised Meuse.

Hannes visited us in Tilburg and sailed with us in three days through the Biesbosch and over Werkendam to Dordrecht. On our way we celebrated with Hannes our ten-year living on board of Dagens 2 on August 18th.

When we went by train to pick up Hannes' car he had left behind in Tilburg, we visited two great museums together. The museum for contemporary art "De Pont", established in a former wool spinning mill and the Textile museum, installed in a converted, former weaving mill. Two must-see highlights of a visit to Tilburg.

From Leiden, Rinze Marten and Rosmarie sailed with us for two days. They were happy to enter their hometown of Haarlem for the first time on the waterway. Once again, Petrus had accompanied us benevolently and gave us warm hours on board. He allowed us to see the Bavo church tower, the landmark of Haarlem, from afar.

Together with them we enjoyed the rest of September in Haarlem with a varied program of concerts, theatre, museum visits, games and meals together.

A special nautical experience

In the area of the Meuse and Rhine estuaries with their various interconnected arms, the river water has reached sea level and is influenced by ebb and flow. This means that the current in the river pushes inland at high tide and flows back out into the sea at low tide. We have already experienced this cycle of a little more than 6 hours on the Scheldt in Antwerp up to Ghent and on the Weser in Bremen. The Elbe has a tidal rise in Hamburg too. You can use this movement to your own profit and save fuel. However, if you want to moor in this area, a floating jetty is practical. It rises and falls with the water level and the ship's mooring lines remain fixed. In Rotterdam, the planned berth at the floating jetty in the marina "De Rotterdamsche Admiraliteit" was not yet free when we arrived. Therefore, we had to tie up at the concrete quay wall. So for the first time without a floating pontoon. The solution lies in long lines.

Either the ship hangs in a long stern line and a long fore spring, or when the current turns in a long bow line and a long aft spring. If the bow and stern lines are attached to the outer edge of the ship opposite the quay, they pull the ship evenly against the quay wall. Moored in that way, Dagens 2 raised 2.4 meters up and down in the rhythm of the tides with no incident.

Always something to do on board of a ship

When time allows and no other activities are on the program, we care about the physical well-being of our ship. Sand off a bit of rust here, clean and re-paint a few fields between the ribs. After 10 years usage, the floor of the rear terrace had to be repainted with white coating, where fire-hardened silver sand was mixed in to prevent slipping. The felt layer on the rubbing wood required gluing or renewal. A front window had to be overhauled. Once again, some water had evaporated from the heating circuit and had to be refilled, because the heat exchanger for the hot water would otherwise not work.

A dripping tap on the sink in the bathroom could not be sealed and had to be replaced. The bathing ladder was a bit short for our freeboard and could be extended with bars and step. Now we can comfortably get into the water and climb out again.

There is always something to do on board of a ship. Every now and then curious landlubbers ask us whether life on board alone for us two wouldn't be boring.



With kind regards

(Our latest news - unfortunately only in German - can be found on "Aktuelles auf Blogspot")

October 4th, 2020 on board of Dagens 2 in marina Kudelstaart


From October 2nd, 2020 to April 1st, 2021 Dagens 2 will be moored in the marina in Kudelstaart where we can be found in the winter months at the address:

Heinz and Bernadette Gubler
aan boord van Dagens 2
Jachthaven Kudelstaart
Kudelstaartseweg 226
1433 GR Kudelstaart

Our email and web addresses remain unchanged:



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