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And We Have Propane

When we ordered Dirona back in 2009, we specified a propane barbecue and stove top, along with four 20-gallon (9 kg) aluminum propane tanks. Three of those tanks are stored in the cockpit locker underneath the barbecue, with a fourth in the aft port cockpit locker. We specified so many because filling propane tanks outside…

Historic Antwerp

Antwerp was already a major trading center by the 14th century, with sufficient resources to begin construction of the spectacular Cathedral of Our Lady. By the 16th century, Antwerp was the leading commercial center in Europe and home to one of continent’s most respected publishing houses, operated by Christophe Plantin. This period also saw the…

Changing Plans

After we got underway this morning from Antwerp, we learned that Belgium has closed all restaurants, bars, cafes, and night clubs. The US recently blocked anyone from the Schengen area from entering the US. Princess Cruise lines has suspended all operations for 2 months. Italy has shut down all non-essential, non-emergency services and already has…

Amsterdam to Antwerp by Canal

The Standing Mast Route runs through the Netherlands inland waterways and canals from the border with Belgium in the south to the German border in the north. It’s referred to as a standing mast or mast-up route because sailboats can travel with their masts up as no non-opening, low bridges are en route. Our 2.1m…

Antwerp Arrival

On our final day of travel from Amsterdam to Antwerp, we passed through two locks and one bridge on a 30-mile, 7.5-hour run through the river Scheldt. Antwerp is the second largest commercial port in Europe after Rotterdam and commercial traffic was heavy in the river. Most of the Port of Antwerp is behind the…

Dordrecht to Hansweert

From Dordrecht we ran 41 miles over 7 hours to Hansweert, our final stop in the Netherlands. We passed through two locks and only one bridge, and returned to saltwater for first time in four months. Pleasure craft normally can’t moor in the commercial harbour at Hansweert, but we were allowed to overnight there because…

Leiden to Dordrecht

We departed Leiden at 6:00am on a Monday morning, making a 38-mile, 8-hour run to Dordrecht and passing through 20 bridges and one lock. We got an early start because the first 5 bridges would open on-demand between 6:00 and 6:45, but were then closed for rush-hour until 9:30. The pre-dawn run was the prettiest…

Leiden

Historic Leiden is home to the oldest university in the Netherlands, established in 1575. The university achieved international prominence during the Dutch Golden Age, has produced sixteen Nobel Laureates, attracted lecturers such as Albert Einstein, and currently is ranked in the top 100 universities in the world. The city also has several excellent museums, including…

Haarlem to Leiden

The run from Haarlem to Leiden is only seventeen miles, but passes through sixteen bridges, nearly one per mile. The day started with a trip along the narrow and intimate canal through the center of Haarlem, almost close enough to touch the buildings on either side, and on past the Cruquius Pumphouse. We’d visited the…

Return to Haarlam

When we visited Haarlem last year by train, we didn’t even consider that we could bring Dirona here through the narrow inland canals with our 2.1m water draft and 9.1m mast. But a route does exist, and in mid-February we set off on a trip from Amsterdam to Antwerp via the Netherlands’ inland canal system….