Our Trip from Haarlem to Nederwaard


It all went very well untillllllllll.

We discovered she was making a lot more water than we expected. The bilge pump working we decided to move on to get as close as possible.


We had some bridges on route but being so low, we could take most of them without waiting for the bridge to open.
Some hairy moments when the bridge waiter said something else than the lights, which we will never do again we look at the light.


We moved onto the Noord, not just a big river also big boats with big wash.
The boat was like a bouncing ball and leaking, safe habour reached, not our home mooring.
The repair started the old fashion way, pushing jute into the caps to seal the planks of the  hull. An automatic bilge pump was installed with more safety equipment, a lifejacket is no luxury on the rivers.


A week later we set of again towards our mooring. The sad thing is that they closed a lock in Alblasserdam which means you need to cruise all around. A cruise with non closed lock would have taken 1 hour now it took 6 hours.


A small shortcut just past Hendrick ido Ambacht take you away from the big boats and their waves. Natuur is coming back alive here which was once an industrial area which is now in decline.


We came past my home town Dordrecht right by the 3 rivers point we crossed to the other site, to go east onto the Beneden Merwede.


Past the entrance of the BiesBosch which we will do one day, only this time we went on to go into the Peulen Sluis which would bring us on the small river De Giessen.


The lock goes right under the high way A15 but is no biggy for us after the canals in the UK, where we had to do all the work ourselves. The lock-keeper has a camera and see you coming, you need to keep an eye on the time.
After the Peulen sluis we phoned the next lock keeper and they stayed open a bit longer for us.


The still waters made it pleasant cruising in the Albasserwaard.


The perfect Mayday with flowering Hawthorn or better called Maythorn.


On route we made some note of brilliant moorings, like this one near a fantastic windmill, how could you miss it.


The aim of the boat is to find stillness to create special photos and to reload our own energy batteries.
Holland is a very busy place with fantastic waterways and the inner waterways were we are living give pure tranquility.

We are moored here by the white mill where the big job has started of restoration of  the Juni. In between the work we disappear gently to some away mooring to wander around.
Perhaps the woodwork on the boat will bring in more money than the wooden sculptures. One thing is for sure one day she will be a shining beauty, now it looks like a patch work of wood-rot.



Number 3

Our wandering has taken a different perspectief. The years on the Narrowboat Wanderlust 1 made us realise the beauty of slow motion. A narrowboat can only cruise at the speed of maximal 4 miles an hour.
So Wanderlust 2 went to a new owner, it was too fast for us (80 kilometres an hour).
Yep, Wanderlust 3 is in the planning.

Marina Overwaard Kinderdijk

The future Marina


We live now in a water rich area in the middle of the big rivers of Holland.
Boats need to be here.
Big, small, they all have their own function in this area.


working in a flood forest

simple working


We already picked our first mooring spot on route, a ‘flood forest’. Once upon a time you could find lots of ‘flood forest’ all over this area. Slowly but certainly they are bringing them back and appreciating them forests.
It is wet and swampy and at times the forest has wet feet, the trees don’t care, even drive in it.
People make still a simple living in these forest by maintaining the forest with cutting, pruning, coppicing the trees.
The aim these days is to increase wildlife habitats.


Bird Collage

Bird oasis


The birds in the area sure appreciate the efforts made. The above photos are made on a spring Sunday. Many of the birds were just coming back and the sky was filled with them. The camera in hand is perfect for macro photos but not so good for bird photos, still manage to get some of them clear enough.
They all are water birds just like DabeArtists. While seeing these birds, the decision was made to have a little sailing boat to cruise amidst the birdies.
We have seen some which we really like, so one day we will have a float again. The windows will be filled with some of our art as always. Perhaps next year we attend some water festivals with our art.
We are hoping for one of the old Dutch sailing boats like a Schouw well we keep our fingers crossed.


Klein Hoefblad bloem, Coltsfoot flower

Spring is here

have a wonderful spring




bootjes kijken


We are at the big rivers from Holland, something very different than the canals of the UK. While looking over the rivers at the new boats old memories pass by. After a dig in the old photo books i found pictures of how it once was, it was hard work and bitter work.

ijs breken

slowly but certainly

Many boats didn’t have an engine they would get towed by a tug over the rivers. When the rivers were frozen, all boats were towed by an icebreaker. Here they go under the bridge at Zwijndrecht.

My father, mother, uncles and aunts were on the rivers, it was a special life. You lived and worked on the boat, on the back of the boat was the home of the skipper and family and on the front was the home of the matroos. Some had no matroos there the family worked, meaning often that wife and husband worked as a team. Us children where on the boat until we reached school age than the authorities came and took the kids into a special intern school. These schippersinternaat where not always that wonderful and my mum had some bad experience, so our kids went with my mum on the land. Yet every school holiday we went on the boat and many weekends as well.

Alvracht 3

Alvracht 3

The Alvracht 3 was the first boat my father was schipper on i can remember it well. Most of my memories were from the Alvracht 15. One of the first boats with a double engine and double propeller. We were fast but so went the time on the rivers first the boats without an engine disappeared than the more smaller boats. The time for the ‘particulier’  (private owned boats) became hard, jobs were taken by the companies. The Alvracht was one of them companies they owned the boats but the families would stay on the boats, it worked the same as the particulier.

Alvracht 15

Alvracht 15 around 1952 on the Rhine by Lorelei

Not anymore at the end of my fathers career we no longer could stay on the boat in our holidays and that broke our hearts. As boaters you had to work through the nights to make the deadline and them deadlines became closer and closer meaning you had to cruise through the nights it became a 24 hour job. The competition became hard when more and more companies moved in.


modern times

The duwbakken came in, these are boats ( square ugly tanks) pushed by a boat again a square thing with very powerful engines. The Alvracht 15 worked for a short time as a push boat the front would fit into an other boat making her capacity double, however this did not last long. The old girl is now long gone but my memories will stay.

These days you see big boats very big boats on the rivers many loaded with the containers as the market moved on. They work continu dienst (continuous) 24 hours 7 days one shift sleeps the other works, no family on board anymore. Yet it pleases me to tell that the particulier did survive and there are still smaller boats on the rivers going to places that the larger boats can not get to. They still work as a family team while one sleeps the other works. The woman are equal different yes but equal their work was just as much respected as that of a man, they have to, the work can not be done without the woman. They earn the money together making them compatible and their earnings go further as their work is their home, thinking about the housing market.



There are still boats on the rivers the size of the Alvracht 15. When i see them going pass i remember all the good times all them moments but most of all the way of life. This way of life was not always respected but that is a story for an other time, for now i am back at the rivers. I end here with a poem which i wrote for my parents when they were 40 years married they gave me many good memories on the boats.

Herinnering aan puur geluk

Het geklots van water wordt even verstoort door geroep

de kooi is klein, maar warm, maar zo veilig

De stilte wordt weg gevaagd door zwaar geronk

de motor is gestart

langzaam gaat het zwaar gebrom over in een eentonig gerommel

Als je dan je hoofd tegen de hout muur houd, trilt heel je lichaam mee op het gerommel

je stem verandert in een vreemd getril

Kort erna het geplof van touwen

de motor klinkt zwaar voor de eerste afzet

de schroeven verschuren het water

je hoort het roer draaien op de roef

door het raam zie je de balken van de bolders overgaan in de gevel kade

het geklots wordt nu harder en de motor komt weer tot rustig gerommel

de wal beweegt langzaam aan je voorbij



around 1948

long time ago