We collected “Rolling Swiss II” on the Markermeer, near Amsterdam. Initially, it had been planned that we would meet the boat at Sixhaven in the heart of Amsterdam- but (unforunately for us!) there was a big SAIL 2010 event in the city that weekend and all the berths were occupied.
After crossing the Markermeer we entered through a lock into the small river of Vecht. It wasn’t long before we passed under our first very low bridge. We detached the SSB-Antenna and hinged down the VHF antennas and made it under the bridge by a centimetre! We were very happy not to have to fold down the whole mast!
We enjoyed the picturesque river with all its nice houses along the banks.
Our cruise brought us through the Dutch canals to Rotterdam, where we had to have our first oil change of motors and gears.
It’s crazy how fast “Rolling Swiss II” has clocked up her first 320 hours of operation! In just a few months, she has done 320 hours and covered hundreds of miles!!
While the weather was rainy and windy, we spent several days on the canals in the Netherlandic Rheindelta before cruising up the river Schelde to Antwerp.
After spending a night near Gent in Belgium we docked early enough in Brugge to spend the evening visting this famous and charming town. Even as Swiss people, we enjoyed the Belgian chocolate!
The next day we sailed on the canals to Oostende. With perfect timing for us, the weather improved and the winds were calming down . . . so we were able to cross the Channel next day with beautiful sunshine, slow winds, wonderful sights and only about 1 to 1.5m high waves. It was a great trip!
The heavy traffic in the Channel is really something! From time to time we ran “Rolling Swiss II” at higher speeds to move out of the the way of cargo ships in good time. Our first stop in the UK was Ramsgate, where we wound our watches back on hour and used the extra time to a good drink to celebrate our arrival!
Over the next few days, we cruised up the river Thames, passed the Thames barrier and refueled our tanks near the London landmark: Tower Bridge.
We also passed by the Tower of London, the City and the Houses of Parliament as “Rolling Swiss II” became a City Trader for the day!
Marc Pingoud, CCS, September 2010
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