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 the nearby marina had no space for us. We very much enjoyed this location with its great view to the commercial traffic in the canal.
Below are trip highlights from February 25th, 2020. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.
Position: 51°45.03’N, 4°37.84’E
The tide has turned and we’re now running in a one-knot positive current in the Dordtse Kil instead of yesterday’s counter-current. At 1721 RPM, we’d normally be doing around 8 knots in still water.
Position: 51°42.42’N, 4°34.92’E
The Shell Moerdijk petrochemical complex just beyond the intersection of the Dordtse Kil and the Hollands Diep rivers. The facility was built in 1970 and, spread over 2 sq miles (500ha), is one of the largest chemical complexes in the Netherlands. The factories have an annual capacity of 5,000 tons (4,500 kton) and process naphtha, gas oil and LPG into chemicals for the plastics industry.
Position: 51°42.38’N, 4°34.73’E
Cooling tower at the Shell Moerdijk petrochemical complex along the Hollands Diep.
Position: 51°41.98’N, 4°27.10’E
Traditional windmill, d’Orangemolen, and modern wind turbines at the town of Willemstad. The historic town received city rights in 1585 and is known for its well-preserved fortifications.
Position: 51°42.21’N, 4°25.73’E
Modern wind turbines along the Volkerak where it joins the Hollands Diep.
Position: 51°41.62’N, 4°24.06’E
Entering the yacht chamber at the Volkerak Lock. Vessels that cannot clear the fixed 18m bridge above us must use the commercial locks to the east. The Volkerakdam, built between 1957 and 1969, is the fifth project of the Delta Works protection system put in place following the disastrous North Sea flood of 1953. The Volkerak Lock will take us out of the rivers and into the freshwater lake Volkerak.
Position: 51°39.50’N, 4°12.10’E
A Rijkswaterstaat patrol boat sped towards us as we passed through the lake Volkerak. We were expecting a boarding, but they continued on. Rijkswaterstaat is the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and their patrol boats mostly are doing traffic management.
Position: 51°39.91’N, 4°9.82’E
The sailing vessel Moustache exiting one of the two recreational boat chambers of the Krammer Locks at Phillips Dam.
Position: 51°39.90’N, 4°9.65’E
Passing through the Krammer Locks with the Rijkswaterstaat patrol boat we saw earlier. After riding through the recreational locks with us, they went over to the south side and returned to the Volkerak through the commercial locks.
Position: 51°39.92’N, 4°9.31’E
The 4.3-mile (7km) Phillips Dam, another Delta Works project, was completed in 1987 along with the Krammer Locks. We’ve passed through from the freshwater Volkerak to the saltwater Oosterschelde—it’s been four months since Dirona was last in saltwater, when we passed through the Stevinsluizen in the Afsluitdijk dam.
A couple of hailstorms passed through shortly after we moored at Hansweert.
Watching from the fly bridge as the 291-ft (89m) cargo vessel Wilma enters the Hansweert Locks. We really enjoyed watching the traffic pass through.
Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map, with the complete log of our cruise.
On the map page, clicking on a camera or text icon will display a picture and/or log entry for that location, and clicking on the smaller icons along the route will display latitude, longitude and other navigation data for that location. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.