Leiden to Dordrecht


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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 of the entire trip, along intimate, narrow canals with building lights reflected in still waters.

At Julianasluizen, we exited the interior canals and passed into the river system, where commercial traffic increased considerably. We continued on to just south of Dordrecht, were we moored for the night at a recreational berth within a commercial barge harbour that was basically like a highway truck stop for commercial barges. We loved the spot, with its view to the passing traffic in the adjacent main waterway.

Below are trip highlights from February 24th, 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.

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Schrijversbrug
Schrijversbrug opening for us exactly at 6am. The next five bridges are open between 6:00 and 6:45, then closed for rush-hour until 9:30. We’re getting an early start in the hopes that we can get through them all and not be delayed for a couple of hours.
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Sumatrabrug
Our forward floodlight illuminating Sumatrabrug in the distance as we return out Oude Rijn after passing through Schrijversbrug.
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Leiderdorpsebrug
Leiderdorpsebrug opening for us at 6:14 on a beautifully calm morning. Three bridges down, and a half-hour to do the next two before they close at 6:45m for rush hour.
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Rhijnvreugdbrug
Rhijnvreugdbrug opening at 6:18am. Only one bridge left, but it’s three miles away and we need to be there by 6:44am, so it will be close.
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Koudekerksebrug
Green light to pass through Koudekerksebrug at 6:44am. We made it just before the 6:45am deadline.
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Maximabrug
The next test was whether our information was correct and Maximabrug really wasn’t closed for rush-hour. We arrived at 7:04am and it opened quickly.
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Albert Schweitzerbrug
Red and green light as Albert Schweitzerbrug prepares to open at 7:16am.
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Kon. Julianabrug
Light rain falling as Julianabrug opens for us along the Hoge Zijde.
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Rijnplein
Sleepy Rijnplein shopping square at 7:30am.
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Alphensebrug
Passing through Alphensebrug in the town of Alphen aan den Rijn.
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Swaenswijkbrug
Swaenswijkbrug opening just south of Alphensebrug.
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De Eendracht
The windmill De Eendracht in Alphen aan den Rijn was originally built in 1752 in Zaandam East and was moved to its current location in 1897. current location in
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Gouwsluis Bridge
Moored to wait for the half-hourly opening of the Gouwsluis road bridge.
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Train
Train crossing the Alphen aan den Rijn railway bridge. The bridge opened for us once the train had cleared.
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Alphen Aquaduct
Passing over traffic on the Alphen Aquaduct.
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Alpherium Terminal
Containers stacked in the Alpherium Terminal. The barge terminal, a satellite of the Port of Rotterdam, was opened in 2010 to reduce road traffic into Rotterdam from the Alphen aan den Rijn area. A particular focus was Heineken, whose largest brewery worldwide is located only 6.2 miles (10km) away here, compared to the 52 miles (85km) trucks would otherwise have to travel between the brewery and Rotterdam.
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Greenhouses
Rows and rows of greenhouses south of Alphen aan den Rijn. We’re not sure what’s growing, but massive numbers of tulips are exported from this part of the Netherlands.
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Leendert-Angelina
Tucked over to the side to allow the barge Leendert-Angelina to pass.
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Leaning House
The small house on the right in the village of Boskoop has a serious lean.
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Hefbrug Boskoop
Red and green light signalling that the opening process has begun for the on-demand bridge at Boskoop.
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Nicolaije
Passing the commercial barge Nicolaije.
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Hefbrug Waddinxveen
The Hefbrug (“lift bridge”) at Waddinxveen opening for us. Most of the on-demand bridges opened for us as we approached and we didn’t need to radio the operator.
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Amaliabrug
At the Amaliabrug highway bridge.
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Gouda Railway Bridges
The twin Gouda Railway bridges open roughly every two hours. We arrived at 9:30 and had to wait an hour for the next opening at 10:27.
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Geertruida Van Der Wees
The tug Geertruida Van Der Wees passing under the Gouda Railway bridges. It looked like an awfully tight fit, and there was inches to spare. As the tug passed, the skipper called out that he’d seen our YouTube videos.
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Green Light
Green light, visible at far left, for us to pass through the Gouda railway bridges at 10:27.
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Julianasluizen
Entering Julianasluizen behind a commercial barge. The lock takes us from the Gouwe canalized river into the Hollandsche IJssel river. The lock, completed in 1936, is a national monument.
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Wooden Beams
Wooden beams at the waterline in the Julianasluizen allow barges to slide along the wall without fenders. But they are difficult for pleasure craft as our fenders, even floating at the water line, tend to ride up on top, similar to in the Kiel Canal.
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Alegra Barriers
At the Alegra Barrier, a storm-surge barrier built as part of a the Delta Works protection system following the disastrous North Sea flood of 1953 that killed 1,836 people in the Netherlands. The barriers will drop down to block the waterway and prevent flooding on extremely high tides. Our 9.1-meter air draft is just a bit too high to pass under the 8.5m barriers, so we need to wait about a half-hour for an opening of the bridge and lock at right.
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Ark of Noah
You just never know what you’re going to see out on the water. This is the Ark of Noah, a biblical museum completed in 2013 to teach people the historical events of the Great Flood, Creation, and the Judgement in the Old Testament.
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Royal IHC
The huge Royal IHC facility at Kinderdijk. The company supplies equipment, vessels and services for the offshore, dredging and wet mining industries.
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Fokker Technologies
The striking new head office of Fokker Technologies, a Dutch aerospace company. The company has a nearby factory in Papendrecht.
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Sculptures
Sculptures alongside the river Noord.
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Verkeersbrug Albasserdam
The Verkeersbrug Albasserdam has a 12m clearance, so with our 9.1 m air draft we can pass under without an opening.
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Traffic
Lots of barge traffic visible out the window and on AIS as we approach the intersection of the Oude Maas and the Dordtsche Kil waterways.
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Dutch Harbour
Dutch Harbour, appropriately in the Netherlands, but a long way away from the one we’re more familiar with in Alaska.
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Current
We have a couple of knots of opposing current, visible in the water sweeping past this buoy.
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Windy
We moored for the night on a recreational guest berth just south of the city of Dordrecht. Even though this was a simple side-tie with plenty of room, it was certainly in the top five of the most difficult dockings we’ve ever done in Dirona. Winds were blowing unobstructed across an open field directly onto the side of the boat, blowing us off the dock. The wind speed was steady 25 knots with gusts to 35. This is one of those times when we feel lucky to have continuous-duty hydraulic thrusters.

We’re tied off heavily as usual, with our big one-inch lines, and the dock looks strong and well-constructed, so we’ll sleep well tonight even in the big winds. The winds continued to pick up over the night and touched on 40 knots.

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Air Filter
Every three months, or more often if needed, we vacuum off the reusable air filter on the main engine. Larger dust tends to build up on the outside of the filter. Every couple of years, we clean the reusable filter with air filter media cleaner and then re-oil the filter using the K&N Filter Cleaning Kit.
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Checking For Water
Every six months, we drain off the bottom bit of fuel from our large RACOR FBO-10 fuel transfer filter and check for water. Here you can see the fuel has no water in it but there is some evidence of tiny black flakes, likely rust from time in a storage tank before we got it. Another possibility is asphaltenes. These are heavier components from diesel that can fall out of solution. Storage tanks can accumulate heavier components over long periods of time. Neither is a problem as long as it only is there in small quantities—they filter out easily. Our primary concern is water in the fuel and we’ve only seen that twice in ten years. Generally, even when buying fuel in less-developed countries, we find the quality of the diesel we get is pretty good.
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Dordrecht
Moored for the night just south of the city of Dordrecht. We’re on a recreational berth within a commercial barge harbour right off the Dordtse Kil waterway. The harbour is basically like a highway truck stop for commercial barges, who are allowed to stop for up to three nights (recreational boats are only allowed to stay for one night). We loved the spot, with its view to the passing traffic in the Dordtse Kil.
Show locations on map 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.

 
 


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