Received an appealing invitation by e-mail to spend Pentecost well from 22 to 24 May. For years we have been busy at our own water sports association WSV Ouder-Amstel with organizing boat trips, especially the Whitsun weekend.
If – like us – you have been cruising with a Gillissen yacht since 1987, it is not possible that you will be absent again and again, so make the right decision and on to Dordrecht to the Gillissenvaarders.
On Thursday, May 21 we washed the boat in time, put things on board, turn on the stove and wait for Mieke, who still had a busy working day. We left our home port in the late afternoon and headed for a long weekend via the Amstel, towards Tolhuissluis, Aarkanaal and the Gouwe. At Waddinxveen we moored just before dark on a perfect quay. Shortly another beautiful Gillissen moored too, as later turned out to be De Wilis with Greet and Theo. Getting acquainted is always very easy with sailing brothers. Just stretched your legs, drink on board and enjoy the bed.
Friday, May 22
“Hey neighbour, what time are you going to sail?” “Well, let’s say” nine o’clock?” “Okay, let’s sail together.” Masts flat, we can pass under all bridges, on to the Juliana lock near Gouda. Since this has become a double lock, the waiting time is still very little. Via the beautiful Hollandse IJssel on to Rotterdam, report to Sector Brienenoord (Maasbruggen), via the Nieuwe Maas towards De Noord, at the end here also report to Sector Dordrecht. Wait at 12.30 pm for the opening of the Mazelaar Bridge at the Marina of the Maartensgat Water Sports Association. The bridge will be opened promptly at 1 p.m. and Dordrecht here we are.
How wonderful, all Gillissen fools together, five and six thick, I don’t remember. I do know that there is a more than warm welcome, just feel it, but the click is there in no time.
Beautiful weather, nice exploring the city, with your bare feet in new shoes, not a good idea: two whoppers of blood blisters!
Welcome drinks at 5 p.m. Great, despite the fact that we were not present for years, how Mieke and I were admitted, more than fun, nice drinks and then on board for diner.
Saturday, 23 May
At 10.30 am coffee with the whole group in the club building of the Vereniging Maartensgat. Some substantive messages from the chairman with the necessary expressions of thanks and an explanation about how to spend the rest of the day.
After coffee, nice chats on the jetties. Everyone is very hospitable “Come and have a look, nice”. Around 1 p.m. three guides were ready to take a city walk in groups. You are of course in the oldest city in the Netherlands, so there is quite a bit to tell about it, followed by a tour with open boats through the canals of Dordrecht.
Afterwards a drink at the harbour and at 6.30 pm a very nice BBQ upstairs at the harbour club with lots of food and drinks.
Sunday, May 24
If you are moored under a cathedral, you know that the bells are rung on Sunday, but that such a sound can come from the Onze Lieve Vrouwe church is unimaginable. And then they don’t even have the bells at their loudest sound, which is impressive.
At 10.30 am the farewell ceremony. After some nice words, and the knowledge that the membership will cost the whole amount of € 15.00 per year, most of them say goodbye to each other. Outside the harbour a few more pictures are taken of the Dolman vletten at the request of John and his Dolman friends. We continue our way towards the river Lek to join our water sports club that stayed in Rotterdam for the weekend.
Dorine, Rita, Jan Dirk and Jos thank you very much for a great weekend. Also thanks to all Gillissenvaarders present there.
Martin and Mieke Droog on board the Johanna from Ouderkerk aan de Amstel