So as mentioned in the previous post we had to take the long way around via Rotterdam to reach Gouda and on the way passed some interesting sites!  A boat named Abel Tasman (memories from home and the old Bass Straight Boat), another boat called Kevin (seems a popular boat name in Holland!), we also passed a new build of Noahs Ark as well as a huge cruise ship, with fancy private balcony infinity pools that were not so private as we could see straight into them!

Before we got to Gouda we were passed by yacht just prior to the lock and we commented to each other how it looked like a brand new yacht, very flash, very white and shiny, new square shaped windows, brand new black fenders (with the plastic still on them), a vase of tulips on the cockpit table, sail bag looked as if it hadn’t been opened.  On it were a young couple, who looked picture perfect in their brand named clothes, wooden jumper over the shoulders, good looking – just like a magazine picture.  They gave us a wave and hello and headed into the lock and tied up.  The lock had heavy ridged metal sides (yuk) but also had a floating plank on the water line, we had encountered these before and as tempting as it is to have your fenders high on the ridges of the side of the lock it actually works better to have them on the water line and it keeps you entirely off the wall.  The young couple in the NEW yacht had their fenders high and were continuously moving them and pushing themselves off the metal ridges on the wall.  It all went terribly wrong and was very hard to watch when the lock began to open and the light turned green for them to move out.  The girl was on the helm while her man was letting the lines off, she put a lot of power on and turned the wheel hard to the centre away from the wall BUT her partner hadn’t yet released the stern line (weather he had forgotten or it was caught we are not sure) but it was horrifying to watch as the boat snatched and came back hard against the wall hitting the centre of the boat and then bouncing again and again against the wall from the centre to the stern as the line began to split and fray (thank goodness it was a new and thin line), he eventually got it off bit by bit as each time the boat hit the wall the line was a little slack, it had all but frayed and snapped anyway, but in the mean time the girl on the wheel had really panicked and put more power on and kept turning the wheel away from the wall (I guess trying to stay off it, not that it worked) and when the line finally came away the boat went so quick and hard away from the wall it was so very very close to hitting the other side of the lock and the gates as it passed.  Our hearts sunk as all we could do from behind was watch.  Our hearts went out to them and it just proves how easy it can go wrong.  We turned off at the next junction but could see them stopped a little further up the canal with the guy on the lying on the bank looking at the damage on the side.  We are sure they would have had a hole or at least tearing through the casing  in the hull  with the only very small consolation being that it would be above the waterline.  Devastating.

Gouda . . . Cheese, cheese, cheese oh wonderful Dutch cheese.  Spent the weekend in Gouda so were able to catch the town market, the stalls being pretty familiar now having seen them in Middleburg and Dordrecht, you get your cheese stalls, fruit and veggies, seafood, grill worst (really liking that, it is like hot “german” or hot “bung fritz” depending on where you grew up as to what you call it, but with cheese in it also and served warm) and then a surprisingly large amount of material and haberdashery stalls.  Phil prefers the older mature cheeses almost to the parmesan sharpness stage where as I like the softer types and really like it with nettles or truffle infused in, so of course we got one of each.  Lunches have been cheese and baguettes for the last few weeks (and for the foreseeable future) reminding us a bit of France (however the cheese is better but the baguettes are not as good).

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