ericaamber

Of Canals and Spui Locks

In Uncategorized on July 18, 2013 at 3:42 am

One of the most amazing things about sailing from country to country in Europe is that we get to see some very unique perspectives. We’ve sailed through the Strait of Gibraltar, and been able to see Africa on one side and Spain on the other, We’ve sailed into Venice through mazes of canals. And now we’ve sailed through the North Sea Canal (Dutch: Noordzeekanaal)!!!!

The North Sea Canal is a man-made Dutch ship canal from Amsterdam to the North Sea at Ijmuiden, constructed between 1865 and 1876 to enable seafaring vessels to reach the port of Amsterdam. It ends in Amsterdam at the closed-off IJ Bay, which in turn connects to the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal.
It’s so cool!! It works like the Panama Canal, there are Spui Locks at Ijmuiden, which are operated by the largest pumping station in Europe!

We just sailed into Amsterdam this morning and I missed the first Spui Lock, but I was in the office for the second one and we have a forward camera linked to the televisions that enables us to see the front of the ship and where we are going. So that enabled me to watch the whole process!! Pretty much we sit in between locks while they fill up with water and then when there’s enough water, the lock releases and we can pass through. It’s such an amazing system, and one that I probably would never get to see from this vantage point if I just visited Amsterdam. One day I hope to sail through the Panama Canal the same way!!

The next time we sail through the canal, I’ll make sure to take some pictures to share!

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