|Cruisers in Sulfeld lock|
Hazy clouds, a few brief glimpses of sun, getting hotter (outside max 37.9°C). Rain later. Set off at 10.20 am with the gennie attached to the engine to do some washing. It was only 3kms to the lock at Sülfeld and we only had a short wait alongside Snail as a commercial and a cruiser came up the left hand chamber (right hand one wasn’t working) and we followed a tug and pan plus two German cruisers into the lock,
|Top end gates of Sulfeld lock|
|The queue of commercials arriving below Sulfeld|
another cruiser followed us in. Mike sat on the roof to move the centre rope down the bollards in the wall as we dropped down 9m while I made some tea. Below the lock there was a long queue of commercials building up. Norderstadt and Saturnus, both loaded 85m boats went for the lock to go up. Granit (another 85m loaded boat) started moving towards the lock and a cruiser called Liberty (a three decker) was trapped behind it as an empty called Eimicheit started to overtake the loaded boat.
There was room in the lock for the cruiser so he powered round the empty and aimed for the lock before he got shut out. Einigkeit arrived to wait in the queue closely followed by Axioma and a Polish tug with two pans full of gravel (82m & 32m pans pushed by a Bizon tug from Wroclaw), then Labe 21 a loaded Czech boat from Decin and a very smart German cruiser.
|VW factory at Wolfsburg|
Through Wolfsburg, past the VW factory and its trip boats and the little haven of Motorboot Club Wolfsburg where we moored overnight once to go and do the VW factory tour. Mike spotted some VW 4x4s doing the test track on the right hand bank, so I took a few photos. The washing had finished and we drifted while there was no traffic about and Mike took the drive plate out.
|VW 4x4 test track Wolfsburg|
Anne had spotted from our copied maps that there was a water point at KP256 Rühen and she did some washing too, but when we got there there was no electricity so the key couldn’t activate anything. Put the hosepipe away again and carried on. The café was still there just beyond where they’d installed the new tap in a box, previously it had been just a simple tap on the wall. Another empty pan and tug went past as we set off to follow the Snail. An old East German boat went past with a distinctive square wheelhouse, this one was Calbe, a tanker from Tangermünde on the Elbe.
|Moored at Bergfriede|
At 3 pm we crossed where the old border used to be – The Iron Curtain at one time – no signs of where it used to be now, fences had gone before we first went to Berlin and the watchtower that had been there had now also gone. Just trees and more trees. At KP262 a loaded 80m boat called Martha from Berlin-D went past, the skipper reclining on a sun lounger on his back cabin roof – he waved as we went past. Polish tug Fabico-3 from Szczecin (we’ve seen him before) went past at KP 265, pushing 2 pans full of gravel. At Bergfriede we moored either side of the passerelle at the start of a long row of forty one dolphins (810m) for commercials, on the bit reserved for boats shorter than 35m (which was much shorter than 35m!) It was 4.30 pm and getting hotter but soon it started raining - nice.