Friday, 6 September 2013

Wednesday 4th September 2013 Alt Ruppin – KP65 Vielitzsee. 24.4kms 1 lock

Moored at Alt Ruppin
Grey start, cloudy with short sunny spells. Mike was up early and went to move the car on to the small car park by the carved chainsaw man. We set off at 8.45 am and within minutes there was a floating shed behind us, heading the same way as us. Not a hire boat, it was called Oblomow, it was catching up so Mike called it past. Threw a centre rope round a stump below Alt Ruppin lock and chatted with the young man with the shed while we waited. He’d been cruising the lakes for four months and said he didn’t think the water was very clean for swimming except up at Templin. It was 9.10 am. Although the lock is worked on the full hour, ten minutes later a lady in a car arrived and pressed the buttons to empty the lock.
In Alt Ruppin lock with Oblowmo
We followed the young man and his floating shed into the lock. The lock walls were piled steel with vertical strips of plastic buffering at regular intervals so I put the centre rope round one of those. The lock was a “yo-yo” – it had rebounds that sent us back and forth as it filled, so Mike had to restart the engine and do a bit of judicious reversing to stop that. Thanked our lady keeper (the young man with the shed gave her a bottle of beer we noticed) and followed the shed onto Molchowsee at 9.45 am. The lake was a small one and surrounded with little moored boats at the many houses and bungalows. I made a cuppa as we left the lake into the narrow section at Molchow. The lad with the shed stopped in the village. On into the next lake Tetzensee, still heading north. We passed a red Bunbo (Bunglaow Boat) heading south at the top end of the lake. It was very quiet, surrounded by the forest, the lake edged with the usual reed beds and water lilies. 

Sheds at Molchow
A few small boats were moored by the houses at the North end of the lake. There were more moored boats at the houses along the banks of the winding channel leading to Zermützelsee, an upside-down W-shaped lake. There were a few houses and boats at the entrance and then nothing but trees, reeds and water lilies. We passed a lone canoe by a campsite at the Northern end and noted that there was a new island by some new houses with landscaped gardens on the right hand side as we went to the right into the little river Rhin, definitely not the Rhine, heading upstream as we changed direction to Southeast, running through an wide area of marshland and swamp. Under a road bridge, then past the stupefied-looking crew of a Bunbo from Lindow (the town at the end of the next large lake). The river edges were bordered with floating logs suspended by chains attached to large vertical stumps, presumably to keep the little boats and canoes out of the swamp.
Beautiful little river Rhin
We passed a fisherman standing up in an open boat. As we passed by he stopped fishing and set off in his boat in the opposite direct to us. Ten minutes later a Nichols hire boat from Neuruppin went past heading very slowly downriver. At least the crew managed to stop gawping and wave! We turned right into a channel leading to the next lake while the Rhin continued North to Rheinsberg and the chain of lakes South of the Müritz, navigation not allowed by boats with engines. The new channel was narrower, tree lined and edged with rocks. Hoping that the passenger boat from Neuruppin wouldn’t be catching up with us along this stretch, we were suddenly faced with a confused cormorant flying towards us – disturbed by the Bunbo that was around the left hand bend that had just seen our bows, panicked and gone into the trees to our left leaving his stern end and towed plastic dinghy most of the way across the river. Mike reversed to stop us hitting it broadside and a couple of fast open fishing boats were quickly catching us up. We managed to get around the Bunbo before the two little boats went tearing past – what 8 kph speed limit? Solid land appeared as an open field came into view between the trees on our left and bungalows on our right as we approached the road bridge at Zippelsförde. 
A Bunbo at Zippelsforde bridge
Another Bunbo was creeping slowly (they must be about as manoeuvrable as a floating bathtub!) through the road bridge. The channel went through the top end of a long narrow lake running North-South, called the Möllensee, which was empty save one moored Bunbo. Into the big lake, Gudelacksee, wide and deep (marked as 21m but we recorded over 27m on our echo-sounder) with a large private island called Werder in the middle. We took the North side of the island with Lindow straight in front of us as we wanted to see if the mooring marked on the chart as an old quay still existed and was available should be need it. It was. An old stone wall, half cabin height with a couple of old girders to tie to and backed by a sand road to an old house and a couple of bungalows. 
Gudelacksee with Werder island on right
We carried on, passing the lake shore at Lindow with five different mooring places for small boats and into the tiny channel leading to Vielitzsee, the last in this long chain of lakes. The white diamond marker for the entrance to the channel was marked on our chart on the wrong side of the entrance. The sign said it was 0.7m deep (this stopped our Dutch friends Nel and Arend from entering this last lake back in 1999) but there was over a metre beneath the boat, so that’s 1.7m deep. Both sides of the narrow channel were lined with moored boats at the gardens of the houses along it. Mike slowed down to tickover to pass through the bridges. 
Old workboat on quay Vielitsee
The railway bridge was a high narrow one, but the road bridge was low, just enough room for us without taking our mast down. We don’t think the Fahrgästschiff comes through here! The houses with their little moored boats continued along the left bank of the channel until the lake had widened out considerably. This last lake is shallow (about 2m), narrow and winding, heading Southeast to the village of Vielitz at its Southern end. Red dragon flies were buzzing the boat as we ran down the lake, passing more and more bungalows half hidden in the trees. About a third of the way down the lake we turned right into a bay (and suddenly it was deeper, 5m+) and moored next to an old WSA workboat where we’d moored before, both in 1999 and 2004. It was 2.30 pm.

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