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Our winter berth in the Nieuwe Haven in Dordrecht came to an end at the beginning of April, which nicely coincided with my Easter holiday trip. Even though it was forecast for rain, and we had resolved not to cruise in the rain, we couldn’t resist taking the long way round to our final destination of Strijensas, and taking a trip up the Merwede to Gorinchem for the weekend.

I’d never been into the Lingehaven before and I couldn’t resist the challenge of the 4.4m wide Lingesluis lock so that was our destination, and we gave the harbour office a quick call beforehand to check they were open (it was Easter Sunday after all). ‘No problem’, they said, even though we were arriving at lunchtime. ‘And we’re 3.7m wide….’ Again, no problem, and they were right. The approach is sheltered from the wash of the main river so it is relatively straightforward to poke your boat into the narrow entrance, and once inside you barely need ropes.

The harbour is quite compact and you wouldn’t want to go in there with a boat much longer than 12m unless you are very good at maneuvering because it’s quite tight to turn round. I was very glad not to have too much of an audience for our first mooring attempt of the season. It’s box moorings, with a pontoon across the back, so we opted to back in, as it’s easier to jump off via the cockpit, than over the front rail.

You need €1 coins for the electricity, water and showers, but the facilities are clean and modern and if you moor on the starboard side as you come in, they are quite handy to get to. (It’s the white building on the east side of the harbour.)

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