My Travel Blog

Rabelo Goes Topless In The Maastricht Marina!

With so much excitement I’m going to need a vacation!  We are tied up in our favorite harbor in Holland, but once again they weren’t thinking of Rabelo when they built the Maastricht Marina. No matter, we somehow managed to squeeze our big girl in.  When Wilco called the harbormaster he refused to let us in.  He said we were too damn big.  Just because the harbormaster said no doesn’t mean we gave up. Wilco had a friend staying on his beautiful 60ft boat in Maastricht, so we asked him to call the harbormaster.  Apparently Wilco’s friend can be very persuasive, as he was able to get us permission to stay four days. We eventually learned that the regular harbormaster was on vacation, and a temporary harbormaster was running the place.  Fortunately the replacement harbormaster was far more understanding, incredibly helpful and nice looking.

Our delightful harbormaster showing us that we need to turn Rabelo a little more.

We had to go through the tunnel just in front of Rabelo, and there’s another one of those damn fountains.

Lisa and I had such fond memories of Maastricht when we were here nine years ago on Tigre Rose.  The harbor was almost right in the middle of town. I remember it being a little tight for Tigre Rose, but I forgot just how tight.  You have to go through a tunnel, a very small and very low tunnel to enter the marina.  In fact the tunnel was so small we had to remove part of the pilothouse to pass safely. Once we were inside the only way to leave was through the tunnel, but we were facing the wrong direction.  The simple solution was to turn Rabelo around, and that’s when all the excitement started.

Rabelo goes topless!

A tight squeeze for Rabelo…

I never realized how big Rabelo was.  On our first attempt it was evident that we were longer than the harbor was wide.  Wilco said we would have to back out. I wasn’t happy.  The prospect of reversing through that narrow tunnel was not a warm and fuzzy thought.  I suggested we try maneuvering Rabelo’s stern into an empty corner of the marina to see if we could get enough room to spin her.  We gave it a try, but once again we came up short.  Then I had a brainstorm.  All we had to do was insert Rabelo’s bow into the tunnel we had just come out of, and that would give us enough room.  With the help of the harbormaster, a couple of friends and an enthusiastic audience made up of everyone in the harbor we did it with just two feet to spare. We were definitely the day’s entertainment.

Some friends and the Harbormaster helping to maneuver Rabelo’s bow back into the tunnel.

The following day we picked up our friend Ilana at the train station.  She had spent a week with us on Tigre Rose, and we were all looking forward to reliving some of the fun times we shared.

Maastricht was a vibrant, beautiful European city with a wonderful Farmer’s Market, great shopping and exciting architecture both new and old.  It will always be one of our favorites.

One of the giant locks we had to go through to get to Maastricht.

On our walks we never know what we will see.

If we get lost just follow the street signs.

-Tom Miller
Author of “The Wave” – 
a Chuck Palmer Adventure novel


About the Author:

Tom Miller graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science in Geology. He is a consummate adventurer with over 1,000 dives as a recreational scuba diver, and an avid sailor who has traveled 65,000 miles throughout the Pacific including the Hawaiian Islands. Miller has also cruised the canals of Europe on his canal barge and given numerous lectures on cruising the canals of Europe, as well as sailing in the South Pacific. Piloting is also an interest of Miller's, and He has completed over 1,000 hours flying everything from small Cessnas to Lear jets.