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As one of Holland's largest cities i would have expected a bit more effort to welcome visitors by boat, but despite an enthusiastic reception from the harbour office staff we couldn't really find anywhere suitable to moor for the night. Now, I know there are those of you thinking, well I've never not found somewhere to moor, and if you were happy with an unserviced spot by a busy road, then yes, you could find somewhere.

In the first edition of the fabulous tome, I wrote that the moorings along the canal in the town centre are public, noisy and dusty, and re-reading it I thought I might have been a bit harsh.

But having revisited and tried to stop there I'm not sure I have. The harbour office have improved the facilities since my last visit, and there are now three so called transient jetties (visitor moorings if they'd paid for a native English translation) which have FREE water and electricity. Goodo, you might think, but of course the chances of bagging one of these coveted spots are about as likely as finding an Olympic 50p in your change. The alternative for mere mortals is one of the old wharfs along the canal for which public, noisy and dusty is a realistic description. Of course, they are just a hop, skip and a jump from some darling little streets full of boutiques, bars and restaurants, as well as some of the most significant museums in the Netherlands, but really, if you can't get shore power, you can't enjoy it, can you?

For those that do take the plunge, a new shower block in De Adriaan windmill adds to the facilities already at the Gravestenenbrug, and I stand by my recommendation that the moorings north of this bridge are by far the most desirable....good luck getting one.

And more news on the out of town moorings...the Haarlemsche Yacht Club have upped sticks and moved to a new location on the Mooie Nel, still cyclable I should think. And we came across a new mooring to the south of the city at the Spaarneborghaven just inside the entrance to the Heemstedeskanaal, which had water and electricity, quite handy for the city if you are happy with your onboard facilities and have got a bike.

By the way, there's a new bridge north of the city (6.3m when closed) so you need to factor this into your calculations when looking for the harbour office.