Water….More Water…plus a way to keep busy

When we purchased Jan-kees, there was one water tank, 500 Liter. So last year I installed a 2nd water tank.

When we purchased Jan-kees, there was one water tank, 500 Liter. So last year I installed a 2nd water tank. Part of the sage is here and here.
Because I do not want to go into the bow compartiment each time to connect, one of the two tanks to the pump, or turn a vale, I bought 3 electric 3/4″ 24V valves, with a manual over ride. One for the inlet, and then one for each tank. So either both tanks can be filled, or tapped, or just one. And yes with floats switched I can grab an Arduino or a Raspberry Pi and let it control the valve functions, fill both and when one is full, and the other is not, close the valve on the full one. Or use it to use the water level to level the barge. Another winter project.

So diving into the hold I mounted the 3 valves and turned on the pump…..but no luck…it kept sucking air. I suspected the 4 way connector. Removed all, cleaned all, reassembled and tried again….Again. just cold air, not even hot air !.
I just connected both tanks with a manual valve to the pump and it worked. Must have been the connectors? So I ordered new ones and just waited til then. Of course hot weather came, windy weather came, rain weather came, and then some time with some sun, so I dove in again. The trick was to push the Tyleen in deep enough so the rubber ring seals it. Duhhhhhh…..
So the system worked, now I have to just connect the valves to the control box and we can manipulate them from inside.

The box has 3 push buttons, and it should be obvious which one controls which one. The inlet valve is extra ‘protected’ with a little cover guards, so it can not accidentally opened. When it is open, the pump will not prime. Each tank has 2 float switches, currently I am only going to use one, but with 2 I can have a nearly full and a really full alert.

The push buttons when pressed in lights up the led and the white wire goes positive, when not pressed in, the blue wire goes positive.

The valves use connection 1-3 for open. and 2-3 for closed. (3 being negative)

When I connected the port float wire to the flashing/buzzer light, it started to buzz. OH dear, I missed checking the correct orientation of the ‘floatie’ on the float switch. Crawled back into the bow compartment, and by using my past training by Houdini and an Olympic gold medal winner turner I was able to just on feeling reach deep enough in the water tank and flip the ‘floatie’

port fill valve starboard

Now just for record keeping

Port FloatRed/Blue
Port ValveRed = open (1)
Green = close (2)
Starboard FloatGreen/Black
Starboard ValveRed = open (1)
Green = close (2)
Inlet Valvexxx = open (1)
yyy = close (2)

windows…..

One of this years bigger project is….was. putting in double glas with sun reflective coating. So after spending many hours online we found one of the cheaper ones glasdiscount.nl. One advantage was, they had an ‘inmeet service’, where they had somebody come and take the measurements, the advantage……anything wrong….their problem. Yes customer service in Holland/Europe is not exactly the same as in the USA. Try calling with a complaint and to the typical American way “I need to speak to a supervisor”. Many times that is done by hearing a click and you are disconnected. Or when you have an answer and call back later you might hear “Ah no that was a wrong answer, sorry”

The previous owner had installed single glass, and left a width of 22 mm.

Because of “Ground hog day” I had to reschedule it a few times, but the first week Thursday the measuring guy came. His result was …

Window 3 and 10 were my big worries, he also added the correct profile to mount them. I was first worried I had to rent or buy a table saw to get the correct profile. The profiles on itself were close to. €190. Unfortunately these ONLY came in white, so I need to get some other color to paint them.

With 22 mm available the profile added another 5 mm, so the total width became 27mm.
3mm foam, 4-13-6 and another 3 mm making is 29 mm fitting in the 27 mm, because of the foam

The next day I had the quote, paid and 2 weeks later the windows were delivered, but……yes you guessed it #3 and #10 were wrong, they were rectangular, even though they were measured correctly and even though on the quote they were described correctly and when I called them before I paid they confirmed these windows were not rectangular. A call back to them and the factory would remake them quickly.

I was able to install both front windows that day. On the bottom and sides space holders were placed to make sure expansion because of heat was possible and between the wood and glass there was 3 mm thick foam tape. Max was coming to help me the next day with the others, since there is not much room to stand on the sides of the pilot house
When Max came to help me I had bought one of these vacuum grabbers to help with holding the glas in place. Max also corrected me when I said “the sticker goes on the outside” , just as I keep hearing on the youtube video’s.

but LOOK the sticker CLEARLY says …..INSIDE….so I had to redo the front windows.

With max’s aide the other 6 windos went in smoothly.

Because the profile to hold the glass sticks out, the solution to keep the top part of the door open with a clamp is not working anymore, so I installed a hook and eye, also much safer.

Ajax with Front seats

No we did not go to a soccer match with Ajax, but a few years ago I ran across an article where they offered the seats from the Old Ajax stadium. Since our friend Remy is a Ajax supporter, to great dismay of the 2 sons ( who support Feyenoord) I thought it might be a fun Birthday gift for him, so I purchased 2. Unfortunately he had no place for them anywhere, so they stayed with me, waiting for a perfect time to come out of hiding. Since the front and back were re-done last year, it seemed like a good place to utilize them there. Using them on the back, would make it too crowded, so I opted for a fold up table there. So they were promoted to the front of the barge.

The first thing was to find a welder who was an Ajax fan, to weld 2 steel strips to the bottom, so they could be mounted on the fold down hinges. A non Ajax fan might have ‘by accident’ got the plastic to melt.

In order to mount them we had to remove the top of the storage wall, so we could drill holes, to mount these seats

One these holes were drilled, the hinges could be attached, and we had to test one to make sure they were not too low, since the deck slopes up where the feet are. Had to get an extension for the screw driver, because it was impossible to get between the hinge to fasten the bolt with the allen facing.

And here is the certificate, showing that after 21 years in the Ajax soccer stadium these two now have been given a second life on Jan-Kees

Why did we go to Europe in the summer? What car is that ?

Well….because it is not as hot and humid as in Cincinnati.
Whomever said so needs to be keel hauled, whipped, accused of being fake news.
Yesterday and today it was hotter than in Cincinnati. 86F in Cincy and 93F (33C) in Zaandam with an expected 99F (37C) in Arcen where Marius lives.

So after waking up, we made the already hot trek to Action, looking for an inflatable kid pool. We found one at €3.50 and a shelf closer to the checkout a little bigger one, who just would fit on the back deck for €6.45.

At the barge I had to clear the back decl of my painting stuff, I started painting the fold up shelf I got yesterday from the local welder, and use the battery operated blower to blow up the sides. Connected both hoses and turned the cold water feed on….and as kids happy with our toy we dropped our feet in, to exclamations of joy joy joy

And yes I did let my R/C controlled alligator head out for a swim in it 🙂

In the afternoon Max and Aafi came by to pick me up. Max bought a 2nd car, but it had to be picked up in Friesland, and since max has no drivers license, he ‘volunteered’ grandpa, as he calls me.
When they picked me up the were waiting with the hood of the Chevy Monza opened. Max had repainted the whole care in mat black, used in chimneys. With a nice phoenix painted on the hood. Seems the 93F was too much for the little car to keep the cooling at the normal temperature. While driving to the highway, windows wide ope, the engine temperature got even warmer, hovering around 200F. I suggested to turn on the defrost, to take some heat away. Both looked a bit funny, but did it and saw the temperature gauge crawl lower.
So there we drove for a tad over 1 1/2 hr, with the defrost on high, since-ing the hairs of my legs. See now why chef’s never have to shave their legs!

After some searching around close to Urk, Max finally relented and called the seller to ask for directions. Max, with his typical Italian flair had been yelling to look for number 11, which we saw nowhere. (Max’s verion…..We could not find number 11 because watt and half watt, Aafi and me, in the front took the wrong road ;). But yeah i was to stubborn to calling the guy. First look for it yourself .and we spaghetti munsers are good in yelling 🙂 ).
A bumpy potholed gravel road led to the sellers garage. More like a ride to…OK we are ending up surrounded by Russian mobsters at the end fo the road, who will sell our organs right there to the highest bidder. Well it was kinda scary, since after meeting the seller it came to attention that he was a tin foil hat person. Covid-19 is a ploy to allow governments to track us and inject a tracer. Luckily I was able to keep my mouth sealed

When Max saw his future car, he got excited like a 5 year old, with daddies Amex card, in a candy store. there it was a nice red Ruska Regina. Ruska built a series of cars based on a VW Buggy frame. The Ruska Regina is like a facsimile of a Morgan. It was especially fun for max, because these were built 4 houses away from where he used to live in Amsterdam.

I was going to drive the Regina back to their barge. After transferring the title we set off, and then not even 100 feet later the Chevy Nova got a flat. There was NO spare, so the ANWB ( AAA for the Americans ) was called, and in typical Italian fashion Max was yelling and cursing the whole time when navigating the press this and that button menu. When he got through, we learned it would take 40 minutes before help would arrive. Because the Regina is based on a VW frame, and the engine has a ton of hours, the best speed was 60 – 80 Km/hr ( 35-50 mph). It is a great sunny weather touring car, but not perfect for a 1 1/2 hr trek along the afsluitdijk. (Which was built to keep the water from Mexico out, according to Greg Shapiro in his “America First, The Netherlands second video“)
So here I am ready to set off, all dapper with my hat, which was quickly tossed to the floor so it would not blow out.

The car drove like a charm, but it was clear it is a ‘fun’ car, slow speeds so your stuff does not fly out. Quite hard to get into when you are over 6 ft. The radio and tach were in the dash, but no wires to it. Quite fun to be waved at by many other drivers, tumbs up a lot, seeing a British BMW speed by you, then braking slowing down until next to me again, shouting “great car” and speeding off again. I have to borrow it one afternoon to take Deb to the beach.

Road trip & McD


Yesterday, Sunday August 3, we drove to Sneek, together with Mint, to pickup Daniel who had to be back, because his Grandma (93 yrs old) passed in her sleep, and August 4th was the funeral.
When we arrived in Sneek we saw Oving1, surrounded by a few smaller boats, and we also saw that Lars brought his dekschuit, and had secured his camper on top, as a more comfortable sleeping place.

Because Daniel wen to Sneek with Oving1, I was going to bring him back to his barge. But we needed to fill the tank of the Volvo and grab some food with the other 2 passengers. So first we filled up the Volvo, a mere 15.8 gallons. ( 60.39 Liter) @ €100.19. Translating to $7.10/Gallon. Perhaps now you realize why public transport is sooooo much more used in Europe. Even though if you travel with 2+ persons , a trip over 50 km is usually cheaper by car.

After fueling the tank we went to McDonalds. They do have the Covid-19 distancing under control, Only ordering via a screen, 1/2 the place marked off for no use. The nicest surprise was, they have bitterballen ( 4 pieces in an order.). Bitterballen are the quintessential bar food in holland, the size of hush puppies, but filled with steaming hot Roux ( or as some refer to it thick gravy) with bits to meat in it. Normally they are served 8 in a potion. Yes you can also get them filled with shrimp, salmon, sateh. but that is for the special people.

Now not to promote McD, but in The Netherlands, they have Veggie McChicken and Veggie homestyle Chrispy Chicken, just funny that Vegetarian dishes are not available in the USA. !! They even have gluten free Ham burger, Cheese burger and Quarter pounder.

The sun is peeking and the Senseo is hissing and “fugget about it”

Yes it was 06:00 in the morning, the sun is peeking just over the horizon, there is barely any wind, and the Senseo is hissing. The handy invention of Philips, which after making an entry in the US market got dis[laced by Kurig and Nespresso. Beging Rave …..Philips has made some remarkable inventions, like theCD/ DVD, Betamax etc but they really really lack in consumer marketing….end rave….
The Senseo1 is a great machine to pop in a single serve coffee pod, and get not boiling hot coffee.

The Senseo running on the batteries, using 1500 watts when the sun is barely energizing us.

Enjoing a wake up drink in the shade

The Victron Venus, showing us the state of our energy. Since last night we used 5% of our energy, and the sun just started to recharge us. we have 1040 Watt of solar panels, which during the day gives us up to 870 watt of solar to recharge the batteries. NO we do NOT use shore power. Daniel has programmed our new inverters to only grab shore power if we go below 80% of charge. We are usually back to 100% charge around noon, we also run the washer dryer, vacuum cleaner and power tools on it. During our 2 week quarantine, we have had the SOC ( State of Charge) go down to 89% once, but we did had a lot of overcast and rain.

Because of the nice weather we needed to get our feet wet, so the beach was the decision. Had to first fill the car. Kinda funny, in the USA you pre-pay for your gas or you have to insert a credit card, before you can start filling up your car. You usually also see some signs that if you dare to drive away w/o paying they will take your license etc. This at a price of about $2/ Gallon ( or about 0.45 Euro/ liter).
Now in The Netherlands you drive up, fill up, then go inside to pay, this at a price of around 1.50 Euro/liter. A tad over 3 times the price in the US. Wonder now why there are no gas guzzling ‘yank tanks’ driving around in Europe ?

So after filling up, on our way to Wijk bij Zee, a leisurely drive along the Noordzee kanaal. But then….lots of cars slowly moving. We see the large grass field being used as an overflow parking lot, but by some miracle we could get to the real parking lot, to see it is packed, full, and a few cars slowly driving around like sharks in the water looking for prey. After driving around we give up and decide to go north to Egmond aan Zee, driving through the villages, we see a few back roads leading to the beach, but are being met each time with a traffic jam. Finally in Egmond aan Zee we end up….behind another traffic jam. Trying a back road we end up on the square there seeing an even bigger jam with delivery trucks for the local restaurants. In the mean time the temperature was steadily rising, forcing us to turn on the A/C and giving up on the beach. Later that day the did closed the roads to the beach off, to keep congestion and crowding at bay.

While driving to find a lunch place, Deb realized I had taken her to Uitgeest. After some driving around we found a parking place and stopped at Bistro Het Stokpaardje . The place we have been many times with Daniel, when he had Oving 1 parked there under the bridge. Deb remarked that they do great fun stuff with Tuna Sandwiches, I had a broodje Kroket.

Just around the corner…..culture…

When going out for groceries, or a drink or to the Railway station, we walk over a pedestrian bridge and are always greeted by Monet’s Blue House. Monet must have liked Zaandam as much as we do since he did 25 paintings and 9 drawings.
The one we see pretty much every time we walk is the blue house.

The side was painted over, and in 2014 the blue side was restored to the original color.

Here is the current view…

Monet in Zaandam. Zaans Museum.

Today was also working on finishing the water tank system. Last year I installed the 2nd water tank together with Remy, and discovering 2 days later I also created a Hernia.
So this year it is finishing the system. Both tanks have the water withdraw from the top, so there is no possibility of valves leaking on the tank. (They can leak further in the piping system)
I bought on Ebay a set of 24VDC electric valves 3/4″, which are going to control each tank and the inlet valve. This way I can use the tanks also to level the barge, and when a full float signal happens, I can automate the fill valve to close.

Had to buy a water level sensor, boy are they expensive. 125E for a 65 cm one. The port tank was empty …yeahhh… so it was quite easy to get the sensor and the outflow valve installed. Remember, last year Lars made a bigger hatch in the front so I could easily drop these tanks. Well last year Remy and I also found out that the ‘rough’ size of the hatch was perfect. BUT in order to divert rain water a U profile was welded on the inside, making the opening smaller!!
Meaning we had to disassemble the wall cabinets and get the tanks in via the big hatch. No wonder I developed a hernia! Thanks Lars!

Valve setup

When I was under in the front locker, I did saw 2 thin electrical lines and hoped they ended in the engine room, so I could use them for sensor level readings. Unfortunately, these line played a vanishing act. Thus I needed to pul another set, or a pair of 4 lines newly. Luckily the previous owner had made a few extra conduit runs for electrical lines in the wall, so I started feeding the ‘fishing line’ into an empty conduit, and after a bunch of meters it stopped. Crawled in the front locker and did not see the fishing line, so it must be behing the water tank ( which is full). So first I had to again disassemble part of the wal storage closet, and was able to remove the hatch dividing the living area with the front hatch. But there was this big blue heavy water tank, which silently was not budging. Looking with a mirror to the conduit I saw it made a few corners, so the fishing line must got stuck there. Following the conduit from inside the front locker, I found it empty terminated. Thus I started pulling parts of that conduit out, fighting the dutch tape which was mounted on each junction. Finally all came loose and the fishing tape revealed itself. So we now have a clear sensor line in a conduit.

For the Intercom/PA system I need to run loudspeaker wire to the front. On the port side there is a conduit with loudspeaker wire, but helas it was cut somewhere half way, so I ordered me 1.5 mm loudspeaker wire ( the PA system is 40 Watt) and once that is here I will pull the sensor line and the loudspeaker wire.

It Ain’t Half Hot Mum

So last year today was one of the hottest days in history, around 39C (102F), bridges had to be sprayed with water in order to keep the expansion under control and let them function.

We have not experienced it this trip. The temp has hovered around mid 60’s to mid 70’s, so we are not missing the hot and humid Ohio weather.

The popular buienradar gives a slightly different view, but but seems Friday is a nice beach day, and this week no rain so…painting, we might have to turn on the Heat in the AM though with a wake up temp of 50F !!

Market Day

As soon as the person from glasdiscount.nl was done measuring up the sizes for the new windows we trotted off to the market.

Masked on, we were struck by the change of lay out compared to previous years. Normally it is 4 rows of stalls, divided in with 2 pedestrian routes. But all stalls were placed on the perimeter of the market, facing inward, leaving more than enough space for socially distancing.

Entrance sign explaning the rules
Each stall has their own way of ensuring distance

I trotted off to the herring monger to get my first taste of Nieuwe Haring again.

Sorry Lam

Deb went for her 2nd breakfast, or was it pre-lunch ( 10 am ) for Kibbelingen. She ordered them in very perfect Dutch, but was a but dazzled when the counter person did a follow-up question, but Deb ACED it ( As you know from the news ACING a test is THE thing to do this news cyle)

nicely keeping distances

I did ‘protected’ her by taking the first ones, who were just way to hot for her to consume. After getting some bacon we went for bread and I took some pictures for a blog follower who enjoys pastries. Kinda hard buying JUST ONE almond pastry, when you used to eat 4 to 12 last year ! But I am following Dr’s orders.

We also went to Blokker to buy some other kitchen gadgets. Please do comment what this one is.
here is a hint…….This Dutch teacher has some great video’s for people wanting to learn Dutch.

Measuring tape in CM and the Finlandia to trow you off course

Yes we will bring one as a souvenir for the correct entries.

Finishing the afternoon with Apero snacks, Radler, Dark beer and Startrek Enterprise