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.

Peggy Pushing the Dutch Tolerance Test

So this Monday was boating to the de Zaanse schans day.  But the shopping gods prevailed.     There had to be a day shopping in Amsterdam, and another trip to see to the redlight district, to see if the first visit was a fluke.   It was kinda dead.
But first we had to do laundry, so most clothes were clean to be worn in Paris. And yes the girls did use the Dutch cheap way and quick way of drying.


Since the arrival was a mix up of ‘where are you’ a field trip to the airport railway station was combined with a swapping of cheese with Sara, who was coming back that afternoon from Graz< Austria, where she was aiding Deb.


Then of to the Amsterdam Central station, and after a quick stroll, going with the flow of the hundreds and hundreds of tourists and thousands of bikes we ended up in the Kalver Straat.  The busiest ( but not most expensive) shopping streets in Amsterdam.  It was a bit of a job trying to keep an eye on both of them, since Peggy and Megan kept disappearing  to different stores and once out of the store moving on, with little regard where the other was.  We ended up on the Dam square where we again saw a person making bubbles and some other performers.
By that time Peggy’s mood changed, so food was needed.  Now before we come to that , please watch Dutch Tolerance Test about the well known Dutch Tolerance.   So you know what could have happened when Peggy kept going on about needing Ketchup.  BUT at this pizzeria she found …..ketchup…the first one….so she ordered French(ed) Fries,  While Megan and I gobbled up a margarita Pizza.



And yes the Hellmans mayonaise is real mayonaise, unlike the version they sell in the USA.  Hellmans got into a legal battle a while back, about some vegan mixture using the term Mayonaise.  Hellmans got the judge to agree the vegan mixture was NOT Mayonaise,  BUT according to the judge Hellmans was neither…..according to the European quality laws there were not ENOUGH eggs in their mayonaise. So Hellmans was also forbidden to use the term Mayonaise on their ‘mayonaise’ until they changed the formula.

The stroll through the redlight district was another dud … we made our way back to the railway station, stopping every few feet, because Peggy saw another interesting building, where she needed to make a picture of.

Albert Cuyp and Van Gogh

Again this Friday was going to be a nice day, NO rain…so UN-dutch.  Around 7 Megan started stirring herself and took her shower.  I did turned the Kabola on, but it was not starting.  Jumped in the engine room and let the air out of the diesel fuel line and it started up.  We will see if it keeps acting up.   We had to be up early to catch the Zaan Ferry which leaves every 2 hours, and takes a 45 minute ferry ride to the Central Station in Amsterdam.


Enjoying coffee and the view on the way to Amsterdam.


Arrived at Central Station and bikes everywhere







The fish advertizes the BIG win in the National lotto…21 million

Arrived at Central Station Amsterdam and bikes everywhere.  Then the tram to the Albert Cuyp Straat, the longest year round open market. I also bought 2 more tubes of Gin Mayonaise !!

Took the tram to the Rijks Museum and as usual there were a few street musicians playing classical music.  Walked to the Van Gogh Museum and found out that tickets are only available on line or at the vending machine.  the next available slot was a few hours away, so the girls opted for the next day.

rijks1.JPG rijks2.JPGSince they still wanted to see the Anne Frank house, we walked to buss 354. and waited and waited and the bus was showing to arrive the next minute.  Some people were asking what was going on and then we saw the flash message ..some busses and trams were rerouted because of an accident……..that reminded me of last week when  Deb and her 2 friends went to the Anne Frank and Van Gogh went and arriving at the Central Station they found out there was a fire ( which later was a truck driving into the building of a national newspaper ) and thus NO trams or Busses driving.  Peggy decided not to wait and opted to venture out on herself.  SO after a discussion with Megan we decided to take the tram towards the Central station and from one point take another line to the Anne Frank House.  The App 9292 seemed a bit delayed when these emergencies occur.   At the Leidse Plein we opted to walk the rest to the Wester kerk.  By that time we needed a drink and some food….but Megan did not opted for her favorite place..FeBo



The Dam square beckoned us, and it was on the way to the red light district.

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While on the ferry another passenger told us that today they were celebrating the birthday of the Dali Lama on the Dam we saw some of the set up.  Naturally there was some kind of protest going on, some street performers . like this one making a bubble show.






Megan opted fora shrimp croquette, while watching the National Monument.







Strolled the red light district, and Megan saw all the variety which was presented during lunch hour.  Then the Kalverstraat, the busiest shopping street in Amsterdam, and a few McDonalds, but the menu is quite different.  Maddie and Kathlyn Ly would be in . heaven…NO not because of the burgers, BUT because McDonalds is selling French Macaroons !!!


A busy street like the Kalverstraat does have its hidden treasures, like the Begijn hof.  An oasis of peace and quite space.  Hee the old nuns and widowed affluent ladies spend their last years.



Delft also has a few of these hofjes.  After that the train, and again uploading the transport card with more Euro’s and a Nap






Beach . Cleanup

August 16

Stared the morning with the second coat of yellow on the back part of the deck, it looks smashing now.  Yes I know I still have to do the edges, but we can not remove rust in the marina with a perago disk


After this we stared the clean-up….closing the propane tans vent, putting the bikes on the top deck, putting some hose over the railing so the paint would not get scratched by the bikes, and finally walking up the bikes and locking them

We put the piece of wood over the skylight and secured the tan canvas over it, making sure the glass can not be broken and it is water protected.

In the afternoon we went to the beach, again Wijk aan Zee ( suburb at see)

We stopped at the beach place on the right this time, and had bitterballen and a nice sandwich


After our latish ‘lunch’ we went for a stroll along and in the water, nice feeling your toes sink into the wet sand and the waves rhythmically crash on your ankles.  The walk took us until  the little beach cottage.  We have to look to see to rent one next time.

And on the way back to the barge we see a familiar name    Dennis a waiter at the Pacific Kitchen, looks likes he has a sandwich shop in Amsterdam now


Lost of sun energy and dinner with Astrid and Marjan

Friday August 4

During the day the solar panel reached a new record…


As you can see from the Victron Venus readout we are getting 823 Watts sun energy !!!!!

Late afternoon Astrid and Marjan came for tea and dinner, which was lovely.  One point which was brought up was the egg scare in Holland.  We found out that each egg had their unique code, showing what kind of egg is, and which company it comes from



1 means free range chickens

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here is the article on egg codes in europe


Steelwork, a small scrape, pancakes

Thursday August 10

Waking up on the boat we see the relaxed scene, and you smell the cacao transports

Currently the sink runs the drain to a hull through, which is connected with a T and also serves the shower.  Problem here is the top of the hull through is higher than the sink so draining is slow, plus when the shower pump works,


part of the shower water goes back into the sink until all is drained.  In the past I have estimated that we could just drain the sink directly overboard with a hull through, and had Marius confirm it.  So after also Daniel measured it, I was confident to dril a pilot hole into the side of the boat, once the pilot hole was through, I climbed on the side and saw that the hole was about 3 inches above water.  Perfect thus.  Grabbed the bigger hole saw and started drilling, until bang the drill flew out of my hand, one of the teeth of the drill was bent and had grabbed.  so the guiding dril bit was bent.

So after replacing it, I started drilling even more careful, squirting enough WD40 to keep it lubricated, and got through.  Together with Daniel we got the hull through in and I attached the hose to the sink and it drained perfectly.  Only thing to do now , is to cap of the T for the shower drain.

Daniel worked some more on the diesel tank, we got the airvent in and the second fuel line through to the engine room.

We also got the hull through opened for the engine room bilge pump, there was a watering hose, together with duct tape and something glued to the outside, it took some work, but we managed to clear it, and now I was able to slide the nice reinforced hose with the whale bilge pump on.

In the same area we saw that the steering cable track was loose, so we bolted it back in place and the steering cable was laying on top now, protected…but wait for it…  there is  more.  We did our goodbye’s from Oving1.  We casted off, and made the turn.   BAM very hard steering and hardly any movement in the wheel.  I was able to coax back Jan-Kees to Oving1 while at the same time calling Daniel.  We again attached to Oving1, and played with the steering wheel and all seemed to work.  We added more lines to the bollards and pressed with the throttle.  We went in the back and  the cable was laying on top af the guide, and getting in between the guide and the exhaust.  We followed the cable and saw that the exhaust was attached to the track with a tie-wrap, which prevented the cable to rest in the guide to protect it.  Once we cut the tie wrap, the cable snapped in place and ran smooth as a babies butt.  We did our second set of goodbye’s and went on our way back to Dukra.

Deb was at the wheel and life was PERFECT,  we grabbed a glass of wine and a Hertog Jan and some Borrelnootjes.   Bridges were going smooth, and there was the Prins Willem Alexander Bridge.   We have been under that one before, but I made the mistake of not paying attention and directed Deb to the ‘normal’ starboard side.  (Coming from the north we had to go to the port side of the bridge. ) The side I was directing Deb to was slanted, so I pointed to the most left side of the bridge opening.  Deb being more careful than I am  approached very slowly and I walked to the front to measure the distance, and it was TOO low,   Deb quickly did a full reverse, and manage to correct my direction mistake by getting away with only a small scratch on the aluminum profile of the solar panels.  But it did put her in a very down mood.  She took it way more badly than I did.   Besides we do have insurance for these kind of things!.    I took over the wheel and we had to do some maneuvering to get out of there.




Here you see the track of when we kissed the bridge



















Here is the full track of the day










The rest of the trip was uneventful and the mooring at Dukra went smooth.

Later we met up with Coen from Oersjoch and went to the pancake house at the lock.  We had a Mexican Pancake and a Boemerang pancake.

Ghosts with Victron? Sanding, visitors, and movies

So the first thing I checked this morning was emails from Victron, if they knew anything new what to do with the Venus.  At the same time I logged onto the Venus own wifi and saw the Multi visible…..what …I emailed to Victron and asked of they could see it also ….. we are blaming it on ghosts!

Since we were getting guests I had to clean up everything, make the visible part of the boat presentable.  And before the guest were coming we had to get more milk and treats, especially for Timmy and his crew.  At the grocery we found out they were out of  celery salt ( for the cheese) so we bought celery and salt to make our own mixture.

I found out it was only Bep and Jesse ( who after 20 + years living in Holland stil does not speak Dutch, he understands it perfectly, but he keeps replying in English . “everybody speaks English in Holland” is his typical reply).   With some spare time available I started to tackle the sanding of the wheel house, and after sanding applying  ‘ontwerings water” . ( dewatering agent) . to get the water stains out.

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Finally got a text from Bep, that they were lost but at the local Praxis, so jumped in the car and brought them to the boat.

A nice afternoon with coffee and coffee and coffee, and Bep & Jesse had to go back home.
While we were having coffee, a nice 40 feet ‘yacht’ came in and I noticed the name “miles Ahead”,  reminding me of the movie Miles Ahead, about Miles Davis, which starred Mike Dennis our waiter from the Pacific Kitchen in Cincinnati.   ( Or as he is known in the restaurant “mike dentist”.  Mike plays the racist downtown cop.   So I had to get their attention, yes they named their boat after Mike Davis, but NO they did not knew about the movie, and would go get it.  So Mike D thank us for making you earn  royalties !

We decided it was time for Pannekoeken,  so we walked to the Wilhelmina sluis ( lock), which just opened and a big sailing scooner with a gaggle of holiday kids motered by.  I stopped in to ask the water height and it was on 2.75 Meters.  TOOOO low for Jan-Kees.

Deb decided a Mexican Pannekoek and I had a Shoarma Pannekoek


Bottom is the shoarma Pannekoek, right top is the Mexican pannekoek


Saturday July 23

A fresh start of the day with a stroll to the Saturday morning market.  The fresh vegetables, fruit, the smell of cheese and fresh baked bread.  We are in heaven.  So after a first round we came around for the second time, got some nice cherries, great small strawberries,  aalbessen ( small tart berries, great on top of Yoghurt or Vla).  Then at the cheese stall we got 500 Grams of old cheese, and the final stop the baker, some great bread and some Cocos Cookies.

Picture of Aalbessen

Then just a few minutes after we stepped on the boat Daniel arrived, and we went over all the things that we stil want to accomplish and the trips we cn take these coming weeks.

He also brought the connectors for my Victron Venus control unit, which I forgot to bring from the USA.





Sand, Fish, Pinot Gris and heaven.

The 18th started at 1 am….as usual I was wide awake after 1 am, so made a sandwich, scoured the internet for some news and went back to bed at 3 am, to be woken up at 6 am as usual.    I tried to keep as quiet as a mouse, since Deb and Lam were both sleeping.  After a few minutes Lam dryly whispered…I know you are trying to be still, but I am getting up and take a shower…”how late is it” .    when I answered I heard “HELL no I am NOT getting up”.  so I moved quietly below again to check emails and work, servers and work in the Amazon management console.

Around 8 Lam woke up, and quietly sneaked out of the pilot house to go to the showers.  When Lam came back we quietly discussed a few boat items and came to some consensus how the pilot house and back deck should be done in the future, more about that later.

Around 10 am it was time to get Deb up and slowly get on our way.  First we detoured to the ‘second hand boat shop” in Baambrugge.  We found a nice brass water fill opening, 2 passenger life jackets.  then we continued to one of the must stops in every trip….The Kurhaus in Scheveningen, yes try to pronounce it like a Dutchman:)
Parking ended up in waiting in line and driving all around the parking garage trying to find a spot but we did. The short stroll to the Kuhrhaus and into the entrance, up the stairs into the grand dining room to the ‘serre’ .  but … was all set up for dinner…..what? …no . :(….but a quick glance to the left, showed they made a larger bar/patio area.  Found a great table overviewing the beach and the sea.     As usual the service was perfect, beer with 2 fingers of froth. the logo properly facing the the client, the waiter not reaching over the table, to serve the 3rd drink..perfect.    But the wait staff did stepped into the new century,  until recently a waiter took the order, remembered it and entered it into the point of sale system out of sight.  The bitterballen came quickly and tasted again so good….  but..the lingering smell of fried kibbeling and Patat overwhelmed Deb & Lam, so we had

IMG_1800 to go on the board walk and get Kibbelingen and Patat Speciaal and Patat Oorlog      Then it was to the pier,  we sat down for a bit in the shade.



Lam and Deb went for a stroll on the sand and to get their feet wet in the Ocean.  which also means ….getting the sand away before the shoes go on.


Once the shoes were on, back in the car and off to Delft.  In Delft we parked on the square at ‘willem van Oranje” where I have been going for the past 45 + years, when it started with Friday evening dinners while working at Talens Foto While we waited for Daniel and Mint, we got some Bitterballen, who were fried too much, and some good beers.  Once we had these appetizers, it was a short stroll to the beestenmarkt.  On the way there I took them along the Maria van Jesse Church, which was the original place of the house of Johannes Vermeer, and then through the steeg next to it to the Burgwall and Beestenmarkt where we drifted into Spijshuis De Dis, where chef Jan had ket a nice 5 person tabel outside.  I discovered Jan about 16 years ago trying to find creative good food.   Jan has his menu based on 17th century ( golden age)  recipes, when the Dutch trade was spreading spices around the world.

Our waitress was a very friendly Portugese woman, and she handed out menus’.  Lam started salivating about the fish choices and the way they would be prepared.

When the waitress asked what we wanted to drink I told her to go to Jn and ask him what we should drink,  She same back with a waiter who has worked there longer and he started talking about a tasting menu, about halfway his sentence I told him to just do it for all 5.  Jan has never disappointed ( yet? ), so off course.  The next question was if there was a preference for more fish or more meat, to which we choose more fish.

The wine which came out was a nice Pinot Griz IMG_1806

The selection of appetizers came in, and I only remember a few of them.  I dont care what was in them…they just tasted delightful, paired with the wine,  they vanished with sound of angels sing…….there were some nice cured meat slices, a sauteed mushroom wth a slice of goat cheese, some smoked fish and a philo dough basket with goat cheese and some other ingredients.

Then the main selection of fish and meats came, including an great assortment of veggies.  Lam and I joked about getting Mike of the Pacific Kitchen together with Jan and do cook-off, who knows…………

And then…I know I whispered to the waiter “cloggie” .  so I expected one of the signature deserts to come,  but Jan must have been in a ‘mean ‘ mood because the waitstaff showed up with 5 ……IMG_1807

Mint and Daniel working on their desert, usually a wooden shoe is enough desert for 2 -3 persons


Even Deb who hardly EVER eats desert enjoyed it and finished a whole  Cloggie !

When we ordered coffee Daniel wanted something sweet, so he got Amaretto.  Deb got Benedictine, which she tried to sip, and did not enjoyed it, until she poured it in her coffee and yes, she enjoyed it.  Lam put on his puzzled face and looked quizzically to me, and together with the waiter we told him Koren wijn.   The face expression of Lam was priceless,  bewildered…puzzled…… aghast…  ..”you ordered me some kind of Genever?’  …”No No I replied, it is wheat wine” .  when it arrived he smelled, tasted and his eyes glazed over……..”it taste like whiskey, Jan” .   to which I replied……”well we just had a 50 bottle whisky, whiskey and bourbon tasting at the Pacific Kitchen…so why not go for something like that ”

After some more lingering we had to drive back to Jan-kees.     While on Jan-kees, Deb went to bed and Lam and I chatted for a bit, until it was past midnight and I wanted to go to bed, but it was Lam’s last night on Jan-kees, and he was not ready to go to sleep, since he had to return to the humidity and sweltering heat in Ohio and work the next day