Can you park you car somewhere else…..or not having a life..

Last year when Marius drove over from Limburg to the boat and brought the sofa cushions, he parked his car.  The moment he opened the hatch to Jan-kees, Daniel popped a bottle of Hertog-Jan for him.  10 minutes later a knock on the door and a stranger peeked in, pointed to Marius and said ” you were going to move your car”.   Bewildered looks from all of us, and Marius explained that the spot he parked on was next to a disabled spot, and the guy who lived in front of it asked Marius to move his car.  So we did.  Fast forward to this year……Every year when we rent a car we rent a small one, and some people commented on that so this year we rented the extra van of Daniel, one reason si to give him some $ and just because it would be handy to move stuff.  Because there was construction on the spot where we normally can park, we had to park in the same street as Marius did last year…do I have to continue…?

So 3 days later we used the van to move some stuff and drive to Renata and Remy.  When we came back we started parking the car in a different spot, and the moment I steered that car onto the spot, a male walked to us qnd asked how long we were going to park there.   I looked bewildered and said one day….he replied it was blocking his mothers view….which view was smaller passenger cars and the other side of the street.  He did tell us there was a BIG parking lot at the end of the street.  But I was too tired to bother, besides the street is PUBLIC parking.  The old lady was quite agitated, because…”YOUR BIG VAN was parked 3 days over there blocking part of everybodies view” The next day we stepped in the truck and started backing up..  I was barely out of my spot and 2 cars stopped, the driver stepped out and were reminding us that there was a BIG parking lot 100 meters at the end of the street, and they don’t like seeing big vans parked here.

Wow I feel sorry for these people who have nothing better to do .

Update…so we parked the car on the BIG EMPTY car lot, and after being gone the weekend…I parked the car there again……while driving into the lot I saw a pair of eyes follow me.   Locked the doors and started to walk away when I heard . ” Can’t you park this van in front of your house” . lol  wow

Can I see your Visa please….

So Deb and I prepared to go to Jan-Kees again.  This time for a longer period.  Luckily we were allowed each two suitcases.  So we packed our usual carry case and each of us packed also the new blue Jan-Kees duffelbag.  Mine was filled with spare parts, a nail gun, the usual dark chocolate M&M’s, pumps, electric and electronic parts.  And so we arrived at CVG as two pack mules loaded up in the high sierra’s.  A short wait and the passports and green card and boarding passed were handed to the Delta agent.  Some typing, some looking to the passports, and then ” May I see your Visa” .   A though like “is she NEW ? crossed my mind” , but I replied nicely…BUT I have handed you my green card!  Sir it is not for you it is Miss Richardson.  You are going to Europe for longer than 90 days so you need a long stay visa.  I nearly bursted out with laughing.  The reason the airline has to ask this, is because if entry would be denied to Deb, Delta would have to provide her a free return trip.  Now the Dutch immigration ( Koninklijke Marechaussee…Royal Military Police) do not use the same interrogation techniques as the INS uses when you return to the US.   They smile, they wish you a happy stay, make jokes.  Luckily I had enough papers with me to show the agent a dutch official letter and explained that Deb’s Visa was waiting for her in Amsterdam.  That was enough for the agent and all 4 suitcases vanished on the belt into the belly of the beast on tis way to the Planes.  The trip was uneventful, except when we arrived in Detroit and got calmed by the underground music and visuals we did felt it needed to grab a cocktail next to the departure gate.

So make sure you have your long term visa 🙂

Oh and just to share this …it is 10 pm and it is still light outside 🙂 . Love this long evenings.

Don’t you love banks ?????

Ok so….and this is Christmas, the sound of cheerful Christmas music and lights is showing all over the boulevard here in Altea, close to Benidorm Spain.  But off course your bank has to spoil the festive mood, “for your security”.  So my Itunes account is linked to my American Bank Account  (Huntington bank), because Itunes prefers American debit cards.   Being in Spain and buying an episode on Itunes, ticked of some kind of alert and they block the card!   Even though the days before I have bought a few episodes without problems.   But on Christmas eve you get ‘card declined, …so a minor inconvenience.   I can wait a month or so till I visit the US again, but this  also means any updates from Apple are blocked, because the card is ‘not valid’, which is a real pain.  You can not update apps, security updates etc.

I had to accept making a phone call to the US.  Fine you call, get all the info they need ready, tax ID,  phone number, last deposits etc etc.  I wonder why they don’t ask for color of my underwear?

You call the 24-7 # and the voice prompt first directs you that you NEED to set up a secret pin for “YOUR’ protection, (a.k.a. reducing their liability) . spending a few minutes dealing with that leads you to ……for other questions please call back during business hours.

You call the non 800 # ( which is published for people OUTSIDE the USA, so they realize the world is bigger than the US) and after the series of verifications……”Oh it is a business account..let me connect you ”  and when that answers ” for questions please call back during business hours.”

OK lets try it a second time, and when they started to ask all the security questions I blurt out.  STOP..I am overseas and you blocked my card, I need you to correct this and NOT put me through to a number that says call back during business hours”.  Now I get the security barrage.  BUT I need to say the exact days I am abroad, which is silly.  so after going back and forth I just say DEC 30 2018.   And the final surprise is ….”Sir it wil take 30 – 45 minutes before this is active” .   WOW they use post pigeons?
Gosh how much easier are ABN AMRO and RABO bank, they let you set your limits for your card ( the US bank says for your safety we limit it to $300, in case you loose the card, or you get robbed).   With the Dutch banks, I can set a limit as high as I have . balance,  I can set limits for Europe, or other continents.  Why is the US banking industry behind ?

Have a great Christmas !!!

Air heating is working

Tuesday August 15

The day started by sanding down the rust sport, created by the little ‘kernel’ or rust removed by the perago disk who flew around and landed on the deck.  They left a little rust spots sanded pilot house front deck.  I should have wiped/ hosed the deck after I remove the rust …………After the sanding I applied a coat of primer which had Owatrol added to it.  Owatrol converts rust and is a rust inhibitor.   The primer was dry in 20 odd minutes.

2 Kabola technicians came to assist Ron with the hot air unit.  The Temperature indicator showed an ambient temperature of 1C.    These technicians, did discover that one thermocouple should have been mounted factory wise was not.  So they needed a 7 mm drill and a pair of pliers, to make sure the drill would not go too far and puncture the heat exchanger.  The next problem …the 1C measurement was caused because the plug was not in deep enough.  And yes the heating worked smoothly and quietly.  We discussed how to optimally control it, and it was decided that the wall controller would control the furnace on and off, and the blower would be set on automatic and the temperature.  This way the fan will adjust its speed to the temperature of the outside thermocouple, and be very quiet.

Lindy and Roy coming, but are having delays with trains

Once Roy got into designing the frame for the switches, Lindy and I applied a coat of yellow on the top deck which I had just sanded and primed

While we Lindy and I were painting, Deb decided Lindy needs to make some art on the main hatch, which would be fun to look at, and on the hatch it can be ‘framed, and people will not really walk much over it.

deck_hatch

Here you can see how Deb was trained by the swans.  They would gently float up, see that the window was open and make noise, Deb then dutifully would grab the lets over bread, feed them, at first by just throwing small pieces out the window, and later by holding it in her hand and the swans just picking it out.  Just like she did when were in France on Waterman

Roy and Lindy had to leave around 18:30, because of train troubles it would be a longer.  Because it was still light we drove to Wijk aan Zee for a walk on the beach and some food.  In this place you went in, ordered paid and they would bring it out.  So I quickly ordered 2 fun beers, a portion Sateh and a portion bitterballen.  I got my 2 beers and our number to be displayed on the table.   The Sateh came out….and no sign of the bitterballen, the chef apologized and said they would come out very quickly now.  We nibbled on the Sateh…and . 20 minutes later our beers were finished and still no bitterballen.    I went inside and smilingly explained and after excuses of the manager I exchanged the number for the price of the bitterballen.

While walking to the car, we saw this Abri ( Shelter in French) which was a sea shell on its side made in 1993.  Deb sat on the little bench and the sound was amazing, it really amplified the sea sounds

 

Birthday and fuel problems

Friday August 11

Today was the birthday of Lindy,  Lindy and her family stayed with us in Ohio the week before we left to Europe.   Their last day, Sunday , they went to Vegas to start their camper trip through the west and we went to Schiphol to go to the boat.

Being up early I decided to text Lindy a happy birthday and to my surprise she reacted, while normally on a non school day, she would never wake up before lunch time.  Asking what she wanted for her birthday she replied Euro’s for the art supplies.  OK…But I also know she likes chocolate, so I got on shore, jumped on the bike and pedaled to Jamin to buy some chocolate coins.

Deb and I got ready after this to drive to  the Michielsen’s in Waddinxveen. When I stepped in the little Fiat 500, I saw that the fuel gauge was on low, so first stop ….Gas station.  pushed the nozzle in, pressed the handle and click , darn, move the nozzle, darn sensitive nozzles……press the handle and again after a few drops click …so I kept doing this until I had about 4 liters in.  At that point, 5 minutes later, I decide to give up and try another gas station.  I walked in paid, got back in the car and told Deb about it, and she said yes next station.  I stop at the exit, look to the dash and the gauge is 3/4 ….   I shake my head and think what the frell…I look closer . and I see it is the temperature gauge, so I mistook the temperature gauge for the fuel gauge, and putzed around trying to fill up a full tank.  I am needing to wear glasses more.

In Waddinxveen Linda was waiting for us to cut her Chocolate cake, which seems a bit of a problem 🙂

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BBQ

 

 

Hurry Up and wait

Wednesday  August 3

Today was our planned trip to “de Veght” a nice meandering curvy river, where in the golden age all the rich merchants had their weekend homes.

BUT Daniel informed us that there was going to be some very very heavy wind on Thursday, so he asked if it would be ok to take Jan-kees along Oving1 through Amsterdam to “nieuwe Meer” where the crane of Oving1 was needed to lift a generator on the scouting float for Saturday’s Gay parade on the water in Amsterdam. And then return with Jan-kees either via Amsterdam, or via Haarlem

So just after lunch Oving1 arrived, he had to time his trip according to the opening schedule of the railway bridges.  Got Jan-kees  out of the slip , and attached the ropes, and ….yes it always happens at such a moment Matthijs of Victron called to do some testing on the Venus, for a bug I found.  So while handling ropes, and trying to talk on the phone and typing….VETport showed up, with a clinic being down.   When it rains it pours.

So Matthijs had to be on hold for a little bit, and VETport was dealt with.  All while we filled up both barges with Diesel.   Daniel got a nice discount because of the scouting!

We made sandwiches onboard Jan-kees and brought them up to the large pilot house of Oving1, just before we entered the Noordzee Kanaal.  Daniel reported himself on CH 4 to Amsterdam haven, the ‘traffic control’ for that very  very busy canal.   Then in Amsterdam we turned South into the “Oude Hout Haven ”  ( Old wood harbor).  Since we were still tied up 3 wide, we looked at the ANWB app on the Ipad and saw that the first 4 bridges were over 11 wide.  Wide enough for Jan-kees tie to Oving1, but the orange sloop had to be loose.

bridge1

Here you see Oving1, with ‘little’ Jan-Kees on the left side

 

Mint and I jumped in the sloop and brought it to the Markthallen, where we tie it up and connected it to the FREE electric charge station.  Yes electric boats get FREE propulsion on many places in The Netherlands.
We walked back to to crossing of the ‘tweede kostverloren straat’ . (the second ” I lost my food/ money street’) and Markt hallen to jump aboard again.    At that moment we had to untie Jan-kees from Oving1, since it would be easier.

kostverloren
The next bridges were all around 2.45 – 2.50 meters high , so we had to wait until they opened, which would take anywhere from…no wait at all, to 15 minutes.  It ook some maneuvering with a bit of wind.  At the end of the “2e Kostverloren straat” we had to wait for the lock.  Once it opened there was not enough space for jan-kees to get in there with Oving1 and all the other boats.   So a ‘dance’ was started of reversing, turning, forward etc, since it could not take that long, well WRONG we were .  So after about 15 minutes ‘dancing around’ we just moored at a bollard.  In the mean time about 8 little boats were also waiting, so you know what is going to happen when the lock opens…….yes .    RUSH, as fast as you can ..all the boats, not bothered by traffic rules or common sense rules dashed in like a pack of hungry wolves  on a meat wagon.   One dipwat ran past Jan-kees on Starboard and immediately in front of the bow turned to port.
We got out, saw Oving1 and tied up.

We strolled around at the scouting camp and saw the float they are working on.  Loved their slogan

scout

Because it was late we could not do the route we wanted to do …ringvaart, Haarlem and then back to Zaandam.

Around 5:15 we had to wait, since bridges were not opening during rush hour, so I made some noodles and some Indian.  While we were moored a for Dutch points was overdressed for a work day and he complimented us on the name “Jan-kees’ .  Deb engaged in a bit of  discussion about being ‘refugees from America’, and Daniel and Mint looked at me and rolled their eyes, not because of Deb’s remark, but because they knew what was going to follow………”yes I understand you want to escape Trump,   but don’t you find comfort in the Lord”.  Yes you guessed it, a Jehova’s witness on a recruiting tour. Luckily Deb invoking the “flying spaghetti monster religion” and saved the day.

Dinner onboard, in the middle of Amsterdam on a canal

At 18:00 the bridges were opening again, but we had to follow a German in a ‘yacht’, Grandpa onboard kept warning his son who was steering their boat, about the impending danger of the old Dutch barge looming close behind him.

Deb took the wheel, while Daniel watched and suggested tips.

 

Here is DEB steering

 

Here Deb is passing a big freighter in Amsterdam

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Here is a collection of pictures along the route

 

We also past the Jacob Cats kade , where they had a picture of that famous Dutch painter

Jacob_cats_kade

I went and enjoyed my coffee on the front of the boat, got a nice wave from some Turkish woman having some snacks on a bench along the canal and saw Amsterdam pass by gently.

turkish

 

A great day.

Depart..as the GPS says.

Wednesday July 19

Yes it was a sad day for Lam….having to return to the world of reality, report requests, SQL programming, blistering heat and humidity, wine triple the price than in the Zaandam supermarket, but we all knew the bliss had to end, until next time.  Luckily his flight had a 3 hour delay, so no need to rush very early in the morning.IMG_1811  As you can see the Pirate Mermaid and Singapore flag were still on the mast.

The trip to schiphol was quick.  The departure level was packed.  Then while sipping Coffee I get the text “Had to file for a C

 

anadian Electronic Transfer Authorization .    Just transfering through Toronto. $55” . “waiting for my email confirmation.

IMG_1812

May take UP to 3 hours….I MAY miss my flight because they cannot check me in unless I have the authorization” .  The nerve wrecking waiting started.   I did reply ” I m standing by to pick you up if need be” . Hoping to relieve pressure.   Then I went online to read about this and I came about this.

So Lam got caught in one of the advertised websites, since he did so on his phone…..a few minutes later he got the ETF and made it to the gate just when they were boarding.    Fast forward for the rest of the ‘trains plans and automobiles’. Once in Toronto, he had missed his flight to Chicago.and had to be rebooked.  Then when Lam landed in Chicago, he had missed his Dayton connection.   So basically the delay from AirCanada made him miss his United flight, meaning he had to spend a night in a hotel.  Make note NEVER book a ticket with multiple airlines ( esp not on miles) because they play   ‘it is >>>> their fault”

Early afternoon we went to Bep and Jesse and Wilma, cliff and Timmy for coffee.  And after coffee we went to Ikea to buy the next set of Ikea wall cabinets to be used in the front of the boat. Deb & Wilma wanted to see everything on display, so I used the short cuts to get to the kitchen department, and start the order.  Since I had everything already planned the order was quite quickly, we entered the data and the delivery, since we did not wanted to haul everything to the boat.  When Deb arrived I wanted to make sure I had the correct doors, and we found out that the wrong doors were on the order ( they sounded close to the real ones we needed) so the order had to be adjusted again.   A quick bite in the restaurant there and follow the maze to check out.  En route there we found a nice ‘breakfast in bed’ serving tray/table, and we also found a clothes hanger which we could fit in the kitchen  cabinets for shorts,   BUT off course the with was wrong…the Cabinets are 60 cm and the contraption i either 50 or 75  cm.    I bought both to try.  The large one cut off and reweld, the short one, with wood blocks.

Tomorrow 4 daagse.

 

 

 

Arrived July 17

After a very uneventful flight with hardly any sleep, but great silence thanks to the noise canceling head phones. we were greeted by the familiar “Mind your Step” voice from the rolling pathway. Then a quick good morning of the Dutch Immigration (a female Wachtmeester of the KMAR)  we stroled to the luggage belt.  The moment we arrived the luggage was being dropped off, and we quickly saw my Orange bag.  Deb’s bag  did not showed itself, so we waited and waited and at a sudden moment Deb pointed to a black bag, I shook my head, her bag had a jeans/ western print……BUT only on the front.  So the poor bag was going round and round without being noticed.   Moving onto the Rental car counter, we were met with long long queue.  Finally we got our papers and it was a ….Fiat 500…. Up the walking bridge, the stretch to the elevator, down 2 floors and we got the number of the car and it was a new car, only 3 km.  The rental agent pointed….”it is behind the poster.  and there was a cute white Fiat with an Italian license, but there were dings on it.    Confusion abound…..walked back to the rental agent and he gave me the location again…..well it was not the w

hite one , it was the black Fiat 2 doors over.  Loaded up and off we went.

Leaving the parking garage we turned on Homer,

IMG_1810who quickly guided us to Zaandam. Unloaded, walked the Jetta and there he was…Jan-Kees

The first thing we noticed was the new railing which Daniel had put on  during the weekend, and painted in primer.

 

IMG_1798

 

We dropped our luggage, opened the windows shades, windows and wheel house top doors to get the air flowing and dropped on the bed exhausted.

 

About 40 – 50 minutes later we hear “hello hello” . it was Lam who just returned from his trip to Paris.

He took the train the 13 to be in Paris with Bastille day, and just got back.  He was able to secure some great chocolates and wines.

We just chatted and relaxed, when to the Turkish Donar place, bought food, sat int he wheel house, drank more wine and fell asleep bliss fully.