How many females can he keep up with ….

Yes the other boaters in the marina are starting to ask..Last week your wife and 2 other females, This week a mother and her daughter.  Poor guy ..will this be the 583th time to the Rijks Museum, 293th time to the Anne Frank House, and 1,001st time you explaining Panne Koeken ( Pan cakes)

Yes it is fun to have a deluge of guests.  The sofa on the pilot house has been a great bed for me. ( it wil be a total of 24 days this trip ) .  We stil have the Murchland’s to come after this group.  And yes I am starting to feel a bit like the head steward on the “below decks series”.  I even adapted the “my pleasure” when a guests ask for something.

Today July 3rd, Peggy and Megan were still dead asleep at my normal waking up time of 5 am.  Hey, it is LIGHT outside so why be sleeping.  The sun starts pouring energy in the solar panels, so coffee is great.  Did work for Vetport, and ignored the usual verbal explosions of some of the people there.

The yellow part of the deck was covered with light pearls of condensation.  The part with was covered in primer was dry.  Yes the energy absorption is really noticeable.  During the day you can touch the Yellow without fear of being burned, but the part covered in grey primer, is hot enough to fry an egg.   So I grabbed the paint and roller as quiet as a mouse and snuck out, and started putting a first coat of yellow over the primer.    Now the top deck is nearly all repainted.  We still have to apply the 2nd and 3rd coat on some parts and some parts only need a 3rd.  Then when the sides are done I can apply a 4th and probably 5th coat.  When we bought Jan-Kees, the previous owner had not done much paint upkeep for a few years, so it was really needed.

Megan woke up, and I had to show her how you really slice Old Gouda. By the time Peggy woke up, it was time for me to go to the dentist, 2nd and final root canal this trip.  While cycling halfway I realized I forgot my big Iphone with music.  I NEED my noise canceling head phones and music to drown out any noise the dentist made.  Luckily I could download some music while cycling.  Yes I rather to to Iraq, Iran orLebanon, in high heels, lingerie and NO weapons, than to the dentist, and I would still feel more comfortable there than at the dentist.  But the dentist who is from Poland is good, and I am slowly loosing some of my apprehension.
IMG_3149.JPGComing back the girls were ready to go to town, explore, and say “wow that is cute’ at nearly every house.   At the shoe store, which had a sale, they just vanished, to come out 30 minutes later with a lot of new shoes.
Megan had to try the FeBo.  it is like one of these 1950’s automatic.   You put your 2 Euro’s in, look to the window and open it to get your snack out.  Great for midnight hangover snacks.  Megan grabbed a Sateh Croquette  ( spicy grilled chicken with peanut sauce in a croquette form), and I got her a Bami Ball ( deep fried Indonesian Noodles, so a VERY Dutch dish ).  She preferred the Bami Ball.




After that I had to dash to the town hall to pickup some papers,  Peggy found a coffee machine and grabbed some free coffee, and was surprised she did not had to pay 50 Euro cents to go to the bathroom.  At the same time Megan was making sounds like delighted squirell who found its nuts in the middle of the snow, because there was free WiFi



Since Monet lived and painted in Zaandam Peggy had to make a picture from the same spot Monet was sitting when painting his Blue House, which si 1 minute walking from the barge.

We did stopped at Albert Heyn, a nice grocery store ( Just in case you did not know they also own Red Lion, Piggly Wiggle and a bunch more US based grocery chains) . In AH ( Albert Heyn)  Megan was like a 4 yr old in a candy store, grabbing anything and anything in my shopping basket, until she grabbed some French cheese and I had to threaten her with arrest by the dutch police since we are very tolerant, BUT some things are NOT allowed.  Peggy was told a few time “MOM we are NOT at home so DON’T buy the same stuff you are used to at home” .  In the housekeeping department I did had to show them GLASSEX.

Back at the boat, after unpacking the groceries, we were met with the quack quack of the duck with her 5 ducklings.   Deb, Sarah and Cathy were well trained by mother duck to feed her and her offspring, so Megan took up that task,  she even climbed down on the construction floater, next to the barge.

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After some rest and RUDE interruptions by the constant ‘ping ping ping ping’ of Vetport, we walked to the lock for pancakes.  We decided on 2 large ones, a Mexican one and a Boeren Pannekoek ( Farmers  pancake)   Nicely filled with smoked bacon, ham, caramelized onions etc.  They were split amongst us 3 and vanished like snow for the sun. Too quickly gone to make a picture.
Megan chatted a bit with the waitress about differences in work.  We also put in an order for poffertjes with fresh strawberries and chocolate syrup.  It took  a while, Peggy did asked me a few times if I had put the order in, to which Megan corrected her with “Chill we are not at home eating quickly, enjoy it”.  the waitress must have overheard that because she came out feeling embarrassed …., because the owner just took a walk to his sons restaurant on the other side of the lock.


They were NEARLY devoured when Megan realized she had to take a picture.

A bridge too far ……….. ( plane trains and automobiles and a station too far )

So it started as a leisurely morning, peaceful breakfast, long hot shower for Sara.  At 9:30 it was time to say bye bye, hear the click click click click of the luggage wheels on the dock towards the car.   I picked up the upgraded car and met the girls at the end of the pedestrian bridge.  A smooth ride to Schiphol, even though Deb STILL had to remind me to take the Schiphol exit.  I seem to block that one out, because of the reconstruction or because ” I don’t wanna go home “.  Arriving at the car renall return place, we were greeted by the Hertz employees with the familiair “ws anything wrong” this solicited the …”YES the darn whiskey dispenser did not worked” . The one employee looked a bit “Whaatttt”, the second one smiled and replied . “well atleast the ice cube dispenser was working I Assume Sir?”   We all had a chuckle while a few other renters looked like “wait you can get a whiskey dispenser in the car?”   At the elevator there was a big line and Deb threw out ” Can we get a wine dispenser next rental?’   Finally we were able to get in and at the last moment another traveller jumped in and pressed a the door close and opens, on the same level.  The last traveller peeks his head out and looks to the buttons and remarks “is this 0?” .  Then mentions “I need to go to departures” . Since I was on a roll with the whiskey comment I flip out ” then why did you pressed rental cars?” .    And everybody got a chuckle.  Now it is 10 AM…we take the walk way and see we have to go to location 1A.   We reprint the boarding passes and I have to “take command” since sara sees a sign, passengers only, so she worries we should have dropped of the luggage somewhere else.  Finally we arrive at 1A, and we see a line, longer than the waiting line at the Anne Frank house on a sunny day.   ( btw if you do NOT reserve for the Anne Frank house be prepared to wait 3 – 4 hours in line then ) . I kiss Deb a safe trip and leave.     Well later I get a text ….\



In the mean time I was doing laundry and putting up some more primer on the barge.  The sheets dried in a few minutes with the sun shining down and the wind quite fiercely blowing.   Once the dry sheets were on the bed I could put up the last primer on the top, but it was so warm and sunny and windy , that the primer dried nearly as fast as I could put it on.

Then off to the railway station to pick up Megan and Peggy.  I had texted both of them a few times after they landed, but got no replies.   Caught the train and had to switch trains in Sloterdijk.  While waiting there I found out the train would have a 5 minute delay, making me arrive at the same time as Peggy & Megan ( but on another platform), so I called Peggy’s cell and get it answered by a somewhat sleepy voice and after asking Peggy?  Megan ? I hear it is Patty, who tells me to call Megan’s phone.  Ok………so I call…I get voice mail…   well we wil have to see then.  I arrive at Schiphol airpots train station, asked one of the NS ( Nationaal Spoor . = National Railway) what platform the Thalys arrives and she informs me of the platform and mentions it is 3 minutes late.  So I am perfect on time.  Rush down to that platform, stand there with my grocery bag with 2 bunches of flowers ( for the Hertz checkin gal who upgraded us) and look . and look and look and look…….then I walk the whole platform…no contact.  OK I Think, lets go to the meeting point, which I had texted Peggy and Megan earlier this week, JUST in case we would miss each other on the platform.


No luck there either, I walked the perimeter twice,   Back to the platform, again walked both sides, NO sign.   So I tried Megan’s phone and again voice mail.  I call Peggy’s phone..answered by Patty and leave instructions to have Megan call me when they call ‘home’.  I walk the whole arrival hall a few times, then go to the Hertz counter and drop of the flowers, to great smiles   ( yes ‘bribing’ works, we each time have gotten a upgrade.  PERHAPS we would have gotten these upgrades anyhow, but this is juist nicer).I walk the hal again a few times, NO sign of them two.  So I go to ‘le bistro’ grab a Radler since I am dried out’ and yes my phone starts ‘pinging’ .  yep you guessed it Vetport with an ’emergency’ . Since support does not immediately responds to Tom I get the familair “Are you there?” to which I reply …looking for the girls, but none of their phones are working and NO I can not help you with your vetport question.   Then I get thrown at my feet that ” you should have prepared them and JUST telling them what to do is not helping them” .
Finally I get a call from Megan, asking where I am…..and they could not find the meeting point, and that they are at the official taxi stand.  So I tell her to walk BACK inside and go to the meeting point can not miss it.  I also see the official taxi stand and don’t see anybody from there waking towards the terminal building.   Waited a few minutes,  walked around the meeting point again… I call Megan back, and find out they are in Amsterdam Central, even though their tickets say Schiphol Airport..  Instruct them NOT to walk around , stay at the front of the building . ( NOT on the IJ side  ..this is the water side) and rush to the train platform to jump on a train.   The door closes, the conductor bumps into me and apologizes .   I fired of …” no problem just give me a pint, this IS a Belgian train right ?”   He replies “yes but we can only serve Pintjes in Belgium, sorry” .  The doors close and …nothing…nothing ..nothing …until we hear the Belgian voice….”we can not leave on sign is on alert, we have no idea how long this will take” . Finally a few minutes later the train leave anyhow.    Just before entering the Central station I was able to get Megan again and made sure she would be in the front in the center of the building.  I rush out get outside …and NOBODY…so I call and Megan is trying to tell where they are…they are at a Starbucks ….to which I asked …which ONE ? there ar 3 at the railway station.  I am miffed, can’t these girl follow ANY instructions, so I check in , walk through check out’ and walk from Starbuck’s to Starbuck’s as if I am a homeless man looking for change.  There I see them…..but…well you will see later…..what gave me a heart attack……

I give them their OV cards, and we are off to the trains again to go to Zaandam.   And since they have to do as I say all goes smooth

THIS nearly gave me a heart attack…they had enough space for 2 years of travel !!IMG_3139.JPG

After feeding them I took them for bitterballen since Megan had bitterballen at the “House of Orange’ in NKY, and she thought they were horrible.  ( Hans .  I did not wanted to say anything at Kings day, but the bitterballen you serve are NOT the ones you get at every cafe, restaurant and bar in Holland…)

Deb always cracks open the bitterballen to let them cool down….now we have an imitator…Peggy

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wait…they are closed ….whatttttt

Yes.Action was closed by the time I get there. Oh they are a bunch of professionals ..NO they are retail, but like normal human beings they need life work balance.  Action is a great store to buy anything and everything cheap, especially if you want to use it only once.  Yes their products are not TOP quality, but if you need to use a tool only a few times why spend 40 Euro’s when you can get the action one for 9 Euro’s.  So why the they are closed…..well they close at 18:00 ( or 6 pm for the twice 12 hour people).   Except on Thursday’s, which is shopping evening, then they are open till 21:00.  Some cities have ‘koop avond’ on Friday’s.
Just as in France it is quite common for a grocery to be closed for an hour or longer for lunch.  The lock keepers have their ‘golden hour’ 12:00 – 13:00 and do NOT dare to drive your boat into the lock.  So yes many retail stores close at 6, most are closed Sunday’s and Monday’s.  I know you will ask “BUT what will I do when I can’t go to the mall on Sunday?”   you just have fun with the family or friends, walk to the park, cycle to the beach

A better Bilge Pump System

So to get rid of the water we put in a bilge pump.  There are two kinds, the centrifugal one and the diaphragm pump.  And for detection a float switch.  the centrifugal pump can only keep moving liquid until the liquid reaches the ‘height’ of half the wheel, which is spinning to evacuate the water.   So water always remains in the bilge from 1/2″ to 1″
A diaphragm pump is self priming and can get all the water out, and if you let it run after the float switch switches of, you could reach total dryness……. for a period….until the water comes sneaking in again slowly and slowly, until it reaches the level where the float switch turns the pump on again.  Which could be days, weeks.  All this time the water sites there, making it dirty and humid.  So we need to find a better way to deal with this.

I wil post about float switch ideas later, but the end idea comes down to this.

Use a diaphragm pump, turn it on for 60 seconds, have a flowmeter in the line which pumps up the water.  If there were counts, turn the pump on again for 60 seconds, until the pump was on for 60 seconds with no counts.    Let the pump wait for 60 minutes and repeat.  IF there was water again, you let the pump repeat it after another period of 60 minutes.  IF there was again water that time,  reduce the wait time by 2, making it 30 minutes.  now if the first time there was NO water, you repeat it like above, but after 2  wait period with no water, no count, you double the wait period and continue until you get to 64 hours…if anytime during this, there is water, the system hold the wait period and then starts increasing or decreasing it .




wait_time = 1800 ( seconds)
Increase_time = 0
pump_on = 60 ( seconds)
Pulse_count =0
Incremental_count =0
Continue_pumping = 0


Pump on 60 second .     is there a pulse_count?
Incremental_count = Incremental_count + pulse_count . ( keep track of how much)
NO                   (means no water this cycle)  .
is continue_pumping 0?
YES.      continue_pump = 0 .      ( reset we found water)
increase time = increase_time +1,   ( increase the double/half counter
if increase_time = 2 ?
then wait_time = wait_time X 2
display the wait_time and the Incremental_count
wait the wait_time, and go to PUMP
else wait the wait_time, and go to PUMP
NO          increase_time = increase_time =-1
if increase_time = -2 ?
then wait_time = wait_time / 2;
wait the wait_time, and go to PUMP
else    wait the wait_time, and go to PUMP

YES (means water) .   Continue_pumping =1
go to PUMP


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.


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


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

0 .                                      1                                     2                                 3

here is the article on egg codes in europe


Bribing works

Monday August 7

A nice sunny day. I got off the boat around 9:15 and walked with the bike to Bentvelzen. The wood wholesaler just across the marina, to buy the wood for the shoe closet, next to the new front closets.
When I asked how much it would cost how what kind of beer it would take, one of the guys quickly walked to the back and asked what I needed.  I explained the sizes and he looked to some left over wood, but none that would be able to cut properly to my sizes. So he grabbed a whole sheet ( 4 * 8 ) 122 * 244 CM , and quickly cut them to size.  It was decided I needed to bring a case of Amstel beer. And al the wood was only E 12.50 !  So bribing with beer works, just like the rules of acquisition tell us


With a few screws I was able to quickly put the new shoe storage space together.  It will go next to the bow Ikea cabinets, next to the stairs.

Monday July 25

And rain appeared, the whole day, small drizzle clouds, sun so we had to lower the blinds, very short hard burst, dry, a 30 second drizzle.  Deb read and lounged below, while I tackled the 220V fuse box.  One problem was the fact that I wanted both the diesel heating and the electric heat be able to turned on and off by a switch, brought some extra work with installing conduit and pulling cables. And I made the mistake of thinking the switches should be with the main switch panel on the steering console.   But installing these next to the fuse box, greatly made things easier.  I just had to run the hot line to the switches, then the 2 black (schakel lijn) back to the fuse box and directly out with the yellow/green (earth) and the blue (null) to the engine room.

Later Ron came, because the hot water was not producing, after a minute or so looking around he saw that the plug for the circulation pump was not fully in.  Once he did so the heat came on, we had unlimited hot water ( limited by the fresh water tank).  The radiators became blazing hot, so I had Ron show me how to turn the water temperature down from 90C to 60 C . ( push black button and turn ).  We can put it up higher when it really gets cold.
Feeling the radiotors, we found some cold spots, which means the air has to be evacuated . (ontluchten), so I am waiting for a correct key from Ron.  It could mean we have to swap the temperature setting and the air vent when he puts anti freeze in the radiators, before it gets cold.

The hot air unit also started giving heat, and it was very quiet.

Unfortunately even with the temperature turned down the radiators and and hot air unit kept giving off heat, so I just switched all off and will wait for Ron again.

Then we needed a break plus grocery shopping, but can we do grocery shopping without a good pint of beer ?…..NO…so we first stopped at the little square, ordered beer and bitterballen.


foto bitterballen

It was funny on the terrace, a crow kept walking around, jumping from table to table and chair to chair as if he was either the owner, or the manager, picking up bits and pieces.  He did not wanted to be photographed.   ( must have something in his past he does not want us to know about )


After unloading the groceries we drove to Uitgeest to meet with Daniel, and to have Deb look at the new pilot house.  Oving1 was moored in the middle of the Alkmaarder plassen and as soon as Daniel saw us he picked us up with Oving1.  While he was underway, some kids kicked too hard and their ball went into the water.  The wind was blowing it away from them, but there came BIG old Oving1 and Danile maneuvered Oving1 back and forth until he pushed the ball closer to shore and he could pick up the ball.  He dropped his spud poles and was set.