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 🙂
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 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.
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 !!
So this is our 2nd day in Zaandam, and it the wind died down to a very gentle breeze. Sitting on the back is delightful now in the sun.
We did do grocery shopping yesterday at Albert Heyn. Deb started off wearing a mask, but after about 2 city blocks she saw nobody was wearing one, so Deb removed it. People walk around each other with a nice distance, or wait until you are passed. The big shopping street, Gedempte Gracht, has signs on the ground, suggesting which way the flow of pedestrian should go.
Pedestrians keeping a good distance. Not seen anybody commenting on us wearing a mask. So much nicer than back in Ohio. Went to Blokker, yes put on a mask before entering. Mine has the text “Alles Kits?” ( all ok ? ) . The entrance and exit are clearly marked and everything is one way. Hand sanitizer available at entrance and exit. Bought a handmixer there, so I can continue to make Cauliflower Mash, and minimize carbs. Then continued to Albert Heyn, only the self scan registers are open, and yes when you paid, you get the choice of a ‘full’ receipt’ or a ‘short one’ which have a bar code on it, opening the exit gate.
Walked passed the T-mobile store, and they just have the door open but roped off, because all employees are helping a person. Great way of controlling!
So the gist is, people wear a mask when they can not keep distance and nobody made it political. I am sure we will encounter one Karen during our stay here.
So it was an early morning. A final breakfast in bed for Megan, and for Peggy in the wheel house.
And yes I did play the Bye Bye MP3, creating chuckles.
Side note…..As a horn I bought a 2 * 20 Watt MP3 player, so I have different sounds for different occasions. A selection of sounds are available by request . Just as it is fun to play the sweeper MP3 in the morning in the marina…
Quickly a stop at the store, where Megan bought all the Stoop wafels, and a bunch of jars of Mustard to take home. Yes Tom you will get a jar of Zaandam Mustard, prepared in the local original mill along the canal and a big bag of Dutch Licorice. We made the trek to the Railway station with all 4 suitcases, and hopped on the train to the airport to catch the Thalys to Paris. There was the usual rush to get in, and to make things more complicated there were some travellers who did not had a pre-assigned seat so they sat on the fold out seat in the small entrance way, and yes their luggage was nearly blocking the entrance. So I just showed it back to them so everybody could just get in, but it was packed.
Back to the barge, to meet Lindy, who was going to start the “hatch art”. Last year Deb decided we needed to spruce up the big hatch on the barge with some more art. So together with Lindy they came up with ……..
The hatch has to be cleaned and the drawing started, unfortunately the cloud cover vanished, as you can imagine the steel deck became hot enough to fry an egg on it. We placed the white sun screen cover over it and Lindy kept on drawing. After 4 hours of work , she had to go home, to finish on a later day.
In the mean time I was finishing up my switch panel with covers, but boy is it hard to properly route the wood for the hinges. Luckily Roy will use this as a template and make a really good looking one.
This way the switches are out of sight, and divided in two groups, a general daily use group like, 24V lights, USB wall chargers, fresh water, bilge pumps, apero alarm etc, and the second group is cruising. Thus the Victron Venus, navigation lights etc. Once the panels are opened there will be a form where I can slide the Ipad in for navigation etc.
And even though I wrote the safety instructions, it does not mean I always follow them ( since “I am Invincible” as the villain in one of the James Bond movies shouts out). I did stubbed my little toe against the front deck hatch. Did not seemed
too bad, an hour later I put on sucks and shoes to walk Lindy back to the railway station, get back and unveil the my foot and voila…a nice auwie.
The sun was bright and early, the carillion ( church bells) kept playing it would be a great day to go cruising……..nope…it was going to be the beach ……
So I drove Peggy and Megan to Wijk aan Zee and was told I could pick them up 4 hours later. Megan took Peggy to the seashell, so she could hear distant sounds. I dashed back and started the 2nd layer op pain on the port side.
Also did some more cleanup, worked on the switch control panel, and picked up the girls.
After some rest they wanted to go eat Tapa’s . It was quickly calculated that the all you can eat is cheaper than a la carte. With English Menu’s Megan and Peggy ordered the first round of tapa’s. Megan absolutely wanted to make pictures of every dish…..but…she was so hungry that once most was gone she realized the dishes were empty and no photo’s
When Peggy mentioned ketchup, Megan needed to remind Peggy that the dips for the Patatas was NOT Ketchup!And that service is more relaxed, no need to rush dinner
Megan also captured my looks when Peggy asked for Ketchup again.
. For dessert Megan wanted Creme Brulee, but there were two version..so what to do ……well I took away that choice and ordered both .
When the bill came, there was the ‘fight’ over who would be paying, and I also checked the bill… I did waved the waitress down and did thanked her for also including my imaginary friend on the bill ( 4 persons unlimited Tapa’s) . But since my imaginary friend had not eaten we should not have to pay for him plus she forgot to charge for some drinks. She felt quite embarrassed, and told we should not pay for the forgotten drinks . …a nice bonus, so she earned a 5 Euro tip……….Tips in holland are very generous IF a customer rounds it of to the full Euro. !
Walking back we saw that Daniel just pulled up to deliver the circle saw I needed. Introductions were made and Daniel grabbed quickly a beer from the fridge. In the mean time Peggy got quite relaxed… and NO Daniel is NOT rubbing her feet
Remember we had the big storms in January ( see Yes dear we do have storms in Holland) . Right around that time the Venus warned me that the shore power was AWOL. Well no Biggy was my reaction, the batteries are full , 800 AH 24V batteries ( yes Mastervolt, because I could get them really really cheap.) . so that is 25.44 * 800 = 20.35 KWH. That would keep the bilge pump and Venus going long enough.
So mid March a friend goes to Jan-Kees, they had a terrible flight, well they did book United! Had no luggage and then NO 220V. So some frantic texting , I suggested to look to the shore power , shore breaker, shore cable, breakers. Well after a lot of work , they found out it was only the 220V primary outlet breaker who kept tripping. Unfortunately, the shore breaker flips just before the panel breaker, so the harbor master was called a few times. All what had to be done, was, uncouple shore power and test it while on inverting. they exchanged breakers on the panel, but the problem persisted. Perhaps some condensation water. They gave up, did not wanted to listen to advise, because they knew how it all worked, and stayed on Jan-Kees without 220V for a month.
Then 3 weeks a Dutch friend goes to Jan-Kees, to do some cycling in the area. Marius was in the same research department as me in the 1980’s so I knew he would find the problem. We discussed it could be the Fridge or the outside light or outside motion light. When I got a notification of the Victron Venus that there was no shore power, I knew Marius was testing. the first thing he did was turn the outside motion light off, and VOILA…..Electrons were coming out of outlets. the Fridge got a shiver, and got cold. Marius went outside and inspected the light and yes during the storm it must have shorted. That is what you get with a cheap Chinese Led Motion sensor light in the mast.
This was one of the wettest and coldest New years periods we have had in Holland for many years. 2 or 3 years ago, the Daffodils were blooming on Jan 3rd.
The boat weathered the first storm very well. The second one, which became a code Orange it survived also very well. Only ‘damage’ were the bike were moved by the wind, luckily they were securely attached to the railing, so they did not went into the water. (Unlike the lock keys with Lew dropped when he visited. Instead of using the designated keys with the floater, he used the emergency keys, and yes they went into the water, for a more peaceful and quiet life)
The second storm was quite violent, trucks blown of the road, roofs separating from buildings.
“wake-up wake-up” . what ..I am dreaming so nice. it is 1 am and the water pump keeps cycling. Bloody hell, water running, well just turn the pump off, and we wil deal with it later. Naturally, getting back to sleep is hard, thoughts are running through my mind, like….the water line is ruptured..need to remove the wall panels, which could mean taking the radiators down, or moving the sofa. After breakfast I turn the pump on and we listen for water gushing. Deb hears it in the engine room, and yes, we find a hose clipped of the T made by the HVAC guy, I fasten it and we continue.
I go to the wood place, across the marine and order some wood. They come out and say ‘have a great day’ . Hmmmm so giving . case of beer each time we go to the boat, does have perks…….discounted and free wood.
Later that day our peace is are rudely interrupted by the local swans, demanding they need to be fed through the kitchen window. A daily task Deb gladly performs, and reminds her if the night on the etang at Rogney le Sept Ecluses, where she hand fed the swans.
Because the sink was draining slowly, it shared a bottom hull through with the shower, I made an additional hull through, just for the sink. It involves, drilling a small pilot hole, to make sure we are under the ‘stoot rand’ (bumper), then drilling the correct hole size. sticking a stick through it, stepping on the small stoor rand and pushing the outside part of the hull through over the stick in the hole. Without the stick being there, it would be very likely to have the brass piece fall in the water.