Hoor de wind waait door de bomen

Saturday July 29

“Oh hear the wind blow through the trees” . the beginning of a St Nicholas song, and correct at that December time.   That song popped up when I woke up….blimey the flags on the mast were enduring quite hard winds,  Yes there was rain too, quite a lot. more than the normal 19 -27 drops of Dutch rain during the day.  It was only 6:30 am, around 9 am it got sunny and nice.

When Deb woke up, she wanted to take a shower, which she would enjoy..since we have UNLIMITED hot water …but her shower only lasted a minute or so….       “what happened?”  ..”it is cold ” Her reply was.   Bloody hell again troubles with the Kabola.  So even though one never calls a supplier on a Saturday I did call Ron and explained it to him and asked for him to come by during the week.

I went into the roof to clean up the wiring on the battery/ inverter system and pull a few more wires for the bilge, when I heard Deb say ” Visitors” and it was Ron and Jochem, on their bikes.  Ron went into the engine room, and concluded it was something to do with the circulation pump and air in the system.   Jochem asked me if I had a ‘ontluchtings sleutel’ . ( a key to let air out of the hot water heating system  )

I replied “well you know the installer (Ron) told me earlier this week that he would bring one by the barge, but he has forgotten me ”  To which Ron answered ” see you can never trust these installers”, and we had a laugh.

Once they left I had to dash to Hornbach and Klaas Mulder to get some parts.  I had dropped a little screw from the Battery monitoring shunt and I needed extra plumbing for the water tank, so I could install the new pump, and have an easy way to blow the pipes with air to winterize.

At Hornbach, I found the screw, but the plumbing department was like Home Dumpo or Lowes .  “I don’t know, why don’t you use our quickfit system and this is not my department” .  So I was rather peeved when I went to the checkout and presented my 76 cents of screws and when I pulled out a debit card, the teller pointed to my plastic bag with the parts I took along to see how to fit them . “what about these?”  “Uhmmm these are mine whom I took to see for fitting!”  ” Well I think they are Hornbach’s” . “Uhmm NO you don’t have these items” . ” Sir we have 30,000 items so we definitely have them” ” wel i took them in myself” .  “well next time anything you bring in you need to show so they can write you a ticket” .   “what????? so I need to show my underwear?    what about my key ring, I KNOW you sell them here too” . OH I really nearly broke loose in a rant. I just walked out, and hope Praxis across the street would be a better place.   FAT chance……their assortment is even smaller and asking if anybody can help  in the plumbing department is being answered ”  I only work here not in plumbing and nobody can help you”

So back in the boat I had to take a beer and relax.

How cute……that’s adorable

Friday July 28

it is playing a song, is what I heard Deb say when the laundry was finished.  yes we did a load of laundry, and one thing VERY different…time….a load can take up to 4 hrs!    In Autumn we bought this Samsung washer/dryer, and have been using it sparingly.
We do have to move the Microwave from the washer/dryer when we use it, because when it spins it shakes more than …( Ill come up with the right word later)

I suggested to put up a clothes line from the new mast to the pilot house, and letting it sun/air dry, but Deb still very much American preferred to dry it on the drying rack inside the boat.

Quite windy today, but the sun keeps peeking out from behind the clouds, so a nice day to do some small maintenance, like finishing up the dimmers for the led strips along the bed and closets.

The weather was pretty Dutch……some clouds, then sun, then 18 drops of rain, then cloud, wind sun 12 drops of rain etc etc etc

I installed the 220V isolated cord through the mast, so we can finish it with the motion detector flood light for the bow.

Then it was time to go to the movies….We got our tickets and before we got our snack I had to visit the toilet, and yes there were special Urinals…..


….look…you see a flag in it, so guys , being guys will aim for that .

This ‘rage’ all started in the early 70’s in the concert building in Maastricht, a janitor saw that one of the urinals has less ‘spillage’ so upon inspection he saw a fly was in the pot. He went to the local factory and they made a line of Urinals now with all kinds of design , quite a few bars have them with their own logo in it.



So back to the snacks….Dutch people do likel their coffee..so there is even a special Starbucks stand in the hall for the one who need it.


.yes we got 2 Grolsch 1/2 liters and a nice bag of Popcorn, for E 10.35 ( $11).  Nice prices, unlike in the states.  Plus it is fun sipping beer during a movie.



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


travel and work

Tuesday July 25

So we decided that we needed more life preservers, since we were expecting Wilma and Timmy and a school load of his friends. Timmy wanted to show off, who can blame a teenager, that he had friends with a big boat, or any boat actually.

We drove off to the second hand boat place in Vinkeveen and were quickly frelled up by  a NO go sign.  The A10 was being worked on till Sunday August 13.  So no biggy for our departure date, but of course Homer our trusty voice on the TomTom kept directing us the wrong way,  with “make a U-turn” . or ” go right on the round about 3rddddd exittt”
When we finally got onto the road to Utrecht, he was able to guide us there.  We got 2 more life preservers and a throwing horseshoe shaped floater, some grease for the gland (totally illegal in the USA, but so much cleaner bilge). I also was able to find 2 led 24 V bulbs for the navigation side lights and we grabbed a pole to use with mooring lines).   Cost E 95.90

Since we were close to Vinkeveen, I decided that we should grab coffee and watch some of the boats on the water.


When we took the Vinkeveen exit, the sign read “pannekoeken” so yes we were ready, even though it was only 11:15.  When we walked up, it seemed closed/deserted. and yes they don’t open till 12:00, but the door was open. So we were able to get coffee, with a chocolate chip cookie. The waitress forgot the magnifying glass.  The cookie fit in the one open filling I have !!


By the time we finished that it still too early for service, so off we went to IKEA.

At Ikea I needed some food, but Deb was not that hungry.  I got the entrecote, and deb got tomato soup and a panini.  We went to Ikea to get a step stool to climb the boat, because of the batteries and the new fuel tank the bow has come out of the water a few cm’s.  We also looked for bungee cords, to mount the Horse shoe floater on the railing, but no success.

After Ikea Deb put on her ‘honey-do’ voice and got me to drive her to one of the thrift stores in Zaandam . ” then you can go to McDonalds and download the movies you wanted” . ( since we only have 20 GB cell data, we have to watch what we do, compared to home) .  Well McDonalds wifi was slower than frozen molasses, jumped in the car and drove to the boat to start working drilling a hole in the metal under the pilot house top, so I could mount a 220V outlet on the port top corner, and run the conduit from there to the top starboard corner.  Halfway through the hole Deb was done with the first Thrift store, and texted me.  Unfortunately the traffic lights had a long wait, so by the time I got there . I saw a new text,”started walking to the boat” . a few text later and she was on her way back.   yes the Dutch geography of shopping centers is dictated by canals, not logic.  We drove to the next Thrifts store and I just went to the little snackbar, run by the Chinese guy who described us last year as the foreigners.  I reminded him I was “ham Sap Lo” and needed a beer and a Kroket. Deb’s treasures today, a  summer beachy ice cube form, a blue plate and a little more plastic wares


Once Deb was done it was back to the boat and drilling the conduit hole and the outlet hole.

Because the venus control unit was not showing the inverter, I tested the CCGX and it showed the inverter, so some emails back and forth and now they want to send a new unit.  I told them to wait and see if there were others things I could do to check.

I also filled the grease pot, which was delightfully messy and greasy, but we should be good for a few hundred km’s, plus I vacuumed the bilge and the little leak we made in April was popping in some drops of water, so I grabbed some liquid metal and pressed it in lets see how ling it will hold, just need to make sure the bilge pump wil be installed this time.  Now time for coffee and eierkoek . ( egg cake)

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.



Sunday July 23

A quiet day, basically a resting day, lounging, sleeping, a bite, more sleep, did some cleaning up wiring at the inverters.

Picture of the cable mess

Installed a outlet which is connected to the shore power, so if the inverter would give troubles, it could be bypassed with a cable.  Since the power has to be the correct polarity, I marked the plug with a yellow paint dot.  The plug was a plug where the cord comes from the side so basically a one way fit.  Then later I learned from Daniel, that i should have used the shore power connectors, aaargh…so I am not going to install the output of the inverter the same way.

Cleaned the top of the boat.




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.





We are going to watch people walk ?????

Friday July 21st

Yes we do at “walk of the world’    uhhmmm how much fun will that be.    Yes we went to Nijmegen to watch the walkers of the 4 day walking event on their last day.  The 4 daagse is the largest walking event in the world and thus can claim “walk of the world” in 2016 47,000 + entered this event.



Late at night Marius and I ( and Hertog Jan) looked to the map to see what the best route would be.



So we took an early breakfast at Marius and Wilma in Venlo and drove of toward Cuyk, to see the marcher cross the pontoon bridge over the river Maas.  Each year the armed forces put this bridge across the Maas, blocking all commercial ( and recreational ) water traffic.  We had to take a few back roads, some barely wider than the little Fiat 500 we drove but we managed to get very close, thanks to following two police cars.  We were directed to some field parking and walked to the pontoon.  From afar we already heard the music from the different DJ’s and the cheering and clapping of the viewers.  it brought back good memories of the 4 times I did this march myself in the late 70’s beginning 80’s



Each year the Dutch Army puts a pontoon bridge over the Maas river, where usually the Ferry takes people across, but with  close to 50,000 crossing it would take days.  The bridge is quite impressive.

The scene early in the morning

Walking over the bridge deb got more and more in the mood on the other side we waited a bit and saw how the DJ was pumping energy into the walkers,  The military troops started slowly also being among the group,  A Swiss unit looked knackered, but the DJ started teasing them on with clapping, and there was the First Swiss , and within a few meters they were all clapping with big swings, and taking in the positive energy.

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The Swiss group here being given energy by the DJ

Many people were dressed up, we had Captain Sparrow walking by, bowing and waving his hat.  It was the pirates 5th time doing the March.


The choir singing old dutch songs in Cuyk, Brabant


Person wearing a 36 on their head, celebrating their 35th time doing this walk


A walker from the Caribbean island Curacao ( which used to be a Dutch colony)

Waling back to the Limburg side ( East side ) of the Maas, Deb got caught in doing the Macarena with the walkers right before the pontoon bridge.






As you see even Batman came out of his dark cave to help the Dutch Military.





Are these really Italian troops resting..I see no wine ?



on_the_road_againPicture Danish Unifil Veterans

And off  they go, the last stretch, but then the last kilometers you are seeing crowds ticker than here, you are being aided by the music of the marching bands,  blisters….yes I have them but I don’t feel them, Muscle cramps,  I am not going to let it show is the attitude then

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.


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.




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 …..it 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