Lost of wind, rocking, fastening solar panels
Driving to scouting camp
pic happy to be (sc)out
pic Venus display 823 Watt out of 1000 W solar panels
Lost of wind, rocking, fastening solar panels
Driving to scouting camp
pic happy to be (sc)out
pic Venus display 823 Watt out of 1000 W solar panels
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
A great day.
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.
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.
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.
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
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ?
Picture 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