Monday, June 23, 2008

Hennie moves south

Thursday morning at 6 a.m. Sleep still lies heavily on me, but Koos is bright. Too bright. And too cheerful. Oh my. Why am I sitting in the car heading up the highway to Groningen next to this impossibly lively man, when I should still be sleeping, peaceful in the knowledge that I still have an hour or more before I have to haul my carcass out of bed.

By 9.30, I understand. I see our new little barge, Hennie, for the first time and it is sweet. The experience I mean. But then so is Hennie. A little shabby it is true. Grubby and spotted from the sap and fall-out of overhanging trees; badly in need of some TLC and paint, it is nevertheless a little charmer and we are about to embark on our first ever trip on this extremely old, but lovely little craft. Still, it isn't just a tocht as they call it here. It is a major voyage. We have to travel nearly 400 kilometres on our new acquisition before we reach its intended destination, and we have not even done 400 metres on it before. A nerve wracking thought to say the least.

We'd hoped to reach Rotterdam by today, but it wasn't to be. The actual account of the first part of the trip will come tomorrow. For now, I will leave you with a couple of the two hundred photos I took, not to mention the 40 minutes of film I captured which will now have to be edited for smooth public consumption. Watch this space for the real story.....


  1. Oh Val, how fantastically exciting for you both. I can well understand Koos' early morning enthusiasm, although I sympathise with you on the sleep-in front and hope you told him to tone it down a bit until you were on the outside of some serious coffee. I'm really looking forward to seeing more pics of this first voyage.

    So where is she to live? I assume you now have a permanent berth for her. Somewhere suitably picturesque I hope, but not necessarily beneath sap-dripping boughs.

    I'm so glad I just checked in here quickly - I've been away undergoing some basic maintenance myself over the past four or five days, and am still in need of a bit more recuperation time, so I'm off to an early bed. I'll try to do my favourite "rounds" again tomorrow.

    Love to you, Koos and Sindy, and of course your new Hennie and her two bigger siblings.

  2. hey mamalama well done on finally getting your skippy. I'm sure you and Koos will have her looking bright as a button in no time!
    Love yeeeouuuuu

  3. Hi Val,

    congratulations to your new barke.
    It's looking great. Can't wait to see some more pics.

    Have a good time

  4. Hey Margie, I hope the maintenance isn't too serious? We up here are always concerned that you down there are all right and taking good care of yourself! The Hennie is going to live near the little house down south in a place called Sas van Gent, which is right on the Dutch/Belgian border and on the main canal to Gent. It's the absolute perfect spot for us, and means we will have easy access to the main waterways into the Belgian countryside that we love so much.

    I must go read your new post too now. I've thrown myself back into work now I'm in Rotters again, although I would dearly love to be with Koos now, cruising along the Vecht River through some of the prettiest Dutch countryside there is.

    Lots of love from all of us to all of you. xxxx

    Momoooooo!! Thanks so much for the visit my sweets. I miss you terribly now and wish you were here already. It won't be long now though, will it? Lots and lots of love to you and the way, I still can't get into his blog! Can you ask him to send me the actual link?

  5. Stefan! I didn't see you there! Thanks so much. I must get round to visit everyone soon and publish some more photos too. I'll be with you just now.....

  6. Wow - You guys really barge in as true boat people!

    The boat, its location and your plans sound idyllic. Looks like you have some great days ahead of you.

    Good luck with the berthing and the maintenance.


    ps: thx for the comments on my pic

  7. The new addition is looking very grand!..hope bargie doesn't get jealous lol..
    Btw- the last pics of your wonderful trip were stunning, it looked like the sahara desert at times, glad you had a great trip to SA..x..

  8. My first thought is, as always, where will you leave the car?

  9. Oh, and how will you retrieve it?

  10. everyone else has spoken my thoughts and i'm really tired right now



  11. Dale, tiredness is catching. I sympathise.

    Vally, my maintenance was fairly major but nevertheless routine. Suffice to say it was a hospital stay of about five days and now I'm at home it seems like I'm sleeping most of the time. However ... after a bit of this enforced slothing I will be better than new and raring to go.

  12. Ohh yes, I really like the barge...its so you!!!

  13. Sorry I am putting spam on your post, sorry. I did not realise it went to the bottom of the page. I guess the early bird gets the top of the page!!

  14. What a lovely new addition to your water family. I am never going to understand the bright in the morning types. ;)


  15. Hi Val,
    Koos looks so content when boating.
    But you also enjoy it too obviously :)


  16. Before I answer any of the others, Craig, I'm right on it!

  17. Hello, mother -by-law. I need your help with some of my engwish. But I need your email address so that I can show you the file. please send your email address. If you can help me I will give you a big hug when I get over the sea. ;-)

    your barge is really sweet. It's sooooo you!!!

  18. Hi Vally, just thought i would see how you're getting along - nice pics by the way!
    I also want to know if you or anyone else has any news about Neil Emery, I've not been keeping track of the blogosphere lately and his blog is gone. Is he OK?

  19. Well, just before I do a new post about our travels, I just want to thank you all for the genuine interest and compliments for the new barge.

    On Monday we are going on the 'Helling' with it to make sure the Insurance inspector is as happy with it too. I fear there may be some things he doesn't like, but we'll cross that bridge on Monday.

    That aside, yes, Gypsy I absolutely must make sure Argie Bargie doesn't get jealous, so this week I've had our Bruce doing the finishing touches to my engine. Then in a few weeks, Philip will be putting some steel panels in behind the wooden ones to make it more weather proof, and then after that, I still have a heap of plans for improvements, so my Vereeniging won't be neglected at all! It is still much more suitable for full time living, and I can only imagine how cramped the little one would get with all the paraphernalia of daily life on board too!

    Margie, I knew there was something up. I do hope you're looking after yourself now and that the maintenance is being allowed to recuperate properly. Take lots of care, won't you?

    Lesley, we can't get away from it..we really are boat people, aren't we ;-)

    Dale, thanks anyway, dear one. I hope you get the rest you need. Being tired is so debilitating.

    Anne Marie, you tuned into to me absolutely there! I will never be much of a morning person, but at 6 a.m, I am diabolical!

    Grace,thanks! I'm glad you like the pics. Sadly, Sindy absolutely hates the boat, as you'll see from my next photos.

    David, thanks for dropping by. The best person to ask about Neil is our wonderful Gypsy Noir, as she has all the up to date info, but as far as I know, he's doing really great and is very happy. Just not blogging these days. It's definitely lost some of its popularity, I would say.


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