Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Oooooh nooooooo! Another barge in the family

Meet the Marion Aagje (pronounced Aah-hya). She is an 18 metre Dutch tjalk of slightly uncertain origin, but of good sound iron belly. And she is going to be Mo and Craig's very first own home. The only thing we know for sure is that she was built in 1890.

Mo is one after my own heart, it seems. She needs a project, and..well..there's nothing like a bit of conditioning to persuade you to a certain way of life, is there? Mo and Craig have been living here in the harbour since they arrived in the Netherlands and have now realised that normal life on terra firma is not for them....enter the Marion Aagje.

Today, we went to Amsterdam where the little tjalk had been towed for its insurance inspection...in other parlance, to have its bottom checked. It was a nerve wracking hour or so, and we were glad we'd arrived after Rob the inspector (whom we happen to know as his ship lies here in the Oude Haven). He's known for his strength and power with the hammer, so we were happy we didn't have to witness him pounding on the tjalk's hull before he started measuring. Much to everyone's joy (the seller's most of all, but he was too cool to admit it) nearly everything was just fine, and only a few rivets need filling and a patch along the keel on the bottom. These can be done later.

So, after a visit to the Notaris when everything will be transferred to their names, Mo and Craig will start their new lives as bargees...and a few months down the line, I'll get my ship back.


  1. What an adventure again, but this time with lots of risk reduction.
    Maryssa and Craig go for it. Lots of work as you know, but very rewarding.

  2. Wow, things certainly do happen quickly in your neck of the woods!
    I thought you'd be off Vereeniging for much longer. Will LUXOR and Koos miss you?
    So, how many barges is that now?
    Will Marion Aagje be moored at the Oude Haven with you?
    Congratulations and Good Luck to Mo and Craig!By what I've learned about barging over the past few years, they have their work cut out for them...


  3. I have some of the same questions Dale has answered, but first and foremost, congrats to Mo and Craig!


  4. Yes, Dale and Anne Marie, I also thought they would be on the Vereeniging for much longer, but they so want a home of their own there was no stopping them ;-) It will still be some months before they move off though as they have a lot to do to make the MA habitable. It won't be moored here for a while. They have to apply for a contract, and there's no guarantee that will happen quickly. However, the MA has a mooring near Amsterdam and it will stay there for the time being, firstly to smarten it up and secondly till Mo and Craig have saved up enough again to being it here when they can.

  5. I mean "bring" it here...pish!

  6. Wow, it's catching, barge fever! What a great looking barge, hopefully you will update us on it's 'progress' as well!

  7. Wow, the watery ways seems to be catching on. Congrats to Mo and Craig for embracing this very dutch way of life!


  8. Hi Val,

    it isn't easy to say, if I will see again U2 or Bruce. I think both. I can't prefer Bruce or U2, because they are very different.
    U2 has the better show and stage. It's not the music, it's the visual perception. Bruce is the worker and he give that, what the fans will see. I feel he is living for the music, he need no show, he can be living in every neighborhood. From this way I like more Mr. Springsteen.

    Have a great afternoon.
    Love Stefan

  9. I'll go with "being it here"...


  10. 1890?, it must be pretty neat inside. What a project to undertake. I wish them a happy barge life!

  11. I was sorry to hear about your daughters cat. So sad. And heartbreaking to find them in that way. But now she has crossed the rainbow bridge and is frolicking chasing birds and mice all over the place.

  12. Lovely looking hull and Iron work.
    Something like her would suit us down to ground, (or waterline) if our little family was ever to get bigger, Mind you, not much room on the english canals for such a big boat

  13. Thanks for all the encouragement, folks.

    String, barge fever is very infectious so I'd steer clear of us boat people if I were you.

    Lesley, maybe that's the key- it is a very Dutch way of life and as such, makes it suitably different and therefore attractive to us as foreigners.

    Stefan, thanks for the feedback. I still think I'd enjoy a BS concert more in the long run.

    Grace, there isn't much inside the barge right now, but it has got panelling on the walls and has been insulated, so it's a good start. Thanks for your kind words about Mo's cat too. It has hurt us all, so that's why I've deleted the post. I scattered her ashes in the field behind my garden today. Her little feline soul deserves to run free again.

    Geoff, the problem with this barge on the English canals would be the height. As I calculate it, it's only 57ft long and 12.5 feet wide, so that's not the problem. It has, however, about an 8ft air draft, which is rather high for many of the bridges and tunnels I suspect.


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