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.