Sunday, October 19, 2014

More of the same

Now I've written my Nutty Nora posts and got those out of the way, I'm going back to my usual topic - barge stuff.

The last few weeks have been difficult on board because a little while ago, I arrived back after a weekend away and found my lovely, safe loopplank (gangplank) seriously bent, rendering it now totally un-safe for human passage.

My suspicion is that a whole troop of tourists decided to use it for a photo opportunity and pushed it so far down on one side, it then got stuck under the rope pins of a bollard and was bent even more as the tide rose. Now bearing in mind there's a very visible sticker on it that says "max 3 persons", I was not best amused.

As it really was no longer safe, we didn't put it back after my hellingbeurt (slipway week), so I've been relying on the neighbours for access until we can straighten it out and strengthen the section. These things are far too expensive to abandon and the insurance company doesn't seem to be interested in helping either. I know it doesn't look bad in this photo, but you should see how skew it really is…and very wonky indeed.

To make matters worse, my nearest neighbour has also removed her loopplank  as she is no longer living on board, so I am now doing a three barge hop to board the Vereeniging. This requires skills something akin to those of a mountain goat, which - I hope you'll agree - I'm not! Well, if I am, I'm a very clumsy one.

The overall consequence is that there's a limit to what I can do as I cannot easily get materials on and off. So...I am concentrating on painting (surprise surprise!). Slowly but surely, all the red trim is being finished (takes me an age) and my next job is to de-rust and paint the engine room windows. I can't believe this warm weather is going to go on that much longer, but while it does, I must paint…and paint….and paint some more!

Added to that I have also been been working inside and have re-painted my kitchen cupboards. When I made them back in 2002, I stained the panels with chestnut coloured varnish, which looked more red than anything, and I'd never felt like changing them. As of this last week, though, they are no longer red-pannelled but completely creamy white, and I am so enjoying their bright shiny faces.

During the course of the coming week, I'm praying the weather will give me the break I need so I can also paint the foredeck (I've been saying that for months, I know). In the last ten days or so, every time I've decided to do this very necessary job, it's rained, so keep your fingers crossed for me because next weekend, we have to move again and I don't know when I'll next get the chance. 

The reason for the move is because the council are currently dredging all the harbours so we are being turfed out of our spots in rotation to clear different sections at different times. Next week it is the Oude Haven's turn to be dredged and I don't know yet where we'll have to go. By the time I write this blog again, we'll probably be in a different harbour and mooring, so watch this space! I'll also take some photos as it's very rare that the harbour is ever empty of barges. The last time was in 2007 when the harbour wall was re-built. Koos and I were the last to leave, and I took this photo just before we cast off and pulled out.

An almost empty harbour in 2007
It normally looks like this! Very full.
Have a good week everyone and may the sun keep shining on you wherever you are!


  1. It's like never-ending renovations, isn't it? I do admired your devotion to your barge, as I know I'm far too lazy to ever undertake such a venture. Good luck and I hope the weather gods are on your side!

  2. As usual, the most common thing in life is change whether we like it or not! Enjoy the new temporary view - after your painting is done (hopefully!!)

  3. Val.
    I would be hopping mad if had found damage done to my property, the air would be blue I can tell you! Is there no way you can attach a pair of stanchions at the harbour end of the loop plank and put a chain across to keep the tourists off ?

  4. Thanks Anne-Marie. I'm holding fingers and toes crossed that the weather if not the water gods are on my side :) xx

    Thanks to you too Carole! I actually like moving, but I just don't know how accessible I'll be in the new view spot, or how I will need to get on board, so I really really want that foredeck done first!

  5. The fix shouldn't be too bad on the loopplank; a bit of straightening and a bit of angle iron welded over the buckled section would do the trick... Welder and tools available at the slipway? As for prevention, maybe a fencer wired up to the loopplank when you're away? (devilish grin)

  6. Naughty tourists, Val. I can just imagine that happening to your gangplank, and they have no thought to the difficulties you now have to deal with. You are quite a demon with the paint, and the results look lovely. I very much like the new kitchen look. Good luck with the temporary move, and I hope all goes well.
    Sun is shining brightly over here :)

  7. What a pain! Like Mel, I was wondering if you cannot put a chain across to prevent access and something like this happening in the future? Your new kitchen colour looks lovely and fresh xxx

  8. Ah Mel, I was cross, and I do have a gate across it, but it's not locked, so people sometimes ignore it. We live and learn.

    Tom, yes, that's what we'll do, but we have to get it to the big press to straighten it, so that takes some arranging.

    Thanks Patricia, I'm glad you approve :)

    Fran, it is a pain, but these things go with the territory of living in a tourist spot. It's even more irritating when they undo your ropes and throw your stuff in the water! I'm glad you like my new cupboard look :)

  9. Love the new look kitchen! We too are hoping for rain free painting time. At the moment it's April shower weather, not good. Bring back October!

  10. She's looking grand - we too are dashing around trying to get the topsides painted before the gorgeous weather 'turns' - I love your galley - can't wait to get my hands on mine - got to do outside jobs first though..... :-)

  11. When they resurface the road outside the house I only have a problem or two getting along the pavement - I don't have to move!! Hope it goes well - and I know that living on a boat implies you are able to set off without too much hassle, but it still sounds like an expedition.

    Do hope it all goes well.

  12. Anne, I don't know about April Showers, it's more like gale force storms down here now..sigh.

    Jackie, i agree. When the weather's good, outside I go! But we are having a mixture of gorgeous autumn sunshine and rainy days, so I get to do both.

    Jo, this move will take some cooperation and coordination because we're all doing it…recipe for chaos otherwise :)

  13. Hi Val - how very frustrating and irritating ... especially as it's not easy to sort out. Still at least you're getting on with somethings - though I suspect your necessary job is being hampered by storms and rain - well that's what we've got here today.

    Interesting to see the repair work to be done - good luck with the move to new moorings ... cheers Hilary

  14. Sorry to hear about the damage Val - people can be so unthinking at times.
    Like the fresh look kitchen -when I repainted ours I discovered stuff that you can put on any surface then paint over with the colour of your choice.
    So I did the cupboards in blue but the fridge then looked grubby so we now have a sky blue fridge to match.

  15. It all sounds hair-raising, Val. I would hate to have to do that boat-hop too. I hope the sun shines on you this weekend.

  16. I have wire welded 3/8ths aluminum angle irons on the underside of a ramp I used for heavy gear (in a wheelbarrow). It held up for years.

    These things are not cheap ... But $50 of bracing can do the trick. I bet your local boatyard ca do this. Trick is not to mix metals.

    Best of luck. I'm shocked at your marine insurance (ha!). I've never gotten along with any of my marine underwriters. Opposite interests.

  17. Hilary, it is rather, especially now many barges are being moved out ahead of the weekend, which is the earliest I can do it! I fear I might be swimming to my barge to climb on board, let alone hopping!

    Anne, I agree. We've now had the most tempestuous of storms here ever! Never seen high water so high! No deck painting this week, I fear :(

    Jane, I remember seeing photos of your gorgeous kitchen and its blue trim on Mel's blog. Lovely!

    Ros, keep praying for that sun! We've had dreadful storms so far this week!

    Jack, Your welding was very sensibly pre-emptive! I will be adding strengthening pieces as the aluminium won't like being straightened. I just need my favourite handyman to help me :)

  18. Very sorry to hear of that damage, especially as it inconveniences you so much. I hope the repair can be achieved quickly.
    Having been held on the tarmac at Schiphol for well over an hour on Tuesday, we took off into lightning and torrential rain, so I fully understand how you must be feeling about the painting. Wishing you well for that, too.
    Good luck for the move. :)

  19. Hi Val! What beautiful pictures again. You have been busy painting and it all looks very scmick! Naughty tourists! Please be careful mountain goating yourself onto your boat. Where did you end up?

  20. Hello Val,

    Love the photos, sorry about all your troubles though.

  21. We're having beautiful sunny weather here, too. So nice. The empty harbor photo looks so sad. Sorry your gangplank is trashed. Good luck with the repair.

  22. Thanks for all the good wishes, Christina, Nas, Carol and Denise! My apologies for the short response, but duty is calling :)


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