Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Home again

As many of you know, I have recently spent three weeks in a neighbouring harbour so that our own Harbour could be dredged, something that is very necessary now and then as you will see from the photos below. This is the first time in seven years it has been done, so also the first time since then the harbour has been empty. 

To me, a harbour without boats is a place without soul and I find it strangely melancholic to see it empty like this. All the same, it was fascinating to watch the dredger at work. When I took the two photos below, there was a man standing next to me watching  the process too. When we saw the first scoop coming out of the water, we turned to each other and said "What, no bicycles?" and laughed. A nice moment of cameraderie. 

Both of us knew, however, that the bottom of the harbour is littered with an assortment of junk as revealed in this photo. This was after ten days of dredging and they'd been accumulating and removing loads like this every couple of days.

Anyhow, now I am home again and the harbour is back to normal. It was a shame that I had to be towed back, but Koos was away, and I didn't want to risk the dodgy engine without him. It always feels slightly shameful not to move under my own steam. That said, I am very happy to be back in my favoured spot next to lovely neighbours, the brothers Peter and Gerrit Spronkers, Gerrit's son Reynard and all the other dear liggers there. It was a good experience to be in the other harbour as I had the option of staying there, but I found there were no practical advantages despite the fact I was moored to a pontoon, which made getting on and off board slightly easier.

The main issue for me has been trying to get Sindy dog on board, but that still wasn't possible there. Her old legs just can't make it anymore, so she stays in Zeeland with Koos while I am at work in Rotterdam.

Access is thus no longer the problem, and at least in the Oude Haven, I can drive right up to my barge with any heavy loads. In the Haringvliet, I would have had quite a walk to carry things from the car. It was also (to my surprise) very much noisier at night than the Oude Haven - testosterone-filled cars trying to park, students (mostly drunk) on their way home to their flats along the road, and a lot of people apparently hard of hearing who felt the need to shout at each other from close quarters. Now cars are no longer allowed to park in the Oude Haven other than to stop-and-drop (a recent development), much of that noise has gone, or is at least much further off.

And of course, I have my internet back!

All said, I am very happy to be home again even though I am still facing the odd challenge. This is what my loopplank was like on Saturday morning when I left for Zeeland. With its now familiar kink and no handrail, I  took the easier route via the my neighbour's.


  1. Hi Val - they did get a lot of junk out, let alone silt etc ... Glad your'e back and that the quiet has returned .. I think people shout because their ears are 'bummed' having spent so much time in the night club ...

    I can see the walking on board challenge and I know that's one thing you need to sort out/repair .. enjoy being back on the water .. and am so pleased you've got lovely neighbours ..cheers Hilary

  2. Ah is that why people shout? Thanks Hilary! I never thought of that but you're probably right.

  3. So glad you're safely home in your little haven.

  4. Welcome back to your home Val - I loved your description of "testosterone filled cars" - perfect :)

  5. Jo, you're right, it is my haven!

    Jane, thank you! I'm so glad to have you as a visitor here too! Yes, when I hear those tyres screeching and the engines revving to explosion point, I often think how much testosterone there must be inside :)

  6. Glad to read that you are back in familiar surroundings again.

    I really would not want to walk down your gangplank without a safety rail, even without it being bent.

  7. I haven't got anything much to say but I liked reading this, vallypee! xx

  8. It's such a different way of life. I can't conceive of what it must be like to vacate with your home and then relocate still with your home. Glad you're all settled again though.

  9. That's lovely you are back Val as I know how much you love it. I wondered if when the water is full of bikes and old shopping trolleys etc. does it damage the bottom of the boat when the water is low ? That might be a daft question as I know nothing about boats.

  10. Mel, I've put the hand rail back on today, so it really is a lot safer. Come and see!! :)

    TT, thank you so much for dropping in anyway. It's always lovely to see you here xx

    Ros, it still strikes me as special, even after all these years. I love that side of boat life!

    Anne, I am very glad to be home! To be honest, I don't think these things so any damage as the boats are so heavy, they just push the bikes and other things into the mud. I've never heard of anyone suffering damage anyway, but it's a good question! xx

  11. There's no place like home :) xxx


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