Saturday, December 13, 2008

The East Wind Effect

A couple of posts ago I mentioned the effect an east wind has on low tide here in the harbour. I even referred to our loopplank as something akin to the north face of the Eiger. I was using a bit of artistic licence there (others would call it plain exaggeration), but this morning, it really was the case. Yes really. I don't think I have ever seen the water as low as this, and in fact the loopplank was suspended in mid air over the deck of the Luxor because it would no longer reach down that far (despite being 5 metres in length). We could even see the bottom of the harbour emerging above the water at the wall. Getting off was more than usually challenging, especially for Sindy who really does not like anything that wobbles even slightly, but with the help of a chest dragged up the foredeck, we managed it. Well, I won't rabbit on about it any further, because I think the photos here speak for themselves.

Oh yes, and I forgot to add. It was a bit frosty too...the ice was about an inch thick in my plant pots and buckets...I must put those poor dead geraniums away somewhere...must, must!


This is what a normal high tide looks like, but prettier of course, because Momo and I put the Christmas lights on to join in with the other harbour dwellers who have done the same.

Doesn't my Mo look pleased?

Looking along the quay

And standing in front of the Luxor.

The pictures are not totally sharp as I don't have a tripod and the light was dimming fast, but all things being equal, they came out quite well.


  1. That was so unexpected. Never thought your gangplank would be too short.

    See the white chair on Luxor's foredeck? One night a few weeks ago we were disturbed by a noisy nightly visitor. When we quickly went to see what was going on, we were only just in time to see him purposefully walking away from our barges.

    The next morning we realised that our white chair with the 'I'm on guard here'-sign was missing.

    The only place where it could be was at the bottom of the harbour.
    This morning I thought 'Let's see if I'm right about that', and yes, there it was, just visible under water.
    Next thing it was back on board, waiting for the next incident...

  2. I do remember that gangplank and will just side with Sindy on that one. The low tide is quite amazing.

    Do fish eat geraniums?


  3. Yes, Koosje, it was good to find our chair again wasn't it? I wonder if we'll see any good bikes over the next few days too. I remember well that Jodie found a really good Gazelle at one similarly low water a few years back.

    Lol Anne Marie! I don't know if fish eat geraniums...they might find them a bit bitter and past it by now!

  4. Hi Val,

    Of all the concerns we have here in Southern California -- wildfires, earthquakes, etc. -- one thing I've never had to worry about was the length of my gangplank. Very interesting to see what can become a critical issue depending on where you live!

    Meanwhile, my sister in New Hampshire is without electricity and, therefore, water, light or heat, for three days running. Ice storms have downed many power wires. Amazing how quickly we can be cut off from the comforts and resources on which we rely.

    I love the image of objects emerging from the bottom of the harbor due to low tides. Here's hoping some lost treasures show themselves to you!


  5. Mo looks so cosy there Vally, with a lovely view behind her too. That is a seriously low tide, and that gangplank looks suicidal! The myraid challenges a bargee must face ...

    So glad Koos rescued the chair. What cheek! I suppose yobs are yobs all around the world, even in the Oude Haven. (The chuckers, that is, not the rescuer, who is of course a scholar and a gentleman, and very far from being any sort of yob).

    About your last post - I was absolutely dumbstruck when I saw the footage of Mugabe's "no more cholera - we're all better now" speech. As a madman he is in a class of his own - although Idi Amin comes to mind of the same ilk. Does his contempt for the rest of the world (not to mention his long-suffering people!) know no bounds? Does he truly expect people to believe him? I don't think so - he simply doesn't care, and challenges all to say anything about it. He has recently shown again in no uncertain terms that he cares nothing for the thoughts and will of the people. Abuse of power at its very worst; what a monster.

  6. Hi Val, just to let you know I haven't jumped ship, so to speak.
    I have read both your last posts, but things have been a bit busy about here.
    I've heard bad things usually happen in three's - I just hope multiples of three's are not also the case.
    I'm hanging in.
    Love your photos.
    Will return to comment proper.


  7. Hi Chris, thanks so much for visiting again. It's really good to see you here. You're right about things being critical depending on their location. I've only once experienced a significant earth tremor and that was in South Africa, so it's hard to imagine what it must be like to live with that potential threat permanently. Our concerns are all to do with water, and most of the time, it has to do with keeping it out, given the rather unequal position this country holds in relation to the sea out there! As for goodies emerging from the water, we've found a few treasures in the past, but it's only been nine months since we moved back into the harbour after a year's absence while the council completely dredged the bottom and rebuilt the quay walls. You'd have been amazed at the mountain of bikes, shopping trolleys, chairs and even steel they dragged up, not to mention scores of mobile phones! It might take a while for the treasures to accumulate again.

    Margie, Koos is delighted at being called a gentleman and a scholar. He hadn't heard that expression before and is now wearing it like a favourite cloak! Thanks for reading my Mugabe post. It's always good to hear your views on these subjects, and yes, madman, maniac and monster are all words that apply, sadly. I'm glad Emma is still out of the hot spots in India, though. The situation there was even scarier because it was so unexpected. Mugabe, however, is acting true to form!

    Dale, don't worry, you have enough to cope with now, especially with a wee one in plaster. I always love your comments, but for now will 'come to you' for visits instead ;-)


  8. I so love the Christmas evening photos!
    It looks so, well...Christmassy...
    And I love Christmas!


  9. Great pics! I've seen it low before but this was really scraping the bottom!

  10. It was indeed Jo, and Dale yes, it looks, doesn't i?

  11. After Koos’s comment, I am now picturing that guy walking along the harbour on a cold night. He thinks to himself, “I know, I’ll chuck that sign away,” and after a struggle down a sheer loopplank manages to complete the dirty deed but not without causing a bit of a din. When the bargees surface, he is nonchalantly walking away along the harbour to tell his friends over a drink how he was nearly caught during his nutty act on the loopplank. Very odd behaviour indeed, very odd. Shouldn’t he be at home watching the Dutch version of Big Brother or something?

    Last evening I watched something truly incredible. I get weak at the knees when I even think about it, and it takes the type of skills needed to scale the loopplank during the east wind up to frightening levels. The movie is called ‘Man on Wire’. I highly recommend it.


  12. Paul, you'd be amazed at what some people find amusing when they've spent the evening imbibing at our local hostelries. Casting off our ropes, hurling bottles and ciggie butts onto the decks and even having their after parties on board.

    Chucking our stuff in the water is just a routine reflex action in passing ;-)

    We shall look out for 'Man on Wire' though. It might give us some tips! And Koos tells me that Big Brother was invented here...well, he whispered it, actually...not really an admission to be proud of in his book.

    Thanks for coming by!

  13. your pictures are lovely Val. No worries. :)

  14. Hi Val,

    thanks for stopping on my blog. Charly and me are back from London.
    THE WHO were great and we had a fantastic long weekend.

    Hope to continue my London writing the next days.

    Your last posts I must read, if I have some free time. I don't know about my day, because every minute is flying away. Is this my old age??? I don't know.

    Have a good weekend.



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