Saturday, June 20, 2009

The good, the bad and the very very oily

Yesterday we moved the Vereeniging to its new place in the Oude Haven's neighbouring village, the Haringvliet. It's something I've wanted awhile too along with the changes to the Vooronder etc. This was the best thing, as well as getting the ship moving again, which always feels good.

Here are some pics of the move and its new place, courtesy of Mo.

The Vereeniging looking lovely in its new home.

Holly Houdini, the escape artist - one of Mo's Moggies

Do I look bored or what? Haha! This was when waiting for the reverse to be fixed

Koos playing at being DJ

The bad part was that I'll miss it. Stupid really. Don't know why as it'll hardly be a stone's throw away. I'll also miss Mo and Craig as neighbours. I'd got used to having them around and there was a big empty space next to us this morning where both my ship and my daughter should have been.

Bad too was the fact we had a slight problem with the Vereeniging's reverse gear system. This is my nemesis. It's the technical glitch I dread the most, and it's the one that always happens. The ship version of having no imagination goes into overdrive just at the thought of it. Fortunately, Koos managed to repair the problem, but we'd both forgotten one very important consideration.

When starting out, we'd put Sindy in the car as she is not a happy camper on board and tends to be something of a distraction when she goes into doggie catatonia (excuse the pun - no cats are involved at all) and virtual cardiac arrest at the mere sound of a diesel engine revving up. However, when we had to stop to fix the reverse, Koos went back to get his tools and I asked him to put Sin back on the Luxor. Unfortunately she needed a pee before we got back and in her frantic attempts to find a way out, she stumbled into the Luxor's bilges.

We arrived back to find one very very filthy, oily Sin hugging the stairs out of the Luxor having destroyed a rug and splattered old sump oil all over the ktichen and shower area. The only blessing was that she hadn't gone into the living area. Her smart tan patches were nowhere to be seen. She was just one big black oily blob.

Needless to say we felt terrible for causing her such anxiety, but has anyone ever tried to get old sump oil off an already distressed, paranoid pooch? I've so far worked my way through six towels, a whole bottle of dishwashing liquid, a bottle of shampoo, three changes of clothes (for me, not Sindy) several throws to protect the furniture, three washing machine loads to clean all of the above and 24 hours later, my dog is still slick and greasy to the touch leaving large brown patches on everything she sits or lies on. Any tips would be gratefully received.

Ah well, life is never ever it?


  1. Oh poor Sindy! The one thing that I have always worked is a product called, 'Orange goo', it is what auto mechanics use to get their oily, gear soaked hands clean. Orange based, a bit gritty feeling, not toxic. I don't know what it is you would call it where you are. But it is really fantastic stuff. I tried it in desperation for getting skunk smell out,(my last Brittany got 'skunked' a few times! I worked this stuff into the coat and then rinsed. and washed. Maybe there is something like it over there? There must be.

  2. Oy, poor thing. And poor Sindy too.

    I keep thinking some kind of concentrated shampoo or glycerin-based product would be the best thing to cut through the grease in a safe way.

    Best of luck- I feel for you.


  3. I threw your problem into google and more than one answer came up with this one...

    Little smears of tar: Rub vegetable oil onto them to try to dissolve some tar. This works with oil, don't know if it will work but give it a try! Then use washing up liquid to remove the dissolved tar. If this doesn't work, just let it grow out and slough off as long as it's not bothering the dog.
    My boss used vegetable oil to get some thick industrial oil off an animal once.

    Looks like vegetable oil is the winner...some people said the longer you leave it on the 24 hours...don't know how easy that will be!

  4. Oh I've missed you soooooo much!

    Ch-ch-ch-changes everywhere Vally, and new ch-ch-chapters too. (Did I mention I'd developed a stutter while I'd been away?) It's wonderful though to see you embracing these changes so positively.

    Poor, poor Sindy - and you! It's hard enough to get oil off a tiny penguin, but a huge uncooperative doggy? Oh my.

    Having now caught up with much of your recent news, all I can say is that you and Koos are lovely, generous souls, and I hope things work out for everyone. It must be so hard for young people starting out these days. I know Mo and Craig must appreciate your generosity hugely, and I'm so glad you're in a position to help them out. (My goodness Mo looks like you - there's a picture in there somewhere where she is in profile and you are looking pensive; both utterly beautiful!)

    Both barges are looking especially wonderful, and I see time on the slips has been well spent. As ever, I'm in awe of your practical skills. Can you build me a spare room in my roof space? It's just storage at the moment, but the roof line is good ... tell you what - you line and insulate it, and you and Koos can stay there! Can't say fairer than that. (Seriously, it is a project I've had my eye on for a while, but it's strictly a pro job I'm afraid, and one far down the priority list).

    Anyway, enjoy the warmer weather you must now be having. I'm off to put another jumper on.

    margie xxx

  5. Thank you all for your most welcome thoughts and tips! Grace, I wish I'd thought of the mechanics hand cleaner earlier as of course it's readily available at the yard. I've got the last of it off now using concentrated washing up liquid, but that would have been much quicker.

    Anne Marie, in the end it was a concentrated product that helped, but in this case, dish wash stuff as I told Grace.

    String, I'll keep the veggie oil in mind if i happens again! That might be a good thing to use before the mechanics' hand cleaner ;-)

    And MARGIE!!!! How fabulous to see you here. I'm so sorry I haven't yet reply in full to your email, but at least now I think you can see why. Thanks so much for your sweet words, and yes, I'd love to come and convert your loft....just give me a year or two to finish these projects first...or three...or four...hmmmmm doesn't sound so promising that way does it. Well, you can take it from me that I would love to do it and stay with you too. It might be something for my dreams though, but stranger things have come true before, so you can never tell!

  6. Just one quick thought as I pass through.

    Get ahold of Greenpeace.
    They MUST have an answer to cleansing an oil-slicked coat...

  7. ... and your hair is getting long, Val.

  8. ah...keep that in mind should it happen again.! You have it close at hand. :)

  9. Poor Sindy. What an ordeal she ended up in. :-(

    I think it's natural and not stupid at all that you miss Vereeniging. How could you not, as you formed a strong bond with it - and this change involves also people close to you? Even though physically they and it are not far away, I think mentally it's a far greater departure.

  10. Hi Val,

    this is a sad oil story. I hope now all is well again. It must be pong. You're right life is never boring. Every second a new surprise.


  11. Dale, you are right about Greenpeace...and my hair!

    Maria, thanks, yes, it is hard to part with my home of so many years. I've put so much of myself into that little barge too that the wrench was more than I expected.

    Grace, I will definitely keep it by me now!

    Stefan thanks to you too. Everything's better now thank goodness, except Sindy's nerves of course!


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