Friday, July 08, 2011

A helling of a week

I fully intended to do this post a bit earlier, but what with one thing and another, the week has run away with us and I find it's already Friday with another of those helling weeks nearly over.

This time it was Mo and Craig's turn. Monday morning found us up with the lark helping them to move their barge, the Marion Aagje to the slipway (or helling, as it is known here in the Netherlands). We didn't really do all that much as friend and neighbour, Bas, who was coming off the slips, moored up his own barge and then promptly jumped into the little harbour tug and pulled the Marion Aagje skilfully to the bottom of the ramp. Our contribution in the end was mainly to lend moral support and to act as translators when orders were being barked from the helling crew to Mo and Craig on board.

In the end, it all went very smoothly, and since then, I've lent a hand (when I haven't been at work) with sanding, painting, and the dismantling of various items they wanted off the barge. We've also been official 'Charlie-the-spaniel sitters' when the need has arisen.

They have worked incredibly hard, but this is usual for a 'helling week', as we do it all ourselves in the Oude Haven. By Monday, I expect they will be ready to sleep for a week, or at least their limbs will be. Luckily, they'll be staying over our side for some days while they finish painting and working, so the pressure won't be quite so intense, and hopefully they can relax a little. As long as the weather is relatively kind, they should be able to get plenty done. In the meantime, I'll keep the pictures coming.


  1. whew, no rest for the weary, huh Val?
    Well, I hope there is though.

    Yes, keep those pictures coming.


  2. I don't know how you all do it. So much work to do always, and it seems like it never stops. Somehow, my city house seems to require less maintenance, and still I am reluctant to do the half of it.


  3. Grace, I'm so exhausted you're right! There's no rest for the xo

    Anne Marie, we have to push the reluctance firmly to one side during helling week. I hate to see my child so tired, so I do what I can to help, but it's never as much as I'd like. It's hard work and no mistake. The thing is that in summer, we simply have to do it, there's no other choice really xx

  4. Phew, shipyard work... My sympathies (and a bottle of liniment) to all involved. Hope it went well and that you got done all that needed to be done.

  5. Tom, it's never as much as we all want, but I think they can be proud of their efforts.

  6. Love the pics Val! And yes, I agree with Anne-Marie, it does seem like so much work!

  7. you have us traveling and helling and floating along, and I do love your writing.

    I love writing on the water (I mean, the style of water and ship faring writers is my favourite).


  8. Hi Val,
    I just posted@June. And have many thoughts. I need to make a personal thank you, to you, for all that you have shared with me. For all that you have helped me. Forever, I am indebted. xxoxo
    You truly are a good and trusted friend.

  9. I have always admired the lines of the Dutch barges and especially the sailing ones with those large lee boards on either side.
    There are a few of them over here on the river Shannon and on our canals they are very eye catching.
    Boats always keep their owners busy.

  10. It sure is a lot of work keeping the boats afloat. Lovely pics as usual!


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