Monday, June 06, 2016

Preparing to fare it well

It was back in 2008, eight years ago, that Koos and I bought a small traditional Dutch Barge, a Groninger Snik to be precise, from a family in Groningen.

Just before we lost the bowsprit

I remember the purchase of the little Hennie H as if it was yesterday. Koos drove up to Groningen on 18 May and by the end of the month we were the owners of this very pretty little barge. At this stage I had only seen photos, but exactly a month later, on 18 June, Koos and I drove up together again, our mission being to do the return trip to Rotterdam on the boat.

Leaving Groningen

It was a lovely journey. We set off from a tiny backwater canal in Groningen the following damp, misty morning, heading towards the main arterial canals that surround this historic Dutch city. Not even the demise of our small bowsprit at the first lock dampened our spirits. A misjudgement of the wind and an unfamiliar boat had Koos crashing headlong into the lock wall, and the consequent crunch splintered it. Beyond repair. But we didn't like it anyway, we had no sails and so we laughed it off.

Archetypal Dutch scenery

We spent three days travelling down through Groningen and Drenthe; three days of magical scenery, kindly lockkeepers and mostly friendly boaters along the way. I say mostly because one German boater started barking at us as loudly as Sindy in one of the locks. Apparently, he didn't like the way we did things and he didn't like our dog either.

At our second night's mooring. Sindy on land and
happy to be on terra firma

Sindy on board and very unhappy
That aside, we had a wonderful trip as far as Zwartsluis where I left Koos to return to Groningen and fetch our car. He continued on for another two days along the Vecht, through Utrecht, finally reaching Rotterdam on 26 June.

Arriving in Rotterdam


Learning things we wish we'd known before

The Hennie H then spent a few months in the Oude Haven, during which time we learnt a lot of things about it that we would rather have known before we bought it (another story) and doing extensive repairs and painting. It was eventually in September of that year that we sailed it down to Sas van Gent and since then, it hasn't really moved anywhere except up the canal and back between Terneuzen and Zelzate, the reason being too many problems and too many months out of action at the yards.

Being towed by The Wandering Snail from Zelzate during
'the troubles'
But this year, we aim to change all that. I won't say anymore now in case I jinx it, but watch this space. Or maybe not. The thing is, I might be absent for a while. If so, be happy for me because if so, I will be faring well.

17 comments:

  1. Happy faring in your beautiful Hennie H. She sounds an adorable barge and some extra loving will make her shine. Good luck with it all. x

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  2. Good luck with all your plans. x

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  3. Hi Val - I hope all goes well ... and you enjoy the time "doing" and being on the water ... happy times ahead .. cheers Hilary

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  4. Enjoy your absence, Val - whatever it is you are doing!

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  5. Aww...Val...a lovely blog as usual! May joy and adventure never depart from you and your inspirational life!

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  6. I must say that the Hennie H. has very attractive lines and it would certainly have caught my attention too. At the end of the day there is nothing like getting a marine surveyor to check things over as part of a pre-sale condition. Having said that we all take chances to don't we :-)

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  7. Hope you're faring very well Val! Look forward to reading about your adventures when you return. x

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  8. In that case, I do hope that you're absent for a while and that you have an amazing time. Enjoy.

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  9. Thank you all so much! I will keep you posted one way or another and assuming all goes to plan, I will still try keep up with blogs etc as much as possible. Keep fingers crossed for me that I will get to fare very well :)

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  10. Anxious to see where your adventure leads you and your little barge. Enjoyed the post and loved the pictures!

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    1. Thanks, Rebecca and welcome to my blog!

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  11. Good luck with your plans and enjoy your travels. She looks like a lovely little barge, would love to see some pictures of the interior xxx

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    1. Fran, it's been a long tome coming as you know. I'll post some photos as soon she's 'vaarklaar' or 'ready to fare' as they say here in the Netherlands
      :)

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  12. Lovely photos :) and good luck!

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    1. Thanks, Cathy! Keep everything crossed for me :)

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  13. Everything's crossed, Val. Enjoy your lovely new craft, and fare well!

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    1. Thank you, Roger! Weather permitting, I intend to savour every moment!

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