1st May 2013
The owner gave me they keys of the Aquarel. She is mine!. From a great happy feeling of now owning the boat, it quickly turns into a more realistic feeling: how and where to start.
She is converted, but the conversion is not what I need. Even if I would like to have a second houseboat, she is not converted to any standard. Barely any insulation, a lot of lost space, wrong materials used, humidity problems, etc..
2nd May 2013
One of the many plans is to create a big workshop for myself. I've cut a hole in the wall between the master bedroom and the storage room. I can now walk around the boat without having to go outside. Since they are talking about rain next week, I believe this is a good move.
7th May 2013
The Watergeus has plenty of fuel left from the last journey. I brought ten empty jerry cans and filled them up. Together with start pilot and batteries, I drove to Ghent to unload it on the boat. I think I will need around 150 liters for a six hour journey. I'll try to take double to be sure. I don't want to call a tug....
9th May 2013
Together with a friend we managed to start the engine. It took some time. Besides the usual problems, there are a few more leaks then expected and no cooling. (Later I would discover she is totally grounded at the engine room)
The steering is changed. It is now longer allowed to have a contra steering (also called in Dutch 'Engels stuurwerk / English steering').
11th May 2013
I've mainly concentrated on fixing the issues discovered last Thursday and preparing everything for the journey on Wednesday.
12th May 2013
There are plenty of ropes to hold the boat in position. To win some time, I removed some ropes. They are all moldy.
14th May 2013
Weather is no good, to much wind. This means we are not leaving tomorrow. I did go to see the boat, check every thing and to charge the batteries a little more. while I was there, I fixed a few more issues.
People told me the boat is stuck in the mud. I had a similar feeling, but this is not true. By undoing some more ropes, she moved forward and in reverse by hand!
15th May 2013
The engine didn't start. Their is an air lock in the circuit and we had to bleed the pipes to the injectors. We turned the boat round on the mooring and left Merelbeke. On the ringvaart we broke down three times, every time it was cooling or a broken belt. The last failure caused us to get stuck on the side of the canal....
A Dutch skipper helped us out of this miserable situation. He towed us to Evergem, from where we continued our journey. In Aalter, we moored the ship and went home. Enough for one day!
16th May 2013
I quickly drove to Aalter to check the boat. When I arrived, two fire brigade trucks and the police were at the water side. I thought for the worse, but there was an issue in the factory next to the boat. A friend came and we chatted for a while. Tomorrow we do the remaining part of the journey.
18th May 2013
It took some time to start the engine. While undoing the ropes a few nice historical barges and tugs came by for the event Oostende voor Anker. They all thought I would join them. After the second turning on the canal they were to far ahead and our engine was steaming again. Slowly, without having to stop, we managed to het to Beernem three hours later. Mission accomplished!
Recently I got two pictures from Peter van de Haar when we were sailing the ship towards Beernem.