7th January 2006
Andy made his payment to the yard, so officially the boat became his today. It was a cold day, where I also nearly slipped in the water because of the frozen smog on deck. The first thing he did was hanging the British flag and getting something to eat. With no furniture, we sat on the ground in the back accommodation. I started reading the documents that were left around, such as the River Rhine Certificate, Oil delivery books, some logs, etc... I promised him to do an effort in tracking the history of the boat.
The pictures here show in what state the vessel was. She had no roof over her cargo hold. The engine room had flooded and the water was starting to fill the cargo hold as well.
Wheelhouse and tabernakels
Water in the cargo hold
14th & 15th January 2006
We placed a generator aboard for making use of the tools and a gas bottle for the heating.
We decided to start cleaning the cargo hold. Removing leaves, water and rubbish from the bilges. In one day time, most of it was cleaned and with the wooden planks a floor was created. We hadn't enough for creating the whole floor. A few were missing, but the result looked satisfied.
The next day, the wooden floor was cleaned with a high pressure machine.
A clean floor, only one day later
28th & 29th January 2006
In the last week, Andy had cleaned the engine room and repaired the central heating; an essential part for the next couple of months!
Repairing the engine
Some paintwork was done, this to protect the weakest places on the back cabin. The engine was started for the first time and ran for nearly one hour, propeller turning. No smoke came out of the funnel, a good sign!
We also discussed the option of shortening the boat. It is not an idea, I would like to support, but this ship has a better value in Great Britain, when she's shorter. We took a look at the dry-dock facility in Terneuzen and talked with the man of the yard.
30th January 2006
Back in Ostend, I sent an e-mail to the shipyard in Terneuzen about shortening the boat and arranging a meeting to talk in detail about this project.