Category: Daily Life around the water - page 3

The grundel, part III

29th October 2019 – I had another contact wit the owner yesterday evening. Last week I discovered the ship wasn’t sold after all. While I was in hospital I gave him a ring telling my offer still stands.

I hope transport can be arranged for the price he suggested. If this works out, I’m expecting to own a grundel very soon!

Having a look for a Grundel

10th October 2019 – Since I was pretty sure I could not get the yacht for a small amount, I went to Westland in Holland, just above Rotterdam. There was a grundel for sale. The owner sold it as a riveted schouw, but it was built in the 70’s and completely welded. The other issue was the location. The ship is in a closed canal near his company. So transport, a crane and a truck are needed to remove the ship from its current location.


While I was there, I noticed the owner had a small metal boat from the Belgian Spits Moving. This ship was scrapped two years ago and some of its paperwork and tools ended up in Museumschip Tordino.

Water-rAnt – Day 1

27th September 2019 – We arrived a little early on the event and decided to build the tent ourselves. It worked and we were the first who were fully active.

It became windy and it started raining a t 5 o’clock. We closed our tent and had a look on the event. The ships arrived and I took some pictures and made some movies.


Sailing to Southampton – Day 3

23rd August 2019 – The night journey went nicely. Around Zeebruges and Ostend we had some big waves, but the ship handled it well.  When we started the crossing to Dover, daylight came and we had a good trip. Not much traffic around us until we arrived near Dover. There were so many ships we had to alter course on several occasions

The next bit was from Dover to Brighton where we sailed near the coast. Since we were over 24 meters we had to follow the big ships in the shipping lane instead of the Inland Traffic Zone. They called us on the radio, so we changed course.  At that point, we had another 15 hours ahead. Becoming tired and hungry, it was a hard bit to full fill.

Sailing to Southampton – Day 2

22nd  August 2019 – The day started in the Police station in Ostend. We delivered the papers and had to wait for another check aboard the ship before they could release us.  Not all paperwork was good, but we were allowed to leave the harbour. It took over an hour to get the second bridge working. On arrival in Bruges, Scheepsdalebrug only opened at 14 o’clock. We lost several hours before arriving at the lock in Evergem around 19 o’clock. Smoke came out of the engine room, so we reduced some speed.

At 21:30 we arrived in Terneuzen, heading for Breskens and then to Dunkirk.

Sailing to Southampton – Day 1

21st August 2019 – We left in Bruges at 6 o’clock in the morning.  Everything went well until we arrived at the lock in Ostend. They didn’t turn the lock and about fifteen minutes later, shipping police arrived to do a check up. The lock keeper didn’t believe we were seaworthy.

The paperwork of the ship was not aboard, so we got detained and had to stay in Ostend. We had no paperwork for the inland waterways and nothing for going to sea. So far  the first day of the crossing. The argument of the Belgian civil servant was to load the barge on a seagoing vessel and unload it in the United Kingdom. Even the Police found it ridiculous, but never the less we were stuck in Ostend.

The wife of the owner drove to Rotterdam to the correct paperwork for the inland waterways. Let’s hope  that they release the ship tomorrow.

Thinking about 15 years of owning a boat…

If I’m looking back at the last fifteen years of owning barges and other boats, two of them were a success. The Watergeus, where I am still living on and the Tordino, which has become a nice museum.  Other projects were fun and were used as an investment  I had a dream or a plan, describe it as you wish,  for every project I ever took on. During the conversion, sometimes the plans changed like with the Aquarel. It started with the intention of inviting friends to stay and show their art. A kind of small residence. Then it changed into a private pub with museum, but was sold after one birthday party.

Op Hoop van Zegen had to be sold to finance Tordino, but was getting pretty close to what I really wanted to do: travelling on a small barge.  I had the same plan with the Hornblower in 2011, but I couldn’t find time to travel, and honestly, I wasn’t experienced enough.

Some people think I should make the boats commercial by running air b&b, or organising events and selling tickets. After fifteen years asking nothing, and just organising, I met a lot of interesting people of whom some became close friends. I will not name any friends by name, but I believe my best friends are people who I met through boating. Sometimes by giving advice, some by meeting them on a boat party and others by working together with them. Boat people are special but in a nice way. Like someone said earlier last week: their is not a single bone in their body that has a bad taught.

When I talk  to people about living on boat, they are all interested,  with the few exceptions of people who ask how many times you have to pump them out.

So what will bring the next couple of years? I don’t know. Half of my projects were not planned. A good party is often the one that was not planned. I have some ideas in mind to finish what I’ve started, I want to continue to socialise and meet new people, but for all, I will start with redecorating the interior of the Watergeus! After all these years, it is time to do a little upgrade and add some nice souvenirs from the past.

It was last week, when I was talking to two colleagues and friends, I started realising, I must go on with what I have in mind. A small boat to travel with, converted into a private pub where I can meet people, talk to them, make an interview and just document life on boats for a further generation. This plan could be the base for a big financial support, but since I’ve never asked any entrance, I won’t ask any money either for this!

Everytime I drive through Holland, I look at the water, the big rivers, the Biesbosch, the Oosterschelde with Veerse Meeren. Even the IJsselmeer where I had a bad experience with Tordino, are nice waters to travel. Drop an anchor or go to land, meet people, have a drink and socialise. You never know what that might bring for new collaborations and projects. Keeping an open mind on a boat is necessary!

Many people ask if a third boat is necessary.  Are there no options with the current two boats I own? Yes and no. I am not allowed to sail by myself on these two barges to start with. Secondly, the engine on the Watergeus is fine, but any other technique is outdated. Tordino is fine, but the value in the hold prevents me from moving her as a pleasure ship…


We see what the future might bring…