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.
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.
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.
18th August 2019 – We are leaving on Wednesday with the Anwi for Southampton. Just made some preparations, checking maps and making a list of items that needs doing. It will be my third crossing.
17th August 2019 – The old sofa’s are gone and the new ones are in place. I forgot to check the width of the sofa and it just made it into the entrance door. Normally Ikea furniture comes in a package, but not this time…
16th August 2019 – We went to Ikea to get some furniture for the living. It took us two hours for shopping and another two for waiting in the queue. In the afternoon I started dismantling some of the old furniture. When I came back from friends, I built one cupboard.
15th August 2019 – We continued working in the office space, breaking down the second part of the desk. I had to remove so many wires, I was surprised to see what had been connected but never got unplugged…
13th August 2019 – I picked up an old desk at my parents place. It is a handmade desk from the early 30’s, which had been in family ever since. Last year, I had a chance of getting it, but no place to put it. I decided to store this lovely part of furniture temporary at my parents place until now.
11th August 2019 – After a good night of partying in Bruges, I finaly started with the conversion of my office space. When I built the Watergeus in 2005-2007, I had little money so the desk was made with plywood. Behind the desk were all the cables, but nothing really finished. Today I removed the first part of that desk, including old cables and stuff I no longer needed. As expected, I did discover several older items and decoration I was barely aware of they were still aboard…
10th August 2019 – Last week, we mounted the computer screens, today I finished two computers already and mounted them to the screens. Some more books were added to the inventory.
9th August 2019 – I had a phone call in the morning asking to verify a few numbers found in the hull. After a bit of research I managed to get her historical record. She was built in 1902. The new owner just found the ‘brandmerk’ numbers by cleaning the hull. After all these years, we finally know where and for who she was built. The ship stayed for a longer period than expected in commercial service.
The Hornblower was measured in 1902 and carried the name ‘Borgercompagnie Groningen VV’. Owned by J. Bakker from Borgercompagnie. The ship is 16.04 meters long and 3.42 meters wide. It was built that the yard G. & H. Bodewes in Hoogezand.
4th August 2019 – In the morning I did some cleaning up and in the afternoon I walked around the barge with a tin of brown paint to finish some details.
28th July 2019 – I started working in the corridor of the bedroom in the Watergeus. After the fire incident in 2015, I had rebuild the walls but, I never finished the woodwork around the portholes. There are still seven portholes that needs finishing. I managed to do two of them.