Stern – Welding windows and moving her to Bruges

2nd June 2020 – I started early in the morning welding the windows frames. All four of them were mounted and partly welded by the late afternoon. I am welding on solar panels and batteries. This has a negative influence on the start of the weld process. Anti stitch doesn’t work that good.  Secondly I ran out of welding rots.

There was still the plan of moving the ship to Bruges. It was now alongside Tordino, but commercial barges had issues of taking a mooring. I want to keep them as friends, so it was time to say goodbye and leave. I had no friends who could join, so I just went by myself to Bruges. Everything went fine till I got to the pedestrian bridge at Steenbrugge. I couldn’t fit under that bridge with the mast sticking out. I had to run several times to the front to lower the mast, return to the wheelhouse to adjust the steering. Knowing I had no deck to walk on, people were watching, but it didn’t go wrong!

At the lock, the bridge was broken, so I moored alongside Rio Claro, in the lock my ropes were to short but again, I made it safely. Next bridge: also broken, since I had no ropes left, I floated for one hour and made it safely after four hours to the mooring alongside the Watergeus.

Stern – Ballast and first window frame

31st May 2020 – I picked up around 300kgs of metal for ballast. I got it for free from someone who had just bought three containers  of old stuff from a warehouse. On the way home I picked up free curver boxes to store the metal in. It took me some time to unload it and store it on the Watergeus.

In the evening I went to the Stern and made a frame for the first of six windows. I’m not so happy with the result, but if prevents rainwater from coming in, I’m happy.

Stern – Oiling the wheelhouse

28th May 2020 – I still don’t know what to do with the wheelhouse of the Stern. A wooden wheelhouse looks older and has more charm. A metal on is watertight and better on the long run…

Since it was sanded down earlier this month, I put a coat of oil on it to feed the wood.

Stern – Welding a pipe around the roof

26th May 2020 – A pipe was welded around the roof of the cabin. This is a common practice to finish a roof so water doesn’t run off everywhere and it is less sharp when walking around. I started at luchtime and was nearly finished in the evening. It had been a long time since I welded for so many hours.

I also mounted the mastfoot and mast. It needs adjusting, but at least, I’m happy with a visual adjustment.

Late in the evening, I cut the wooden roof in smaller pieces for my neighbour. He will burn it.

Stern – New roof for the cabin

25th May 2020 – I got up early in the morning for removing the old rotten roof. It was rotten, but still very well attached to the ship. A friend came to help me and after two hours the roof was gone. The upper structure is fairly rotten at some places, but nothing that can’t be fixed.

When removing the layers of wood, we discovered how nicely the Stern used to be. A wooden roof in hardwood with rubber seals. It must have been a great yacht.

We removed some old ribs and badly rusty parts before lowering the new sheets on the frame. I knew it just ordered enough metal, but we had to alter the position of the plates to make it. The frame for the skylight, I made earlier last month, fitted well. Happy with the result, but still a lot needs to be done!

Vlet – Dry-docking the ship

24th May 2020 – I had no sleep. It was cold, I was dirty and tired. The bilges were filled up again with water. I turned the water cooling open and started the engine. It was raining and windy. It took me a hell of a manoeuvre to get out of the yacht harbour. When I arrived at the lock, there were to many yachts, so I went through the Biesbosh. During the journey we had to pump several times since we were making water and fast! Near the yacht harbour, we stranded on a sandbank. We didn’t get her out, so somebody came to help us. The closer we went to the marina the undeeper the water was. In the end we followed a yacht and lowered speed.

At the marina, the tractor with deeploader was already in the water for helping us out. I was wet, it was cold and only coffee could safe me! Since the corona measurements, they could not server us any coffee.

We had to wait for transport to come from Belgium, so we removed the mussels from the hull. Around the shaft we discovered a lot of kit to keep it dry. Not professional and not honest!

Vlet – From Nijmegen to…

22nd May 2020 – We bought some proper ropes and oil in Nijmegen before leaving the historical harbour.  While walking to the shop, I managed to take some pictures of the historical barges.

It was windy and after two hours, water was coming from over the bow onto the back deck. It was becoming that dangerous I decided to enter a marina. We stopped in Woudrichem where I changed clothes and had a meal. I noticed water in the bilges near the bedroom. Not much and some water came in because of the waves, or at least that is what I first believed.

The owner convinced me a few hours later to continue the journey. Three minutes later I was soaked in water and we decided to enter the first possible marine. This was behind the lock in Werkendam. A nice marina. Once moored, I removed the carpet discovering several hatches. Bilges were badly filled up with water. Not a good sign.

In the evening, we left home. Nothing could be done, maybe we continue tomorrow, if not next weekend. It was a bit a disappointment we had to stop that way. 

Vlet – Leaving Almelo

21st May 2020 – The owner came with a gas bottle at six o’clock as promised. We left one hour later and moved nicely towards the first locks. Since I didn’t know the lock or how it works, I made it slowly in the lock. The two yachts in front of me moored at the middle of the lock, I at the back. I had to move from the lock master and changed side, a manoeuvre I should not have done. After some hassle I was secured, stern first…

No damage done, we continued our journey over the IJssel, against tide, to the Waal, with tide. As planned, we made it to Nijmegen. Sadly enough, it was dark and I had no idea where to stay for the night. I made it into a small dock but I was not allowed to stay there. We moved to the historical harbour, I had no good feeling we would make it against the tide. We did, but it took us 20 minutes. We moored alongside a historical clipper, had a few drinks and went into town for food.