4th May 2011 – The insurance company discovered she was built in 1901, this makes her exactly 110 years old!
4th May 2011- I worked on nearly every aspect of the back accommodation: electricity, plumbing, oiling the floor and fitting the mirror again. The water tanks in the back are now filled up and not leaking, so I can start using the whole water circuit!
3th May 2011 – A few flexible pipes had to be fitted. This was done today! A potential buyer came for the Escapade. He will make his decision tomorrow.
1st May 2011 – I went to see the Hornblower with my girlfriend. I told her it had a bath, a toilet and it was partly converted.
30th April 2011 – As I did with the Watergeus, Frantsis and Escapade, the first job is always cleaning the boat. Depending on the condition, this is a job that takes several days to several months. The fore peak was filled with wood for the wood burning stove and rubbish. I cleaned out this space, since I want to put a generator in this area.
I pumped out the water in the afternoon and closed the remaining holes around the windows and on the deck.
We started the engine, not expecting it to run. After turning the key, the engine ran nicely without any major problems. Oil needs to be changed and some grease added to the pumps.
29th April 2011 – An important day for me, they towed the Hornblower from Antwerp to Sluiskil. Sadly enough, I could not join the trip since I had to work. I made it to Terneuzen, where I jumped aboard and continued the trip to Sluiskil.
The towing went well, I only lost one bollard and some water came in during the trip. That was reasonable, since the tug was sailing at full speed, 21km an hour!
After a few drinks and congratulating the skipper of the tugboat, I decided to sleep aboard my new boat.
26th April 2011 – I started removing most of the items from the Escapade that can be reused for the Hornblower. Once this job was finished, I filled up my car with tools, pumps, ropes and other useful items for Antwerp.
23th April 2011 – There was one area on the hull that looked bad. After three ships being moored on that spot for a longer period, the paint was thin and dirty. I cleaned the hull and put a good coat of paint on the side.
Most of the plumbing was finished today, including drilling a hole in the side of the boat.
At five o’clock the bridges in Bruges were closed. A British yacht moored next to the Watergeus, the are planning to stay till after Easter.
22nd April 2011 – Yesterday evening, a good friend of mine called. They had towed his old tug to a new mooring in Ghent. In front of the Evergem lock, he was stuck in the mud. The towing company left him on his own. With a small yacht we tried getting him out. It took three hours, but he was freed and brought to the mooring.
In the afternoon, I had a meeting with the local Government concerning the houseboats and their mooring. The evening was divided in driving around to find a tug for my new boat, the Hornblower, and a meeting with our members.
21st April 2011 – I visited a small houseboat in Antwerp. It is for sale, but with a broken engine, no interior and a few smashed windows. It was another project people started working on, but were never able to finish it. After a visit of more then two hours, I left it behind and visited a pub in Antwerp…
20th April 2011 – It looks like a small job to hang a mirror on the wall of the bathroom. In the end it took me a long time!
Later that evening, I took some pictures of barges in Bruges.
15th April 2011 – The new owner was working on the engine, a perfect moment to use my camera and record the sound of the engine. The last eight years, I tried to capture as much as possible of engines with my old camera. The quality wasn’t good, but at that time, there was no other option. My new camera has a High Definition record function.
13th April 2011 – No matter what planning I’m making, it is always ending up the wrong way. I had to do some more painting on the back accommodation of the Watergeus. A friend of mine, which I once helped before I had the Watergeus, just came back from dry dock in Ostend. I drove there to say hello…
12th April 2011 – A small wall had to built for the water pipes running from the tanks to the pump. I made a wooden construction. It was painted together with the rest of the woodwork. The lighter the engine room looks, the nicer to work in!
10th April 2011 – I wanted to mount my curtains in the back accommodation. A small job that took nearly all morning, together with putting the door handles.
The afternoon was far more busier to me. I raised the little work boat that sank last Friday. A neighbour gave me a hand.
After she was raised, we put her alongside my ship.
The front deck was painted and a few little spots on the deck and upper structure. My father redid the railing on the back accommodation.
I continued working till it was dark. Some more pluming for the back accommodation was done as well. The stars were also mounted on the bow of the ship.