14th March 2008 – In the morning I had a meeting with the Flemish Government to talk about the house boat situation and the future of the ships on their mooring. Since I’m a member of the board of Vlaamse Woonschepen I spend more time these days on the house boat situation then on any other subject.
11th March 2008 – While I’m still making more concrete plans for converting the hold, I found it was time to make a trial construction.
9th March 2008 – The intention was to clean the cargo hold from last week and to start sorting out the wood. By the time the hold was cleared, I continued to do the remaining part of the floor, around 40m2. It took me all afternoon but still I’m not finished. I hope to finish it next Saturday.
8th March 2008 – I had an exam in the morning for getting my sailing certificate. I’m not sure yet whether I have passed. It takes 4 weeks before you know the result.
In the afternoon I walked around in Ghent to take some pictures of the house boats. I visited an old ice breaking tug that was converted into a bed & breakfast. A nice ship, I would have been convinced to buy this ship if I didn’t had the Watergeus!
7th March 2008 – In the evening, while it was getting dark, a spits barge was passing by. It was the Linquenda from Terneuzen. I quickly took my bike and followed it to the nearest lock, so I could take some more pictures.
2nd March 2008 – The big day, people from Ghent and Bruges came to visit our ships, have a good meal and mainly to talk about the future of the organization and how to negotiate with the government. I learned to know a few new people, they even convinced me to move my ship in September to Ghent. I’m not sure yet, but we’ll see.
1st March 2008 – There is a meeting of the Vlaamse Woonschepen, an organization that protects and fights for the rights of the Flemish house boat people. The meeting and reception are being organized by the house boats of Bruges, which I’m part of.
In the morning I cleaned my hold, put some decorating stuff in and did shopping for the meal tomorrow. I didn’t have that much stuff by hand, so every item I had was spread over the hold such as an air vent, old fuel cans, small winches, meters from an engine, anchors and navigation lights.
24th February 2008 – When I woke up, I had an idea to clean two tanks. When I finished the day, all four tanks were cleaned, placed in position and I moved the empty fuel tank on location as well.
After placing the first tank on starboard side, I started realizing there was a big chance not all of them would fit. After three tanks were placed, I had to push the last one in between. I’m glad I didn’t buy 6 tanks!
23th February 2008 – I decided not to work. Not only am I still very exhausted from the last couple of weeks, I wanted to make some time to visit all of my friends from Sluiskil, not just the skipper of my barge but also my old neighbours and a few other friends.
One of them had redone his interior, another one had dry-docked his barge. There was a lot to talk about since the last time.
22nd February 2008 – In the afternoon, I had some time left, I decided to make a walk in Ghent to see some barges and how they were changed. It had been some time since I made just a big walk through Ghent. It was becoming dark and cloudy, so I didn’t take a single picture.
19th February 2008
16th February 2008 – Mainly cleaned the tanks today, but not that hard. Thursday was enough for me! I just hope not to put this job on a long term project.
In the morning a company came to make a price for the insulation, I’m considering to use sprayed foam. There are many reasons why I would take it, but as many not to take the stuff. A few reasons are:
- Easy, it takes one day only
- Whole space is insulated, nicely closed and little to no chance to have condensation
- What to do with welding?
- My sides still have cement from her watersupply career, so if this falls of, so does the insulation?
14th February 2008 – A very romantic day, except for my neighbour and me. The watertanks arrived, I believe the hardest day of 2008. Since my crane can’t reach into the hold, we had to lower them by hand. The tanks, each around 100kgs are not exactly what I would call easy to handle.
They arrived at noon, so in the early morning I painted the newly built floor and the metal around it.
In the afternoon we cleaned my tanks and put them in the hold, later I helped my neighbour who had a car crane. A bit easier, but not less hard.
11th February 2008 – In the late afternoon I visited a spits barge in Ghent, not just a spits, but one with a very special engine, an ABC (Anglo Belge Corporation). These engines were very rare in these type of barges. The new owners, a young couple are converting the ship into a youth hostel. I was impressed of the size they made out of the cargo hold by just cleaning and painting the whole space. The back accommodation, still contains traces of the oldest accommodation in the back under the deck and the later built upper structure. They still have a lot of work, but as they mentioned it is always interesting to meet other boat owners and to learn. So did they, so did I!
10th February 2008 – Before finishing the wooden floor for the watertanks I cleaned the remaining bilges and painted them with line oil. Everything looks shiny clean!