Here and on our website ’t Majeur we tell about our live aboard and the adventures to be as we barge trough Europe.

For a Barge holidays for a few days on board see the web site

Should you want to be notified by email when we have posted a new blog or updated the website, then sent us an email trough, within the subject "follower".

Thursday, 27 May 2010

the spudpole

where are we now?We are back near Warten, because we went to Amsterdam during Pentecost, we left the ship a few days in the marina.
Leaving there was not so simple since we had trouble hoisting the aftspudpole. The cable ran from the pulley, and thus there was no more movement in the pole and we stayed put. This had already happened once before, it's one of the "teething problems" that soon will be remedied in Groningen, so luckily we were prepared and have a chain hoist aboard.
 It was a dirty (greasy chain) and difficult job we got to pole up and the cable back on the pulley.
Because next weekend we have to sing one last time with our respective choirs and on June 7 we go out of the water in Leeuwarden, we will stay around here.

We are in the Long Sleat, just on the other side of the Prinses Margriet Canal, a tranquil and beautiful spot with a footpath along, so fun for Panache as well.

We have special neighbours, across the water a very big and beautiful  (only) hollidayhouse and on the other site, several families stork, either on a  polehouse in the green or on a row in the industrial park.

In recent weeks little has been done in finishing woodwork and painting and so now we are back to work, next time I hope to show more pictures of our progress.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Around in Friesland

In the corner of Friesland where we toured around the last 10 days was extremely limited range for internet on the phone, so no possibility to work on the blog. Hence now that we are back in Grou and update. As was clear from the previous blog we went from Grou to Sneek, through Akkrum.
We went over the aqueduct that we passed so often during the last two years, driving  from Amsterdam to the ship, a small moment of victory!
The next day was May 5th, a holiday here, sunny weather and very busy on the water  and in Sneek itself. We had to cross through Sneek, that meant three bridges, the last one very complicated. From the bridge a sharp turn to the right into a bowl where 't Majeur fits just so little maneuvering space left. Add to this an open bridge, on both sides waiting viewers and as a bonus in the bowl a fleet of little tugs that had a meeting and all the crew were on deck watching. There, in my opinion, Michel passed the exam 'steerage and stay cool' with flying colors.
Without any hesitation we glided smoothly through the bridge, the ship in front of us made a picture.
From there we went a bit further than IJlst, a wonderful trip and very similar to France by boat. Narrow canals, nice villages and very quiet. Although we do fit in the canals fine with 't Majeur it is clear that a vessel of this size is not common, if there are large ships they are
sailing charter.
Unfortunately, the weather was nice for only one day and since we had no rush we stayed close to Vijfhuizen for a few days.
A good opportunity to continue to renovate the wheelhouse,  furnishing pillows, and a lick of paint do a lot.
We were on the poles and could only get ashore with the dinghy. We heard a woman calling us and signalling something . It turned out that her son and his sailing boat, we had seen him all day to crossing back and forth, was stranded  and at lee across the water could we please tug him home. Just the thing for Michel who immediately introduced 'towing Edje', brought the man home safe and made friends for life with the mother.
From there we continued to Makkum, we asked the harbour master before and he told us that for a ship our seize coming to Makkum was no problem. Although a very small canal coming to Makkum, it was indeed no problem, we had a lovely spot, right in the village. Our idea was to use the lock to go out, reverse and back in, it was no weather to go to Workum by the IJselmeer, but that was a problem. When we called they had forgotten to say that maybe we could fit in the lock going out but probably could not return because the position of the doors had changed, it was not mentioned in the almanac or PC Navigo. We did not really feel like trying. In the end we managed to turn in Makkum, very tightly, and just because it was so quiet that no other boats lay along the quays. After a night in Makkum we left, it was fun but we are not going to come back.

From Makkum to Workum, de Flakke Brekken, a beautiful area, where we stayed a couple of days and took care of household and ship in order to be ready for receiving our first guests.

The laundry had to be done and heavy things moved, but that we do with the little crane.
For a week we had family and friends,they were our guests to test the B&B, we got a 'go ahead' from all. 
After that we went back to Grou, tough we were planning to stay near Sneek another night, we continued and are now back on the Pikmeer (feels a bit like coming home).
Even if you're on the water the trash has to be picked up and except that here it's done by a boat instead of a car it's basically the same system as in Amsterdam near the flat, normal life goes on even if you live on a ship.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010


Everything is relative! We thought that we have a big barge but than, right in the center of Sneek, moores this huge boat behind us, 106 meters long. That we encounter big ships in the great canals is logical but here....
Yesterday we came by Akkrum and Sneekermeer to Sneek, so we can buy some tools for working on the CV and new wood for the stove. We continue today to Bolsward.
Waiting half an hour for the bridge in the middle of Akkrum, for the lunch break, is with spud poles a piece of cake, we even acted as mooring for a waiting sailing ship.
Helas it is still cold and rainy weather, fortunately we have a wood stove (and wood!)

Sunday, 2 May 2010

It takes all kind of boats......

Part of the fun of being on the water is that you see so many boats, all very different.
This however beats it all, a floating home, front door and all. The two men on the front are steering, the thing actually goes quiet fast. You can rent them for a holiday.
We are moving around on the lake near Grou, the wind is rather strong en keeps changing direction, so we keep changing places so not to be moored below the wind. It is good exercize because we only use the spudpoles and no ropes, they work wonderful. The only problem is that, because of the wind and waves, we move a bit up and down and you can hear that when lying in bed, we have to think of a solution.