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

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Saturday, 12 June 2010


When the car is not longer there to use, this is how you get the groceries

Friday, 11 June 2010

On the slope

Since the previous blog we didn't sail much but did a lot of work on and around the ship.
We stayed at the same spot in the Lange Sleat, which is, as they say around here, a 'dollars spot', where we like it very much. Because the car was nearby and we knew that soon Malka would take it to Amsterdam, we made good use of it to carry large cans of paint and other job materials and discard a broken down centrifuge.
The last weekend of May was marked by the last performances of our respective choirs. Saturday and Sunday we performed on the cheese fair in the village. Unfortunately wet, cold and very windy days and so few visitors at the fair, there was a time when the choirs sang only for each other.

The following week the weather got better and better so time to do outside work, like cleaning and painting the front deck. I had only just finished when the deck was populated by a colony of midges, fortunately only temporary. 

Michel has been engaged in the worst corner in the wheelhouse, not a straight line, no right angles, and the joining of three planes. It seems nothing but was a huge job and now no one can step in the hole next to the stairs anymore, not insignificant.

 After a very good weekend with Malka on board, such nice weather that for the first time we could use the sundeck all day, she  took the car back to Amsterdam. Another step on the path of just a floating existence.
Monday June 9 we left our place in the morning, in the rain and fog to sail to Leeuwarden where we went on the slope.
It was the fifth time, since September 2007 when we bought the vessel, that we came out of the water. The first 3 times were planned, the purchase inspection (dry dock), spud poles and bowthruster (dry dock) and blasting and painting (hoisted by a crane).
Then again to place an additional wierpot (dry dock) and now to repair the helm (slope). The slope means that the ship is slowly pulled across on large blocks, via cables and huge wheels, an impressive sight.

Panache was with Michel on board (I took the pictures) and he became totally upset because everything creaked and squeaked, the drawers of the cabinet opened spontaneously and the ship shuddered. But everything went fine and nothing toppled or broke.
 The reason to go out was that the rudder was probably bent which proofed to be the case, possibly caused as the bow came down trough the ice whilst the rudder was stuck. We were this winter in about 30 cm of ice and by suction from vessels in the PM channel, the water level beneath the ice changed continuously.
The insurance expert who observed everything noticed that there had indeed been an "event" so luckily the repair will be largely compensated.
The rudder was removed and with an extra piece of 2 cm welded back on so it will be stuck anymore (who wants to know details must ask Michel).

A new 'taatspot' (I really don't know the word in English) was welded on, it is the part where the bottom of the rudder turns in, which is now the newest and shiniest piece of metal on the ship, unfortunately under water so not visible.

 Once out the water we saw that the paint on the bow was in bad condition, below the waterline, in part because we are deeper since the conversion so that the waterline became higher. The paint was blasted away  and Michel repainted the bow, where necessary, I could not do it because it was too high and difficult to maneuver through the blocks.
We used the opportunity of being out of the water to do something about the rattling of the spud poles. In the top of the pile and the bottom of the tube plastic caps are fastened so that no metal touches metal any more.
Back into the water we heard  banging again when another ship passed. We were shocked and thought that the whole operation spud pole had been a waste. However, it appeared that it was not the spud poles (that problem was well resolved), but the rudder is now moving so smooth and free that it rattles; did we go from bad to worse?? Well, it gives us a new problem to solve.

Just one last picture to show how high above the ground (about 5 meters) it was on the ship. Not suitable for anyone with any degree of vertigo. I've stayed inside mostly and swore I'll never again stay on board longer than one night when out of the water.
We are now back in the Lange Sleat for a few days, said goodbye to the friends we made and leave Friesland, tomorrow we are going direction Groningen.
There something will be done to the "growing pains" we discovered in the recent weeks and after that we go on exploring the Netherlands