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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Sunday, 30 December 2018

All things come to an end

As the salutation of this post already suggests, this will be the last episode of this blog.
The previous one was dated July 2017(see this link), I'm not going to tell everything that has happened since but will outline the main issues and that brings me to explaining why this is the last one.

After our stay in Utrecht, where Michel recovered from the stroke with the help of the rehabilitation therapy, in September it was time to go to Amersfoort for the winter.
We wanted to make a nice trip over the river Vecht and start by leaving Utrecht on the north side.
‘t Majeur is too big to be able to sail straight through Utrecht, but there is a lock in the Merwedekanaal so you can reach the Amsterdam-Rijncanal on the north side. That lock is usable but is rarely used.
Michel did his best and he has managed to get permission for passage through the Mintlock.
Why did we want that? Well, because it is possible and because we had not done it before.
Not only the getting permission but also the passage itself was troublesome because the swing bridge before the lock did not open because there was a problem with the barriers. Once that succeeded we could pass the bridge and into the manually operated lock.

Muntbridge en Muntlock in the Merwedecanal

I think that the people from the port service in Utrecht also liked it, something different from just pressing buttons.

At Maarsen we could go onto the Vecht and although there is also a major in Majeur we can sail well over the Vecht and it is, especially in late season, a nice trip.

The advantage of cruising late in the season is that, at many places, you can stay for a while like in the centre of Weesp.

in front of the church, then without the spire, by now that has been replaced
We stayed in Weesp for a few days, but when we wanted to go to Amersfoort things went completely wrong.

Just through the bridge and onto the Vecht an alarming sound came from the engine room, as if there was a concrete mixer full of gravel. Inspection, moored at the bollards, did not show any visible damage but it was clear that we could not sail like that.
So we turned and went back into Weesp.
Soon it became clear that further cruising was out of the question. Probably over the years, a bolt had been loosened that was not secured during the assembly of the engine and we were facing a major, long-lasting and far-reaching repair.

the kingpin that now did not hold everything together and was the cause of all rucus
We had already decided during our stay in Utrecht that it was time for us to use the berth there (see this link), which we bought in 2013, starting January.
We could not stay in Weesp, but a place near Utrecht was a better option than Amersfoort. Fortunately we were able to go to Vreeswijk.
Via the A-R canal we were towed there.

Behind the tug through Weesp and via the A-R canal
Our mooring in the old village of Vreeswijk was very lovely, even more so enhanced by snow.

winterview in Vreeswijk
with the camper along the Gorges de Verdon
We had a good time in Vreeswijk, interlaced by a month holiday in France with a motorhome and by our son’s marriage to Stephanie and of course the wedding cake (another last one).

Yesssss just married
the weddingcake, the motto was cats and music
After that life life was all about repair.

this is me, showing off in the engine room, but Michel did most of the work
Supported by the insurance, helped by ship mechanic Sjaak and with the necessary self-help, we were finally able to sail to Utrecht in January.
We now wanted to take our berth and forget about this stressful period.

Our mooring in Utrecht in the Vaartse Rijn canal near the junction with the Merwedecanal. On the left, when coming up from the A-R-canal and right when coming from the town centre.

‘t Majeur was again in shape and actually better than before, and we wanted to go sailing again, what was done was done, both Michel and the boat were in good condition and we decided to go to Ostend for Anchor.

Together with a number of other ships, including some of the people who had sailed to Berlin when we stayed behind in Hannover, we sailed to Ostend and that made the trip all the more fun.

Together in Antwerp Royersluis, followed by cruising the river Scheldt to Ghent and then on to Ostend
Ostend at Anchor was, as before, a merry and cozy gathering, meeting old friends and a very special welcome for everyone.

a full harbour
We have spent part of the summer happily cruising in Belgium.
We participated in the DBA rally in Ghent and went back and forth with all boat lifts because they are so special.

de DBA rally in Gent, Portus Ganda

't Majeur on the inclined plane of Ronquieres

't Majeur in the lift of Strepy
Due to obligations in the Netherlands we had to be back by the end of June, that was not a problem because we could go to our own spot in Utrecht.
Before we left it was already clear that we like it very much in this city, cozy and enough to do. We live near the center but also a bit outside, the latter we realised in full when we were back in the summer.
Every day it was very busy on the canal along our boat because there are a lot of boats in and around Utrecht, all cheerful people making a tour or being in transit.
We enjoyed the beautiful summer, our back deck and the view of the water

Unfortunately Michel's medication did not offer sufficient protection and in July he had a second stroke.
This time also, supported by the rehabilitation therapy, he recovered well and hopefully it will not happen again but there is no guarantee.
It has made us think and the result is that we have decided that we want to sell ‘t Majeur.
We prefer to keep the mooring and put a houseboat here, but that is a bit uncertain.
We want to start travelling differently and we will begin with a tour through Vietnam in February, we’re both really looking forward to it.

We realize that the sale will not be easy and can take a long time, if someone is interested or knows someone who is, spread the word ......

As long as the ship is not sold, we aim to cruise, we are still thinking where and how to arrange it.
Sailing is so much fun, handling this ship is so easy and life on the ship pleases us so well that we do not want to get rid of it yet.

We have made great journeys with ‘t Majeur and so much has happened to us, it was always fun to report on this blog, you can read it all in previous episodes.
I know, from reactions I received, that the blog was read by acquaintances and strangers around the world. I have always liked that and it was also a stimulus to write.
However, it has been nice and from now on it we will be only repeating what we did before, a perfect moment to stop the blog.

We wish everyone well for the coming year and all years thereafter.
May there be a lot of water under the keel when you’re sailing and happy journeys when travelling on land, at sea or in the air.
Wave to us when you are passing by in Utrecht or come in for a drink if you are in the neighborhood.

Rebecca, Michel en Panache