On the River Vecht
The Vecht is a small river that looks to originate near Utrecht, terminating in the IIjmeer. Where we are moored just outside Nederhorst den Berg, a one street town. We are practically in the shadow of an old windmill, probably restored as it appears to be in good condition. There are cows to our left, water birds and fish to our right, and a bike path leading to the town. We are not alone. Kees and Ada are still here and helping out at every opportunity. As we’ve run across several challenges in addition to painting sections of the boat, for which Kees’ 50+ years experience coming in might handy, I have found several leaks, a dead fresh water pump and a few non-working electrical connections plus a bank of nearly kaput batteries.
To get here from Haarlem we took the North Sea Canal past Amsterdam. This canal carries huge vessels and tug boats. Amsterdam is a very busy harbor. There are a dozen or so ferries that transport people across the canal so you have to be vigilant.
Kees and Ada in front of us:
Amsterdam train station:
One of Amsterdam’s more lively bridges:
Here is my first sketch from the boat (digital). Once we get everything working and organized I can return to artistic painting, which I prefer to boat painting, as you might imagine. For one, there are a lot fewer muscle aches from being in odd positions, and there is a lot less scrubbing.
Weesp is not far away as the crow flies. Boats do not fly unless you are in very serious trouble so between the meandering of the river and slowness of the travel, a 30 minute journey takes 90. We made the trip there to have the boat hauled in an effort to find the source of the leak. This turned out to be easier than we feared. A few taps on the keel showed it was not full of water, eliminating the possibility of a keel leak. A through hull fitting looked odd and it turned out to be the problem. Remove it, caulk it, replace the gaskets, and voila! I’d tested the batteries with my volt meter and found them to be well less than 12 volts. I had him test them and he found that all but the starting batteries were knackered. Time for new ones. These are deep cycle marine batteries so they are not cheap but you can not live aboard without them, so in they must go. They weigh 45 kilos so this is a job for more than one man and ones with younger backs than mine.