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Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam

Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) on DAM square in Amsterdam dates back to 1408. That may seem pretty old, but it’s a century newer than Oude Kerk (Old Church). Nieuwe Kerk’s spectacular 17th-century choir screen was the first to be made entirely of brass and its panelled main organ, lavishly decorated with gilding, paintings and statuary,…

Soft Start

Isolating shore power from on-board electrical systems is important to avoid excess corrosion and, even more importantly, to avoid risk of shock in and around the boat. Two common approaches to isolation are galvanic isolators and isolation transformers. Isolation transformers have many advantages and often are installed in Nordhavns, but have one potential downside though:…

Ice Festival Amsterdam

Christmas Markets, selling decorations, gifts, food, and drink, originated in Middle Ages Germany but now are common throughout Europe. A number of major markets are held in the Netherlands during the holiday season. Ice Village Amsterdam combines a market with another popular Dutch winter tradition, ice skating. An enjoyable 40-minute walking tour through central Amsterdam…

Amsterdam Canal Tour

Amsterdam has 165 canals, more than Venice at about 150, with a total length of 31 miles (50km). The city also has three times as many bridges over these canals than Venice, 1201 compared to 409. Amsterdam’s canals were built in the 16th and 17th centuries as swampland was drained, a practice typical throughout the…

re:Invent 2018

The day after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, we travelled half-way around the world to Las Vegas for the annual AWS re:Invent conference and made a quick trip to Seattle to visit with friends, catch a Seattle Seahawks game and pickup our mail. The full trip was a challenging one to pack for with such…

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Day 4

When we purchased our Abu Dhabi Grand Prix tickets months before the event, we debated between being at the end of one of the corners where the passing would be better, or at the start-finish line with a view to the pits and paddock. We chose the latter and were very happy with our choice—it…

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Day 3

One of the most exciting parts of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend of racing is the standing start. After the formation lap, all cars roll up to their respective starting positions and when the last car is in place and the safety car arrives at the back of the grid, the starting lights begin….

River Bar Crossings

River bar crossings require great care and in some conditions they simply can’t be safely crossed. Earlier this week, the crew of the commercial fishing vessel Mary B requested help from the US Coast Guard in a night crossing of the Yaquina Bay bar at Newport, Oregon. Sea conditions were reported to be 14 to…

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Day 2

Friday was the first day of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix where cars were on the track, and the first that the grandstands were open. Our day started in the GP3 and Formula 2 paddocks, watching the teams and drivers prepare for their morning practice sessions. We watched most of the practice and qualifying sessions…

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Day 1

Thursday is usually the most interesting day on a major race weekend, as it is less crowded and we generally have more access to the facility and the drivers, teams and cars. The Abhu Dhabi Grand Prix was no exception. The grandstands weren’t even open on Thursday, so we spent much of the day in…