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The Hague

James has long had an interest in the famous Dutch graphics artist Maurits Cornelis Escher, whose work features mathematical objects and optical illusions. As a teenager he had a poster of Escher’s Dragon on his wall and as an adult very much enjoyed reading Douglas Hofstadter’s Godel, Escher, Bach that explores the common themes between…

February in Amsterdam

In February we took advantage of unseasonably warm, calm and sunny weather for Amsterdam to make day trips to NDSM Wharf, Zaanse Schans, and Rotterdam. We also started stocking up for the summer trip to the Baltic; completed several boat maintance items and projects, such as replacing our unsatisfactory Jabsco 34600-0010 bilge pump; and did…

Hot Spots

Years ago I was working in the lazarette on a hot day when I glanced up and saw a red LED illuminated on the DC panel. Normally, the Mastervolt DC distribution units have only green LEDs. I could still see the green LEDs on as usual but we also had a red light. I stopped…

Warning Lights

We love generator auto-start. It ensures a kicked-out power plug or power failure doesn’t take $6,000 worth of batteries through a deep discharge cycle and put thousands of dollars in frozen foods at risk. If a two-hour tender trip stretches out to the entire day, auto-start prevents damage to the battery bank. And auto-start avoid…

Rotterdam

Unlike historic Amsterdam, most of Rotterdam’s buildings were constructed after World War II German bombers destroyed the central core. The city was rebuilt in a very modern style and although the traditional buildings visible through much of the Netherlands are beautiful, Rotterdam’s contemporary and unusual architecture is quite appealing. Rotterdam also is full of statues…

Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans, north of Amsterdam, is one of the oldest industrial areas in the world and was particularly important in the 18th and 19th centuries. Over 1,000 windmills were built in the area to help produce linseed oil, paint, snuff, mustard, paper and other products. Today many of Zaanse Schans’ remaining windmills are operating and…

It’s a Head-Banger

This is the story of those little metal tabs hanging down in the engine room of our boat, why they are there, how much they hurt when your head makes contact with them (and it will), and what we did about it. One of the things you almost never fully learn until you have owned…

Deck Fuel and Vessel Stability

This post discusses the reasons a boat owner might choose to carry deck fuel and the impact of deck fuel on the vessel’s stability. We start by explaining why a boat’s “real ocean” range is actually far less than the ranges advertised, and sometimes even less than the ranges carefully measured by owners. Then we…

NDSM Wharf

The NDSM wharf district in Amsterdam Noord was once home of the NDSM (Nederlandsche Dok en Scheepsbouw Maatschappij) shipyard until the 1980s. The area is in the process of revitalization, with a particular emphasis on companies in the creative sector, and is full of distinctive architecture and artwork. We took taking advantage of a warm…

January in Amsterdam

Our third month in Amsterdam, January, was a busy one. We visited local museums such as Anne Frank House and the Rijksmuseum, took in the Amsterdam Light Festival by tender, attended an Amsterdam Tigers ice hockey game, made day trips to Haarlem and Delft, hosted several visitors, completed a number of boat projects such as…