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Last update June 02 2017
The winter is in full swing and it's hard for us, after so
many years in tropical lands. According to Dutch idea it is not that cold, but
we think otherwise. Beautiful scenery and nice pictures with snow though, even
while driving my train. During winter, our Mini-T Project completely stopped.
Building in the backyard under a canope has its limitations. John has been able
to make the Mini-T waterproof before winter though.
With walks through the winter wonderland we still enjoy a little, although we hope it may be spring soon!
But the spring waits for a long time. During carnival at the
end of February it is very cold. On a quick carnival shopping, I come back with
aerosols and wigs. Old bedding is processed, coloured and the wig fits appropriate.
Pretty red ain't ugly right, hihihi. John thinks different, I'm almost not allowed
to go with him to the light parade in Alphen !! When we arrive in Alphen, there
are no less than 65 participants. That's grown quite a bit, a few years ago
there were only 25. After 3 hours of dancing and jumping on the carnival music
we go back to our warm house for a nice hot chocolate milk.
After a day's carnival we go with John's parents to the railway museum in Utrecht. Here we discover the story behind 175 years Dutch Railway. Even though I grew up in a railway family, I discover all sorts of nice new facts. From steam locomotive, wooden carriages, electric trains to freight and signposts can be admired. Well, something different from what I am driving today. It's a nice day out.
And yes, beginning of May the temperatures rise a sudden and the garden is in full bloom in a couple of weeks. Tulips come out with their heads above the ground. I'm lucky I drive through the tulip fields a couple of times by train. So beautiful! Back to our garden where the Magnolia tree bloomed with its beautiful white flowers that gently move in the wind. I'm so happy to have some sun and work in the garden. Our garden is being dealt with thoroughly. At the pond John is planting a new front of water plants. New fish in it (new food for the birds?). Planting new plants in the garden. The gravel is also included, around 600 cubic feet serves to fill holes and sewers. It looks like a lot on a pile, but once spread out it's berely enough. The end result is great. Let the summer come!
On April 24th (one day after my birthday, which I have put
on hold for this occasion) I do my big theory exam. After seven months of hard
work. It has really been a hard time. Learning and working simultaneously with
irregular work hours. There have been times that I thought; Why did I participate.
But thanks to John's support and a great class with special people, I've come
The exam consists of three parts and after these three parts have been completed we left. With some of the class we went for a drink and we discuss the exam. Then we headed home. Together with Dennis, I drive home, he is told halfway through the train journey that he has passed. And I wait and wait until I see activity on my phone. But then Salvation, through my Team Manager, I hear that I succeeded as well. I'm so happy! Now on to the final part, practical exam, scheduled in October this year.
Now I have some more time for parties and fun. Throughout the
winter I have been so seriously studying and working that we only went to carnival
and in March had our first grandmotherday after 10 years with the whole family
of John's side. Now it's time for Kings Day. For our foreign friends; Since
1891 we celebrate the birthday of our King (or Queen) at Kings Day, except if
this falls on a Sunday. Since 2014, our new king has his birthday on April 27th,
now a national holiday in the Netherlands.
One of the traditions is the flea markets, on this day you can sell on the street without permission and you will also find outdoor parties with lots of music, food and drinks everywhere. Everything is orange colored. Before we leave we are dressed in orange and I have the colors of our flag in my hair. Nice to celebrate this day again after so many years.
The next party we enjoy is the 12.5 year wedding of Peter and Yvon. The theme is Glitter and Glamour. We are both in the silver, even my curly blond hair has silver glitters. It's so nice again that we are in the Netherlands, so we can celebrate with our Dutch group of friends. We had a great time, dilicious snacks, plenty to drink (and more) and music till late at night.
After being on hold the whole winter, the Mini-T project awakened
again. John first checks whether the Mini-T has come well through winter. He
does not complain, everything looks good. Now (just) finish the last coat of
paint, finish the hardtop, make the engine brace and electrical circuit, some
blocks, fix mast and then we can pick a date to get the Mini-T in the water.
On Ascension Day, Thursday May 25th, it will happen. Joop, Karin, Marc come to help our project to plunge in the water. For me, making movies and pictures is the program. It's an exciting day, the Mini-T stands folded in on the specially adapted (work) trailer. So in procession we go to the waterfront behind the mill. Almost everything goes as planned. The Mini-T is in the water before we realise that it already floats, so this part of the project is definitely in line with expectations as well. Now we need to flap it out, and that's something that doesn't work as planned, as the boat is so high on the water, it's not really stable folded in. But after a short time, half an hour, it has been successfully unfolded and the Mini-T is stable, floating at the dock. After lunch, John, Karin and Femke make a trial sail to the final docking place. The electric motor works well, has enough power and the mainsail is also tested today. Unfortunately, there is little wind and after this exercise, John puts the Mini-T at the dock.
Time for champagne. By baptizing the Mini-T project, the goal is accomplished, designing, calculating, drawing and eventually building a wood-epoxy multihull.
I finished a special photobook, about our travels 10
years JoHo's travel from 2001 to 2011.
Curious ? Then click the link.
And if you're interested in sailing the BAHAMAS, BERMUDA, MALDIVES, BONAIRE, SURINAME or ARUBA have a look at our books at SAILADVENTURES where the books are available online.
You can always mail us for more info on these cruising grounds or cruising in general, we'll gladly help you out.
John and Jolanda
on hardstanding in Indiantown Marina, USA at 27°00,5'
N - 80°26,1' W.