Saturday July 31st Duesseldorf

Written by Jack van Ommen on July 31st, 2010

I am sitting high above the Rhine River in the wheelhouse of “Glissando”, in Duesseldorf. One hundred twenty kilometers upstream fom where I made fast last night around 10.30 p.m. The current ran very swift and Marinus had to teach me a couple new tricks on how to steer the boat in this fast current while getting the lines on to “Fleetwood”. I had heard so many discouraging comments on what to expect on the tow by such a large powerful river barge. But Marinus has it all under control and all went very smooth. The river runs at about 5 to 6 k.m./hr and the barge’s over the ground speed is about 8 k.m/hr. So, that means roughly about 8 nautical miles per hour through the water. You get the picture from the photos. The system that Marinus worked out is to have the main tow line attached to his starboard transom and an additional line from my bow to his port transom. Then the helm is set to make the boat always try move about 15 degrees to starboard; that way the boat travels to the side and away from the prop wash in quieter water. The line to the port  side keeps the boat from moving too far off to starboard. I did not have to steer at all and after becoming a believer managed to get a few hours of sleep. The boats that make the worst waves and severely test the integrity of my mast transport are the recreational stink potters who have no clue of the damage they leave in their wake.

The Hoogendoorns have two of their three sons, the one daughter, a brother Kees with his wife and two daughters and a girl friend of the #2 son on board and 4 cars. They are all across the river to a beach with their runabout and water ski gear while I make sure that every one knows where Jack is. The Hoogendoorns plan to have their own Sunday service aboard. I am waiting to hear back from Hubert Ahrendt, my nephew (twice removed??) who lives near here, to come and visit me tomorrow. The Hoogendoorns will have a family Sunday service on board tomorrow. We leave early Monday for Koblenz. 

I could have never ever have made the trip up the Rhine under my own power and it was a stroke of luck to get the offer from Marinus when I was in the Virgin Islands, last year March.

The pictures below show how Marinus took the aerial shots. Hung from a trapeze in the crane. The crane is mostly used to get the cars on and off the ship. You’ll count 4 cars on deck for this trip. Marinus used the crane to get back on board “Glissando” after we left Lobith and he felt certain that things were under control on “Fleetwood”.

 

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