Friday, July 18, 2008

Arrived in Holland

Well we are in HOLLAND!!!! It was quite a ride indeed. Made it to IJmuiden exactly on time (1200 hr ) on Tuesday July 15th It was nice to see the welcoming party on the pier ( Bij de sluisen van Ijmuiden!!!!) Joanne was accompanied by my sister,s Riek and her husband Johan and my sister Grace from Canada with one of her grand daughters (Gracy ) Also present was Luke (Johan's son and his in laws Art and Hilly from Brazil. So it was quite an international group. There is a Marina just inside the entrance, and we stayed there for the first night. Johan came with a special bottle of champagne to toast the successful event. Later that day Bern was taken to a hotel by Luke in preparation for him to fly home the next day. Eugene stayed on board and came with us to Amsterdam the next day. We stayed in a marine right across the water from the Amsterdam central station so it was quite handy for him to catch a train to Hamburg Germany to visit with his family for a few days before flying back to Canada. I think you already know that Clyde flew home from Plymouth England. Again I want to thank all the crew for there fantastic job in getting Le rêve across the Atlantic. It could not have been accomplished without you. Again a big THANK YOU to all!!!! Some days were better than others on the crossing, however more about that later.

We are now in Vollendam a quaint fishing village on the Ijselmeer (former zuider zee ). The weather is not very summer like but everyone talks about that it is going to be better next week. We hope so!!

Next I want to thank Brad for keeping the blog up to date, and letting everyone know of our progress. I have heard from many that they really enjoyed your writing style. Perhaps Brad, you have yet another hidden talent!?!?!!

Second I want to thank all the people who have left a comment on the blog with good wishes and "welcome to Holland" messages. We hope to meet those of you living on this side of the Atlantic sometime.

At the moment there are a few issues I have to attend to. One major one is to install a European battery charger so we can keep the house battery bank topped up when we are moored in some of the places we want to visit. All our systems on board are 12 volt, or in case of the appliances 110 v/ac 60 hertz and the local network is 220 v/ac So we will have to live off the house battery bank while in Europe. Joanne is pleasantly surprised that the boat is in such a clean state after having 5 guys live on board for 6 weeks!!! ( Thank you Clyde!!!!!!!!) She also very much likes the new addition to her galley ( Clyde you know what I am talking about!!!!!) Even so, I don't know if she will let me go for another 6 weeks !!!!

Now for some of the technical part that some of you have asked about.
What we did to the boat to get ready for this trip?
First thing that needed to be addressed was to get a "get home" engine installed. I did a lot of research as to what engine would be the best choice. Also I had to decide on a choice between installing a gear box on the main shaft, and have a hydraulic motor driven by either a larger generator, or a separate engine , verses installing a completely stand alone system with its own sail drive and prop. After talking to many people I decided to go for the later. Reason being that if I would have chosen the former, and had a problem with either the main shaft, shaft bearings, or main prop the gear box idea would not have gotten me home. So the decision was made to install a stand alone system. Now what engine and sail drive to get? As I wanted to install a hydraulic pump on the get home engine to run the stabilizers in case I needed to use the get home engine, I needed a engine that made around 2800 rpm. Most smaller engines get the horse power from relatively high rpm (34 to 3600 rpm) and I could not use them. The final decision was for the Nanni 60 hp diesel. It runs at 2800 rpm. Nanni makes the engine for the Kubota line of equipment, ( or the other way around) and having had several Kubota tractors I think they make an excellent product.
An other question was about the Boxes for extra storage, and where they were purchased.
Having been in the fabricating business for over 30 years I was able to make them myself. They are made from aluminum and painted after fabricating. The fabricating is the easy part, it's the painting that makes them look good, and I have to thank Ole Constable from Parry sound for this job. Besides the radar arch and tower I made two boxes that fit in the cockpit up against the stern of the boat. These hold a lot of stuff, and double as extra seating in the cockpit. Up on the flying bridge there is a large box that holds amongst other things our bikes ( we will need them here in Holland) It also doubles as a bench seat. Than there is a box made for an extra freezer and it is placed on the flying bridge starboard side beside the upper helm. The freezer is 12 v/dc and has extra insulation between it and the box, so it is very economical to run.
Further I installed buttons around the large windows in the saloon and had 1/2" lexon cut to fit over the windows, and are held fast with a 3/8" ss bolt screwed into the buttons. (sure needed them a couple of times when we got whacked good form heavy beam seas)
We also had a Spectra water maker installed. It can produce up to 400 gallon of fresh water in a 24 hr period.
The AIS (Automatic Identification System) that I had on the boat was only a receiving unit, and not a transmitting one (common for pleasure crafts). However I wanted the big boys to see me so they could at least try and avoid me rather than run over me. So it was changed for a send and receive unit.
As well we had a proper helm seat installed which was necessary especially for the night watches. At least it kept us in place when the odd time we happened to doze off!!!

Why not go via Bermuda as most people do. First of all most people doing this trip leave from some point in Florida, and Bermuda would be a natural choice. As we had the boat in NY for the winter it would have added approx. 450 mile to the trip had we gone to Bermuda first. >From Bermuda to the Azores is only 150 mile shorter than from New York City. After consulting our weather router the decision was made to leave from the more northern latitude.
Also we had questions as to our speed, and fuel burn. The two major legs of the trip are Sandy Hook Horta 2150 nm and Horta Plymouth England 1250 nm and than the last part to Holland is an additional 350 nm I will hold off on reporting any detail of fuel burn, and speed. I hope to have a more technical report on the entire trip at a later date.
Internet access has not been to good up to this point, however I will try to keep you informed of our where abouts on a weekly basis. We have purchased a European phone, so if you would like you can try and call us on it. The number is 0619974041 When dialing from outside of Europe you will have drop the 0 in front of the number and dial 0031 (from North America) and than the number without the 0

More pictures to come when we have better internet service

Bill AND Joanne aboard Le rêve.

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