Our Barge, Odysseus

Monday, June 25, 2007

Sunday, June 24 - This is a Holiday?

Now we remember what we disliked about owning a boat: the boatyard.
Earlier this week, Cathy Jo looked up at me wearing her respirator as she painted the bilges of our boat and said "This is what we do for vacation!?!"

The previous owners of Odysseus had used it as a weekend condo on the water so there is a lot of deferred maintenance to catch up on. One good thing: canal boating is a fresh water environment so the rust problem with a steel boat, while not insignificant, is not as great a problem as with salt water, like the ocean.

The weather has also taken a turn for the worse, making painting difficult. The first couple of weeks we were here were mostly sunny with only the occasional rainy day. The last couple of weeks I don't think we've had a day when it didn't rain at least some; but there have been some real gulley washers of the midwest variety, with the attendant thunder and lightning.

One other problem has been that, in our quest to find inexpensive accommodations with a kitchen so we don't have to eat at restaurants all the time, we ended up in a b&b that we thought would be only a half hour drive from the boat. Unfortunately, the horrendous traffic in Holland made it least an hour each way and the toll on our nerves was ridiculous. I really don't know how anything gets accomplished here. The equivalent to our interstates, the "A" roads, are gridlocked in the morning 'til about 10 and beginning in the afternoon about 4 until 7. Traffic slows to a crawl. We thought dealing with LA traffic had shown us some of the worst but Holland's tops it by a mile!

So today we took a day off from boat work and moved our stuff from the b&b near Schoonoven (that's near Gouda, for those of you following along on your map) to a campground bungalow in Oude Ade, near Leiden. That should cut down the drive to about 15 to 20 minutes and we don't have to go on an "A" road.

Yesterday and today, being the first weekend of summer, also resulted in several celebrations. We listened to some interesting music in Schoonoven last night after dinner (a Dixieland jazz band and a salsa band with no Elvis) and visited "Haven Dag" (Haven Day) on our way through Gouda. It's an excuse for people with old boats to get together and show them off; just like people with old boats everywhere.

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