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Traffic backed up.  But in Schiedam it’s because of a drawbridge that’s up to allow a self-propelled barge to back out.  More on that later.  That windmill?  It’s at the Nolet distillery, a Ketel One facility that makes many spirits besides vodka.

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Here’s the 1962 motorvrachtschip, Sentinela,

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squeezing through the lock and

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returning to the main waterway after delivering one of two loads of sand per day to the glass-making plant just up the creek from Ketel One.

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But Hercules is the reason I’m here today.  The big steam vessel event is only a month and some away, so it’s painting and refurbishing time to prepare her.  For a larger set of photos of the preparations, including the mounting of a new mast created out of an old spar by Fred Trooster, click here.

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Here is a set of photos I took of Hercules two years ago at the steam festival.

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The barge being towed here is loaded upside and down below with smaller steam engine applications.

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Click on the photo below to hear how silently she runs.

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To keep her running, the owner Kees Boekweit needs to fabricate some of the parts himself.  He works as a steam engineer over at –you guessed it–Ketel One.   Click on the photo below to see a shorter video of her running on the North Sea.

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Here are the fireboxes under the boiler.

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Here is a cold firebox and

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an empty coal pocket.

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And one last glimpse of traffic on the main waterway here, Friday last Ovation of the Sea arrived in Rotterdam for the first time.  See eight minutes of edited tape here.  By the way, the KRVE boats are the line handlers.  Clearly, though, the tugs steal the show providing what I’ll call a “Dutch welcome,” to coin a phrase.

 

 

It goes without saying that the waterways here are busy and complex, as seen from this AIS grab below, showing traffic at this moment between Brussels (bottom) and Amsterdam, and between Dusseldorf and the North Sea about midway the narrowing into the English Channel to the southwest.  All the photos in today’s post–as have many here–were taken just west of Rotterdam.

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Here Smit’s Union 11 heads east past the Mammoet headquarters.

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Below is water tanker DWS 14 delivering “drink water” in the greater Rotterdam port.

Even more interesting is the 10-storey cylindrical building in the background, on the land’s edge in Schiedam.  It’s called De Bolder, aka the Bollard, the biggest bollard I’ve ever seen.   The building, Mammoet’s offices in Schiedam, was entirely built and furnished elsewhere in greater Rotterdam port (Zwijndrecht) and then transported into its location by water!!  Now that’s making a statement about a company’s mission.

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Here in the same waterway recently, the Montrose Alpha platform gets a final fitting out before it heads out to the North Sea.  The platform was also built in Zwijndrecht and moved to this point in the delta by at least four En Avant tugs.

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A 1959 training vessel Delftshaven passes by.

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Across the way, new build pipe layer Sapura Rubi  is getting fitted out before joining the fleet in Brasil.

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Meanwhile at the Damen Shiprepair yard in Schiedam, work is always going on, with Foresight and Patron up on the floating dry docks,  and Seven Waves and Mona Swan docked.

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Seven Oceans –astern of Skandi Açu–has since departed for the north of Norway.  Both are pipe laying support vessels.  Here is the entire DOF fleet.  The 479′ Skandi Açu, crewed by up to 120 people and capable of laying pipe down to almost 10,000 feet,  was christened last week and celebrated by Huisman, VARD, DOF Subsea, and Technip.

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My dinghy awaits.  See ya.

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The first four photos come from Freek Wamandai via my friend Fred Trooster, who also took the last one.  The ones in between are by Will Van Dorp.

For more Skandi and Subsea vessels, click here.

 

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