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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.

 

 

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