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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.

 

 

Hudson, launched 1939, spent WW2 working for the British Ministry of Shipping, having left the Netherlands with a tow to Africa just before the Germany invasion and occupation.  After the War, it towed to ports worldwide until 1963, when it was deemed underpowered and sold for scrap.  Instead, it was purchased by a fishery as an ice-making ship, which it did until 1989.  And again it was to be scrapped.  This time, a foundation bought it, invested 14 years of restoration, and now, as a unique industrial  artifact, it’s berthed in Maassluis, where visitors can picture the life of those in ocean towing from just before WW2 until 1960.

 

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Hercules was built in the Netherlands in 1915 and worked for a Danish company until the late 1970s, when it was purchased for much-needed restoration.  See its condition here.

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Furie has a similar story:  it was built in the Netherlands in 1916, sold to a Swedish lumber company in 1918.  It worked mostly on the Baltic until 1976, when it was returned to the Netherlands for restoration and assumed a role in a Dutch TV series called Hollands Glorie, inspired by Jan de Hartog novel.  You can watch the 90-minute series pilot here.   It was made in 1977 and in Dutch, but it follows a new chief mate named Jan Wandelaar (hiker or wanderer) in the “hiring hall.”   Give it a shot.  If you want to skip around, the captain’s character gets established around the 10-minute mark.  Around the 21-minute mark they are off the coast of Ireland.  Around the 29-minute mark, the captain negotiates in his version of English for the tow and the next few minutes are exciting.  Around 41 minutes in, they are towing a dredge along the WestAfrican coast to Nigeria.  Around 1 hour 5,” they deal with a leak in the dredge.

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Equally picturesque although I don’t know the stories are Anna and

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Alphecca.

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These photos by Freek Konings come via Fred Trooster, to whom both I am grateful.

This post from 2013  was prompted by a request from Freek that I try to learn the disposition of a former Dutch Navy tug, likely sunk by the USCG.  We are still looking for info on the fate of Wamandai.

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