blog Blog 2019

Pagentry in the campo

August 9, 2019 
Zwartesluis (Black lock) is a tiny village, so tiny that it’s main feature is the lock through which we passed.  So where were all the cars, bikes and pedestrians passing by the boat going to?  We got the bikes off the bow and followed the flow towards the bridge.  There workers were collecting a paring fee from cars.  I asked one where to go and the pointed over the bridge, telling us to look for the fairway, apparently referring to one of those small carnivals that visit country towns in the summer.  There was always one in Pearl River, where I grew up and learned to dislike most of the rides. 
Down the street about a mile we saw where most were turning left.  We followed them into the crowd, where at yet another bridge over a canal, this a smaller one, there were vendors selling ice cream and fried fish (of course) and a large calliope belting out a polka.  We followed the crowd along the canal to where the canal was lined with those awaiting the parade in front of thatched roof houses with beautiful flower gardens.  I assumed it would be a parade of small motorized craft given the dimensions of the canal.  I was wrong, as I learned as soon as the sun went down. 
First came a floating band followed by someone in a boat making balloons for the kids.  Then around the curve came this: 



This all in the midst of a very friendly crowd with their children, dogs and bikes. We asked a man sitting on the grass in front of us about the parade.  He said it was an annual affair.  There are no sponsors indicated on any of the floats.  Muck of the music on the floats was recorded, with some very amateurish dancing and acting to go along with it.  But hey, they have never been to Broadway and this is a tiny tiny town, with more cows than people.  Look at how elaborate these floats are!  Bravo for them!  



Here are the videos I took in the nearly dark skies.  Video quality is limited.  

blog Blog 2019

Memories of the Tall Ships in the Nederlands

April 2019

We have friends in Haarlem, the Haarlem in the Nederlands, not the Harlem in New York City. We are going to meet them in May at a spot off the Ijsselmeer in the middle of nowhere. It’s where we first met them in 2000. It was their idea, and how charming of them to think of it! We met as we were docking our boat, they helped us get to the bank, and later invited us for Oranjebitter, a liquor made from oranges. This beverage is issued every year in honor of the monarch, still on the throne,


Tall Ships Parade to Amsterdam, water color and ink, post card stock



We met them again later that summer near their house. It was July. The Tall Ships were in Amsterdam on their annual circuit, which this year concluded here. Thousands of smaller boats joined in parades to the harbor. We joined K and A, their daughter M and her husband B in the latter’s boat for a trip to Amsterdam harbor in the twilight. There were hundreds of small craft doing the same. We were bumper to bumper, so to speak. When it was dark out came a large barge stuffed with fireworks as well as huge loud speakers. It was a great show! I am glad Kees was at the helm as it was a pitch black sail back to their harbor.

We resume the boating life in a few weeks.  


Tall Ships 2, , water color and ink, post card stock
Crowd at Tall Ships 2015, pen and ink
Tall Ships Sketch 1, , pen and ink