Final Week in Amsterdam

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Between Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis, we spent a final week in Amsterdam before departing for destinations south. We completed a few boat projects with parts we brought back from Seattle, did some final provisioning, met some new friends and enjoyed a “second annual” Valentine’s Day dinner at Bistrot Neuf.

Below are trip highlights from February 9th through 17th, 2020. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at

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Storm Ciara
Storm Ciara hit Europe on Sunday a few hours after our flight from Seattle landed in Amsterdam. We were lucky to get in—many flights were cancelled later in the day. Over the past 24 hours, the barometer (top left) has plummeted from 1015mb to 984 and the Atlantic coast took a real pounding. Here you can see the winds blowing at 41 knots (top right) in our sheltered location at City Marina in Amsterdam.
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New Rug
The heavy-duty door mats we use at our three exterior doors needed replacing. We’d brought back the two for the pilot house doors over the summer, and the third for the salon came back on this trip.
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Fender Failure
Another one of our ProStock Marine fenders failed in the big winds this week. This one was positioned aft-most and not at a critical location. We still have some ProStock fenders left, and will just cycle through them until they all fail.

This is our third ProStock Marine fender failure in high winds—they seem particularly prone to failure in cold temperatures. Because of this fairly-common failure mode, we’ve moved to Polyform F-8s for the two highest-load fender locations amidships. This gives us two nearly-indestructible fenders in the highest load locations while still having the convenience of inflatable fenders everywhere else.

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Dutch Customs
Dutch Customs arriving for an inspection of Dirona. When we told them that this would be the fourth inspection since returning to the Netherlands, including once already at City Marina, they called headquarters to check and didn’t need to come aboard. It’s surprising that they don’t check before coming out.
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Urine Test
Spitfire was behaving a little oddly at Het Catshuys, so they tested his urine with a test strip, found blood in the urine, and sent a sample to their vet for further analysis that confirmed the result. We took him in for an ultrasound when we got back, looking for possible kidney or bladder stones, and they sent a urine sample out for a detailed analysis, looking for a possible bacterial infection. All the tests were negative, so we’ve got him on antibiotics to hopefully resolve the issue. And we bought a test strip kit so we can monitor it for ourselves at home. Right now the blood level (6th from top) is still high, but appears a little improved.
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Freezer Fan
Last fall we discovered our freezer fan needed replacing due to failed bearings. A slow-turning fan can be a little difficult to diagnose. The freezer apparently was working perfectly when partially filled, but when we loaded it up after a shopping trip, it was unable to sufficiently cool the new load. The slow-spinning fan reduced the overall cooling ability of the system. Everything worked, just at lower capacity.

Emerald Harbor Marine got a new one for us that we picked on our recent trip to Seattle and here James is installing it. The location is a bit of a tight place to work, wedged in behind the freezer in the after starboard corner of the lazarette.

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Jennifer returning from what likely will be the very last time we buy groceries in Amsterdam. We’re planning to start working our way south to the Mediterranean next week.
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Happy Valentine’s Day
Our second annual Valentine’s Day dinner at Bistrot Neuf in Amsterdam. When you move around as much as we do, it’s rare to have traditional locations for anything.
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Dinner at Marius with Eric Davis, Jody Marx, Debra Billet, and Mark Dick. Eric (opposite James) and Jody (opposite Jennifer) moved from Seattle and currently live in in Groningen, the Netherlands aboard the Dutch barge Ria, and their friends Debra and Mark of Australia live aboard the Dutch barge Melba in Amsterdam. Eric has been following our blog for a while and contacted us for a visit. We enjoyed meeting them and had a fun evening, first on Dirona and later over a great meal at nearby Marius.
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Storm Dennis
Storm Dennis passed over the North Atlantic this weekend, bringing hurricane-force winds and producing waves of over 80 feet. Dennis is the region’s second-strongest nontropical storm on record, with a minimum central air pressure of 920mb and a sustained intensity of 930mb. We’ve been seeing big winds since Saturday night and still are seeing gusty conditions as the storm passes through to the northeast.
Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map, with the complete log of our cruise.

On the map page, clicking on a camera or text icon will display a picture and/or log entry for that location, and clicking on the smaller icons along the route will display latitude, longitude and other navigation data for that location. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at


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2 comments on “Final Week in Amsterdam
  1. Leif Johansson says:

    Hi !
    When you send your email of what happends on your trips, when you click on the headline of a picture on the left, it updates the map to the rigth including a small screen with the actual text. Previously (some months ago) if you click again on the headlines on the left the small screen to the rigth disappears. This was a good feature. But now it doesn’t disappear anymore. A change you did or something else has happened ?
    Rgds LeifJ

    • Leif,

      Thank you for pointing that out. It was an accidental change and we’ve fixed it. If you refresh the page, you should see the small screen to the right disappear when you click on the same headline.


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