Happy Birthday Hendrik!

On Saturday we celebrated Hendrik’s 75th birthday. She rolled out of the yard on 21 June 1933 (as “Tijdgeest” then!) and we wanted to mark the occasion with a big party.

So out came the balloons, crisps & dip, beers, and barbecues and we invited some friends round to celebrate. Hendrik’s “This Is Your Life!”-style photobook was a big hit, too, and James and I opted to dress 1930s-style to mark the occasion.

Hendrik's 75th birthday party

Jamaica on the grill

James and Melissa in situ

the cake!

It was really sweet when it was time to bring out the retro birthday cake (chocolate cake with vanilla icing and hundreds & thousands on top!) and sing Happy Birthday – it was quite windy so we had a hard time lighting the candles, but they stayed lit throughout the entire song right up until the part where we started clapping at the end… And then suddenly, with a big gust both candles blew out at once! It was like Hendrik was blowing them out himself. Awww!

As it turned out, Saturday was cause for more celebration than just the birthday… For one, we were celebrating having running water again after our new old hotness water pump died on Tuesday night. I left work for a few hours on Wednesday to run to Machine Mart, load up my credit card with a similar new pump, drag it home on a luggage dolly, and hoof it back to the office. Only to discover that the pumps were not so similar that we could just use the old fitting as-is. Cue a frantic call to Nikolaj, who saved our bacon (pump) yet again by creating a new flexible hookup that will work with either pump. The old one is still under warranty, so we’ll get the replacement impeller for it and then have that in reserve for when this new pump fails, and just cycle them out.

But it was touch and go on Saturday morning, knowing we had people coming at 3 and we needed water to flush the toilets for them and we really needed showers before everyone arrived… And voila, the pump started making pressure at 2:30!! And in retrospect, this new model is actually MUCH quieter and quicker to make pressure than the old one, so it’s not really such a bad thing.

And finally, our other cause for celebration is that James proposed on Thursday night!

Melissa's engagement ring

We’d picked out the ring in February when we were in Dublin, but Thursday night was definitely a surprise after all that waiting! We’re looking to get married next fall at Bletchley Park, with a smaller reception in Pennsylvania shortly afterwards.

James and Melissa

the happy couple

Comment [3] - posted 23 June 2008, 12:04 in

Hendrik's past

We have received the most wonderful gift over the past few days. The granddaughter of the original owners of Hendrik (which was known as Tijdgeest from 1933-1968, then Taling from 1968-1978, then Hendrik from 1978 onwards) got in contact and asked if we’d like to see some old photos of the boat and know more about the history! No overstatement at all – this absolutely made our day. Or week, or frankly, our year. The only things we knew about her past was the three names (and we were always planning on reverting back to the name Tijdgeest, “Spirit of the Age”, once our renovations are complete) and that the previous owners bought her in 1978. And that was about it.

I’ll save the fantastic history writeup for another day (she even translated it for us!!), but here are a few photos I’m sure you’ll enjoy. I know we’ve been pouring over them nonstop since they arrived in our inbox!

Tijdgeest coming out of the boatyard in 1933
Tijdgeest coming out of the boatyard in 1933. The workers are still tidying it up for inspection. Note the original wheelhouse height and the amazing wooden cranes!

Bow of Tijdgeest
Bow of Tijdgeest. Apparently the original colour scheme was cream and black (as she is now!), and later, here, with a grey stripe along the bow. We’d really like to revert to this, including the below typeface when we repaint the superstructure in a few years (it needs it!).

Beautiful lettering on the bow (white text on grey field)
Look at that beautiful 1930s typeface!

Foggy night on Tijdgeest
A dark and foggy night, not dissimilar to one we had just before Christmas where we couldn’t see the other end of the mooring, let alone Tower Bridge!

Truck on deck, likely during WWII due to blacked out headlamps
A truck on deck, we’re guessing from around WWII due to the blacked-out headlamps.

Sailing on the Ijselmeer
Tijdgeest on the Ijselmeer.

Loading flour into the cargo hold
And finally, loading flour into the cargo hold, near where our master bedroom will be in 6 months’ time (fingers crossed)!

Comment [2] - posted 15 January 2008, 19:00 in