Monday, April 17, 2017

Barge Date: early March 

First Days and nights on board

It began to rain a bit during the night and I could hear this on the roof above. The rain was light, so I wonder what the sound will be like when we have heavy rainfall. I checked the boat several times during the night and all seemed OK. I can't say I slept well but I have not slept well for years. It was warm in the boat and in the bed.

Early on Wednesday, I fixed cereal with fruit for breakfast. I don't yet have water on the boat and I am not sure I am set-up to use the shore power correctly on board. Some of the lights inside work but I'm not sure if the power is coming from the batteries or from shore power. I don't want to run down the batteries.

I finished putting away items that I had brought from home. With all my detailed planning I thought all would be good, but I find that I have no underwear. Good grief! Will have to find a store in town for some BVDs. Later in the morning, I took bath supplies to the office area of the marina where they have toilets, showers, washing machine, and Internet access. I used the showers; I needed to insert a marina "coin" to get about 6 minutes of warm water. With life on the boat we will learn how to take short showers.

I checked again with Pol about Internet connection at the boat. This is separate from the network near the office. I have been unable to make the connection from the boat and had Pol confirm the network name and password. No go. Will wait to see if he has the same problem. Not many people on my end of the marina at this time of year so perhaps there is a problem with the network and Pol does not know about it.

Will have a small lunch on the boat then will go forth into town to buy the underwear. Perhaps I will see other stores and will explore some.

So I drove to the other side of town. I passed two food stores across the street from each other. I do not know what I will find. Once inside, I recognize the layout as being the same as a store I was in last fall. They must all look alike. This store is called Colruyt. Think of a black top parking lot with the building erected on it and inside industrial gauge shelving for all types of things. Mostly I think they are trying to sell in bulk. But lots of products, lots of beer and booze, a nice vegetable and fresh fruit room chilled to maybe 50°. And would you believe they also sold underwear. My quest is fulfilled (but not over).

Just to take stock of the large grocery stores in town, I went across the street to the Aldi store. I am familiar with their American concept I saw in Ithaca, NY; must be the same here - a hodgepodge of products from food to computer parts, garden tools to cheese and booze. I must say that I like the first store best, the Delhaize store. But there are 2 more food stores to be discovered.

Back at the boat I am still cleaning up and putting everything in place. I hope I will be able to find everything when I need it.

I believe a fellow barge owner is arriving this evening and I will be at the train station at 11 o'clock to bring him to the marina. We met briefly last fall; I hope we remember what each other looks like. His wife is the founder of the famous Women on Barges (WOBs), a Facebook support group for all things "barges".

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