16 Aug The barrel
16 August 2017
Update by Hanneke & Jaeike:
“Yesterday afternoon we were lounging at the stern near ‘ het kotje’ when Jan-Willem and Jan started to discuss ways to keep the guest-crew occupied. Our ears were perked since the day was progressing quite uneventfully. Before we knew it, we had a job to do! In the olden days there had been a wooden barrel containing the spare ropies (touwtjes) which had since then fallen victim to time, the sea, wind and frequent use. The remnants of this vessel had been collected in an IKEA bag, without user manual, and it was to be restored to its former glory. This project would commence in the morning watch under supervision of Jan-Willem. However, when the clock struck 9 o’ clock, Jan-Willem was stuck with his head in the dish-washer which had decided to break down that same morning.
Around 10:30 we received the bits and bobs that would make a ropie barrel and the puzzle began. Boudwijn had an ‘immense’ amount of faith in our capabilities and would only allow us the use of masking tape instead of duct tape to hold it all together. Fortunately for us, we quickly proved him wrong by fitting several pieces together. This process was similar to a forensic investigation: we fitted splatter patterns, scrapes, bruises and cover-ups. Before we knew it, the line-up was finished and all pieces were numbered in the correct order. We wanted to have the barrel standing before lunch to surprise Boudewijn. With some extra hands we had it in a scaffold of masking tape just in time. With our efficient team work we had indeed impressed him, as he expressed by taking of his proverbial hat.
One of the crew then came up with the idea to fit the pieces together more permanently with a ‘grommer’, a circular rope-braid without any loose ends. And so the rope-splitting began. At first we were very enthusiastic about our handiwork but then the grommers didn’t fit around the barrel anymore. So we untwined and started again. When we finished the second time and proudly showed our work, Jan-Willem, Boudewijn ánd Jan each told us that we had been either twisting it too tight or pulled it to hard and that it was not neat enough for this ‘antique’ barrel. We started again… and again… until we decided enough is enough and asked Jan to show us how to deal with the loose ends. That turned out to be a challenge by itself but we managed. The grommers were fitted around the barrel, a perfect fit, and when lifted, the bottom remained attached!”