When I met Koos, he had a lovely tugboat called the Loeki. In fact, he was often known as Koos Loeki in the old days. However, at the time of my arrival in the harbour, he had already bought a new barge which was to be his project over the next few years. This one was called the Luxor, and it also plays quite a starring role in my book.
That was all ten years ago, though. Things have changed - as they do - and Koos finally decided to sell his Luxor, one of the main reasons being he was spending more time with me on the Vereeniging and at the cottage in Zeeland than he was on his own barge.
It took a while to sell probably because the Luxor is different from other barges, so is not what most people are looking for. It is actually a dumb barge, which Koos cleverly built up to look as if it is is loaded, but the "load" disguises a substantial living area. It isn't your standard beautiful Dutch tjalk or luxemotor, though, so it takes a bit of imagination to see its beauty and potential. The hull is lovely, but the rest looks…well… a little plain.
|As a do-it-yourself harbour, the work is hard. |
Sometimes, this is the only place to have a rest - well guarded of course
Anyway, I digress. A few months ago, a young couple showed genuine interest and decided to buy it. It took some time for the negotiations and decisions to be made, but finally, this last weekend, it all happened and the Luxor had to go on the slipway, our helling, for the dreaded insurance inspection.
|Waiting to leave the helling|
|Leaving the helling|
What about now, though? We have mixed feelings of course. Koos is relieved it is off his back, but sad too as it was his dream project. It was also where we spent many of our early 'together' days. As for me, I was very fond of the Luxor, so I have quite some pangs about seeing it go. On the other hand, I am looking forward to seeing what the new owners do with it because it's not going far. As a historic barge (b.1925), it will stay in the harbour, and may even end up lying next to the Vereeniging again!
|The Wijnhaven looking towards the Helling.|
You can see the Luxor on the slipway in the distance.