De Tukker has settled in to her winter home in Den Helder, and her team of volunteers are working hard on the winter refit- doing essential steel work and installing new plumbing and electrics, repainting, and refitting floors. In the office, our first season of cargo sailing is being planned.
Our crew of ten come from six countries, speaking eight languages between us and studying another three. Plenty of us are using the dark evenings to work on our Dutch, mastering some key Dutch expressions- ijsberen, to pace around whilst you try and solve a problem, uitbuiken, to relax after a big meal, and gezellig, which is a little harder to translate- having a good atmosphere or a good time; cozy, homey, fun.
It’s getting cold in Den Helder. The canals are frozen in the mornings and we’re knocking ice off the lines before we start work. All of our crew are wearing double socks and triple sweaters whilst we work hard to get the boat ready- learning new tools and techniques from each other, and solving problems as we go, talking through solutions over shared meals and gluhwein.
At our new home in Den Helder, we are lucky to have a whole community of craftsmen and builders who have been so generous with their time and expertise- whether in the workshop or over a meal. There’s been lots of ijsberen and uitbuiken. The work we do would not be possible without tools and training from the carpentry workshop; wifi, printing and workspace in the library; and advice from fellow sailors. The steel workshop has been invaluable in providing expert help, plenty of coffee- and lots and lots of gezellig.
After Christmas, our crew will return to fit and finish the passenger and crew accommodation, repair sails and sail covers, paint the decks, and finish the rigging. It’s all possible with the support of our community in Den Helder, and the collaboration of our team- plus plenty of gezellig coffee.