There’s been a whole lot going on over the past year, and I thought we’d try to keep all of the barge-related stuff in one place! I suppose this is starting out mostly for family and friends to keep up with our travels and adventures as we explore The Netherlands with our barge, but also to make new friends and share the wonderful history of this special barge, Janine.
We? We are Doug and Melissa, two Americans who purchased the Dutch barge Janine in September 2017. More about us later!
It’s a pretty fascinating story. Janine was originally built as the “Vertrouwen” for Doug’s great-grandfather in 1926. We have photos of the original barge as well as some great family stories about his grandmother’s life growing up on a turfschip (peat-carrying barge), but didn’t know anything about her whereabouts today. Melissa had posted about it on her blog just in case the barge still existed, and perhaps someday, someone might be trying to find more information about her history. That day came just a few years ago when her prior owners searched the registration number they found scratched into the hull. We kept in touch with them, and eventually they contacted us first when they were looking to sell the barge.
Needless to say, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity. We had taken boating vacations in Holland before and talked briefly about buying a barge at some point as a retirement option in the future. We didn’t quite expect to be faced with such a decision so soon, but after visiting Holland to meet Janine and her prior owners, we were smitten. The family history link was just too much to pass up, and she’s been beautifully upgraded and kept in pristine condition. It’s clear that her former owners loved her dearly and we can only hope to continue their tradition and keep her around for many, many more years!
I’ll post more about the history later since there won’t be a lot going on from now till June. For now, we’re hopefully nearing the end of winter at home and are looking forward to being back in The Netherlands this summer!