With the Winter behind us and the leaves now sprouting from the trees above us along the riverbank, it’s time to think about jobs to be done on the outside of the boat again. At this time of year right through until the end of June the barge can get quite dirty. First with the shedding of the flowers from the poplar trees, and subsequently from the sticky substance produced by insects in the trees in late Spring/early Summer. This means a regular wash down with water, a mop and a lot of elbow grease to shift it.
However, for us, another more exciting event has happened this week. We belong to the Dutch Barge Association and at the beginning of the year we posted a picture of us on our weeding day on Skûtsje. Chris Grant, the Editor then invited us to write an article for their Blue Flag magazine about living and working on a Dutch barge and the cold weather in February was an ideal time to sit down and write it. We are pleased to say that it has now been published in the April 2018 issue. We have created a publications section on the site, and we are hoping to spread the word about Skûtsje a little more in the future.
The Dutch Barge Association is a great organisation that has around 1500 members living all over the world. It has a wealth of knowledge on the website, and there always seems to be someone that has been there done that before, so questions are always answered very quickly. They have an e-newsletter as well as the Blue Flag magazine as well as a forum. They have waterways guides, and suppliers guides as well as an events section and knowledge base that is regularly contributed to by members. It is a good price too, with subscriptions starting at £30 per year for single membership (which includes a downloadable copy of the Blue Flag), and family membership starts at £40 for the same deal. Well worth having if you are new to barge life.