The Journey Day 54 – May 24th

The motorhome would not start this morning, the batteries are all nearly completely depleted.  I linked the 12v outboard motor batteries to the motorhome and started the engine.  The batteries for the little electric motor are charged by a solar panned in the window of the motorhome, howeve I have been using them to run a transformer to keep the equipment charged up.  This is a power wasteful system but it works.  The problem is that the batteries are soon depleted and take a long time to be recharged.

I connected them to start the engine then left them connected to be charged in turn by the alternator.  I decided that today would be mostly used in getting the domestic arrangements sorted out.  I need gas, diesel, water, internet, toilet emptying, batteries charging and fresh drinking water.  I have no choice about the washing, I am down to my last underwear and the socks that have accumulated in a carrier bag are becoming a health hazard.

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The Journey Day 53 – May 23rd

Spent most of the day on the lookout for a ship which did not come.  Maybe Monday is not a good day for shipping.  I pulled the Banana on the quay, and repaired the damage to the tow ropes.  Whoever cut the ropes had done it quickly, with a very sharp knife.  Clean cuts with no sawing, all done at the top of the bank and fortunately it did not occur to them their knife would have destroyed the Banana in seconds.

They must have known I was not far away and were probably afraid of being caught.  I braided another length of rope into the original ropes and made good the temporary repairs done in the lock.  I also attached another tow rope onto the two internal tow rings to ensure that if the original system came undone again the secondary would hold.

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The Journey Day 52 – May 22nd

Last night I parked the motorhome legally; as near to the Banana as possible, but too far away to survey it.  This morning I found the Banana half in the water, all the ropes cut and strewn around.  Someone with a sharp knife left me a message not to shine torches in their faces whilst they are having fun banging on a motorhome.  Fortunately, my punishment was just cutting the ropes and not slashing the Banana.  This probably was due to the fact that when the ropes were cut the Banana would have slipped further into the water and became more dangerous to go near.

I made the Banana secure once again and went back to the motorhome.  As I left the quay another ship glided into the lock without slowing.  The old ship that spent two days at the quay had left; leaving behind one of its mooring ropes that had clearly come to the end of its life and its shredded remains were left hanging on the moorings.

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The Journey – Day 43

Day 43 – May 13, Friday

 Stadt Wurtzburg

Friday the 13th actually turned out to be a lucky day for the Banana Voyage.  Sitting in the motorhome, listening to the rain, writing up notes and drinking far too much coffee, I did not hold out too much hope of getting a tow out of the Lock at Harrback.  The events of the day before had left the Banana on the grass at the top of the Lock, the place that ships pass as they build up speed to get out of the channel and into the full flowing river; not a place to stop and pick up a hitch hiking Banana.

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Day 33 – Leaving Duisburg

I finished off the blog in the early hours, dressed then drove to the open all hours garage where the Banana and stocked up on a few days’ supply of food for the overnight journey with the Jura.  I returned to the quay and left the motorhome where it could be picked up and walked along to the Jura.

They were already up and about; the engine was running and I nimbly hopped up onto the ship, dropping a bottle of wine I had bought for the captain and his wife.

I ran back to the motorhome and got another bottle.  The captain nodded a goodmoring and waved his hand at the bottle telling me he did not smoke or drink.

Day 32


I spent the night in a car park next to the hotel. After breakfast I went back to the hotel to check emails and post bought a coffee and went back to the city.  I had arranged a meeting with Peter the photographer a 2pm.  He phoned me during the morning to make sure I was still available.

Right on time Peter was there and the photoshoot began.  He took me across the lagoon like inlet in his boat and I clambered onto to the pontoon, where I was only the day before.  I collected the oars and motor I had hidden and went to the office to talk about leaving the Banana for one more night. No, nicht, nine , niet, etc.  it is forbidden.

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Day 21 of the Journey

A bright and sunny morning with a cold breeze started the day with an optimistic spring like feeling. Last night I found a place for the motorhome along the quay in Arnhem near the commercial docks, away from the town center. The past three days have been completely filled with a whirl of unexpected and amazing chance meetings of people and events.

The photos will be put on the page shortly when I find a place with an internet service with a strong signal and no time limit on usage where I have lost the photos. I have tried to load because the service shuts off.

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The Journey: Day 14 ’till 18

Day 14 & 15

At what point do I jump in and tell you what is happening?  It seems to me that something is going on all the time, with one thing running into the next.  So I will jump in here, in a café in the small village of Doorwerth, Holland.

My plan to get to the last lock before the Rhine opens out for hundreds of Km has been achieved. The next lock after here being at Mainz, then I turn left and go up the River Main.  The relief in arriving at this lock, where the boats will have to stop to get through was very uplifting, but short lived.  The lock here is huge.  The quay side is nearly 3m above the water and the quay is about 600m long.

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The Journey: Day 5 to 14

Note: Due to the logistics of being in the motorhome, on a boat or, on a jetty trying to get a lift, with the unpredictability of all that entails; it has not been possible to update the blog on a regular basis.

The very nature of this voyage is the fun of not knowing what is going to happen next or where I will be at any given time.  I am writing this in a carpark near a lock, with no internet.  As you are following the progress of the voyage please use the contact page to send me your email address: I will add you to the update list and you will receive notice of when there is a new posting of the blog, photos or videos and arrivals in new towns.  You will then be able to go to the appropriate page to see what has been posted by clicking on the link I will send each time.

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The Voyage – Day 5

Rotterdam.  After the mess caused by the let down by FNAC of the delivery of the camera everything was off to a dis-organised start.  I had watched YouTube videos about the use of the camera but the reality of what can be done with it and even how to switch it on turned the filming process into a farce.  My GPS, programmed correctly took me to an abandoned quay and not the marine training college (STC) which was nowhere to be seen.  I went back to a bar I had seen on the way through the docks where amazingly one of the college workers was having more than several drinks.  He explained with a two-page diagram where the college was.

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