Vacation on board

Jacob and I are now underway from Gent to Doornik, in Belgium. It’s the second week of our vacation with “Tasmin West”, our boat. Her other name is RP 15. That is the name she carried as police patrol vessel. The website has a dedicated page with picture of this former police patrol vessel, built in 1940.


In Gent tasting Trinidad rum
RP 15 in Gent, while tasting Trinidad & Tobago rum


She was finished just in time. The days before we left were very busy with cleaning up and fixing last things. The hull had just been sand blasted and painted, so you can imagine how dirty it was inside.

RP 15 repairs after sand blasting
Repairs after sand blasting


Almost a year ago Jacob started this intense renovation and before doing that we needed to strip the boat entirely. A welder worked for more than 14 weeks to do all kind of reparations in the hull. She is now beautifully painted and a lot of technical improvements have been done.


So, it’s a well-deserved rest for both of us. We started our vacation with a party on the wharf jetty at home, inviting people we know for years and some people we just met. It’s always an interesting experience to bring together people who are not connected and I enjoy to be the facilitator of this. I launched my new “Tasmin West” boat aperitif called Black Velvet, a mix of Guinness and Champagne. I wanted a rough aperitif, on board we don’t serve drinks for wimp.

RP 15 Black Velvet party
Introduction of the Black Velvet Apero


We normally steam a few hours a day. All goes very smooth as we are both experienced in ship handling. Only I found out that we have a silent competition between us to be in the wheelhouse for manoeuvring, especially in difficult circumstances. This boat is great to manoeuvre with and we both enjoy it too much. We agreed to do each half of it, but I still try to have an extra turn for example because it’s raining outside. I explained to Jacob that a real gentleman would not send a lady out to moor in the rain. According to him I will not melt from a little rain.

Spiere Canal
RP 15, heading to the lock


RP 15 at lock Spiere Canal
RP 15, as a tourist you can be a tourist attraction as well


The rest of the time we visit a town or go out on the bicycle. But just a little cycling as we find it too exhausting, actually we are very lazy. In Veere, a beautiful old Dutch town, we had a little too sticky neighbours. And on top they fixed there, what we call, plastic steam iron with a chain to our fresh painted boat. That made my blood pressure go up a little. I friendly asked to moor the chain at his side and have the rope on my bollards. While he was complaining about the fact that the chain would damage his plastic boat he realised why I was unhappy…

In the picture you see one of my favourite recipes. I only prepare it on board because it’s time consuming and smoky. It’s grilled eggplants, paprika and zucchini. I rub them with olive oil, coriander seed and cumin seed and I serve it with Turkish yogurt. The yogurt is spiced with fresh garlic, cumin, coriander and red peppers. I always grill for several dishes. The day after I make a moussaka, pasta or salad with grilled vegetables. I can only grill when it’s not raining as I need to open all the windows. The exhaust from the kitchen is worse as from the old Kromhout 8 cylinder diesel engine!

Hungry Jacbogrilled vegetables

Family and friends  visit all the time, so I am busy with cooking, what I like a lot. My vacation is the best period to catch up with family.

On board with the family
Jacob,  his parents and my brother
the cook and her lover
RP 15, the cook and her lover



We stayed several days near a beautiful old bridge called Astene. My former husband was there as well. He also restored a police patrol vessel and we spend our time with eating, drinking, discussing engines maintenance and story telling. The later it gets the better are the stories.

Astene bridge
RP 15 at Astene bridge in Belgium


Directly after our vacation I will leave for two and a half weeks to China. In China I have travels as well. So from time to time I need to work a few hours during my vacation. Being the organiser of the event, does not allow me to close down my email the weeks before the event will take place. I am lucky to enjoy the work so it is not a burden. I realised that this 3 weeks on board is almost the longest period in the year that I do not need to pack a bag. I got so used to living from a suitcase that the opposite situation is remarkable to me.

5 thoughts on “Vacation on board

  1. Geboren en getogen in Veere was ik graag met Suna bij jullie langsgekomen en daar een drankje gedaan in de Jachtclub. Laat je het de volgende keer ff weten als je in Veere aanlegt?


  2. Hallo Gerardine,
    wat fijn zeg!!!
    Doornik is niet ver van Mons.
    Moest je soms langs Mons in de Henegouwen passeren, laat me het gerust weten, ik reserveer je een tof plekje
    mijn beste groetjes aan Jan Jacob
    met vriendelijke groet
    Willy (Miss Coco)


    1. Hey Willy, wij genieten echt enorm. Jacob vind het varen in België helemaal geweldig. We komen zeker terug dus je aanbod zal nog wel van pas komen. Groetjes Gerardine en Jacob


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