My Travel Blog

OMG! What has Wilco done to my barge?

We arrived in Bergen op Zoom yesterday after a long and arduous trip.  We traveled by boat, car, plane and train. The only mode of transportation we missed was horseback. Which was a good thing because we had almost 300 pounds of luggage, and I would have felt terrible loading all that on a horse.

Wilco has been hard at work tearing apart my Big Baby.  Rabelo was a mess.  There was even a drill press and table saw in the middle of the main saloon.

Wilco has redecorated our main salon.

This will eventually become our new bed.

 Our cabin looked like a bomb went off.  I’m in fear that the engine room will be declared a disaster area by the Dutch authorities, and the deck is piled high with junk.

Deck junk.

There are even broken pieces of concrete on the deck.  Where did they find concrete? The only good news Wilco’s cabin, way up in the bow, was looking pretty good. OH GREAT!  While Lisa tried to make sense of the calamity that was supposed to be our new home in a month I went over some of the work Wilco had questions on.  Eventually I had to pop the question, “Will Rabelo be ready when we arrive in May to begin our journey?”  Wilco looked at me with that infectious smile of his and said, “I think so. We’ll see.” OH GREAT!

The marina where Rabelo is parked. Not exactly Monte Carlo.

The following day Lisa and I hit the stores with a vengeance.  We bought a large flat screen TV, a Blue Ray player, a washing machine and dryer, a toilet, and a bunch of other stuff.  The clothes dryer we bought was pretty cool as it uses less power than a hair dryer. Highly efficient appliances are worth the extra expense on Rabelo because we have to generate our own electricity.

New chair and poof, that’s a foot rest, for Rabelo.

Our new toilet, oh joy.

Rabelo has 10 very large windows, and Lisa decided to trash the curtains and replace them with wood blinds.  We checked out a couple of stores, and their prices almost gave me a heart attack.  I couldn’t believe how expensive window blinds were in Europe.  We tried some of the home improvement stores, and they were just as bad.  I explained to Lisa that I am not The Bank of Tom Miller.  All she did was smile and calmly say, “Don’t worry dear, we’ll find them at a reasonable price.”


One of our Dutchmen all smiles and hard at work.


-Tom Miller
Author of “The Wave” – 
a Chuck Palmer Adventure novel



About the Author:

Tom Miller graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science in Geology. He is a consummate adventurer with over 1,000 dives as a recreational scuba diver, and an avid sailor who has traveled 65,000 miles throughout the Pacific including the Hawaiian Islands. Miller has also cruised the canals of Europe on his canal barge and given numerous lectures on cruising the canals of Europe, as well as sailing in the South Pacific. Piloting is also an interest of Miller's, and He has completed over 1,000 hours flying everything from small Cessnas to Lear jets.