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It was pretty damned cold, let me tell you. Just waiting out there for the final moment when they got it floated and tugged away. 8.5 hours of waiting for that special pic, like. I thawed out at supper. Then I felt lots more like my icon... hot food on a cold day is warm lust. Well, one kind of food / lust, anyhow lol

The two reasons why I waited out there, were (1) *Janneke, and (2) very few people have ever seen a sunken houseboat. Which is also a crime scene.

It didn't sink very far, the canal is only about two / three meters deep [six to nine feet]but I know it was an unusual event because the cops and most of the construction workers clicked away like mad on all kinds of cams. You'd think that Joe Pickaxe had seen it all, but nooooo.

I promised Janneke that I would stay till the end so she could have some pics of the floated boat, to see what happened to it, so she could show the family, who had scattered after November. She was crying softly most of our time together. Still on her cellphone was the message from *Ineke wishing her well on her surgery. J came out of it just fine and Ineke had one week to live. They'd both been middle-aged single moms and were considering living together on Ineke's rented boat. Never set eyes on Janneke before this V-Day. Now I'll never forget her. J and Ineke had been friends together since grade school, 35 years ago. J visited her often and she even still had a key to the front door, which had been smashed open by the police to remove the body, and then further pried apart by the reclamation guys today.

Ineke had dumped her boyfriend and was caring for a grandchild [not her own] that evening in November. Boyfriend comes by to talk about reconciliation. Shouting occurs. He pulls out a machine pistol instead of talking anymore, and murders her. Grandchild = not a scratch. Now BF is deep in a Dutch jail, trial comes up whenever trials come up over here, sometime this year or next. The boat was rented. In January, after two months of abandonment, it had sunk in ten minutes. And it looked like this, with your friendly neighborhood tugboat moored in front of it next to its bow, and Ineke's old garden still visible behind the tug on top of her old roof:

And why is this crane operator smiling?

I'll tell you why he is smiling--

He is smiling because nobody usually takes his pic and he thinks I'm from CNN? Well, maybe; but more likely it's because he's just had donuts and koffie delivered to his cab YUM... he's sitting there at his normal hourly wage which is astronomic because he's a construction crane specialist, and everyone else also had doughnuts because the police had to tow away four cars parked in a no-parking zone before the cranes could do anything about hoisting the houseboat out of the water. But first the cops joined them with the chocolate sprinkles and the white icing. Felt like I was right back in Nieuwe Amsterdamm except for the canals and the boats. Lots more wait-time, still more while the project managers held long debates about how to do everything right. I wanna be CraneMan's assistant.

There is also this frogman. The frogman, wetsuit and air helmet and all, is needed because he has to go down under there and rig the sling cables underneath the bottom which is buried in good ol' Dutch mud:

After Frogman did his thing, the stern crane operator lifted the boat up so all the water inside would run back out of the bow and into the canal. They also used pumps. It looked like this:

ButBut there were holes hidden in the hull so it sank back down twice more. Ineke did not want to leave... Finally they got it across the canal where it bumped into the railing right where I have breakfast, happily this was about 6.5 hours after orange juice and granola lol

And off they chugged with the stern still taking on water but not fast enough to keep them from drydock (hopefully they have not sunk again on the way.) The directors got pissed off because, yes, Virginia, there IS such a thing in Holland as overtime pay, which happens when or if Ineke didn't cooperate for still longer periods of time. All the crane operators and drivers and workers, even Frogman, would soon not have to worry anymore about doughnuts, they could buy their own factories.

There are big lessons in all this event here, both aquatic and spiritual, and I'm still figuring them out.

Being allowed to help Janneke was one of the best V-Day gifts I've ever been given. She was timid with me because I was a total stranger [at first]... I took something like 105 photos and I've just Emailed her six of them. Meowvatar would laugh at me and say it's totally a guy thing for Brad to jump up and down and photograph 30-wheeler flatbed trucks and big telescoping 40-meter cranes and thick fat cables. {Maybe she has a point there, and I'll never admit it?}

So since Photography is Writing With Light, Janneke and I certainly did. And, are.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 15th, 2009 09:48 pm (UTC)
Poor Ineke. Poor Janneke. At least the child was not hurt.

Yup, you called it about photographing large pieces of hardware. :)
Feb. 16th, 2009 06:39 pm (UTC)
I love it! The grinning crane operator in particular :-)

I like the thought of writing with light. Recently our office moved from Renton to Seattle, and I now have three daily hours of commute instead of one, which means I'm taking the bus. Initially I had hopes I could write, but it's too crowded. So I'm taking the camera along, and now I can think of that as "writing with light" :-)

Feb. 21st, 2009 10:53 am (UTC)
This icon is another writing with light from Kiota's heart.

And the cool thing about your new commute is that you can jot down some words to go with the photos you take, once you get to your office in Seattle! ... which is a big place compared with Renton, hope you do not have to go all the way to the other side of it :( ... also, hope that's not three hours one-way!!

Edited at 2009-02-21 10:57 am (UTC)
Feb. 21st, 2009 09:26 pm (UTC)
Is this real?! Lol, just amazing. Love the crane operator. He wins at life, yes.
Feb. 22nd, 2009 12:48 pm (UTC)
Yep, totally real. And he sure does win. He waved at me a couple of times and I really wanted to take him with his feet up on the dashboard, which was where they were for hours :) But he giggled {?} and assumed a more formal pose for me.

I think he giggled all the way to the bank. But, tbh, when he was on he really was ON, he had to ease his steel sling down from the top of his 80-foot crane through some tree branches toward the houseboat and if he didn't go really slowly, it would be raining twiggies, branches, and bigger, on top of the workers on the boat. And some of that actually happened.

But I guess what impressed me was that even in the face of the tragedy behind the scene, there were some lighthearted moments too.

If you had been with me he would have grown all chivalrous and given you a cute hardhat to wear, maybe even a doughnut to eat... not for me, but he would have jumped right down from his cab for youuuuu lol *is envious*

Mia, haven't you always wanted to model in front of an 80-foot construction crane to float your boat? When you're ready, I'm your camera dude for that *blushes shyly*

I think you would look unbearably cute in a hardhat nibbling on your doughnut with the crane op holding onto you so you don't fall down [it was about 15 feet up there...]
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


kiota too late for the stars
Moonfire Marion Bridge / Brad

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