Friday the 13th. My lucky day.

Written by Jack van Ommen on September 14th, 2013

I made the late night/early morning Standing Mast route through the Amsterdam canal bridges in company of four other sail boats. When we arrived at the southern end of the route at around 3 a.m. Thursday, the last lock was open but we then found out that the railroad bridge was stuck shut. So, we al had to find a spot to spend what was left of the night. It turned out that the bridge was out of order already since Tuesday. Why did they not tell us that before we started the Standing Mast route? And that there was no indication as to when the bridge would open again. The repair crew had not been able to find the cause. The other four boats decided to turn back, make the nightly passage through the North end of the route that Thursday/Friday night and make a 6 hour detour via Haarlem. I decided to sit it out because I had plenty of things to look after on the boat and my destination was just at the other side of the bridge. A German catamaran had been waiting since Tuesday at the south side of the bridge. He was getting desperate with his vacation running out this weekend. Later on Thursday I was told that there would be another repair crew giving it a try at 00.30 hours on Friday. And at 3.30 a.m. the VHF woke me up with the good news. At 4.30 I was back at “de Schinkel”.

Friday evening I sent out my “Where is jack” mail. Telling everyone of my failed attempt to leave via the North Sea. I felt a bit embarrassed, depressed. It is now Saturday morning and the comments and encouragements are coming in, in reply to the mass mailing. Thank you! I love you all! I feel better and plan to be better prepared this time. I had waited to re-install the dodger (buiskap) till two days before my departure and discovered that three of the five window panels had cracked while in storage on the hot attic and several of the zippers had their stitching torn. I took it to a repair facility, yesterday.

I need some more help from my blue water sailing friends, with the Navionics installation. I had at first thought that the operating system for it was a free app on a tablet but stand corrected and I have managed to install the app for my laptop. I am running the Fugawi software on a 10 day trial period and I have had several e-mails to them but am not much wiser. My question is do I need a card reader or not to install the Navionics charts? Fugawi tells me: Navionics charts bought after April 2010 no longer need to use the Navionics Multi Card Reader that the charts  can be used in a standard SD/CF reader and can be copied to the hard drive of the PC so that the card does not need to be present in the card reader to use the charts in the software. Why can’t they just be downloaded to the harddrive?

Before I ever had the o.s. for the charts, I purchased the one chart of the UK/Netherlands. And it is by far the best chart I have ever used but I am unable to import it into the Fugawi system. I did get all the free NOAA BBS charts imported. Is there any other navigation software that I can use the Navionics charts on? I have Nobeltec Navichart and the Open CPN.

The second question that I still have is on how to best use the AIS system. I have never been able to make this feature work on my Standard Horizon VHF radio and Fugawi tells me that they have no experience with it being hooked up to their software. They suggest a $ 300 antenna from :  http://store.fugawi.com/collections/digital-yacht/products/zdiguais-digital-yacht-uais-receiver I hate to have to bolt on another antenna when I have a perfectly good VHF antenna. Please, help!

Another morale booster was to find the below photo of my Daughters # 1 and #2 on Facebook this morning. The picture was taken by Lisa’s friend Roberta Bailey at the party this week for Corrine and Euan. Corrine is my oldest granddaughter. You know her already. She lives in Leuven/Louvain Belgium where she was married on May 4th to Euan. They are right now on a three week vacation in the Pacific N.W. and this was their wedding celebration with her family and friends. With my travel plan “B” I shall be able to visit them in Leuven on my way through Belgium. And this will also be an opportunity for another try at possibly be able to connect Rose Marie (daughter #2) with her biological mother. Lisa and Rose Marie were adopted, Lisa in 1964 in Santa Barbara, California and Rose Marie in Brussels, when we lived there for four years, in 1968. Rose Marie still maintains her Belgian citizenship. In 1969 Jeannine (Daughter #3) was our first biological child, also born in Belgium.  Lisa found her birth mother 20 years ago. Rose Marie expressed her desire to connect with hers during my last visit in the N.W. Last year when I passed through Liege I found the address where her mother used to live but did not get any further. I have a new idea and who knows this time on my same way back I might be able to reunite two women. I happen to be extremely blessed to be the father of these ladies. We became a “ménage a trois” in 1972, when their mother and I split up. Lisa was 8 and Rose Marie was 4. Jeannine 3 and John 1 went back to California with their mother. These two young ladies became my counselors, friends, sweethearts and even though we are separated by a great distance since I took off in 2005 our love has grown even stronger. Since my first arrival on the Atlantic coast in 2007 where Jeannine and her family live I have spent several winters with them and she and I have also become very close friends.

I just wanted to share my blessings with you. God is good!

L.R (you guessed it) L #1 R #2

 

 

1 Comments so far ↓

  1. Matthias says:

    I’m pretty sure you will need a multiplexer to combine the data coming from your GPS and the AIS so it can be fed to the laptop. Another reason you’ll need a multiplexer is that the AIS puts out data much faster the a typical GPS and the multiplexer will take care of that too.

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