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June 3rd 2021. A disappointment.

Thursday, June 3rd, 2021

Yesterday was the sendoff gathering in the Cape Charles Marina. But I am still tethered to the dock, this morning. The heavy rain directed me to a last-minute reality check. As much as I had looked forward to this new adventure, I realized that I have a few loose ends that are not going away while underway.
The first one is the inability to find liability insurance outside of the USA. After over ten turndowns, I realized that the fundamentals have changed. The main problem seems to be the inability to find underwriting for US flagged yachts. In addition, which is usually not spelled out but hidden in the “does not meet our requirements” solo sailing and the nasty claim I had on the removal of “Fleetwood” from the stranding on the Virginia Barrier Islands in 2017. That was a 19,000 pay out for a job that should not have cost more than about $5,000. This did not affect my 2019 ability to obtain insurance. Next year this requirement to report claims over the 5-year prior period, will not be an issue any longer. The next problem is that I had ordered new batteries for my laptop and tablet to the address of my first planned stop from here, in Greenport on Long Island. Right now, I need to keep them permanently hooked up to the inverter which is charged by the solar panel but that might become a problem at night when I need to keep the charts live to get AIS alarms for nearby traffic. I had figured that I would run the engine to charge, but probably not a good idea after all. I also need to do better permanent repair to an exhaust; it needs a welder.
I am booked here now in Cape Charles for the month of June and I plan to cruise North to the Nantucket Sound in July. By that time, it is too far into the hurricane season to cross the Atlantic. So, a disappointment for a trip I was really excited to do and had abandoned in 2019, after Rose Marie’s sudden death. Now there was the added excitement of being able to be welcoming my fourth great grandchild, next month in Scotland.
But, just like some of my previous initial disappointments on this journey, that started in 2005, God will have another good surprise in mind for me.
Stay tuned…

Third Atlantic Crossing

Friday, May 28th, 2021

While sailing from Cape Charles to Deltaville, the first days of May, for my Spring haul-out, the taste for a new adventure infected me once more. My plan was to continue north through the C&D Canal to spend the summer in the Nantucket Sound. You may remember that I had planned to take off on June 15th 2019 for a crossing to the Netherlands. This was sadly changed when my second oldest daughter, Rose Marie, passed away on June 2nd.

Now there is a happier reason: new life in the family. My oldest granddaughter, Corrine Spencer-Wheatly is expecting her first, a son, around July 15th.  I will return to Cape Charles Town Dock on Tuesday, slip C-10, to say farewell to all the wonderful friends I’ll be missing for a while and sign my books for the few who still did not have a chance to read them. I plan to attend the Wednesday service at Saint Charles of Borromeo church. I have asked father Michael Breslin to remember Rose Marie on the 2nd anniversary of her joining her new Eternal Home.

Weather permitting, I will depart on Thursday or Friday morning and sail directly to the Nantucket Sound. Most likely a stop at Green Port on Long Island, possibly Mystic Seaport, Ct. and Newport, R.I. Then Halifax and St. Johns.

You can track my progress at: https://share.garmin.com/JackvanOmmen

Now, if you see, my direction change, do not be surprised. God may have another (always better) plan, I have become accustomed to. Please, keep me in your prayers, we know it works. “Fleetwood” was blessed at the annual Blessing of the Fleet on April 30 by the Methodist and Baptist clerics in Cape Charles.







I plan to sail over the top of Northern Ireland into the Clyde River and have a tentative reservation at James Watt Dock in Greenock. Then up through the Caledonia Canal into the North Sea. If conditions permit, I’d like to make good on a long time promise to sail into the Deben River, North of Ipswitch, into Woodbridge where “Fleetwood” was created at the Whisstock Boat Yard (see my recent You Tube video) in 1979, 42 years ago, half my lifetime….

Once I am in Europe, within internet reach, I plan to get back to update this blog on a more regular basis.

With the world re-opening, I’d like to remind any interested parties that I’d be very much interested to give presentations of my adventures and to sell my books.


Super Sunday. January 24th., 2021

Monday, January 25th, 2021

Wishing you all a belated Happy New Year.

The year started on positive notes. “Fleetwood” ‘s engine got going again on the 12th. In my previous blog of October 10, I reported that the starter motor burnt up in late July. The replacement from China still failed to fix the problem and after successively replacing the fuel solenoid, the glow plugs, the glow plugs solenoid and correcting the wiring from the ignition switch, she ran like new. With the help of local mechanics and advice I had solicited amongst my cruising friends, the cause of all the failures were traced to me replacing the key switch in Deltaville in late July. The original switch had rusted where I could no longer turn the ignition key. The replacement worked just fine in starting. But it turns out that it did not turn off the glow plugs once the engine ran, which caused the chain of failures.

This all spoiled my summer cruising plans. Once the engine ran, I moved the boat from the exposed summer moorage to a much better protected spot in the Cape Charles municipal marina and flew on the 14th to home port on the West Coast and am writing this from my daughter Lisa’s home in Federal Way, Washington state. Few of my local friends are able to see me because of the lock-down. Lisa works from home most of the week and I enjoy her company, a warm home and a real bed. I have been scanning/thinning the large slide collection I have kept at Lisa’s.

I am trying to get my 1st Covid-19 vaccination here and then plan to return to Virginia and sail south. Most likely I will end up in Cuba and then do my annual haul-out in Green Cove Springs, Florida before returning to the Chesapeake Bay. And then, after several false starts, sail the summer north to New England.

JESTER AWARD: Today, I received notification from the OCC (Ocean Cruising Club) that I have been awarded the annual “Jester” award.

When I read the qualifications for the award, solo circumnavigating in a boat 30’ or less, it seemed like a reasonably good fit. There are not too many folks these days that mess with miniatures. But if you see the list of the awardees there have been some modifications. And I am thrilled to be in the company of the likes of Robin Knox-Johnston, Matt Rutherford and Web Chiles. My gratitude is for the opportunity to get the word out that it can be accomplished at an advanced age and on a low budget.

I wrote an article titled: “There’s no Mandatory Age Limit for Ocean Sailors” for the bi-annual issue of the “Flying Fish” of the OCC, which was published in December. It is a condensed version of my adventure. Suggested reading.

MY BOOKS: In addition to the new options for my books that I reported in my previous blog, you can now also order a COLOR version of “The Mastmakers’ Daughters” print version from Lulu at a reasonable cost in comparison to the Amazon option.

Three weeks from today starts the Lunar New Year of the metal Ox. I was born under the Fire Ox. The last Metal Ox was 60 years ago, the year I was drafted as a 23 year old and ended up in Vietnam. It has got to be better than the 2021 year of the Rat. Rats spread diseases.


GOOD News-Bad News

Saturday, October 3rd, 2020

The Good News-Bad News is to bring you up to date on the pricing and options on my books “The Mastmakers’ Daughters” and “SoloMan”.

Amazon keeps increasing their costs and squeezing the royalties. In particular on the Kindle version, which has forced me to increase my sale prices. The GOOD news is that I have been able to secure alternatives to maintain the old Amazon prices on most versions, including the Electronic versions. And I can now offer the color version of the “SoloMan” print book for $ 40.00 which brings it much closer to the Black and White version. This less expensive version is printed by LuLu.com in 7 x 10” compared to the $ 59.00 Amazon 8 x10”. I include a comparison picture of a page from the St. Helena island chapter. I think that you will find that the story comes more alive in color. There are over 400 illustrations in “SoloMan”. (remember to click on the image to enlarge it.)

The new electronic option at $ 8.50 at LuLu is in Epub format, which is more adaptable to tablets, laptops, etc. than the Amazon Kindle which I had to raise to $15.00.

The web sites for both books have been updated at www.TheMakersDaughters.us and www.SoloMan.us

Similar changes and new options have been made to the Dutch books and their web sites.

The “Fleetwood” store is open from 06.00 to 21.00 for signed discounted paperback copies.

Between the two titles, two languages, paperback and e-book, different dimensions amongst the printers, I have been busy updating the manuscripts, covers, and the four web sites. I started the long overdue project in early August, while waiting for a replacement starter motor from China.

Since my last blog of June 10th, right after my return from the winter cruise to the Caribbean, I made a couple short trips to Portsmouth/Norfolk and one to Smithfield on the Pagan River, a branch of the much bigger James River.

Sunrise in Smithfield



My first stop, on a couple weeks cruise I had planned up the Chesapeake Bay, turned in to the last stop, in Deltaville. I burnt up the starter motor. It turned out that there was no equivalent to be found here in America. I sailed back to Cape Charles, sans engine power.

But it took less than ten days for the replacement to arrive from China. In the meantime, I was committed to my books project. What I had expected to take days, took weeks.

The starter motor is installed but a new problem developed in the ignition, all the expert remote helpers are scratching their heads and I am waiting for a miracle working mechanic to get me going again. They are a very scarce commodity here in the lower peninsula.

I am still hoping to do an Indian Summer cruise up the Chesapeake. And I am starting to form a plan for the winter. It looks like I might finally end up in Cartagena, Colombia. My children will be scattered for Thanksgiving and I now plan to head south to Florida via the ICW and weather permitting the Atlantic and then fly to the Northwest for Christmas from Florida or Cancun before continuing on to Cartagena..

So, while you are waiting for my next blog and anxiously looking forward to the details of my third shipwreck, wrap up your Black and White of SoloMan and pass it down as a Saint Nicholas or Christmas gift and treat yourself to an affordable color version. I’ll be needing the money…….

While I am writing this blog, a couple from Lexington, Va. stops by the boat here in the marina. She, Pauline Mason, has a British accent. Her brother works with boat architects in Holland, she lived two years in the Eerste Helmerstraat in Amsterdam and on “de Eilanden” in the Amsterdam harbor. He is a sculptor, not sure what came first his last name, Mason, or the hobby. She is writing a book of some of the exotic places they have lived and taught in Eastern Europe, including Armenia. Encounters like these will be the subject of my next writing project. I have accumulated a long list of one in a thousand type coincidental encounters. Last Sunday I made new friends with a friend of a friend who read “The Mastmakers’ Daughters” and who has now introduced me to her friend in Richmond, Va., where both live. Her friend is Ellen de Kroon-Stamps. Ellen is born in 1940 and grew up i Rotterdam. She married her American husband here and spent 10 years working and travelling with Corrie ten Boom. In 1978 she published a book about her experience: “My years with Corrie”. Corrie and our mother met in the Dutch concentration camp Vught. Corrie became a well known evangelist in the United States and her book “The Hiding Place” was made into a very popular movie. My mother’s bible was used by Corrie in their secret religious exercises. Ellen and her daughter Johanna are scheduled to come and meet me here in the coming week.

Monica Grant of the sailing magazine Latitude-38 wrote an article, “Jack is Back”, prompted by my previous blog.


Back in Cape Charles, Va.

Wednesday, June 10th, 2020

The previous blog was published from Fort Lauderdale the end of April. I wandered in and out of the ICW (Intra Coastal Waterway) in and out of the Atlantic. Greg and Marlys Clark were my hosts at their condo in Cocoa Beach over the weekend of April 25th. You will have read that they were also my hosts on their large catamaran in March during the Heineken regatta in Saint and Sint Martin. I moored “Fleetwood” on the barge canal and left from Port Canaveral into the Atlantic and back into the ICW at Saint Augustine and from there via Jacksonville to Green Cove Springs Marina on the St. Johns River, for a haul out. This was my fourth visit since 2008 to this funky collection of mariners and semi permanent boat people. I got back into the Atlantic on May 22nd. Sunday night, before Memorial Day, I got whacked by a nasty storm at Cape Fear and finally gave up on trying to work my way out of it and took refuge on the ICW at South Port, NC.  My plan was to go back into the Atlantic at the Masonboro Inlet. But the wind was dead on the nose so, I decided to continue on the ICW, but when I was to pass through the first bridge, at Myrtle Beach, my shaft became uncoupled. The current pushed me through, I dropped the anchor and Tow-Boat US towed me to the large anchorage nearby. It took me 7 hours that day to try and fix the problem and the next morning another 8 hours, when there were still issues. In the mean time the wind had turned more favorable and I left at 4 pm from Masonboro Inlet for Cape Hatteras and the Chesapeake. A very fast sail, there as to be a northbound current, I did 120 nautical miles in a 24 hour period. But then the wind died and I motored. Another 3 hour repair job in a motionless ocean. On early Sunday morning, May 31st, just south of Cape Henry, I received another short gale force storm whipping. My daughter, Jeannine, her husband, three of my grand children and my two great granddaughters saw me sail past, from the beach, in Virginia Beach. But a nasty northerly sprung up at Cape Henry and adverse tide made me turn back to  seek refuge in the Rudee inlet. I sailed back and close to the inlet the wind died. I cranked the motor on and, once again the shaft spun. I ended up dropping the anchor with 5 ft under the keel and a 150 ft from the surf. Tow boat US came to the rescue at dusk and towed me into Little Creek. My daughter and family came to get me on Monday morning and I had three great days visiting with them. My second oldest grandson had been released from a 5 1/2 year prison term. His older brother and his dad had come from Texas. It was a great reunion.

I managed to make it into Cape Charles from Little Creek, a 22 mile distance, on Thursday morning the 4th.  This time the repair held it for the motoring out and into Cape Charles. But a permanent solution is in the works now. Most likely it is the result of having over-tightened the stuffing I replaced in Green Cove Springs.

My plans are to sail north for a summer sail in New England in July. I have a berth in the Cape Charles municipal Town Dock, B-2 right at the foot of the Shanties restaurant. The welcoming committee was present, Thelma Peterson made the sign “Jack came Back, to the port of Gold” as in her song:  “Jack come Back”


I have posted a You Tube 6 minute video of the sail from St. Barth back to Cape Charles at: https://youtu.be/PynBA95hFvE     




Easter 2020 off the coast of Haiti.

Sunday, April 19th, 2020

On my way from Saint Thomas to Florida, at sunrise on Easter Sunday, I turn on the FM radio and I listen to a program from Radio Ginen on Haiti.

While listening, I filmed the early sunrise. https://studio.youtube.com/video/gQyF6o3o7bY/edit

Sunrise Easter 2020

A French parochial high school choir sings: Il est vivant le Seigneur ressuscité. (He is alive the resurrected Lord.) I had hoped to be able to, at least, be able to hear a service this morning. French happens to be my favorite language for this. When we lived in Belgium, we were members of the local churches, first in Foret a suburb of Brussels and later when we lived in the country, in Ittre. On this winter cruise, I spent longest in the French speaking part of the French West Indies. I could listen to a daily program of Radio Chrétienne France (RCF). I just found this same program here. Poetic, intellectual, only the French can find a new angle on an ancient wisdom. This one interprets the seasonal aspect of the short three years of Jesus presence on this earth from Christmas to Ascension with the cosmos and the lunar signs.

Here I am, all I see is the circle of the ocean surface around me to the edge of the sky and the risen sun and at night the stars and the waning moon, full just a day after my departure on Tuesday.

It is also Jeannine’s 51st birthday, my youngest daughter. She was born when we were living in Ittre, south of Brussels. I never forget the connection I still make when I hear the Latin part of the liturgy: “Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini”. Blessed is (s)he who comes in the name of the Lord. Just before Jeannine was born, I sang Mozart’s Requiem in a large choir at Easter in Nivelles, in the beautiful old cathedral. And I interpreted this part as the welcome to Jeannine. She must have sensed it. We have been very blessed with her. She is a woman with a strong faith. As part of the concert, we also sang some traditional Easter hymns. One of them was what the young girls are singing in the video I recorded of the Sunrise.  Il est vivant le Seigneur resscucité.

I’m on last row left, with glasses.


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Against the good advice of many of my friends, who figured that being in the US Virgin Islands was a much better place than coming home to the USA, I pulled the anchor on Monday afternoon, the 8th. On the way out, I stopped at Crown Marina in Charlotte Amalie, to top of my diesel tank and fill the water bladder. I tanked 4,8 gallons of diesel and 6 gallons of drinking water. The previous time I filled up the diesel tank and my empty 5-gallon spare can, was on January 30th., in Beaufort, N.C. Right after the Heineken Regatta, I filled my spare water canister with 5 gallons at the Sint Maarten Yacht Club. Last Monday’s stop was also the first time, since January 30, that “Fleetwood” was connected to terra firma. I cannot recall that I ever came close to these 70 days of transit and anchorages in my 15 years of this world cruise. But at felt so good and having saved all those berthing fees, I decided to treat my self to a night in the marina. This meant my first shower since the hospitality of Joni Dennis, in Beaufort, on departure February 3rd. And I could also do some extra provisioning in the nearby “Pueblo” super market, without having to lug my backpack and using the dinghy. It has been a very slow sail, until late yesterday afternoon, within a half hour the wind went from zero to about 15 knots. I had been motoring over a millpond until just beyond Puerto Plata on the Santo Domingo shore. The compass on my tiller pilot is not working after all; this means that all I can use it for to set the tiller in a fixed position, on smooth water this gives me as much as a few minutes to dive down into the cabin. At times there is just enough wind, while motoring, that the wind vane can keep the boat on course. As long as there is enough wind to keep the boat moving on a light breeze and the wind vane, I take that option. The first day I totaled 106 miles in 24 hours, next day 90, next 76, next 79, yesterday 105. Today, Easter Sunday’ will be the best, a steady 15 plus easterly, tonight it is supposed to get even stronger. The one week Predict Wind forecast proves to be quite accurate, since I have no other way than the radio from the boat, I am fortunate to be able to hear Chris Parker’s forecast every morning at 6.30 a.m. on the short-wave receiver. In a way, I was not in a hurry, since the stronger winds predicted for this evening and tomorrow are nasty further north from here. A cold front, coming down from the Great Lakes.

There are at least three fish swimming around with a hook through their mouth and trailing part of a broken line, instead of having nurtured my sashimi desires. The line I have is too weak.

I am doing close to 5 knots and losing the Haiti stations, next it will be the propaganda from Cuba and good Meringue. I noticed that I can understand much more of the Sto. Dominicanos than the Puerto Riquenos’ Spanish.

It is now Thursday the 16th. On Monday morning I had covered 106 miles for the 24 hours prior. And I could have been at least another 100 miles closer to my Florida destination, but I have slowed the boat down to about half the possible speed, keeping just under 3 knots per hour. This evening a cold front is coming down from the north with N.E. winds (right against the direction I am going) of 15/25 knots with gusts between 30 and 40 knots. Fortunately, so far, slowing the boat down has worked with a very mild S.E. breeze.  I am now at around 23̊N and 78̊W. I still do not know for sure how far south this storm will stall. There are really no places close enough to hide at anchor. The Bahama reefs offer little protection from a strong N.E. wind. It is supposed to peter out on Friday. I am reading a good book that Griffith Brinkley loaned me: “A Jesuit off-Broadway”. Great writing and insights behind the theater scenes. But most of all an outstanding lesson on theology and commons sense. But, thank God that I am blessed with a “poor in Spirit”. So much energy is spent on trying to explain God. Miracles remain abstract, I just accept his mercy. It is so still that I can hear the sound of a windvane sheave, that needs a squirt of WD-40, reminds me of “On Golden Pond”; the distant sound of a Loon.

I hear one AM station from the Bahamas and a couple Cuban FM programs with good Meringues and lots of experts on Covid-19. It sounds like our good President gets blamed for the embargo that limits the Cuban access to medical equipment. Looks like this 1100-mile trip is going to take me as long as the two-week 1,400-mile trip from Beaufort, N.C. to Saint Martin.

A coast guard cutter suddenly appeared right on my starboard, yesterday. They do not transmit on AIS. It was quite windy and that probably spared them a trip in their inflatable.

So, we had a very nice courteous conversation over the VHF radio, to identify myself and the boat. I have just passed through the Old Bahamas Channel. Quite a bit of commercial shipping. But I like these narrow channels with traffic lanes for the freighters. No surprises, as long as I stay outside of them.


Sunday April 19th. Back “home?” in Fort Lauderdale, Fl.

I arrived early this morning. I am tied to a mooring buoy across from the Bahia Mar Marina. I got lucky since without a smart phone and an internet subscription I rely on free wi-fi, usually at restaurants or bars. But they are all shut. In 2017, I stayed one night in this very luxe marina and they let me use their free wi-fi in the shade on a dock chair. You would not know that recreational boating is supposed to be

Verbo(a)ten. A steady stream came plowing into the Atlantic, throwing their inconsiderate waves for the rag sailor to dodge.  Last night I got caught in a huge thunderstorm, lots of rain and a quick dousing of all my light wind sails. I was just entering the Gulf Stream. This gorgeous little song bird hitched a ride. It must have been thirsty, it kept picking up the rain drops from the life lines. It left at dusk.

My hitchhiker

Nov 2016 off the coast of Mexico

The I had a very unpleasant encounter with one of those sunset cruise boats. I really do not understand that they are allowed to bunch a people of boozers into one of those germ machines. I guess they are beyond the laws out on the water. But I cannot figure how they get them aboard in Miami or Ft. Lauderdale. But this particular monster comes right at me. Because I can only see his bow and the green and red bow lights, I have no idea what I am looking at. A freighter? A huge fishing boat? So, I check to see if he registers on my AIS. Nothing. Next, I call him on the VHF and ask him what his intentions are. What was so unusual that he is coming at me from the east where there is nothing to go to other than wreck your ship on the Florida Keys. All the other traffic is going either north or south.

And he is aiming right for me. No answer to my VHF call on the mandatory monitoring Channel 16.

So, I jibe the boat to change from a North direction to North West. But there is so little wind that I have to get the engine going. In the meantime, he keeps coming. Then he starts shining search lights on me.

And calls me on the VHF. And then he has now turned on his AIS and I see just a number no name, like the commercial ships do. When I first called him, I asked if he might be a Coast Guard Cutter, because they like to be able to sneak up on you and do not transmit their AIS position.

Then this snotty young Latino with broken, English tells me that he never heard my VHF call. He just did not have it on like his AIS. I’m really pissed when he started telling me that I should not have altered my course. I should have just let him run me down? I’m planning to report him to the Coast Guard he did not want to give me his name, the vessel was “Explorer”. Later that night I saw him wander some more all over the busy shipping lanes. Some of you must have wondered, watching the tracker zig-zag all over the map, if I were sailing an opium den. So much of the wind was dead behind and then the only way to keep some speed is to sail 5 t 10 degrees off the wind, to keep the sails filled. And there were some sudden wind changes. This passage had some of the best and some of the worst sailing I’ve ever encountered on one passage. Mostly too little wind and the handicap of not being able to run the engine without the tiller pilot. Here is a picture of how you can sail dead down wind. But you need some room to be able to take a complicated set up down when a squall shows up.

sailing wing on wing

Two different sail numbers. Jack the Rag-Tag sailor


Plans:   I got word back from Green Cove Springs, that they are open. So, I will sail from here coast hopping and using the ICW in case of bad weather on the outside, to Jacksonville and go up the St. Johns River. This will then be the 4th time I have hauled out there. You remember the “Porch”? My good friend Randy Register has just written a book about the Porch People. Free on Kindle!!

I will probably make a quick visit to the Chesapeake, once the boat is on the hard there and then be back on the boat by late May. Lets hope and pray that the Covid-19 will have been wrestled into a choke hold soon.

Saturday April 4, Easter in Confinement

Saturday, April 4th, 2020

Since I started my sailing adventure in 2005 I have celebrated the feast of Christ’s Resurrection until 2014 in a different church and mostly a different country, with the exception of 2011 and 2012 which were in the same church, in Holland. This year it will be a surprise how and where I will be in the Corona confinement.

75 years ago, on April 1st 1945, our mother celebrated Easter in confinement, as a political prisoner in the AGFA Commando satellite Dachau concentration camp. Officially religious gatherings were not allowed in the SS run concentration camps. In this satellite camp the 200 Dutch women were housed in a partially bombed apartment complex, surrounded with barbed wire and watchtowers, but the guards left them alone in their quarters. Our mother had the only new testament and the German civilian workers in the factory had lent the ladies an old testament which they translated and wrote out longhand on discarded correspondence they recovered from the factory trash cans. They also made up a hymnal from the collective memories of the women.


Here is what mother recorded and is part of my book www.TheMastmakersDaughters.us :

Easter in Dachau

April 1s, 1945. Easter Sunday.

It was Joukje Grandia-Smits’[1] turn to lead our Easter service.

The entrance song was Hymn 221 verses 1 and 2.

Hail to You first of the days

Dawn of the Resurrection

Through Whose light the power of hell has been conquered

And death has been eliminated

The text for the sermon was taken from Matthew 25, 1-22, the story of the Resurrection. Our recessional song was “A Mighty Fortress is Our God”

Later in the day, we all joined the Roman Catholic women at their Easter Service. They used my New Testament. We appropriately sang together “The Church’s One Foundation is Jesus Christ the Lord”.

The song book made by the prisoners.

# 24 is the third verse of the hymn “Diep, o God, in’t stof gebogen” sung in America as “Comfort, comfort oh my people” On Right is the front of the correspondence out of the factory trashcan. Note the “Heil Hitler”. The letter is dated May 1, 1940, just days before the Fascists invaded Holland.

On the preceding Good Friday, it was our mother who gave the homily, which she ended with:

“The risen Lord Jesus Christ was first seen by women,

by women who had knelt at the foot of the Cross”.

[1] Joukje Grandia-Smit known under her code name “Clara” is known as the very first courier for the Dutch Resistance, the LO-LKP.


Wishing everyone a Blessed and Happy Easter, under the circumstances.

30 maart. 75 Jaar geleden in de “Hongerwinter” van 1944-45.

Wednesday, April 1st, 2020

30 maart 2020. 75 jaar geleden. De Hongerwinter van 1944-1945.

Dit is uit het dagboek van mijn vader Dick van Ommen dat hij bijhield tijdens de gevangenschap van onze moeder van april 1944 tot haar thuiskomst van Dachau op 22 mei 1945. Gedeeltes van het dagboek zijn overgenomen in mijn boek “De Mastmakersdochters” (www.DeMastmakersdochters.nl)

Dominee Kunst van de Waalkerk, had tijdelijke onderdak gevonden voor 150 kinderen van zijn kerkgemeenschap bij families in de Wieringermeer. Mijn tweelingbroer Jan en ik (Jaap/Jacob/Jack) waren met onze vader bij onze opa en oma in de Watergraafsmeer eon onze drie jaar oudere zus, Karolien, was bij haar oom en tante in Alphen a/d Rijn.

29 maart 1945:

Vanmorgen kwam Saakje[1] bij me aan kantoor met de mededeling dat Jan en Jaap gisteravond om half 12 bij hun door een politieagent werden afgeleverd. Er waren bij die boer andere kinderen gekomen en nu hebben ze de jongens weggestuurd, een rare manier van doen.

Hoe het precies zit weet ik niet, ze hadden geen brief bij zich, er is wel door iemand die bij hun in de auto zat een brief aan Ds. Kunst meegegeven, morgenochtend ga ik direct daarheen. De jongens zagen er wel goed uit, echter wel onverzorgd, ze kwamen huilende op de Singel aan, hun dekens sleepten over de straat, een koffer bij zich plus hun nette waschgoed. Die auto heeft hun aan het politiebureau Adelaarsweg afgeleverd en zijn toen door een agent naar Amsterdam gebracht en deze wilde ze naar het bureau Centraal Station brengen. Maar Jaap zei, mijn oom woont hier, op Singel 2A, breng ons daar maar heen. We vinden het allen geen handelwijze[2].

30 Maart

Goede Vrijdag, naar Ds. Kunst gegaan, hij had wel een brief gekregen, maar die ter behandeling aan Mej. Grosheide gegeven, hij was ook niet te spreken over zoo’n wijze van doen. Hij had meer minder prettige ervaringen opgedaan over de menschen in de Wieringermeer.


Ik ga nu weer terug naar het begin van het verhaal uit het dagboek:


6 Februari 1945

Vanmorgen op weg naar kantoor sprak ik Ds. Kunst die ging naar de schipper, hij kon 150 kinderen naar de Wieringermeer plaatsen, ik zei dat wij de jongens ook wel daarheen wilde hebben, dit ging wel, dan moesten ze morgenochtend daar zijn (stijger). Ik heb Mieke[3] me laten opbellen en gezegd dat ze weg konden, zij moest dan naar de Waalkerk gaan daar was Juffrouw Grosheide die ze inschreef. Ze moesten ieder een deken, stam en bonkaart meenemen. Het is wel een werk geweest alles voor elkaar te krijgen, ik heb ‘s middags vast een koffer naar de Singel gebracht, om 7 uur ben ik met de jongens vertrokken en hebben op de Singel overnacht.

Om 4 uur opgestaan naar het Damrak, daar lag het schip, het was erg donker, een groote tjalk, stroo in het ruim, de kinderen plat op de vloer. Zuster Goede, Ds. Kunst en nog twee heren gingen mee. Ik kende ze allen, zoodat ze wel in goede handen zijn. Ze gaan naar Middenmeer en Slootdorp, de stemming was best, de jongens vonden het ook leuk. Jan zat er wel wat over in dat hij op zijn verjaardag niet thuis was. Een kind zag nog kans in het water te vallen, de vader sprong er ook in doch beiden waren spoedig op het droge. Mevr. Leibbrandt bracht Jan en Gottfried.

Van Vlaanderen[4] stond ook op de lijst maar was niet present, ze hebben het daar anders erg noodig. Om halfzeven vertrokken ze, getrokken door een sleepboot. Het is wel akelig dat ze nu weg zijn, maar voor de voeding is het wel noodzakelijk, ook werd het voor Pa en Moe wel te druk, het is hier vreemd stil.

 13 Februarie

 Er is een brief bezorgd van de pleegouders van de jongens uit Middenmeer, de familie Dekens, ze schrijven zoo aardig, het is een boerderij, 5 kinderen 18-4 jaar, ze zijn erg op schik, ik mag gerust op hun verjaardag komen, ze krijgen nog wel 2 baby’s uit Haarlem, maar het kan wel. Jan en Jaap schreven ook een brief, Jan kort, Jaap zeer uitvoerig, de reis viel niet mee van 6-5 uur in het ruim, toen ze aankwamen zijn ze die nacht in een hotel in Middenmeer ondergebracht. Ze brengen het paard weg, er zijn kippen, varkens en konijnen.

We zijn zoo dankbaar dat het zoo goed is gegaan. Ze mogen tot na de oorlog blijven ze hebben ook al spek gegeten. Ze hadden nogal veel brood mee op reis, Jaap schreef dat hij gedeeld had met kinderen die niets hadden.

Gisteren trof ik in een portiek een ventje van ongeveer 9 jaar dat huilde, ik vroeg: “wat scheelt er aan vent”. “Ik heb zoon honger” antwoordde hij, dat gaat je door alles heen. Langs de huizen komen ze vragen om brood of ander eten. In de krant las ik het sterftecijfer. Was in 1944 van 26 Januari tot 4 Februari 169 pers. Dit jaar was dit 506.

De jongens Leibbrandt zijn wegens plaatsgebrek[5] naar Andijk moeten gaan.

Hannie Broers[6] is bij een boerenarbeider, Catharina Geel[7] is ook in Middenmeer.

27 Februari

Vanmorgen om 7.30 gestart naar Middenmeer. Ik heb Sieb’s fiets te leen gehad, de mijne is bezweken. Het was goed weer, vrij veel wind. Over Zaandam, Purmerend, Oosthuizen, even bij van de Wal zijn dochter aangeweest. Kop koffie gedronken, was 12 uur in Hoorn, daar boterham opgegeten, 1 uur verder gegaan, was om 3.30 in Middenmeer. Een prachtige nieuwe moderne boerderij[8].

De jongens waren met de wagen naar Kolhorn, tegen 6 uur kwamen ze thuis, ze zagen er best uit, wat hebben ze het daar uitstekend, lieve menschen, Groningers, de kinderen zijn ook erg lief voor ze, ze eten brood zooveel ze lusten, pap met volle melk, vleesch enz. Jan is de heele dag met de knechten in het land, kent alle beesten bij naam, hebben op het veulen gezeten. De eerste week waren ze 1 pond afgevallen, na 2 weken Jaap 4 pond aangekomen. Ik heb die klacht van de boer bevredigend kunnen oplossen.

Jaap schepte op dat ze de indruk hadden dat ze niet ondervoed waren en dan waren er velen die eerder in aanmerking kwamen, ik zei dat ze wel niet ondervoed waren maar toch al veel te kort waren gekomen en we voor het te laat was tot deze maatregel waren overgegaan, vet en boter krijgen ze al lang niet meer en brood is hier gerantsoeneerd. Voorts hadden ze de indruk dat het Opa en Oma te druk werd, (volgens Jaap zijn uitlating) en hij voelde er niets voor om kindermeisje te spelen, toen ik dit weerlegd heb zei hij dat verandert de zaak.

Het zijn aardige jongens, gelukkig dat het weer in orde is. Ik heb Jaap op zijn hart gedrukt dat hij erg dankbaar moest wezen dat hij hier mocht zijn. Ze aten een keer Jan in de zak, dat lustte Jaap niet maar hij kreeg ‘s avonds weer, opgebakken, toen lustte hij het wel.

Des avonds aten wij brood en ik kreeg gebakken aardappels met een stukje spek, pap na, heerlijk. Ik sliep op een 2 persoons bed in de logeerkamer, keurig.

De volgende dag hun verjaardag, ze hadden hun Zondagse pak aan, melk bij het ontbijt, ‘s middags aten we aardappels met een flink stuk vleesch, spercieboonen, een groot bord vla na, ‘s avonds groote sneden tarwebrood en pap, voor de verjaardag had de vrouw een cake gebakken, de jongens kregen voor het naar bed gaan een stuk, wij bij de koffie. Die dag Catherien Geel bezocht en Hannie Broers[9] in Slootdorp, hebben het ook goed, zijn bij gewone dorpsbewoners. Schaafsma bezocht, daar is ook een Meisje uit de wijk in huis en 2 Meisjes van Kuyken.

De volgende morgen 8.30 vertrokken, hartelijk afscheid genomen, mocht nog wel eens komen, kreeg mee 12 besmeerde boterhammen met kaas, 2 mooie peren, die ik bewaard heb voor hier, 1 voor Rien en 1 voor Moe, bovendien een zak tarwe van 17 pond. Ik heb er een paar aangename dagen gehad. Er stond veel wind, veel regen gehad, was 4.30 weer hier. Even voor Hoorn Duitse controle, maar ik ben er aardig doorgeglipt.

Miep de Wit is met 2 Meisjes bij een boer in Wieringerwerf weduwnaar, zal wel trouwen worden. In de Alblasstraat is bijna geen kind meer, alleen Lientje Swart, Peter Biemond en Anton Jansen zijn nog over.

De kinderen van Zemmelink[10]  gaan naar Texel. Kees Vlaanderen is naar Friesland geloopen, Wim[11] is naar Gramsbergen. Hans Alberts[12] is naar Nes, ook Mevr. Verhagen[13] met de kinderen.

[1] Schoonzuster

[2] De tweeling had een ontsnappingstunnel voor de ondergedoken knechten ontdekt en een verstopte ambulance in de hooiberg. Ze waren te ondernemend.

[3] schoonzuster

[4] Onze buren op Alblasstraat 39 II

[5] In de Wieringermeer

[6] Ablasstraat 44 I

[7] Alblasstraat 52 II (tante van de TV evangeliste Jacobina Geel)

[8] Famile Klaas Dekens, Schagerweg 25. Middenmeer. Klaas jr. emigreerde naar Canada.

[9] Alblasstraat

[10] Alblasstraat 57 I

[11] Vlaanderen Alblasstraat 39 II, buren, Wim 1931 Kees 1928?

[12] Griftstraat 46 II

[13] Alblasstraat 46 of 48 Mijnheer Verhage was de Luchtbescherming man.

75 years ago In the “Hunger winter” of World War II

Tuesday, March 31st, 2020

Seventy-five years ago, March 30 1945 was Good Friday. Near midnight on Holy Thursday eve, two dripping wet crying boys rang the doorbell at their aunt and uncle’s home in the old center of Amsterdam. One of those little boys was me. (Plagiarizing Kamala Harris…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0WTx_ady48  ). My twin brother and I had just turned 8, a month ago.

The winter in Holland in 1944-’45 is still reverted to as “The Hunger Winter”. Particularly in the major cities there was little food. Our father and my brother and I had been staying with our grandparents in Amsterdam. Our three year older sister was living with an uncle and aunt in Alphen at this time. The pastor of our Christian Reformed church had arranged for temporary lodging with families in the countryside for a group of 150 children from our neighborhood and the Christian elementary school.

These are excerpts from my father’s diary he kept ever since our mother had been arrested the end of April 1944.

March 29. Early this morning, Saakje (sister in law) showed up at my office to tell me that Jan and Jaap had been dropped off at their house on the Singel at 11.30 p.m. by a police man. The farmer had received other children and then sent our boys away.

I thought that their concerns about the twins’ behavior had been addressed during my recent visit on the twins’ birthday.

It seems like a very strange way of doing things. Apparently, the driver, who took them back to Amsterdam, had a letter on him for Pastor Kunst. The boys looked o.k. but unkempt. They arrived in tears on the Singel, dragging their blankets over the wet streets. They had one piece of luggage with them. The farmer had put them under a tarp in the back of an open pick-up truck but the boys had not had enough cover from the rain and the cold night. They had left in the evening in a hurry. The driver had dropped them off at the Police Station on the Adelaarsweg in Amsterdam North. One of the Policemen had accompanied them to the Police Station near the Koepelkerk where the twins recognized that they were near the Singel and then had the policeman ring the bell at nearly midnight at their aunt and uncle on the Singel.

March 30. Good Friday. Went to see Pastor Kunst. He had received the letter from Wieringermeer and was not very happy with the way this was handled. He had already had other unpleasant experiences with his contacts in the Wieringermeer. Kunst has given them a piece of his mind and accused them of committing an unpatriotic act towards the van Ommen family.

This is the part from father’s diary where our story begins:

February 6. This morning on my way to work, I ran into Pastor Kunst. He was on his way to talk to a barge skipper. Kunst had found a way to place 150 children from the church families on farms in the Wieringermeer[1]. I told him that I would like our boys to go there as well. He would look into that. They needed to be on the dock the next morning at 5 a.m. I had quite a job making the arrangements on such a short notice. Jaap and Jan had to be picked up from their grandparents and then I brought them to Siebold on the Singel, for the night, which was just a short walk to the dock. They had to get up at 4 a.m. In the Damrak, near the Central Station, lay a large Tjalk[2]. Straw had been spread on the cargo hold floor. The children were all stretched out on the straw.

The children are in good hands. They are headed for the towns of Middenmeer and Slootdorp. The mood was good and our boys enjoyed the adventure as well. They recognized many of their Dr. de Moorschool friends who they had not seen since July. Jan was a bit concerned that he would not be home for his 8th birthday. One of the children managed to fall into the ice-cold water while trying to board. The father jumped right in and both of them stood soaking wet back on the quay.

The barge took off at 6.30. A tugboat took the sailing barge in tow. I miss them but they’ll have much better chances to get the food that has become so scarce here in the city. It also became a bit too busy for their grandparents. It has become eerily quiet around here now. February 13. We have received a letter from the temporary foster parents of the boys. They are staying with a farmer family Dekens. There are five children on the farm in ages from four to eighteen. They are very happy there. I may come and visit on their birthday.

Jan and Jaap also added their letters. From Jan a very short message, Jaap wrote in more detail. They were locked in the hold for five to six hours. On arrival that night, the children were all quartered in a hotel in Middenmeer. They get to walk one of the horses, there are chickens, pigs and rabbits. They can stay until the end of the war.  The boys had brought each a couple of sandwiches for the trip and since several of the children had nothing to eat, they shared them. Jaap wrote that this prompted one of the older Mulder boys to conclude that our parents were NSB members (the Dutch Nazi party) because they were the only ones who would have access to bread. There were eleven hungry mouths to feed at the Mulder family who live about five doors up the street from us.

Yesterday, I came upon a young boy, I guessed him to be about nine years old, who stood there crying. I asked him: “What’s the matter, young man?” He replied: “I am hungry!” That just breaks your heart. People are coming through the neighborhood begging for bread or something to eat. I read in the newspaper that the death count for the week from January 26 to February 4th is 506. The same week last year was 169.

February 19. I helped unload a barge with a load of tulip bulbs[3], I received a little extra for my efforts and came home with 50 kilos.

February 21. Mrs. Heringa (Anna Heringa-Jongbloed) has died in Ravensbrück. One of the women in Ravensbrück has been released.[4] I hope to be able to get in touch with her.

February 23. I am busy cleaning the tulip bulbs; the flower stem has to be removed otherwise they continue sprouting. It is a good starch substitute, mashed like potatoes with a few carrots; tastes o.k.

Pastor Kunst brought me a letter he had received from the church commission in Middenmeer. In this letter, they point out that the twins did not have it all that bad with their grandparents in Amsterdam and did not lack anything. I am going to see the farmer family this Thursday for Jaap and Jan’s birthday and I will try to clear this up. It is really too bad that this had to happen.

February 27. I left at 7.30 a.m. for Middenmeer. Siebold lent me his bicycle. Mine has given up the ghost. The weather was good, a stiff breeze, via Zaandam, Purmerend. I reached Hoorn at noon where I ate a sandwich. At 3.30 p.m. I arrived in Middenmeer. It is a beautiful modern farm. The boys had gone to Kolhoorn with the horse-drawn wagon. They came home at 6 p.m. They looked fine.

They have found a very good home. Very kind people, they came to the Wieringermeer from Groningen. The children also treat the boys very well. Jan spends the whole day with the farm hands on the land. He has learned the names of all the animals.

I managed to clear up the farmer’s complaint, that had been reported in the letter to Pastor Kunst, to his satisfaction. The next day was their birthday. The boys had dressed in their Sunday clothes. Mrs. Dekens had baked a cake for their birthday.

March 1st. I took off again at 8.30 a.m. The whole farm crew waved me farewell and told me that I could come back any time. Mrs. Dekens gave me six ham and cheese sandwiches for the road and two pears, which I have saved for Rientje[5] and Moe. They also gave me a seventeen-pound sack of wheat. I enjoyed the couple of days I had with them. The wind was strong on the way back, rain showers; I made it back home by 4.30 p.m. Just before Hoorn there was a German road block, but I managed to find a way around it. There is hardly a child left in the Alblasstraat after the transport to the Wieringermeer.

The letter:

R.J. Ridder Accountants

Middenmeer, February 22, 1945 

The very reverend Mr. Dr. P.G. Kunst,

 Dear Dr. Kunst, 

As spokesperson for the church commission, I wish to advise you of the following incident with the van Ommen children, Jan and Jacob, who have been given a home with Mr. K. Dekens, Schagerweg, Middenmeer. These two children were living with their grandparents before they were assigned a home here. From their remarks, it has been clearly established that both boys did not lack anything, but instead were accustomed to what, we would call in these times, festive meals; at their grandmother white bread was regularly served, they had vegetables with every dinner. When they are served potatoes with ham, they insist on having vegetables with it, because that is what they are used to at their grandmother. This is their general attitude and the reason that their foster parents do not wish to keep them any longer. 

As a matter of fact, this sort of boys should never have been sent to us. There are thousands of children who have better reasons to be sent here. No doubt, you will share our conclusions. The Dekens family will shortly be receiving other children from Haarlem in the place of the van Ommens so that fortunately no children will become the victims of this problem.

Would you, please, get in touch with the parents or grandmother to have them send someone to come and get Jan and Jacob?

Fortunately, we have not had any other similar cases to report. 

In anticipation that you will look after this matter, I am, with kind regards, 

Your dv.

Later on, I heard from the boys that they had been a little too inquisitive. With the aid of the five-year-old son, Klaas, they had, for instance, discovered a secret tunnel from the farm that led underneath the road the farm fronted on to the canal that ran parallel with the road. This way the farm workers, who were hiding on the farm from the German forced labor service, could escape to a rowboat that was moored at the end of the tunnel in the canal. They also found an ambulance that was buried in the hay stack to keep it out of the hands of the Nazis.

This story is also part of my books: www.TheMastmakersDaughters.us and www.DeMastmakersdochters.nl 

[1] Wieringermeer was one of the very first “polders”, reclaimed land from the Zuider Zee. About 30 miles north of Amsterdam.

[2] Tjalk is a traditional Dutch flat bottom, lee boards, sailing barge.

[3] Tulip bulbs became a sought-after substitute for potatoes.

[4] Most likely this was Corrie ten Boom, who was released on January 1st. Or Hebe Kohlbrugge released January 1945. At this time Dick van Ommen still does not know any better than that his wife is still in Ravensbrück instead of Dachau.

[5] Rientje is Rennie’s youngest sister and had chronic health problems in that period.

Monday March 30. St. Thomas USVI. End of the line?

Monday, March 30th, 2020

I left yesterday Sunday morning from Christiansted on Saint Croix heading for Charlotte Amalie https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlotte_Amalie on St. Thomas. A 37- miles fast sail, a reach with a little over 20 knots of trade wind from the east. One reef in the main and my little red storm jib. Averaging about 4 ½ knots. A little bumpy. Listening to salsa music. The Virgin Islands have a large Spanish American community, mainly from Puerto Rico and Santo Domingo.

Earlier in the morning I had a fitting Sunday morning religious program but it has faded in the distance on St. Croix.

The Covid-19 had me abandon my original plan to visit more of the French West Indies islands like Guadeloupe and also Antigua. They do not allow foreign boats to enter any longer. Until yesterday evening I had understood that Puerto Rico was accessible for US citizens. But that was questioned. I’ll have to verify this tomorrow morning on St. Thomas. Cuba, where I had hoped to stop and get dental work done, has also closed its borders.

Without internet here on the water, I am not sure where I left off in my previous blog. So, I’ll work back.

I left St. Barth on Wednesday morning, the 25th for the over 100-miles overnight sail to La Croix. A nice downwind sail during the day but the wind dropped and it was a frustrating slow night with slapping boom and sails. Without my tiller pilot, it is very difficult to steer the helm under engine power. Thursday morning the wind came back. When I got close to my planned anchorage, I dropped the main and when I tried start the engine for maneuvering to anchorage, the starter would not respond. What to do? I had a little room and time left. Checked the obvious, fuse, etc. And when I sailed closer, under the genoa jib, it looked like I would not have an escape route to sail back out against the wind. My call on the VHF channel 16 for local assistance went nowhere. A little later the US Coast Guard control center on Puerto Rico responded. They gave me the phone number for Boat US towing assistance. It was an answering machine on St. Thomas. I had no choice but plan A and do it right. It worked, I got the hook down reasonable clear to shore, so I could row to the world and a wi-fi connection. Because I had been holed up in a remote anchorage, Le Colombier, on Saint Barth since Wednesday the 18th of March.

Pictures of St. Croix: Chickens, roosters everywhere. I could not make myself pay $8.35 for a dozen of eggs. One could make a fortune if they could figure out where these stray chickens laid their eggs, instead of flying them in from the USA.


The chickens and the search for eggs

A flowering flame tree, rare sight in winter.

The Danish heritage





My Gig Harbor friends returned to the United States on the weekend of the 14th of March. I had promised Richard Spindler to bring a bottle of propane along to St. Barth. The gas merchant in Marigot gave me the run around and instead on having it ready on Friday the 13th, I ended up buying it on the Dutch side of the island and sailing it late Tuesday to St. Barth. I went ashore and could not believe what I saw. Hardly a car on the road and all stores and restaurants shuttered. I managed to get a cold beer and wi-fi at a takeout restaurant. Richard then told me that they were in Le Columbier and suggested I’d consider sitting out a blow predicted for Friday. That blow did not let up until Tuesday night. So, here I was for a week on a mooring buoy. It is the most protected anchorage on the island and the mooring buoys are free. As much as I trust my plow anchor there remains some apprehension when the wind comes up. No worries here. I rowed to shore that first Wednesday and took these pictures.

sunset from Le Colombier

the windy side of the Atlantic

my dinghy on beach “Fleetwood” in background





Someone came on to the VHF radio to warn the people on the beach that this was not allowed under the restrictions that went into effect the day before. It looked like I’d be able to leave for St. Croix on Saturday after the Friday strong winds, I deflated the dinghy, then found out that the strong winds were still to last a couple more days.

I could never have imagined that I would not go out of my mind tied to a mooring buoy for a week, but I managed to get much needed chores done. Backing up my laptop, editing a string of video projects. There was no socializing across the bay with other boats. Richard and Dona would stop by and keep the required distance from their dinghy. Once in a while I’d get a knock on the hull when Richard was doing his swimming routine.

I had my favorite radio programs. Mostly in French.

Meanwhile, Monday the 30th., anchored out on the Charlotte Amalie waterfront, my previous blog left off just after the Heineken Regatta on Sint Maarten. The four Gig Harbor couples came back to the anchorage Grand Case on St. Martin and I joined them there from Marigot on March 11. Beautiful bay and protected anchorage. Good bathing beach with the shore line lined with restaurants and bars where one can rent beach chairs and sun shades. It is a short distance from Marigot and a favorite destination for tourists and locals to come out to dinner or lunch to some of the best restaurants there on the island.

The next morning the nine of us took of for a day cruise to Pinel Island on the Clark’s catamaran. This was my very first sail on a Catamaran, bigger than a Hobycat. Compared to “Fleetwood”, this is sailing in comfort and luxury while watching the shore line slide by from your large living room and deck.

At Pinel, Clark’s catamaran in front

Mothers don’t let your daughters to grow up to be slaves to their smart phones!!

Kite surfing at Pinel




We sailed back from Grand Case on Friday the 13th. My friends returned home on Saturday and Sunday. Marlys restocked my provisions with the left overs from their two week cruise, which came in handy while sitting out my one week recluse in Le Colombier.

My free wi-fi options have become very tough to find, with all the restaurants and bars closed. I am sitting on the edge of a drainage ditch behind a hotel, with an open connection.  I have sent an e-mail to the marina in Havana, to see if i might be able to come in and sit through a quarantine. But most likely I’ll be on my way south in the next couple of days. I might try to get to Vero Beach before Easter and park the boat there on their inexpensive buoy moorage and rent a car to come to the Chesapeake. Then I will most likely do a haul out in Green Cove Springs, near Jacksonville. The bottom is getting raunchy. So, keep an eye on my tracker when I disappear from FB and internet.

I will choose my route east or west of the Bahamas depending on the internet predictions. I now have a decent connection to Chris Parker’s shortwave briefings. Which will help me decide when it is time to duck from the Atlantic on to the ICW, while I’m underway.

I don’t see much of a possibility to find the part I need for the tiller pilot on the internet.