June 17th, 2009

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Trossen Los, Ich haue ab, leaving the USA

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

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I rode the klap(vouw)fiets into Morehead City for some marine hardware and an antenna for the stereo. I managed to saw the 5″ diameter holes through the 2″ thick bulkheads for the speakers, yesterday, in the marina. Then I treated myself to dinner at the Sanitary Fish Market and Restaurant. You may remember the stop I made at their dock in January 2008 on my way South to Florida. The place was closed and I had two days free moorage instead of their flat $ 15.00 per night rate. I wanted to talk to an old timer at the restaurant to ask if they remembered Jan de Hartog stopping at their dock in 1959, with his Sea Tjalk “Rival”. No such luck. But John Tunnell, the current manager shared another story with me about the restaurant and another Dutch connection. Back to Jan de Hartog, first. Jan de Hartog was our hero when we were in our early teens. We read many of his books, all about the sea. He went to sea when he was 15 years old, fled to England during the German occupation in the second world war and emigrated to the USA about the same time as I did. In the late fifties. He sailed “Rival” from Texas through the Intra Coastal Waterway to New England and I have his book about the trip on board. “Waters of the New World”. I quote from this book about his visit to Morehead City: “We tied up to a jetty outside a restaurant on pilings called “The Sanitary Fish Market”, the diners shook as we landed in a strong easterly wind. Th restaurant had a big notice board at the entrance, admonishing those about to enter that drunks would be thrown out. It seemed a sensible statement-Let’s keep the fish market sanitary…”

John Tunnell showed me a picture taken at around the same period of the founder of the restaurant, Tony (captain) Seamon visiting the “Fife Flies” restaurant in Amsterdam. It shows him shaking hands with the owner, Nicolaas Kroese, a big heavy set man in a velvet jacket. The Fish Market was established in 1938 and the “Fife Flies” ( Vijf Vlieghen) in 1939. Both are still going strong.

I rode into Beaufort and had a beer at the Back Street Tavern, where I had been with Lynne in late November, last year. At that time, in November, the town was dead but this tavern was filled shoulder to shoulder. This time the town was alive but there were just a few souls in the tavern.

The next posting shall be from the Atlantic.