May 30th, 2010 browsing by day


Sunday May 30 in Monnickendam

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

It was another outstanding weekend, just like the same event the last weekend of September, with the Schinkelers on the island of Marken. The midnight trek throught the Amsterdam canals, Thursday night, was rougher than the previous ones. We were three boats from the club and another 8 boats from everywhere. The first bridge opened at midnight and the last one, the Central Station rail road bridge, should have opened around 1.30 a.m. but stayed
shut till 3.30 and the two hour wait was unnerving because the 11 boats were packed in a small area between two bridges. I slept little between 4 a.m. and daylight and was dead tired all Friday. Once we, three boats, were through the locks into the old Zuiderzee we had a fast sail to Marken. The wind blew about 25 knots.
Thirteen club boats raced on Saturday  an about 10 mile race on the Gouwzee. Conditions were perfect, blowing a good 15 knots. My same crew from the club who helped me last year, Judtith Hotke, drove “Fleetwood”. And once again I should have listened to her suggestions to tack to the weather mark sooner. I ended up overstanding it by a mile or so. But it still was one of the finest sails I have had for a long time. We were just able to carry the full main and the 142 % Mylar jib and were keeping up very nicely with the bigger boats. The weather was perfect and it warmed up to short sleeve weather for the Saturday evening in the harbor.
Before we all went to dinner we gathered on Heino de Jong’s boat with the club choir and sang sea shanties accompanied by three “trekzakken”, small accordions.
We sang three old French songs,”Le Forban”, L’eau Vive” and “Mon Amant de Saint Jean” and Dutch songs “Over de Zoute Zee” and “West Zuid West van Ameland”.
The rain stayed away till just after the cocktail hour and the sea shanties. Fortunately the restaurant where we sat outside last September had raised a large tent for our group. The rain came down in buckets and the race results and speeches were nearly drowned out by the noise of the down pour.
I had a chance to tell all my friends of “de Schinkel” farewell at this last club event for me. But I’ll never forget the good times I shared with them. I have very fond memories of the receptions I had in places like Arue on Tahiti, the yacht club in Honiara in the Solomon Islands, in Durban, South Africa, but the Schinkelers treated me like I had never left since I first sailed out of the “Schinkel” with my uncle Fred, sixty years ago.

Sunday morning it was still raining, stormy and cold. What I read from my Northwest friends on Facebook sounds like the Northwest is still waiting for Spring as well. We just got real lucky yesterday here on Marken. It was a short rough crossing from Marken to Monnickendam and I am now tucked away here very nicely in this picturesque old sea town for the next two months. It turned out that my friend, from the street we both grew up on, Flip Brommet, had made arrangements for me in a different marina here than the one I announced in my previous blog. This is a much better spot. So, please note the location:

Jachthaven Waterland, Galgeriet 5a, 1141 GA Monnickendam.   Berth -B-35

and cometosea us…. here.

Marken does not have but a Christian Reformed church and a Dutch Reformed church. The picture below was taken in the beautiful old Dutch Reformed church. I went to the 10 a.m. service at the Christian Reformed church. In the Land of the Blind, which is for me mostly the case in the American churches, One Eye reigns, but here in the Dutch protestant churches my singing voice just barely blends in with the rest of the male voices. These men and women can be heard from miles away. The Lord does not need an amplifier for the Netherlands, Polynesia and Vietnam.