May, 2011

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Monday May 9th. An honest day’s work

Monday, May 9th, 2011

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The below picture shows the partially removed rail and a picture of my epoxy sculptery. I am getting good at it, after doing this over the last 30  years. The lower forward part of the cast iron keel has left it marks on a number of N.W. reefs in the first years. Mouat Reef, near Victoria on Vancouver Island was the first major encounter. And since 2005 the keel has chalked up a few more exotic encounters.  Kay Fullerton, who was my office manager, suggested a name change for the boat. “V.O. on the Rocks”.  (my initials and a popular North American drink). It is difficult to hit anything hard in Holland and on the rivers, this time it was caused by the Bulgarian rescue boat, last October, dragging me through the gravel in the Danube.  The Romanians wonder why I do not hire any one here to do the work for me. If I knew enough Romanian I’d tell them that I did the work my self in the Philippines where I could hire help for $ 2.50 a day. It is at times boring and back breaking but I consider it part of the fun of this life I have chosen. Just wait till you get to see the pictures of the new hull paint I had mixed up in Sneek.

No church picture for yesterday. Sorry. I have given up on the non-inspiring Eastern Orthodox services. Between here and Italy, next summer, that may become my longest spell away from a church pew.

I have been reading up on Ukraine and I might just make a left turn when I exit the Danube, instead of a right turn for the Bosporus. The Crimean Peninsula, Odessa, etc.

 

Friday May 6 Progress in Zimnicea

Friday, May 6th, 2011

The weather turned gorgeous. A beautiful warm Spring day. I got to work on the boat. I am beat. After living a disgusting sedentary life behind the laptop, writing, since mid November, I am sanding, climbing up and down the ladder and bike riding the 8 mile roundtrip to the Danube.

I have a coat of epoxy and filler on the damaged spots on the hull and keel that needed my first attention. I am using a new  Dutch epoxy paste that does not require micro balloons or similar thickeners. The only way one can purchase West system epoxy in Europe is to buy a combination of resin and hardener. I could not buy just the resin. I have plenty of their different types of hardener.

Camelia had me over for dinner again, this evening. Her friend Nella and Stefan joined us. I am starting to pick up more and more of their conversations. I discovered several French words, that are used almost identically in Romanian like, trottoire, lampadaire, besides the many words that are nearly the same as Italian, arrividere, machine (car) but pronounced like the French, buna seara (buona sera in Italian).

In my earlier blog I bitched about the internet problems here. I got lucky again. I am picking up a good wireless signal now from my hotel room.

 

 

Wednesday May 4. Reunited with “Fleetwood”

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Instead of sitting all winter inside the dry hangar, as was promised, I found “Fleetwood” in the same spot where I saw her last. Near the crane that lifted her out of the Danube. Fortunately I did not discover any adverse affects. No mildew inside at all. But it will restrict my maintenance work to the right weather conditions. It has been raining lightly all day. The yard is one great mud hole.

I had planned to also refinish the interior because I had expected to be inside. Scratch that part.

The material I shipped from Holland arrived in good shape.

Internet access here is like from the stone age. Slow and weak. I will have a Romanian cell phone number for you in the next day or so.

Wednesday May 4 Back in Zimnicea

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Good flights to Prague and on to Bucarest. I left on another gorgeous Spring morning from Amsterdam, snow flurries on arrival in Prague with one degree above freezing, rain the whole way in the bus ride from Bucarest to Zimnicea. From my window seat I saw the patchwork of fresh mowed meadows and the bright yellow rape seed fields. Romanian villages with their unusual galvanized steel roofs.

It worked. Roger and Judy Rue, my long time sailing friends from Tacoma, returned at 8.50 a.m. at Schiphol from Bucarest, from a Danube cruise and connected with a Seattle flight at 10.15 My flight left at 9.25 for Bucarest.

Roger, Judy Rue, Jack

Sailors passing in the morning at S(c)hip hol. Roger reminded me of the “other” Roger Rue, I met in Phoenix in 2002 on a flight connection to Seattle after “our” Roger Rue had dropped me off in Puerto Vallarta two hours earlier….

I am back in the same hotel I was at in Zimnicea, as the one awaiting my haul out here last November. Connecting to the internet is a problem in this location.

Sunday May 1st The morning after

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

Judging by the trash in the canals and the streets Amsterdam must be one giant hang over this morning

But it did not seem to have affected the usual sparse church attendance.  I attended the Jesuit St . Francis Xavier church the “Krijtberg” on one of the Amsterdam canals. The mass was sung in Latin with an incredible good choir and organ accompaniment. I will miss these opportunities. The only drawback for me to visit the Eastern Orthodox countries like Romania and Bulgaria is the inability to attend a service that I can understand and go to communion. In the nearly fifty countries that I have visited since I left the West Coast in 2005 that had never been a problem.

This afternoon I visited the Boosman friends in Bergen. Their mother Tiny Boosman worked for the same resistance leader as our mother and was arrested a month after our mother. She and two more women of this group went through the same treatment, prisons and concentration camps together till their liberation. Tiny wrote in detail about her experiences part of which I have been able to use to put together the book I am writing about my mother’s life. On the way home I stopped in Monnickendam where I was moored last summer and met my friends Carin and Marcus who still keep their boat at the same dock “Fleetwood” was at.