May, 2012

...now browsing by month

 

May 31 The Delphi Oracle

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

I am moored in Itea, a 15 minute bus ride to the ruins of Delphi, where I plan to be tomorrow. When I left Chios in late April I crossed the 38th parallel, today I crossed it northward again. And I am now on the Adriatic side of Greece after passing through the Corinth Canal early this morning. You kind of hold your breath that the engine will not quit in the middle or have a claustrophobia attack.. There is no place to tie up to, just these high rock walls. As high as 285 feet. And I had to run the engine at full throttle to try and keep up with the tanker ahead of me.

I left Zea Marina yesterday morning and anchored near the canal entrance at dinner time. Yesterday there was quite a bit of wind, mostly dead on the nose, but I managed to motor sail some. Today there was little wind but the surface was rough and bumpy. The Gulf of Patras is an interesting landscape. I decided to skip visiting ancient Corinth and chose to see Delphi.

Itea is not particularly attractive and the marina is a bit of a desolate place.

 

Tuesday May 29. Athens. Running backstay installed. And: “Can you help in the fight against cancer?”

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

The Alpe d’Huez, in the Swiss Alps, is the most difficult ascent in the Tour de France 13,2 km with an average 8,1 % slope with 21 hairpin turns. The cancer fund raising event was started in 2006 which nettet about 370,000 Euro. It has become one of the best revenue raisers for the fight against cancer and last year it netted over 2 million Euro. My friends the Hoogendoorns are asking your help again. I met Marinus in the U.S. Virgin  islands in February 2009. We became friends. He and his wife run a large rhine freight barge and Marinus made it possible for me to get up the strong Rhine current in 2010, on my way to the Black Sea. The below picture tells it all. This was taken on a Sunday morning while spending the day in Duesseldorf celebrating the sabbath with an on board church service. His brother and family were visiting for the weekend and in the picture.

I mentioned on Sunday that one of my best friends, Bonnie, is now facing her fight with breast cancer. Last year my American friends who responded were few and by the time the dollars went through my account and were converted to Euroes the banks were the main beneficiaries. If you wish to help, let me know and I will give you the details. But I do hope that my Dutch readers will respond to the below links. But I am also putting this on my blog because I am proud and blessed to have friends like the Hoogendoorns and I believe also in Faith, Hope and Love and I am sure that most of you do as well.

Aboartd "Glissando" with two Hoogendoorn families

 

From: “Fam.M.J. Hoogendoorn”
hoogendoornglissando@vaart.net

Subject: Alpe d’HuZes 2012

Date: Mon, 28 May 2012 18:12:38 +0200
https://pharmacy.chsu.edu/pages/national-high-school-essay-contest-on-the-united-nations/45/ the best fertility pills for men levitra clio how to write a personal reflective essay http://thedsd.com/supply-chain-management-integration-essay/ research papers on alzheimers disease thesis topics https://earthwiseradio.org/editing/short-essay-on-global-warming-for-kids/8/ research paper on drug trafficking dissertation project on training and development writing a research paper in apa https://campuschildcare-old.wm.edu/thinking/essay-about-leadership-in-sports/10/ viagra for sale paypal payment essay in mexican custom academic essay writer sites for university yahel viagra viagra covered health ins solving problems using equationsВ definition customer satisfaction how to write english essays about easter essay writing a thesis on computer ethics buy ib tok essay cialis hooper http://www.cresthavenacademy.org/chapter/time-management-essays-conclusion/26/ go to link go site cialis emporia source steps to research papers simple essay on nature watch Geloof, Hoop en Liefde.

Beste familie, vrienden en bekenden,

Over anderhalve week is het weer zover, na bijna driekwart jaar voorbereiding: Alpe d’HuZes! Op 7 juni a.s. willen we ons weer voor een dag helemaal geven voor het bestrijden van kanker. Een dag symbolisch afzien door fietsend en/of lopend de top van de  Alpe d’Huez  te willen bereiken. Daarmee willen we zoveel mogelijk geld inzamelen én mensen die met de ziekte te maken hebben een
hart onder de riem steken. Fijn is dat Lenie ook actief meedoet. Samen met een broer, twee neven en een nicht, plus nog twee vrienden vormen we een compleet eigen team. Zelf wil ik proberen twee keer hardlopend en vier keer fietsend boven te komen.
In april voer een goede vriend van ons mee, die me tijdens één van m’n dagelijks trainingen vroeg waarom ik mezelf zo in het zweet en buiten adem werkte voor Alpe d’HuZes. Mijn antwoord was, dat ik het prachtig vind om weer een gezonde vrouw te mogen hebben. En dat het voorkomen van de ziekte of ten minste een goede kans op genezing voor mijn (klein) kinderen, zouden ook zij deze ziekte krijgen,  me na aan het hart ligt. Dat geldt uiteraard voor iedereen die me dierbaar is, en daarbuiten. Er is niemand die je zoiets goeds niet gunt.

Als er voorbede gedaan wordt voor de kleine Joshua van Gent, een manneke dat maar een maand verschilt met onze kleine Marinus, dan raakt me dat diep: hersentumor en voorlopige chemobehandeling van anderhalf jaar. Of wanneer ik denk aan Angelina, leeftijdsgenoot, vriendin en oud-collega van ons uit onze zetschipper-tijd. Zij was gelijk met Lenie ziek, en “genas” weer. Intussen is de ziekte teruggekomen en wacht zij  op haar einde wat ieder moment kan komen. Of ome Kees, voor wie behandelen geen zin meer heeft. Hij vraagt me, zoekend naar houvast: “Marinus, ben jij gelovig, en hoe zit het met het leven na de dood?” Dan worden essentiële betekenissen als leven, dood en het hiernamaals wel heel concreet Bij het beleven van verhalen zoals van Joshua, Angelina en ome Kees, dan weet ik waarom ik dit doe, en waarvoor ik kan bidden. En mezelf keihard inzetten tegen de ziekte. Om te laten zien dat het menens is. Want wat zou het mooi zijn als de kleine Joshua gezond een mooi leven mag gaan leven. En als Angelina en haar gezin dit leed bespaart had kunnen worden. En als voor mensen als ome Kees de ellende en pijn die kanker met zich meebrengt, voorkomen of beter bestreden kan worden.
Omdat ik Geloof in een God die het goede met mensen voorheeft en hen de kracht geeft om mooie dingen te doen. Omdat ik Hoop op een betere toekomst met betrekking tot kanker. En om de Liefde voor mijn naasten, dichtbij en verder weg die ik verticaal krijg en horizontaal mag verspreiden.
Velen van jullie hebben mij vorig jaar en ook dit jaar gesteund in mijn streven. Mijn dank daarvoor. Dit jaar wil ook Lenie een aantal keren de top bereiken. We doen dan ook graag een beroep op jullie onmisbare hulp.
Hartelijke groet ook namens Lenie,

Marinus

Translation:

Faith, Hope and Love.

Dear family, friends and acquaintances,

In another 10 days we will once again participate in the Alpe d’HuZes. We started our training for this event 9 months ago.  June 7th we will dedicate ourselves the entire day to reach the summit on foot and on our bicycles and in doing so try to collect money through your pledges or gifts to fight cancer and to show the ones fighting this devastating disease that we care and to give them hope.

My wife Lenie, a recovering breast cancer patient, is also taking part in the ascent. My brother, two cousins and a niece with two more friends are joining our team.
The goal I have set form myself is to run the course twice and to cycle it four times.

Last April a good friend of ours sailed with us on a freight delivery on our Rhine barge “Glissando”. He saw me training on the exercise bicycle, in the wheel house. He asked me why I was spending so much effort and sweat. After I caught my breath I answered him that I was very grateful to have my wife back after a very scary period in her fight with breast cancer. And that I support any and all efforts that promise a better chance to my children and grandchildren to avoid or to at least reduce the risk of cancer. And that wish goes beyond my family. Everyone should have the benefit of this effort.

I am deeply moved when prayers are requested for the little Joshua van Gent, struck with a brain tumor, this little guy is only a month older than our grandson Marinus. Or when I think of Angelina, our age, friend and former colleague. She was in treatment at the same time as Lenie and now she has been diagnosed once again with terminal cancer. Or our uncle Kees awaiting his death.  Uncle Kees asks me, looking for something to hold on: “Marinus, do you believe in God and a life here after?”

Then I stand face to face with the realities of life, death and the Hereafter. The I realize why I have to do this and why I believe in prayer.  To give it my all to fight this disease. To show that I believe in this.

Because I have “Faith” in a God who is all good and give us the strength to do good. Because I “Hope” that the fight against Cancer will improve the chances for us in the future. And in the “Love”
for my neighbors, nearby and afar whose Love I receive and I wish to share.

Many of you have supported my efforts last year and again pledged this year. Thank you very much! This year Lenie wants to try and reach the summit a few times. We ask you to support us with your pledges and gifts to make this another success.

With warm regards,

Marinus and Lenie.

http://deelnemers.alpe-dhuzes.nl/acties/leniehoogendoorn/lenie-hoogendoorn/

http://deelnemers.alpe-dhuzes.nl/acties/marinushoogendoorn/marinus-hoogendoorn/donaties.aspx

http://deelnemers.alpe-dhuzes.nl/teams/x

With the help of Alexis and Boris, my Ukranian neigbors and supervised by a veteran Dutch Frisian sailor Piet I was cranked up the mast this morning. By the time I had all the fittings cut and swedged it was too late to take off. I’ll be leaving here in the early morning and should be transiting the Corinth canal tomorrow. Piet and Wietske are Frisians who live in Meppel and keep their boat in Lelystad. They are waiting here for a Volvo engine part. It is dark and heavy clouds with an occasional sprinkle. We might get a thunderstorm.

SPONSORS: The running backstay was a gift from my friend Matthias Klemm  matthiasklemm.com who works for US Spars in Gainesville, Fl. www.usspars.com I am adding them to my sponsors column. Over the years I have benefitted by these very welcome gifts, the mainsail replacement in Cebu, P.I. in 2006 through Guus Bierman of Contender Sailcloth, my folding bike from Bob Ellsworth in 2007, the Teak toe rail replacement last year in Romania by Romtech. . My current folding bike was a gift of Greg and Marlys Clark in April 2009 in Florida. Thank you all.

 

Monday May 28 My lucky Monday in Athens. And how small can the world become?

Monday, May 28th, 2012

My gamble that the running back stay replacement would arrive today, paid off. It arrived in the early afternoon. I have everything laid out to go up the mast. My port neighbors are two young Ukrainians and Boris in particular looks like he can grind me up there without any pain. They should be back soon.

I am anxious to get going again. With a little luck I might be on my way tomorrow. Though I have paid for three nights mooring, this morning.

SMALL WORLD:

It is in the meantime evening. My Ukrainian neighbors will help wit the back stay installation tomorrow morning. I went for a wild goose chase trying to find a print shop because I am running out of boat cards. Meeting so many new friends. But could not find an ink jet printer anywhere. I saw a familiar picture ahead of me two young men, crew cuts, black small back pack over clean white shirts and long black pants. I caught up with them and asked what part of Utah they were from. No, Belgium and Germany. I asked the Belgian what part of Belgium he was from. He said: About 20 k.m. south of Brussel. I said: “Nivelles”. He looked at me with big eyes that I would know this small town. Then I explained that I lived in Ittre in the late sixties when I worked in Brussels for Weyerhauser. A town of less than a 1000 souls. Then he said: “That’s my home town!” Now try to figure the mathematical probabilities of meeting  a flawless American English speaking Mormon in Athens from a town of less than a 1000 souls. Jeannine (daughter #3) was baptized in Ittre, Lisa (#1) went to first grade there.  Just two wonderful young men, in their early twenties, who look you straight in the eyes and can converse with an adult. On a mission for the Lord. Florent Demeier, the Belgian and Jerome from Bremen.

 

 

Sunday May 27 Athens

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

I arrived by 11 a.m. in the Zea Marina near Athens. It took me a good half hour and my Spanish neighbor’s help to get untangled from his anchor line and I lost my boat hook, it became permanently stuck in his chain. One more item for the shopping list. This is a fancy marina with lots of Mega bucks yachts. A beer in the marina pub is 5 Euro ($7.00) and that is what it took to get wi-fi. The cheap life in the islands ends here, for now. I did end up having to may moorage after all on Aegina. $5 per day. Here it is $21 Euro nearl $ 30.00 but no hassle with anchors. I went into town and had dinner near the Acropolis and then went to 7 p.m. mass at the Cathedral. It was first communion Sunday. The majority of the English speaking congregation here is Filipino. The choir was Filipino only. My favorite Asian people. My starboard church pew sister was Rosie and when I told her that I planned to stay in Cartagena for a year or so she turned out to be a Cartagenian and we have a date in 2014 in Cartagena, Colombia. She works here as a Spanish/English tour guide. It rained this afternoon and I am sucking in the great smells of Eucalyptus, good California years memories.

I have a favor to ask: This morning I received sad news from a very good friend, Bonnie, who I have known since 1986.  She has been diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. Would you, please, also ask for her healing in your prayers? She believes in the power of it and has done this for me when I asked her and you for it on earlier occasions. Back in 2006, you might remember, I asked this for a friend’s daughter who was struck with leukemia. And the year long treatment was a total success.

I hope that the package from Florida will arrive in the next days.

 

 

Saturday Evening Post. May 26. Last day on Aegina.

Saturday, May 26th, 2012

I am getting cabin fever. I have walked all the alleys that go up from the harbor. Did laundry, took my cockpit bath, checked my anticipated routes worked on the French translation of the father Huysmans memoirs. It is an incredible story. The pain and injustice done to this man by the Chinese Communists while serving their people as a teacher and priest. And then to read today how now the same Chinese Communist, ruling and oppressing their people for more than 60 years, have made Chen Guangcheng’s brother Guangfu disappear and are intimidating many of Cheng’s family and friends left behind in China. Fu’s son is in Communist custody accused, totally trumped up, for murder. This is where you and I do the bulk of our shopping…. Will there ever be an accountability? Today  Klaas Carel Faber, a Dutch war criminal died today at age 90 in Germany. Protected by the German government from serving out his life sentence from which he escaped to Germany in 1952. The U.S. did little better with the accountability of the My Lai massacre. I believe in forgiveness but also in accountability.

I plan to go to the Zea Marina near Athens tomorrow morning, I will take my chances that the running back stay will arrive by Monday and this way I can attend a 7 p.m. English mass in Athens. But it will be a challenge to get out of here. This time the British are on my shit list. Yesterday morning I watched in horror how a Brit, in leaving, pulled up my anchor chain with his anchor dragging it across the harbor instead of away from it. When I and others expressed our displeasure they just shrugged their shoulders and motored away… I had no other choice but to try and reset my anchor. Hans, my neighbor on “Water Music” helped me but we could not get the anchor up it is now caught under my Spanish starboard neighbor’s chain. Domingo is not leaving till mid week but he will assist me tomorrow to try and get our two lines disentangled. He anchored after I did last Wednesday and as I mentioned the boats were packed too close together.

 

 

Thursday May 24th Aegina

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

I hopped on a local bus this morning to go up to the temple of Aphaia. Very impressive site with a fabulous view towards Athens. But the weather was not ideal. It was cool and rained of and on. The landscape is different from any place I have ever visited. Rough volcanic soil; The rain had brought out the wonderful smells of wild herbs, oregano, thyme and the pine trees. This island is known for Pistachioes and groves of the trees dominate the cultivated landscape. The next bus back was at 13.15 hours and that meant a two hour wait. I managed to hitch a ride with a bus load of senior student Stockholmers on a cultural vacation. A professor of ancient art history was their guide.

I still have not heard if my package from Florida has arrived. North continental Europe has finally gone from fall to summer weather and the reverse has happened here in the last week. From sleeveless shirts to wool sweaters. But at least I’m making progress with the father Huysmans translation. I should have a much better night, there is space between me and my neighbors. Hans and Minie with “Water Music”, who I met in Poros, are my neighbors since this afternoon.

Wednesday May 23rd Aegina

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

It is Thursday morning in the meantime. I had a rough night sleeping because by about 6 p.m. the whole harbor was packed like a can of sardines. I became squeezed between a 41 foot from cadiz and a Swedish 44 footer. The surge in the harbor made for a lot of rocking and squeezing between our fenders. The surge has now calmed down and a couple boats are now leaving. I plan go up to the the ancient temple of Aphaia (5/600 B.C.). It is known as one of the best preserved Greek Temples. I  am still waiting to hear from Zea Marina if my new running back stay has arrived there.

Just when I was casting off Rohan, the Australian and Frauke from Rohstock came to say good bye. Frauke does translations from English into German and she is going to read my English manuscript of “The Mastmakers’ Daughters”. I hope this can be accomplished because I feel that this will be appreciated by German readers since it plays at both sides of the Dutch-German border.

It was an outstanding sail from Poros, for the first half hour, with full main and light 150% head sail over a flat sea with about 10 knots of wind. Ideal. But then the wind came up fast and I ended up motor sailing the rest of the short trip to this island with two reefs in the main hard into the wind. I find little here of photographic interest, compared to Hydra and even Poros. But I was intrigued by the bright reflection through the doors of the one church here. Etched brass with the Archangel Michael and the Virgin Mary. I assume that the name of the church is “Annunciation”.

There was a steady stream of tourists passing by and stopping to ask questions, usually it starts with: “Did you sail this boat from the US?” Most come for the day from Athens which is a 20 minute fast ferry ride away. There was a large group of men and women, most in their early thirties, from Amway Latin America with a few Gringos. They were here on a conference. There was also a young man and lady from the Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va. here on another conference. Chisto a Cypriot-American, Elma a Bosnian-American. We are all doing our part to get Greece back on its feet… But the last Americans I met on Wednesday are outdoing all of us to remove the Greek debt. The Nelsons from Tacoma stopped by and were intrigued by the Gig Harbor hailing port on my transom. They then invited me aboard the “Iraklis L”  http://www.valefyachts.com/yachts/iraklisl/ A gorgeous 124 foot twin masted (Douglas Fir spars) Iroko planked, Mahogany interior. Daily rate 750 Euro ($1,000), where they and 5 more couples were the guest of a Seattle friend. Nelson had attended Stadium High School where I happen to have three of my grandchildren attend, as we write. A lot of places, events and names passed our revue.

And of course I had to tell them the story of Melina, the young lady who found her father on my blog after a 41 year search. Because it also plays in Tacoma. Her husband works for Frank Russel company one of the largest employers (till they moved to Seattle, in Tacoma and her father ran the bar at the Spar tavern in the seventies, in Tacoma. Melina lived in Tacoma for a few years, now in London, after I had left in 2005. By the way, for those who have been following this amazing story. Melina and her husband and sons met her father in Istanbul, last week and she now knows that she is his oldest child, with three half sisters in Nicosia, two half brothers in London and one in Swishtov, Bulgaria. Plus the two step brothers she has after her mom’s remarriage.

 

 

 

Tuesday May 22nd. Still In Poros

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

After nearly a week of clouds and overcast and relatively cool weather summer has returned.

I took the ferry across to the mainland, the Pelopponisian peninsula, to Galata. I checked to see if this is were the Galatian Christians lived. But that apparently was in Anatolia, Turkey. Not much to see or do in Galata. I have been finishing my trim varnish and enjoying the translating of father Huysmans imprisonment in China memoirs.

I met Timo and Karin and have enjoyed their company on different occasions. He is a Finish Canadian. He built this ice breaker like steel boat him self in Campbell River, B.C. and sailed though the South Pacific, Indonesia where he met Karin on Bali. He is an industrial electrician and worked as a contractor for the former Timber West saw mill in Campbell River. They arrived here via the Red Sea.

Tonight the NW wind is supposed to get a little stronger and I may be in for some action. This afternoon some clown managed to drive over my anchor line and then my neighbor on starboard and then the one to port. A short skinny legged Frenchman, who must have bought his driver license at the “Carrefour”. He had absolutely no control over his(?) boat, wildly spinning his wheel, and at uncontrollable speed. I and the skipper of the boat next to me told him that there was no way that he would fit in the spot next to me and that there were lots of places elsewhere. But he just did not want to back off. I first wanted to just get out from being next to him. But since he is on my down wind side he will start drifting into the boat on the other side. His anchor is not set properly. A total jerk and I feel sorry for the about 6 people he has aboard who probably no even less and are at his mercy. Then he had the Gall(ic) to tell me that I was taking up three mooring spots! This is the very first French boater I have ever had a problem with. I will check my anchor line in the morning, if there is any damage to it I will make the little jerk pay for it.

 

 

 

 

Sunday May 20th Poros

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

I moved from the anchorage to the quay, Med-moored, with an anchor from the bow and a dock line from the starboard and port side stern to the quay. Now it is just keeping my fingers crossed that I do not get my anchor pulled by my neighbors or a vessel crossing my anchor line too close to shore. I saw a few Greek flagged sailboats do just that, earlier today. They are miostly bare boat charterers who have very little sailing experience. I prefer being anchored out but I had to either blow up the rubber duck or come to the quay.

Two hours ago I met Hans and Minnie from Hoorn, Holland on s/v “Water Music”.  Very nice couple  in their early sixties. We had a beer together. They know Cees Jongens, a mutual sailor friend from Hoorn.

I was supposed to meet this evening with Rohan and Frouke. They stopped by my boat on anchorage Friday evening. He is from Melbourne and Froukje is from Rohstock, Germany. They sailed here and liked it so well that they made their home here. But by the time I got back from chatting with the Hoorners they must have given up on me. Yesterday they brought me a bag full of oranges from their garden.

I have been working again on the Huysmans story. Most of it is written in the Passé indéfini. Thank God I still remember my conjugations. I bet many a younger French man/woman does not know what “on me fit passer”, “qui eurent lieu”, etc. means. And what I have discovered is that translating from French into English is actually easier than from Dutch. French, I find , is much closer to English. A lot of words are nearly identical and the sentence structure is closer to each other. Maybe I have a new carreer ahead of me….

Today Chen Guangcheng arrived in the United States. I am excited! I truly believe that this is one of the most promising events in this centenial. I pray that the world will listen to his message. That the more than 60 years of Communist oppression of the Chinese people will end and that freedom of expression, government and religion will become a reality.  Then it is just a matter of time that Vietnam and Laos will follow suit.

I expect to pull up stakes tomorrow or Tuesday and stop at Aigina and then head for the island near Athens where I shall collect my running back stay replacement.

I had an outstanding dinner. Fresh squid stir fry. There is hardly a restauarant that can cook this as well as I can. I sautee the squid for about 3 to 5 minutes in my wok in garlic and olive oil. Remove it and then add it to the stir fried vegetables in the last 5 minutes of their cycle.

 

 

May 18 Friday afternoon. Anchored at Poros

Friday, May 18th, 2012

Today is the 32nd anniversary of the St.Helens volcano eruption. And that means that you and I missed wishing “Fleetwood” her 32nd birthday, yesterday. Those two dates are etched in my memory.

 

By the time I finish my circumnavigation (Around the world before 80 years) I will have owned this boat for half of my entire life. That is three times longer than my longest marriage lasted. My twin brother will be celebrating his 50th wedding anniversary on June 22nd this year. I  figure that means that I take better care of my boat than my wives. That’s what I’ll be doing in the anchorage. I started hand sanding the teak deck trim yesterday and will continue this here and give at least three coats of Cetol. I am so glad I managed to get out of that hobby horsing moorage on Hydra. Fortunately it was relatively calm all night but then the fun started again this morning. It was less than 20 miles to get here but  crawled along against a force 6 NW wind and at times the waves knocked the speed down to zero and I had a heck of a time to get my steerage back a few times. Thank God for the new engine and a more powerful fixed prop. Once I got into the lee of the hills on Poros it became a normal ride again. Since the storm started yesterday afternoon it has been dark, cold and wet. Like a summer day in the N.W. On that subject, there was a group of 106 US tourist visiting the island, a dozen or more from the Seattle area, Edmonds, Manchester, etc. When I left the dock a group of about 20 of them waved me out. Nice of them. The usual first question is: “Did you ship the boat from Washington state to Europe?”

Because I am slow balling it to the Zea Marina near Athens to collect my running back stay replacement, I have some time and started a project I have been wanting to do for many years. I am translating from French into English the printed memoirs of Father P. Jacques Huysmans, C.M., who describes his three years in Communist Chinese prison. I met him in 1961 in Saigon when I was in military service and he and I were Dutch citizens. He had left Holland at the beginning of the 1st world war on his way to China as a Vincentian/Lazarist missionary. His ship was torpedoed off Singapore. In 1961 the padre was 73. He died in Saigon in 1971. I went to visit his grave in Dalat in 2006. He and a number of his fellow priests and lay Christians were arrested on trumped up charges, very similar as to what is still happening in Communist China today. At the Geneva Vietnam Peace Conference of 1954 the French Mendès France and the Dutch minister Luns brought the case of father Huysmans up with Tsou En-Lai, which ultimately returned him to freedom. He had suffered much. But after a few years he was sent to Vietnam.

My timing is appropriate because we may be witnessing history being written in China in these last weeks and the coming months of some major changes taking place that will, I hope and predict, finally bring some civil and religious liberties back to the people of China. The courageous act of a blind man, Chen Guangcheng, the persecuted civil and religious rights advocate and the assistance of some brave Americans like our China ambassador (my former Washington State governor) Gary Locke and Hillary Clinton and Bob Fu of the China Aid society. http://www.chinaaid.org/ I urge everyone to follow this development and to assist the Chinese to cast off their yoke of the totalitarian communist rulers, just like the East Europeans did. You need to be sure that your elected officials stand up and are also informed and courageous.

Now I have another, less emotional, promotion to make. Last summer when I was in Zimnicea Romania working on “Fleetwood” on the Danube, I met Jiel van Aartrijk a Dutchman riding his bicycle from Holland to the Black Sea. Once in a while I meet some one with whom I sense a bond in the first 5 minutes. I did with Jiel. He has been a machinist merchant marine and teaches engineering now to high school level students. Last March when I was in Holland I missed meeting up with Jiel because he was reconnoitering on his bicycle this summer’s project for a trip to St. Petersburg.

I copy his mail:Subject: hanzetocht 2012
Date: Thu, 17 May 2012 19:22:10 +0200

Beste VriendenNaast deze mail ontvangen jullie ook
een kopie van een krantenartikel, dat vorige week in een lokale krant is
verschenen.Het is zover, maandag 21 mei gaat mijn fietsreis van
Amsterdam naar Sint Petersburg van start, een tocht van ongeveer 4000 km,
waarbij ik de Hanzesteden in Nederland, Duitsland en de overige Oostzeelanden ga
bezoeken.Jullie zullen waarschijnlijk zeggen, die is gek, maar ik zal
jullie vertellen waarom ik dit ga doen:A: natuurlijk het avontuur van
de lokkende verte en het onbekende.B: de drive nog een keer een
monsterfietstocht te maken na mijn zeer geslaagde tocht langs de Donau van
2011.C: de wil aan mijn mede longpatënten te laten zien dat je ook op
70 -jarige leeftijd met voldoende drive nog tot overwachte
prestaties
kunt komen, die je gevoel voor eigenwaarde enorm doen toenemen.Ik heb
besloten te proberen mijn tocht te benutten om via sponsoring een bedrag voor
het Longfonds bijeen te fietsen. Daarvoor heb ik jullie aller hulp nodig. Dat
kan met kleine en grotere bedragen. Elk bedrag is dan ook van harte
welkom.
Ik zelf vind bijvoorbeeld het idee voor elke gefietste kilometer door
u te worden beloond zeer inspirened. Dat zou kunnen variëren van enkele tienden
van een cent tot bij voorbeeld 1 cent per kilometer. Uiteraard is ook een bedag
ineens van harte welkom.Voor de sponsoring is een speciaal banknummer
geopend bij de Raboban Altena:

Dat nummer is 1300.49.603 te name
van Jiel van aartrijk. 
Bij overmaking s.v.p vermelden:
Hanzetocht2012/Longfonds

Mochten jullie mij
tijdens mijn reis willen volgen, dan kan dat via de
site: Hanzetocht2012.Waarbenjij.nu Laat je een berichtje voor
mij achter op die site dan zal ik trachten dat je beantwoorden. Zijn het er erg
veel dan zal niet altijd lukken, omdat ik toch echt elke dag een flink stuk te
fietsen heb. Het is werkelijk heerlijk tijdens je reis blijken van
belangstelling en sympathie te ontvangen.

Ik hoop van harte dat jullie
mij voor dit goede doel gul willen steunen en hoop t.z.t. een mooi bedrag aan
het Longfonds ter hand te kunnen stellen.

Vetrekken is altijd moeilijk
omdat velen die je lieft hebt achterblijven. Het geeft wel een heerlijk gevoel
mijn reis te gaan maken met jullie sympathie en steun. Ik ga er voor en hoop
over 6 tot 8 weken weer gezond terug te zijn.

Tot ziens allemaal Jiel van Aartrijk
Dit is de link naar het krantenartikel: 12kr19p02