January, 2016

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Tuesday January 26th, last day of Virginia visit.

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

Partir c’est mourir un peu, with some sadness for saying good bye, after my six week visit, to Jeannine and family and friends in the Norfolk, Va. area. The below photographs were taken from the AmTrak train on the ride from Newport News to Washington, D.C. The weekend snowfall and the sunny day made for a very scenic trip through a beautiful and historic part of the United States.

I changed my flight out of Reagan International airport in D.C. to a two hour earlier flight out of Baltimore. Just a $3.50 (senior) train ride from the D.C. Union Station, instead of the very complicated and confusing Metro procedure to Reagan or Dulles. You might keep this in mind for your next trip on Alaska Airlines to D.C. Just like the eastward flight I had a very entertaining seat neighbor.

I am staying with Lisa and Harry in Fife and later with Rose Marie and Donovan through March with regular visits to Gig Harbor.

Update on SoloMan: All the corrections are made to the Dutch version and I expect to have it published in Holland and on Create Space and Amazon-Kindle in the next 10 days. The English version still awaits the editing of two of the seven sections.


Bald Cypress

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Last Sunday I happened to listen to a program “on Being” on a Norfolk NPR station that I like to share with you. The subject was “Gratitude”, hosted  by Krista Tippett. You can listen to it: http://www.onbeing.org/program/david-steindl-rast-anatomy-of-gratitude/8361 . This was the first time I had ever heard of the program and then found that it is widely distributed. Gratitude is probably one of the most important aspects for my Being, together with Love and Forgiveness. Which I rediscovered after being brought down a few notches through my financial losses and in the nine year circumnavigation. It is incorporated in “SoloMan” just like mother wrote about her spiritual experience in the WW II concentration camps, as told in my book “The Mastmakers’ Daughters”.

January 18th. Two Kings in Atlanta

Monday, January 18th, 2016

On Sunday it was Christ the King Cathedral and today it is Martin Luther King‘s birthday weekend. I attended the 10.30 high mass at the Christ the King Cathedral. Christ is alive and well in Atlanta. This was one of thirteen masses celebrated in this church on the weekend. It was standing room only in the 700 seat church. The church serves about 5,500 families and is among the ten biggest R.C. parishes in the United States, it is the mother church of the one million member Atlanta diocese. One of the two deacons serving at the mass was Whitney Robichaux, a cousin of my long time friend Brenda. We had been in contact some time ago and this was my first meeting with him. He gave me a tour of Atlanta and I saw the Ebenezer Baptist church where Martin Luther King used to preach. Whitney treated me to chicken dumplings with collard greens and fried okra at the landmark Mary Mac’s Tea Room.

On Sunday evening I visited Ce Ce, who I met on St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands in January 2009. Ce Ce came along on “Fleetwood” for the last part of the trip through France into Holland in the fall of 2012. She invited a number of her friends Sunday evening and I enjoyed the hospitality of her and her friend John. I will be returning to Virginia in the early morning from the van Buul’s home. It is bitterly cold 20 F.

Deacon Whitney Robichaux and Rev. Monsignor Francis G. McNamee

Deacon Whitney Robichaux and Father Richard Morrow

Organ of Christ the King cathedral, Atlanta.

Organ of Christ the King cathedral, Atlanta.



Saturday January 16th Celebrating another New Year in Georgia

Saturday, January 16th, 2016

I left Wednesday morning on my one week road trip through North Carolina in to Georgia. The first night I stayed near Washington, N.C. with John and Maureen Lavake, who I had met in 2010 when they cruised into the marina I was staying in Monnickendam in Holland. I swung into nearby Bellhaven N.C. on the way, for a nostalgic visit to the River Forest Manor marina where I stayed the Martin Luther King day in 2008 and again, with Lynne, in November 2008. The below pictures are of the Tundra swans passing the winter here.

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Thursday I drove to Wilmington N.C. to see Norm an Betsy Riviere, friends since we both worked for Weyerhauser in the late sixties in Brussels. Then on to Waleska, Ga., about 50 miles to the north of Atlanta, in the Appalachian foothills, to see the van Buuls, friends I also made on the ICW trip on my way to Florida in 2008. They are members of the St. Elizabeth Orthodox church in nearby Canton, Ga. The parish members celebrated today the Julian calendar New Year, which is our Gregorian calendar January 14 th. (Christmas was January 7th). This was a real treat for me. First we had delicious hors d’oevres with caviar, smoke and pickled fish, wodka, dinner with pierogies, sausages, etc. Then we had a blind tasting test of five different sparkling wines, where I discovered that I am much better at drinking them than recognizing them.


Sunrise from the van Buul home

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St.Elizabeth Orthodox Church


Arie and Leo van Buul with their frisbee







Tomorrow I shall attend high mass at the cathedral of Christ the King in Atlanta and meet more friends. Be sure to check in again.





Monday January 4th. Virginia and a road trip.

Monday, January 4th, 2016

Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year. I am looking forward to another good year, with the launch of “SoloMan” and the preparations of another adventure, with my scheduled departure for South America in August. Arjen IJff, the designer www.ArjenIJff.nl , sent me the first proof of the book cover of the Dutch version:JVO-Omslag SoloMan 193x260fc

Keep an eye on the blog for the publication details. We are getting close.

I am still enjoying my visit with my Virginia family and friends. Yesterday I attended service at St. Theresa where I have made friends since I visited here in the last year since my June 2007 arrival from the West Coast via Cape of Good Hope. This is the group having breakfast at Nix after mass. This is the same restaurant I had my first American breakfast, after the first two years of the circumnavigation, upon my arrival in June 2007.

St.Theresa, Portsmouth,Va.

St.Theresa, Portsmouth,Va.

another breaking of the bread.

another breaking of the bread.

Last Saturday, Grandma Jeannine and Great Grandpa Jack took Madison and Lily Leon to the Portsmouth children Museum. A unique place where kids can play with science, art and history exhibits.

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I am making a one week road trip from here on the 13th to Wilmington N.C. then on to Atlanta to visit friends.