August, 2018 browsing by month


Saturday, August 18. Meet my Cape Charles friends.

Friday, August 17th, 2018

But first a report on my North West visit from July 26th through August 8th. I travelled on  a buddy pass from my second wife, Laura. I had listed for the direct flight from Baltimore to Seattle-Tacoma. But it looked doubtful and I switched to an earlier departure to Portland with a connection to Seattle. We sat on the runway waiting for the sudden thunderstorm to subside. After two hours, by regulation, we had to return to the Baltimore terminal. Waited some more in the terminal then arrived after midnight in Portland, missing the last flight to Seattle. Slept, or tried, in the Portland airport with another part of the inbound flight who also missed their connections. Boarded at 5 a.m. for Seattle. Not a good experience. The return flight had a one hour delay at the gate because of some passengers unauthorized carry-on. One of the reasons for the trip was to attend the 80th birthday party for my longest continuous American friendship with Sid Nesbit. With the exception of my offshore sailings and their Maui period, I have hardly missed any of his birthdays since 1972. We met that year on a PNSA ski charter flight from Seattle to Zurich. Last November when I visited Sid, we drank the 1971 bottle of wine that I gave Sid for his 60th birthday, see: It was another great party on their beach on the Lummi reservation near Bellingham.    

Sid’s eighty candles

  On Sunday I visited friends in Vancouver B.C. and on Monday I met with Dennis Minor in Bellingham again. He has been working on working up a documentary about my life’s experiences, since 2015.  On Saturday, August 4th, I took the Amtrak train from Tacoma to Portland to see my youngest (1980) son Seth. His mother, Laura, boarded the train in Centralia, halfway to Portland.  The occasion was for his birthday, a week later. But that always falls in the Defcon conference period, when he meets with his hacker buddies in Las Vegas. The Friday before Lisa showed me around in her current work environment at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. Very impressive the extend and impact of this organisation. Lisa started a few years ago to head the travel desk and since has been given three more department responsibilities. Seems like my two West Coast daughters are in some sort of a contest in their career successes. They like their work and I am very proud of their accomplishments. From Sunday the 5th I spent three days in Gig Harbor to catch up with friends in my home port. The one sad note from the trip is that I lost my Nikon D-3200 DSLR camera, which I bought new in November last year. There is an outside chance that it might still turn up. So, I am back to using my small short range wide angle lens Go Pro (immitation) video camera. 

Cape Charles: I have started the sanding of the boat interior. The hardest part, sanding the cabin ceiling is done. I have to shovel my belongings around from cabin to forepeak and back, to avoid getting the dust to penetrate. It is like an indian sweat lodge inside with temperatures in the nineties. I removed a bucket full of fasteners from the coach roof and windows. 

Last Sunday I had my third SoloMan presentation at the Lemon Tree Gallery, a good crowd and encouraging sales of my two books and the slideshow DVD to accompany the SoloMan book.

The slogan of the Lemon Tree Gallery is “Small Town Big Art”. That is a very accurate description of Cape Charles. And besides being an exceptional good art gallery, with a number of permanent local artist exhibits, it is also a center for meeting friends and cultural activities, this evening is the monthly “open mic” where anyone can display their musical and literary/poetic talents. Check their web site and Facebook for some of the other events. Cape Charles was a busy maritime and agricultural center on the lower Virginia Eastern shore and until the Chesapeake Bay bridge-tunnel was inaugurated in the sixties it was the terminal for the railroad ferry to the Hampton Roads mainland. From then on the town lost its importance and employment. Now the town has been discovered by a particular background of retirees and wireless commuters, artists and craftsmen and -women. The retirees come mostly from urban areas in Virginia and the Northern Atlantic Coast.  But they are not the typical retirees you find in places like Florida and Arizona. My first plan was to try and get the boat floating and get “Fleetwood” back to the mainland to finish the repairs. But even once the summer tourists were gone, I discovered that there was lot going on here. And the circle of friends keeps growing. It started with Jeanette and Ralph I met coming out of the Coach House Inn on the Bay Creek country club. Turned out they attend the same Saint Charles of Borromeo church, a small but very diverse congregation with a wonderful pastor. Jeanette introduced me to a number of her friends. Through my sailing adventure presentations and people I meet in the Cape Charles Yacht Center  the friendships keep growing. I will describe four of my new friends in particular with these “big talents”. 

Bruce (Brewster) Brinkley: I met Bruce and his wife Audrey on Easter Sunday. They were in the pew behind me with his oldest son and daughter in law. If it were not for my donated shipwreck Ibiza wardrobe (see details: ) we may have never become friends. Bruce has a fetish for outlandish garments. Now before I describe his qualifications for a sample of the “small town big art”, I am going to get a little personal; what has attracted me so much to Bruce and Audrey are their interactions as a couple. Audrey retired last year as a high school Spanish language teacher. Bruce worked for the state of Virginia. He has always been involved in music, as a rock band leader. Harp/Harmonica Jazz is his current instrument of choice. And it was his choice for the subject of one of the best summer reads I have ever enjoyed. “The Be-Bop-A-Luba Kid” Check it out and the reviews. It plays in cape Charles and Bruce showed me the houses where both of the main characters, supposedly, had lived. Besides this book he makes angel statues from old porch posts. You judge from the picture of one of his sample, I guess you could call it folk art and that he knows. He has an incredible collection of it displayed in their three story condominium just off the Chesapeake beach in Cape Charles. 


In this link you can watch and hear Bruce play his harmonica at last Wednesday’s gathering of a group of amateur musicians at Susan Kovac’s home. And in this You Tube.

Thelma Jarvis Peterson: Has turned her hobbies and passion into  a living and her fame is spreading beyond the Eastern Shores. She is a songwriter, musician and water color painter. And she has also undertaken the designs and commissioning of some impressive monuments.  All for the most part inspired by her love for the Virginia Eastern landscape and the Chesapeake and Atlantic seashores.  A lot more on her web site. 

On enlistment into Thelma’s Fan Club at her appearance at the Lemon Tree Gallery on July 22nd.




Tomorrow, Sunday the 19th, at 11.00 Eastern time, she will be speaking about her songwriting on the NPR program “Writers Block” at station WHRO on FM 89.5 for our Eastern Shore. You can watch the podcast at This program was recorded in the Barrier Islands Reef Center in Machipongo, a history museum which came about through Thelma’s energy and knowledge of the Barrier Islands. And if it had not been for the Barrier Islands, on June 23rd 2017, I would have never made this special friendship.

 I posted a You-tube video of her performance with two other songwriters on July the 22nd at the Lemon Tree Gallery. One of the songs she plays in this video is called “Sailing Blind”. One of my favorites. The Go-Pro video camera lends itself better to a larger space like the one taken at Susan’s home last Wednesday. 

Susan Kovacs: I met Susan at church. I was intrigued by this English accented lady doing the announcements to the Latin members in Spanish. Turns out she taught herself from CD’s on her way to and from work. One of the reasons to learn Spanish was because of her frequent visits to her older brother Neil Rock who lived on Ibiza. ( Neil passed away shortly after her visit to Ibiza in July. She will attend his celebration of life this September. Susan presented “SoloMan” to Maria de los Angeles Peña Milla, the woman who was a big help in getting me settled on Ibiza after my November 16, 2013 shipwreck. Susan’s “Big Art” is in acting. Their big hit was last year with “The Clam-Digger’s Daughter”. Bruce Brinkley and Thelma were also in the act. She makes beautiful beaded jewelry. And she has a great singing voice. Last Wednesday evening she sang for me “Leaving Liverpool” a ballad of the sailing vessel “David Crockett” setting sail from Liverpool in 1893 for California. Listen and watch in this link

Susan Kovacs



Giuseppe Dovis: Born in Italy and lived the best part of his life in Argentina. His specialty is terracotta sculptures on old red brick. He lives and works in a lovely spot on a saltwater slough on the Atlantic side of the Eastern Shore. We have a lot in common in languages and places we lived. It became an instant friendship. 

Giuseppe Dovis at the Lemon Tree Gallery