July, 2022

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July 24th. Sailing Summer turned into Boat restoration project.

Sunday, July 24th, 2022

It was just today that I received the green light from the Yacht Club’s officer to start with the extensive repairs. I still have not heard from the seller and it is most likely that it might get nasty. I have plenty of evidence for a settlement. In my forelast blog I reported finding more serious problems, just before leaving for France for my great-grandson’s 1st birthday. I have not worked on the boat since then. I started taking moisture reading upon my return from France on the 12th. I found several more spots on the port side and under the keel. This means dropping the heavy bolted on keel. You might remember that the seller dropped the keel and fixed some loose spots before I accepted the purchase. It is hard to say if they are blind or dishonest. Right now, it looks a combination of both. In the original advertisement it is stated that the boat is epoxied, but I have not found any on the hull where I sanded the wet spots. There are no other old coats of any kind of finish under the one or possibly two coats of antifouling and a coat of white primer over the hull which was apparently sanded down to the bare plywood.

When this boat was built in 1980, epoxy was just filling the air with joy for the wooden boat enthusiasts. On My first NAJA, the laminated parts were glued with resorcinol. An excellent glue that requires lots of clamp pressure and is too dark for a clear finish, in contrast to epoxy. My first boat was glued and coated entirely in epoxy. I had assumed that this boat was also expoxy-coated by the text of the advertisement. And that would have avoided this disaster.

I had one acquaintance of one of the members here stop by to inspect the damage. He believes that it is an impossible task. He has had boats like this one and done a lot of repairs on wooden boats. But I also have had his opinion contradicted. So, I spent ₤ 250 for an expert to give me advice. He works in what used to be the facility that built thousands of these and different size Waarschip kits. And specializes in restorations of them. He came here on Wednesday.

I was releived that it can be properly fixed, I have become fond of this boat. I do not mind the extra work but I was not going to attempt an impossible task. It is also good to have an expert assessment for an eventual judgement.

Roelof Niezen, the owner of “Waarschip” showed me the proper way how I can repair the damage. They have done this type of repair on many similar boats. This usually takes his yard two months and would cost € 10,000 (The Euro is now close to parr with the US$).  It will probably take me nearly double that time, and a quarter of the expense, I am anxious to get going on it.

The keel needs to be dropped and the plywood strake on the bottom and the next above the first chine on both sides removed from the cross stringer under the engine unto the one just forward of the keel, roughly 14 feet. A tedious job removing the iron screws. (In 1980 they were still using iron instead of 316 grade stainless steel, which I will use on the replacement) and scarfing both ends and a scarf joint on the three panels since they are longer than an 8-foot sheet of plywood. Roelof explained to me how they in their yard use a sharpened paint scraper to scarf plywood, using the pattern of the individual glue joints to guide the 10:1 slope.

Spencer’s firstGreat-Grandson Spencer’s 1st Birthday: This turned out to be a welcome distraction from the disappointment with the boat problems. I came back a week ago today, but it still lingers as having been set in a fairy tale. Parts of it feel like frolicking with the von Trapp as in the The Sound of Music.

The Scottish grandparents, Doug and Margaret, came to pick me up at the boat here, on the 4th, with her brother-in-law, Mike, who lives in Delft with Margaret’s sister. He is also an avid sailor and keeps a Catamaran in New Bern, N.C. which is their more permanent residence. So, I had good company in the long line at the Schiphol airport and on the flight to Geneva and the ride to their chalet in the foothills of the Mont Blanc, in France.

Having spent most of my working life in the wood business, the chalet construction put me on a busman’s holiday. This large traditional farmhouse was built in the late 18th century. Huge Spruce timbers with precise joints, no nails or screws just wood pegs.

Euan, my Grandson in Law, has two sisters who each also have sons slightly older than Spencer, who also came over from Scotland. Lisa, my oldest daughter, and her birth-mother Donna arrived earlier on the fourth from Los Angeles. The Australian mother-in-law of Euan’s sister, Ann and her son Jack also came to the celebration. This made the total for this group picture of 12 adults and three baby boys.

Scots, Yanks and Ozzies and a displaced Dutchman

Mont Blanc

And that did not even make the chalet a full house…. We hiked up and down to the nearby village of Combloux, visited Mégève. Played table tennis. Some went mountain biking, had barbecues and all the cheeses and wines of the region. The cousins went to the swimming pool and playgrounds. The hills were hayed in the first good dry spell. And the sound of the cowbells was all around us.






I made this dumb video of attempting to impersonate Christopher Walken. I gotta have more Cowbell!!!! 

Corrine, my oldest granddaughter, Spencer’s mom, brought us back to the hotel she arranged near the Geneva airport for Donna, Lisa and I on Sunday the 10th. We all three had early Monday departures.

We rode into the city and had dinner near the lake. I managed to attend a 6.30 pm English service at the basilica of Notre Dame de Geneve.

N.D. de Geneve

Just like I experienced in Athens and Istanbul a good part of the parishioners are Filipino domestic servants. And here also the entire choir voices were Filipinas, waving their customary folding fans. I walked down to Combloux earlier on Sunday for their posted 9.30 am service, but, and I should have known better from my 2012/2013 trips through France, the scarce priests rotate between the neighboring villages. It was not my morning.

And Monday, July 11, definitely was not “My Day”.

We rose at 4.30 am. Lisa and Donna’s flight was around 7, mine at 9.20 am. So, I had plenty of time to get to the gate. When I showed up for the Easy Jet flight, the Pilot was making an announcement in English, but the PA system was barely audible. But between lip reading and bits of it we were told that there was a mechanical delay of anywhere from one to four hours. So, I looked around and saw one desk nearby against the wall, 50 feet from the gate where I could charge my tablet and phone and 4 hours is a long time. I went for it. I had my back to the waiting area but the gate was to my right. I heard some announcements but could not make out a single word of it. A little later, I turned around and saw that the waiting area was nearly empty and there was no one at the gate and the plane was gone. The pilot had mumbled something about a KLM flight to Amsterdam. I checked on line and it showed that my flight was on time. But where was the plane???

I tried finding another gate with Easy Jet personnel, but all is handled by the Swiss Air, on contract. They could not help me. I finally got trough to an Irish speaking Easy Jet employee and she was of no help. So. I had to leave the security area to go to the Swiss Air travel desk. With the prospect of going through the slow security check once again. Turned out, as I had expected, there were no seats anywhere for the foreseeable future. So, I hopped on a Swiss TGV train to Paris. There were no connections the same day from Paris to Amsterdam, just one at 06.13 am on Tuesday. The one-way ticket was as much as the round-trip air ticket I had paid for.

And nearly 150 % more than the original ticket I had booked for a three-day round trip but both flights were cancelled shortly before my departure. I had to rebook for a much longer period and then I changed my first leg to an earlier day to accommodate the trip from Geneva to the French destination, they jacked it up $80 and when I booked it the next morning it was another $50 more.

I have spent hours trying to communicate and file a claim with Easy Jet. They have the most contradictory incomplete web site I have ever dealt with and their chat robots are useless. A low budget airline trying to prove that you can robotize to a handful of employees.

Flying is for birds. I’d rather sail.

But there was one positive aspect of this flight from hell: I FB messaged Dona de Mallorca the wife of Richard Spindler, a long-time friend, retired owner/editor of the West Coast sailing magazine “Latitude-38”. They are on their boat in the Arsenal Marina in Paris. I spent the late afternoon and evening with them. Richard took me and a friend and part of his family for a boat trip on “Majestic Dalat” on a beautiful warm trip on the Seine. The nearly full moon came out before our return.

Richard and guest Marie Laura reflected from the foredeck onto the dodger window


Au claire de la Lune

I had a bunk on their boat and got up early to catch that train before the Metro started running at 6 am.

I was back in Amsterdam at 10.00 am. On he fast Thalys. I honestly do not see what the purpose is for trans Europe airplane service, except the much higher cost of fast rail. But its worth the agony spared.



Today, I joined a group of 5 men from the choir I used to sing with here in the St. Augustinus church. The 5 of us will rotate from a larger number until the fall. Last Sunday the full choir of “Cantemus Dominum” sang the liturgy and hymns at the 10.30 mass. Most of the liturgy like the Kyrie, Responsorial, Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei were from Bruckner’s Choral Messe the Offertory was the Ave Verum from Edward Elgar. There is a short video of it on my Face Book The Communion song was “Prayer for Ukraine” by M. Lysenko and the choir sang it in Ukrainian. Note the Sunflowers in the sacristy, the national flower of Ukraine.

Sunday July 17 ’22

Some general observations from a Displaced Dutch American in Holland: While waiting for a decision on my repair project. In all my travels and places I have lived, I find a common alikeness but also some differences. Other than my formative first nearly 20 years in the Netherlands, I have lived 55 years of my 85 years in the United States. And again, just like the 2009-2014 with “Fleetwood” in Europe, I still feel a strong bond with the people here and enjoy their deeper interest in each other and, even though less than before, stronger family ties and friendships than in the USA. More children here are capable to converse with adults due to more time spent with their parents and given responsibilities in the household.

Unfortunately, the news here coming out of the U.S., is even more restricted to biased liberal media than the Americans have access to and many seem to take the trespasses of Trump and the Republicans personal and froth at the mouth of pure disgust for the orange man when politics are discussed. I have learned to hide my political colors; I’ve got enough on my plate with my bow pulpit sermons and church pictures.

The inflation affects the Europeans even more because the drop in the currency make Dollar imported items, like fuel, even more expensive.

I find the food prices similar but the quality better, bread, vegetables even the Lay’s brand Potato chips taste better here.

Since the time to repair the boat will be a lot more than the 90 days allowed under the Schengen limit, I will try obtain a residential permit. Wish me luck. Lots of paperwork and cost more than €1,000. For one thing, I do not wish to overstay and sneak out under the cover of darkness. I need to exit through Customs with my stack of bills for the boat equipment, tools, repair expenses to recover the 28% VAT.


Friday July 22nd An emotional re-connection with Boukje, the Mastmaker’s daughter’s friend 110 years ago

Friday, July 22nd, 2022

One of the most moving memories our mother writes in “The Mastmakers’ Daughters” is about her short friendship with Boukje van Putten.

This week I connected with her family members when one of them, John de Vries, posted an old photograph of Boukje with her father in this car in front of the blacksmith shop, with her family members in the background. Note Boukje’s wooden shoes in front of the car. My guess is that she is about in 4th grade in this photograph. It is possible that this might be the same automobile my grandfather was involved with in this story. Our mother and Boukje were in the same elementary school grades. John de Vries posted this in a Facebook Group about People from “De Lemmer” in Friesland, with memories of the 20th century.

Chapter 13     Schoolmaster Funcke

My first day of school! Pa took me. I wore a brown velvet coat with a matching beret, lined with blue flannel. Moe had sewed it herself, of course. We stopped on our way to pick up my neighbor friend, Boukje, at the home and blacksmith shop of van Putten. Her dad gave my Pa a note to bring to school. I learned later that this was a so called “small pox notice”.

Van Putten was in my eyes, a genius. He had so many skills. He could have become a very rich man. He could play the organ and tune it as well. He was the only photographer in town. He did not have a studio, so he took the pictures in his back yard, on the lawn. He’d hang a screen on which some Pastoral scene was depicted as a backdrop. There was a table and chairs where the subjects sat and where they would lay their hands on the table and then van Putten would memorialize his subjects with the click of the shutter.

He also had the very first taxi service in town. Pa had to go with van Putten to buy his first automobile in Arnhem. He helped with the purchase negotiation and Pa put up the money. Van Putten was the first to have a radio in our town.







Boukje around 1911 with her dad in, what is possible the first taxi. (foto: from John de Vries, great-grandson of Cornelis Tjepke van Putten)

Boukje became one of my closest friends.  She had an older brother who would lend us his color crayons.Drawing with crayons was our passion. Boukje’s aunt, who lived with them, had a subscription to “De Gracieuse” a fashion magazine. The pictures fascinated us and we attempted to draw these figures from a magical world so far away from the Polderdijk.

Jan and Pa had been to Amsterdam but Kampen, Urk and Heeg were as far as I had ever ventured.

Boukje’s grandfather and another aunt shared the two rooms with the van Putten family behind his black smith shop. My friendship with Boukje, was also shared at times with another girl and lasted for a long time. Boukje developed diphtheria, but the family did not want a doctor because then a notice would be posted on their door: “Contagious disease….” and that would scare potential customers away. At that same time, we had scarlet fever and diphtheria in our clan. The doctor restricted us to a salt free diet because otherwise we could develop kidney problems. Boukje died, at age twenty-eight, of a kidney infection.

Hoofdstuk 13     Meester Funcke

De eerste schooldag! Bracht Pa me. Ik droeg een bruin fluwelen manteltje en bijpassende baret, gevoerd met blauw flanel. Had Moe natuurlijk zelf gemaakt. Het was dus al koud en dat kan heel goed, want we werden om de 9 maanden “verplaatst”, dus dat was ieder jaar in een andere maand. Onderweg gingen we bij de smederij van Van Putten aan om Boukje op te halen. Haar vader gaf een briefje mee aan mijn Pa, naar ik later begrepen heb, het pokkenbriefje. Die smederij had een onder- en bovendeur. Er- naast was nog een pand dat een winkel voor moest stellen, waar je alleen door de smederij kon binnenkomen. Er stonden tinnen koffiepotten en theelichtjes. Er ging heel weinig in om.

Later is de geblokkeerde deur vervangen door één brede deur en is van de winkel een garage gemaakt voor de Eerste Lemster Taxi! Van Putten kon alles, die man had schatrijk kunnen worden! Hij kon orgelspelen en ook orgelstemmen, hij was de enige fotograaf Hij had natuurlijk geen atelier, zodat de opnamen bij hem achter het huis op het grasveld gemaakt moesten worden. Er kwam dan een soort landkaart, waarop iets van bomen waren geschilderd, tegen een muur te hangen, er werd een tafeltje met een bloemstuk neergezet waarop het slachtoffer de hand kon leggen en de opname kon plaats vinden. Zo had hij dus ook de eerste taxi. Pa moest mee, naar Arnhem geloof ik, om te onderhandelen over de tweedehandse auto en misschien ook om geld voor te schieten. Later had van Putten ook de eerste radioactiviteiten. Grootvader, een tante en de familie van Putten, deelden de twee kamers achter de smederij.

Boukje werd mijn vriendin. Die vriendschap met Boukje, die we dan weleens deelden met een ander meisje, is lang aangebleven. Boukje kreeg een besmettelijke ziekte, maar ze wilden geen dokter, want dan kwam er een biljet aan het huis “Besmettelijke ziekte…” en dat kon klanten kosten!

Wij hebben thuis in dezelfde tijd ook Roodvonk en Difterie tegelijk onder ons dak gehad. We mochten van de dokter geen zout, anders konden we last van de nieren krijgen. Boukje is aan niervergiftiging gestorven, ze was 28 jaar. In mijn eerste poëziealbum, schreef Boukje, op 22 oktober 1912, toen ze 11 jaar was: Vriendin Rensje:

Rijke Zegen                                         Maar als smarte

Op Uw wegen                                    Soms Uw harte

Weinig ramp                      Naar Gods wijsheid

En weinig druk                                  Kwellen moet

Reiner vreugde                                  Drink den beker

Dan U heugde                                   En weeszeker

Zijn vriendin                                        Na het zure

Tot Uw geluk                                      Komt het zoet

Er was nog een oudere broer, van wie we vaak de kleurkrijtjes mochten gebruiken. Want kleuren was ons lust en leven. We kregen dan afleveringen van het modeblad ‘De Gracieuse’, waarop Boukje’s tante geabonneerd was.


When it leaks it pours Saturday July 2nd 2022

Saturday, July 2nd, 2022

The leak that I discovered just after getting to my moorage at de YC “de Schinkel” has been repaired and I was all lined up to be relaunched two days ago. It was, as usual, a much more challenging fix than I had anticipated. I still am dumbfounded as why the yard that had fixed this are of the bottom did not notice the two open bold holes; the bolts had for some strange reason been taken out off the inside backing block, if the exterior keel board of about 5/4 x 6″ had been properly fastened the water would not have entered. I removed the selftapping woodscrews and used M8 bolts fastened through the backing plates and a few screws. The yard had missed and placed some of the screws straight through the hull plywood instead of the interior backing and since there is a fair amount of slope in the stern the screws did not make a tight fit.

The first repair done




But on Tuesday I discovered another problem that was ready to turn into a major leak. I had already noted rot in oner spot and advised the seller, but it turned out that it had penetrated all around this area and when I sanded the anti fouling and primer in the area I could see the moisture and it ended up in a good size patch to be removed of about 10 x 10 inches.

The new problem


I was supposed to receive a moisture meter today but there is a hang-up and it will arrive by the time I have to leave for the airport to fly to Geneva on the 4th. I fear that there is more work in store and I may not get to sail this summer, yet.

I had planned for a few days off from my project but Easy Jet cancelled both flights and it is now grown into a week’s visit with the Scots and Lisa for Spencer Wheatly’s 1st birthday celebration.

Epoxy was a brand new wonder glue for the wooden boat world when I purchased my kit from England in 1979. The laminations of the ring frames, the backbone and the stem were all done in Resorcinol glue on my first boat, but we put it together with West System epoxy. The three kits that I bought in 1980 (to make it rich in the marine business…….) were all done in West System epoxy. This Waarschip kit was assembled by the yard itself also in 1980 and it is all done in Resorcinol and the coating of the interior looks like a good varnish. But that needs to be redone in Epoxy if I am going to sail to my plan until 2037. So what’s one summer sail lost, anyway? The people here are very helpful and I love being in my old stomping grounds, reaquanting with old friends and making new ones. There will be positive trade offs, that I would have missed, for sure.

It started by being able to accept an invitation from my nephew Dirk Jan, now that I was not in a hurry to get the boat ready to launch, last Tuesday. He took me away to the North Sea beach at Bloemendaal, where his son Daan runs a kite sailing and beach catamaran school/rentals. It was gorgeous day.