Saturday April 14 Back in Chios

Written by Jack van Ommen on April 14th, 2012
The rain is coming down in buckets while having lunch in my favorite hang out facing the Chios harbor. It is the Greek Orthodox Easter weekend. Practically all the tourists are Greek, visiting their ancestral home for the Easter celebrations. The ferry from Athens arrived at midnight and I found a 25 Euro decent hotel. Because there is little I can do in the rain on the boat and I might as well take part in another Easter experience I have decided to spend Saturday and Sunday night as well at the hotel. I made my grocery purchases this morning and visited the paint/hardware store, because it is a long way from the yard to town. The ferry ride was something I hope I’ll never have to repeat. On the way to Athens, last November, on the same ferry, I had a reserved lounge chair. This time I was a deck passenger. And this is how the chain smokers travel. I sat wedged on a life vest trunk between three chain smokers, for 6 hours…. Smoking in Greece is almost as bad as Romania and Bulgaria. Depressing.
Their butts clogged up the floor drains and the rain water was sloshing around the (covered) deck.  Thank God for I-phones this cuts at least into the boredom of the unemployed. I have a suggestion for the Greeks: offer the bored children an I-phone in exchange for amnesty and their spray paint cans. Along the entire 10 odd kms from Athens to Piraeus every accessible square foot of vertical surface is covered with graffiti.
The forcast is for occasional showers most of the coming week. Fortunately most of my maintenance will be below the water line.
This morning I received an offer from Holland to publish “De Mastmakersdochters”, without expense to me. I hope to have more details and cost for the potential purchase cost of the book. I still expect to also publish electronically. But, at least, this is an important development and would give those “traditional” readers access as well and this confirms that the effort is publishable. 
You may have heard about today’s news of a German vessel that was intercepted on it’s way from Djibouti to Tartous, Syria with a cargo of embargoed weapons. This re-opens a wound of my past life as a timber trader. In 1976 I chartered a Danish vessel the “Pep Orient” with a load of sawn timber from Oregon to Tartous. The shipping company in Montreal fictisously declared “lay days” about 4 days before arrival at destination costing me a lot of money.  How did the French, who govern Djibouti, let this happen on their watch???
Be sure to try and read a copy of the upcoming July/August “Wooden Boat Magazine”. They are publishing an article I wrote, and much improved with their editing and artwork, about Botters and the Nieuwboer yard in Spakenburg. It also has a section about the maritime museums and traditional sailing events that you must read. A way to find out how to spend a week for young an old around the former Zuiderzee and fishing and maritime lore.  
Last week I found a comment on my blog from a young lady who, in all likelyhood, has found a way to reunite with her father she has been searching for for the last 41 years. I am excited to be her link and I am hoping and praying that it all will work out for her and these events make it all worth the effort of making friends and writing the blog. I’ll let you know.
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1 Comments so far ↓

  1. Glad to see you like Chios and visit often, you are right about Greek smoking like chimnies and not respecting anyone around … maybe the crisis will force them to cut down …