Sunday Oct 7. Amsterdam

Written by Jack van Ommen on October 7th, 2012

Yesterday I sent out my occasional “Where is Jack?” e-mail to a long list of friends and family. This is meant as an update to those who only occasionally visit this site. In case you wish to be added (or deleted) let me know.

I added up the miles and locks for the nearly 6 weeks voyage through the canals and rivers from the Mediterranean to Amsterdam: 1650 km or 1000 (1375 singlehanded) land miles, 251 locks 150 liters diesel and 275 Euroes in moorage fees. Belgium was the 49th country I visited on this circumnavigation, till now. After I had completed the long Rhine-Danube trip, last year I speculated that I am probably the first American solo voyager to do so. Most likely there is not another American masochist who tackled a total of 3,375 miles and 301 locks on European waters by himself.

Last Sunday I, by coincidence, met a French lady in a restaurant who had voyaged with another more famous American yachtsman, Irving Johnson, through the European waterways from France to Helgoland off the North German coast. That had to be in the sixties when the Johnsons sailed the “Yankee 3” which was built in Holland. Johnson (born 1905)’s wife got her love for the sea on “Wanderbird” the German pilot schooner of fame. When I had engine problems in August of 2005 coming into Papeete from Moorea it was Commodore Tompkins (1932) who pulled me to a moorage when he was just making his first landfall on a non stop voyage on his brand new “Flash Girl” he had built in the S.F. Bay area. Tompkins grew up on his family’s “Wanderbird”. And it was the inspiration for the Johnsons to purchase, in 1933, their first “Yankee” as a Dutch pilot schooner. The French lady’s husband is a Dutch cinematographer and film director who I hope to meet and hear more about their experiences.

I attended mass at the close by church “St. Augustinus”. It was the monthly children’s mass. I have not figured out where the boys were. Very nice service. One of the songs they sang was the Beatles song “What the World Needs Now”.

Ce Ce is returning to Atlanta on Wednesday. I have enjoyed her company very much and I think that she had a chance to see Europe from a rare perspective not available to most American tourists.

You must go see her amateur videos she took with her brand new I-Pad. I spliced a couple of them together at :  (for those who could not open this from yesterday’s “Where is Jack mail” I did correct the address) or go to U-tube at: or


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