Monday July 27th.Good News Bad News.

Written by Jack van Ommen on July 27th, 2015

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The below is a quote from my blog of August 18th, last year :

I received the below pictures from Mike and Roxanne. The triplets showed up in the marina with their grandfather Mike and his friend Roxanne a few Tuesdays back. Later that afternoon I came upon them again and one of the three princesses had dropped her flip flop in the bay. Not her, but her sister stood there sobbing. I rushed down to the marina, grabbed the first boat hook from two sweet lesbian sailors and saved the flip flop which was just about to disappear under the dock in the current.



Today the girls stopped by the boat once more with their grandfather and Roxanne. It is their annual summer visit from their home in California to the North West.


Gracie, Izzie and Emma.


Aug 14 addition: I just received a picture their grandfather took of the 4 of us and I now have the names straight:

L.R.: Gracie, Izzie and Emma.

L.R.: Emma, Izzie and Gracie.

Now I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that there will be another picture of these triplet dolls from their next year’s visit. Great suspense what kind of hair style they have in mind for the next picture. The bad news is that the locals here in Gig Harbor have to put up with me for another year. I have just paid my annual subscription to the local NPR radio stations. The corrections on the Dutch version and the translation of the English version of “Soloman” have been taking much more of my time than I imagined. I made the decision last week to postpone the departure for South America until the end of next year summer.

Today I installed one of the major equipment  items I need for the off shore sailing trip. The Solar Panel. It is a 140 Watt Kyocera panel. I was able to keep the cost to just under $1,000 for the 1-1/2″diam. s/s tube frame and the panel. If any one wants more details/pictures on this, let me know. I was very pleased by the way I managed to tie the single frame in with the two stern pulpits. I plan to add a third tube clamp, in the center.






Gig Harbor is the semi-official home of the Thunderbird. A 27 foot hard chine plywood go-fast racer cruiser. Designed in the fifties by Ben Seaborn, a Seattle naval architect as the winner of a design contest initiated by the Douglas Fir Plywood Association. The plans were given away by the DFPA to promote their Marine grade Douglas Fir Plywood. Hundreds were home built all over the US and Canada and abroad. Ed Hoppen of Eddon Boatshop, here in Gig Harbor, built a number of the first Thunderbirds. The old boat yard and the railway has been preserved as a historical site and is also he home of the N.W. Thunderbird association Back in 1961 I sold a set of Thunderbird sails for Molenaar in Friesland to Ed Hoppen. I still have the letter confirming this from Ed Hoppen. The letter took a while to get to me because I had in the meantime been shipped out from Ft. Lewis here in Tacoma to Vietnam.

Last weekend the T-Bird club held informal races in the Harbor on Saturday and down Colvos Passage on Sunday. Twelve boats participated on Saturday, Six on Sunday. The windward mark was just off the pier where “Fleetwood” is parked and while I was working on my Solar Panel I took about one hundred good shots of the racers. You can see all of them and copy whatever you wish at   I made a token contribution to the T-Bird cause. Back in the mid seventies Harold Schadt, the international sales manager for the Douglas Fir Plywood Association, gave me the last set of Thunderbird blue prints they had on file. I found it among the few boxes of personal things I have stored in Lisa’s garage.

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