May 9th. On the train from Bath to London

Written by Jack van Ommen on May 9th, 2016

The luxury of wi-fi on the train. I forgot my camera in Amsterdam. My hosts, Sonia and Scott, took a few pictures of my visit with them and at the OOC (Ocean Cruising Club) rally on the Beaulieu river, near Southampton. I shall post them when I receive them. We had a lot to catch up on since I last saw them on my escape into through West Passage out of Fiji in August 2005. I received my OCC  burgee and I am very pleased now that I joined this group of salty dawgs. Friday morning the Dutch commodore, Peter Paternotte, of the OCC in The Netherlands came to visit me in Amsterdam and then dropped at the airport for my flight to Gatwick airport. It was a glorious warm sunny Spring day riding on the train from Gatwick to Fareham near Southampton. The yellow fields of Rape Seed in full bloom, new born lambs and quaint villages. I last enjoyed this part of England in the late sixties.

Saturday morning I took a train to Bath where my niece Anna van Ommen and her husband Andy and their nearly six year old twins live. I had a delightful visit in a beautiful part of England. I was able to make a few pictures with their Nikon D-90. Bath is known for it Roman baths and the Abbey church. Anna was born in England in 1971 when, her father, my twin brother was working in London; she grew up in Germany and after her studies met her English husband here. Both Andy and Anna work at home. On Sunday we all went for a long walk along the Kennet and Avon Canal, which runs from Reading on the Thames to the Bristol Channel.

View from my guestroom towards Browne's Folly.

View from my guestroom towards Browne’s Folly.

Rape Seed

Rape Seed







Narrow Boats near Bradford on Avon

Narrow Boats near Bradford on Avon

caption of left upper corner of L.R.: Anna, Lucas on bike, Anna on Andy's shoulders

caption of left upper corner of previous picture,  L.R.: Anna, Lucas on bike, Anna on Andy’s shoulders







In the meantime I have arrived in London, after visiting the very impressive Bath Abbey. The Vicar gave me a short private tour. He showed me where he had shook hands with Queen Elizabeth II in 1973 when she came for the millennium commemoration of the crowning in 973 here in this abbey of King Edgar the very first king of all of England. I was greeted at the station by Melina who I met finally after the part this blog played in her finding her father after a 41 year search. See:  and Melina was born in the S.F. Bay area and lived in Tacoma before moving to London. She is born in February 1971, my niece Anna in July ’71 and my oldest son John in September ’71. So, she fits right into the family and I have proposed an informal adoption into the van Ommen family. We’ll have to plan a family reunion now.


2 Comments so far ↓

  1. ann unger says:

    Hi Jack, I have been trying to find De Schinkel on a map, but so far no success.

    I like the Soloman with all the maps and photos, now I don’t have to look all the places up on the internet

    Have a safe trip back to Gig Harbor,

    Love, Ann

  2. Hi Ann, “De Schinkel” is aan het “Nieuwe Meer” in het Amsterdamse Bos (Bosplan) De sluis tussen het meer en de stadsgrachten heet de Schinkelsluis.