Feb 21, ’23 Eighteen years to roam just to make this world my own.

Written by Jack van Ommen on February 21st, 2023

Feb 15 2005 Hi-Way 101 Oregon


Headed for the Frisco Bay. On Highway 101, February 2005.


I’m “sittin” on the edge of the Chesapeake Bay visiting friends in Cape Charles on the Virginia Eastern Shore, watching the tides roll away. I left my oldest daughter Lisa’s home in the North West the last day of January and visited my youngest son Seth in Roseburg, Oregon, my youngest daughter Jeannine in Redlands, California and my oldest son John in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The winter storms brought green hills and snowcapped mountains back to California and revived good memories of my first years in America in the late fifties.

Green hills and Mt. Baldy upper right

Mt. Baldy








Before leaving the N.W., I made a trip up to Vancouver, B.C. and friends north of Seattle. One of the visits turned out to be a good bye to my 51 years longest continuous friendship with Sid Nesbit. Sid passed away last Sunday. We met on a ski charter flight to Zurich in February 1972. I was with my Canadian friend Paul Girard and Sid with his wife to be Leslie. Somehow, we managed to rearrange our seat assignments for Sid and Leslie to sit next to each other on the 11 hour flight and to ski together in Lech am Arlberg. Sid got me back into sailing and as architect designed the three housed I built between 1977 and 1993. He’d fly in his float plane from Bellingham to the construction sites in Gig Harbor. In those years, I made weekly trips to Vancouver to purchase my wood products and usually I would overnight with Sid and Leslie on that 300-mile roundtrip, in their home on the Lummi Reservation near Bellingham. We shared many ski trips and sailboat trips and regattas. Sid was my best man in the last wedding in 1993. We will miss him but continue to treasure the blessings he added to our lives.

Sid 1993










Last April, just after my February 3rd shipwreck on the Cuban coast, while visiting my dayghter Lisa, I made new friends at St. Theresa church I attended in Federal Way. A young couple, Gabriel and Cate Lichten, who had recently moved there from Seattle continued their involvement with feeding the homeless. I asked to join while I was visiting and through it made some valuable new friendships. If you ever qualify and are homeless in Seattle check it out. Cate prepares meals that could make the Michelin ratings.

At Operation Nightwatch, Seattle. Lisa on left







I’m still on schedule to be back in Amsterdam in the later part of March to continue the repair on “Fleetwood III”. It is hard to estimate the time it will take. Only after removing part of the teak deck will I be able to determine what lays hidden under the deck.

The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. The gift will be my fifth great-grand child expected in Scotland in early August. I’ve got a challenge now; it would be a great destination for a sea trial across the North Sea through the Caledonia Canal to Glasgow.

A sunset from the home of my hostess Susan Kovacs on Hungars Creek, Machipongo, Va.




3 Comments so far ↓

  1. Allen Petrich says:

    Sail on, Jack, Sail on! Safe water and a good wind behind you.

  2. Suzanne M Goeren says:

    A wonderful way to live life to its fullest….love that about you! It was such a pleasure to have seen you over the years you have enjoyed visiting Machipongo. My brother and my good girl pals get to hear your stories. Continue on my friend and just ENJOY!!! Thanks for the blog. Suzanne Goeren

  3. Thank you Suzanne for being friends, we are blest!