16 November ‘23 Ten years today since the original “Fleetwood”’s violent end

Written by Jack van Ommen on November 21st, 2023

An emotional farewell to a 33-year relationship, 5 ocean crossings, over 50, 000 nautical miles, 51 countries and 565 locks.

She was my home and, with the exception of a couple shoe boxes with memorabilia in my daughter’s garage, all my earthly possessions went down in the foaming waves with her.

Photo Maria de los Angeles Pena-Mila

You can read my emotions while awaiting sunlight and witnessing the breakup on the steep rocky shore of the small island of Tagomago near Ibiza in the Spanish Balearics at: “ALL IS LOST” 

I landed yesterday evening at SEA-TAC for a winter visit at home port with family and friends here. Lisa is cooking the turkey and expect to share it with 9 other guests. Jeannine, our youngest daughter, is driving up from Southern California.

To-day’s flight was one of the best economy flights I have flown across the Atlantic. The good old days of UAL buddy passes and ending up in Business Class are history. This flight was on Aer Lingus Amsterdam-Dublin-Seattle. Easy booking, check in, good service and price and I was able to book the return flight from Dulles D.C. on March 27th   to Amsterdam and the inbound flight at the low round trip prices. The other plus on Aer Lingus is that the US customs and the TSA have a station at the Dublin airport just like Vancouver B.C. and I was out of the Sea-Tac airport, with my checked in baggage, 20 minutes after landing. The flight left Dublin at 16.30 near sunset and landed at 17.30 at sunset.

Chasing the Sunset

I expect to be in the Northwest until the end of January and then work my way down to Southern California and make stops along the way to see my two sons and friends.

I am giving a presentation at the Sauvie Island YC in Portland, Or on Friday evening January 6th. I’m open for more of these. I need the books royalties.

As I wrote earlier on this blog, I plan to fly to Texas to see my oldest grandson and family and friends in February and visit Cape Charles, Va. in March and my grandson and my great granddaughters in Portsmouth, Virginia.

It was starting to get chilly on the boat in Zaandam. But, with the help of a marine mechanic, we managed to get the old Webasto forced air diesel heater working. October and November turned out to set rainfall records in Holland. With the deck leaks repaired, all I have to keep well covered is the cockpit area where my next project requires replacement of substantial areas where the seller managed to skillfully hide rotten areas and leaks. My plan is to sell the boat as soon as I have these repairs done, hopefully before the end of the summer.

Start keeping your eyes out on the US Atlantic coast or Great Lakes for a replacement that is seaworthy, max. 32 foot and preferably a chined plywood construction to complete a new adventure that is brewing and keeps me excited after the three year project I got suckered into. It is not all bad, as I have become accustomed to that there is always a reason for a setback. I have learned some new skills and am reinforced by the accomplishments.

I have jumped through many hoops to try and get my Netherlands residence permit. It was approved in April, I got photographed and fingerprinted in May and was told that I should have the permit by June 27. In August I contacted the authorities. No reply. Then in October I was told to go do what I had accomplished in May, apparently they lost me somewhere. But shortly after I was told that I could make an appointment to pick-up the document. But I could only do this with a DigiD number which has been bouncing across the Atlantic for the last three years trying to catch up with me. I got a hold of it a week before my yesterday’s departure and with my luck the earliest appointment I could secure was for today….With my luck they’ll have me start the process all over when I return in April. But, what the heck? I managed to stay longer than the 90 day Schengen limit, this year and last year.


3 Comments so far ↓

  1. Claude claeys says:

    very nice program
    still to realize, incredible to have still such kind of energy

  2. Claude claeys says:

    very nice program
    still to realize, incredible to have still such kind of energyy. Yvette sin VIET NANM for the time being…

  3. Mark Krajcar says:

    Hi Jack,

    Date correction. It is Friday Jan 5th, 2024 a Sauvie Island Yacht Club in Portland Oregon. I am very much looking forward to your presentation.