June 17th Update on Fleetwood III repair, small world and my E-mail nightmare.

Written by Jack van Ommen on June 17th, 2024

June 17, 2024 Stop Rot!

This is my prayer. And these two words are identical in both Dutch and English. Thank God that He is multilingual.

I had no idea when I started the project in the cockpit, as you read in my previous April 6th  blog, how extensive the rot extended under the seller’s cosmetic deception. These pictures tell the story where they just slapped epoxy right on the rot. The work done around the rudder shaft was covered up with a new full length teak cover on top of the repair of the cockpit floor. My pockets are not deep enough and the cosmetics will be sacrificed but the rot will be dealt with. It is still my plan to sell this boat after this three year project and make the seller responsible for his deception. The moisture measurements are taken in the last months. The boat has been under cover from the time I discovered the first leaks a week after I took delivery in early May 2022.

Foam glue sprayed against the rot

port storage locker lid

the back rest of the port bench has become separated

Exhaust through transom

port edge of cockpit floor

Notice spray foam glue slapped on top of rot

bottom of rear storage compartment. No drainage

from standing water. I have raised this and added a drain hole

Around rudder shaft caused by using galvanized nails







Good thing that the discovery started before I left protected waters, I could have stepped through the cockpit floor or lost the keel once offshore.

The weather has been unseasonably cold and wet. All existing records for rainfall in May have been broken.

In my last blog I reported my struggle in getting my residential permit. That has been resolved and I am no longer restricted to the maximum 90 day visits. But besides wanting to get the project finished, finding a home for the boat and learning how to sail again, I am getting pressure from the club where a few members are fussing about my project. So, my apologies to my friends and relatives here in neglecting you for now.

There is a very different membership here at the YC  than what I was used to in the 2009-2014 Europe visit. The majority of the newer members are now the small powerboats called “sloepen” which have taken the place of day sailors and cabin cruisers.

Gone are the twice yearly weekend visits to Marken, where I participated in, with handicap rated cabin cruiser sailboat racing. The new younger sloep members are less involved in the social aspect and it is hard to assemble them into the expected work parties. This is not unique to this club and happening worldwide.

This club still has about 20 “Vrijheid” (Freedom) class 18 foot day sailors that compete every Thursday evening, in season.

Thursday Schinkel

On opening day, in May there was a sail-by (in Dutch “Admiraalzeilen”) to honor the commodores of the three  adjoining Yacht Clubs. “Amsterdam” , where I did the bottom repair in 2022, “de Koenen” and “de Schinkel” where I am now and where I am again a member. Afterward there was a party at the “de Schinkel” YC. In the line was an attractive lady that made eyes with me while in line to the club’s bar counter. She looked familiar but I could not place her. Turned out we met on August 23rd in 2012 in Lyon, see https://cometosea.us/?p=3296 also read the August 24 post. Small world. She keeps her boat at “de Koenen” next door. That turned out to be my lucky evening. I got into a conversation with another boater from “de Koenen”, Annemarie. The next Sunday she was sitting one pew ahead of me at my regular service at the St. Augustinus church. We have become buddies. Since this church will be closed the end of the year, there is now a transition period where the four churches in this part of the Amsterdam suburbs will have service every other Sunday on different schedules and we can in the meantime alternate on the on-schedule for the other two churches. This will add about 20 minutes to my bicycle ride. Anne Marie lives close to me and I ride the bike to her home and drive in her car to the alternate church.

One thing I observed is, that I did not recognize any familiar faces of the St. Augustinus parishioners at their new home. Not sure where they were. Watching on Zoom?

I believe that there is a common thread with the social community decline in the YC membership I observed above. What the empty churches need to be filled is a 9-11 when for a while we had standing room only or a good little WW III. Read: https://cne.news/article/2494-spiritual-revival-in-ukraine I have vivid memories of WW II where we as children sat on the stairs to the pulpit to make room for adults. That slowly changed and the Christian Reformed, we attended, and the Roman Catholic church are replaced by apartments in the seventies. Right after yesterday’s service the church and parking lot filled for an English service by a Filipino priest, most of the attendees were from the Phlippines, with some Nigerians very similar as I have experienced in Istanbul, Athens and Geneva. I plan to attend at the next English service. The Augustinus church also is home to a flock of Eritrean Orthodox Catholics. There is a good chance that these groups will be able to at least keep the lights on in this magnificent building.

Annemarie suffers from Aphasia and our communications are limited. Very frustrating for anyone and it also involves chronic head pain. She worked 40 years for KLM and has seen a great deal of the world. She is 6 years younger than me. Her social contacts have been drastically reduced. But I appreciate the limited time I have for a break in my project. She has a great sense of humor and her home is an oasis from the mess in my home. She has an impressive art collection, looks like a branch of the Amsterdam municipal museum of modern art.

I attended the 79th memorial of the liberation of Camp Dachau, where our mother was one of the survivors, on April 20th. Pictures and speeches can be seen at: https://www.dachau.nl/nieuws/dachauherdenking-2024 I wished that the speech of the Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema would have been shown as well, excellent, typical for a Frisian female. This year the annual event was combined with an identical group for the Neuengamme concentration camp where thousands of Dutch political prisoners perished, including the boss of my mother’s resistance group, Henk Dienske who was arrested exactly 80 years ago on April 20. The military army band played the customary national anthem. Last year my sister and I planned to sing it but I fumbled for the text and no one else sang along. This year I had re-learned it by heart and shamed my former compatriots as the only singer. By now you know that I am a very timid shy old man, but sofar my lungs do not need artificial articulation. If there happened to be any one else I would have drowned them out anyway. Since 2016 the US Consulate no longer participates in laying a wreath as the representatives of the US liberators of Dachau. In 2015 I was invited afterwards to the consulate, see https://cometosea.us/?p=5270. This was the second conmemoration without any Dachau survivors in attendance.

This time a couple more “small world” encounters for my next book. One of the speakers is the current mayor of Leeuwarden, the Frisian capital, Sybrand van Haersma Buma, his grandfather was the mayor of Wimbritseradeel where our mother’s birth is registered. And the father of Sybrand was succeeded by my cousin Siebold Hartkamp as the mayor of Sneek, another Frisian city. The second new acquaintance made on this day is Kees Sietsma whose oldest brother survived Dachau; an uncle and two older half brothers perished as political prisoners. Kees Sietsma as Police Commissioner in Amsterdam was instrumental in the rescue of the Heineken heir hostage drama in 1983 and solving the murder of the for ransom captured Gerrit-Jan Heijn, heir to the biggest super market chain in The Netherlands, in 1987. https://geschiedenis-winkel.nl/p/kees-sietsma-uit-de-schaduw/ He is on a retired busman’s holiday in an unsolved case of an attempted execution by the resistance of a Nazi tobacconist who apparently infiltrated a resistance group in my neighborhood. This group was organized by the family members of Kees Sietsma who never came home alive. The unsolved mystery is how the tobacconist Hendrik Lavell managed to live happily after. I have not gotten any further by the surviving contacts in my old neighborhood.

Playing “Abide with me.” The Hymn my mother and the 86 women sang in the cattle car, on their way from the Vught to the Ravensbruck camp on Sept 6, 80 years ago


The row of speakers. I stood behind them, wave at me in the videos.My sister Karolien turned 90 on May 22nd. It was a great party. My niece and nephew and their children helped to make it another great party. The display of the baptismal gown was first made for Karolien, and apparently a second one was made for me or my twin and last used in 1958 for Dirk Jan, her first child.

L.R. Lukas de Ruiter, me, Karolien, Dirk Jan de Ruiter, Phoebe Ohayon and her mom Mariken de Ruiter

baptismal gown 1934

Karolien with her Oma (grandma)

While I am writing this my late night squatter shows up. Started a week ago. I have not been able to introduce myself. He/she jumps aboard and then rustles through all the parts and pieces. It has claws and sounds heavier than a cat. Possibly a pregnant one who is looking for a birthing spot on my berthing spot. No racoons in Holland.

DO NOT use jack@cometosea.us in writing me. I am temporarily using vanommenjack@gmail.com When I brought my 5 domains to Go Daddy in 2017, they offered me a free one year Office 365 Outlook e-mail account. I already had Office and an Outlook a/c directly with Microsoft. I stopped using it. Every year since 2018 GoDaddy kept telling me to get a paid account. But I ignored it. But this year they were serious, about $100  year. So, I asked them to migrate their Outlook back for me to MS. I have spent about 40 hours on Skype, Chat and MS Community since June 5th and in the end Go Daddy just told me that it is gone. I believe that there might have been a misunderstanding of what Go Daddy was supposed to give me as a temporary password. And then I kept confusing my original account with the GoDaddy a/c. They both have the jack@cometosea.us address. So by trying too many times to access, MS would lock me out for 76 hours. Then I found out too late in the game from GoDaddy theirs was the School/Work version and mine was the Individual type and they have different passwords and different MS Support groups. When I change the password MS will only accept to send me a verification code number to my discontinued US phone number. I managed to add my Dutch number to the original MS Office account, but there is no way to do this with the one I lost and phone or chat is not available.

I am going into some length on this hoping that one of my Seattle friends knows Bill Gates.

I have the added handicap of the 9 hour time difference. I have a bunch of subscriptions on jack@cometosea.us and the error message are starting to pile up in my g-mail inbox, because I used to send with my g-mail address and then had an alias where they were answered to jack@cometosea.us

I uploaded the files, prior to the migration, of the lost version in a .JSON file. I might be able to use to create a new Gmail browser with jack@cometosea as my alias if all else fails.

Best way to communicate with me is Whatsapp at my Dutch phone number


2 Comments so far ↓

  1. Dorothy says:

    🤣🤣🤣birthing spot on my breathing spot!!!!
    Love you

  2. Breathless in Amsterdam, love you too!