June 24 On a Slow Boat to Bermuda

Written by Jack van Ommen on June 24th, 2009

At 15.30 hrs I was at 32.30 N 67.14 W with 123 miles to Bermuda. In the last two days I have made good 109 miles to Bermuda. That is a day’s sail in the trade winds. But Herb tells me to wallow around and no need to crank the engine on because all I would accomplish is to meet up with gale force winds nearer to Bermuda. So, I am just going to listen to sails slat and the boat rock and roll. Most of the day the winds were in the 5/8 knot range and I stayed under 3 knots of progress. Right now there is no wind. Doll Drums like. Heavy thunderclouds are building up ahead. So, it looks like Friday for my land fall.

This morning I dropped the main for a reef change and the boom goose neck was tearing off the mast. Looked nasty. Pop rivets popped, the machine screws left their holes. I had a problem with it a year ago and when in Florida, for my haul out in spring 2008, I had the mast off the boat and replaced the stainless machine screws with a larger diameter and re-tapped the holes. Stainless and aluminum are not compatible. I used a dope to isolate the two metals but apparently it wore off. I managed to temporarily fix it with a large hose clamp around the gooseneck track and the mast and shoring it up with rope.

No luck, on the trap line. The Saragossa weeds are gone. As I had expected, looks like I got away with insulting my sons and their 75% American male contemporaries.

I have been reading a Dutch book “Heimwee naar de Horizon”.(Longing for the Horizons) My oldest nephew Dirk Jan gave it to me. Peter Stuivenberg, the author, has some moments of literary genius but for the most part it is confusing and zig zagging through too many subjects. The most annoying part is where he uses English. Te pas en te onpas. And it would be similar to me writing a book in English and throwing in a bunch of German. Because he just is not that proficient in English. But then who am I to criticize?  Bless Charlotte Kolsky, she taught me more English than anyone. She used to take my business letter dictation in shorthand and when it came back to me to sign, it was not even close to what I blabbered to her. Charlotte was my first American boss’s secretary, she wore these lacy white blouses, short grey hair, and as a 21 year old Dutch immigrant, coming up in the Southern California wood business, I was impressed.

 

2 Comments so far ↓

  1. Jeff says:

    Hi Jack: just started reading your blog. I read about you in Latitude 38 and am working on making a change to follow in your footsteps. Not sure if i can cut loose the ties yet though. I really enjoy your blog and couldn’t help but agree completely about your comments regarding the average American Game Boy emerged in persuit of instant gratifications. I hate to say but I find the same to be true for the ladies. In a general sense of course. So much more to life. Anyway thanks for the wonderful blog, I really am enjoying it. You truelly are in the spirit and in the moment. Good show.
    Jeff

  2. jackvanommen says:

    Glad you like it Jeff and it is never too late to set off. My best years started at 68.

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