First of all I want to tell you about an e-mail I received from Joke (pronounced Yokah, no joke..) Brancart. She found me on the www.zuidelijkewandelweg.nl This is a web site for the old neighborhood I grew up in, on the southern edge of Amsterdam. Joke and her neighbor gave me, and my twin brother Jan, our first sailing lessons. In Loosdrecht, a series of lakes about 20 miles from Amsterdam. We were about 14/15 years old. She is the one who we can blame for my perverse development. Joke was on my list of old girl friends I wondered what had ever become of them. In 2003 I reconnected, by pure coincidence, with Eefje Mierdink, she was 16 I was 19 in 1957 and then I left for the USA.
There are two more names on my list, Irene Prager, 1956 and Betty Lou Walker, 1958. I have this fantasy that I am going to sail backwards from Gibraltar to the Leeward Islands in 2011 and then Oprah Winfrey will contact my agent and he will negotiate with her that I will agree to appear on her show as long as I can drop the names Irene Prager and Betty Lou Walker.
Back to the ordinary daily routine of a retired cruiser. I had my exercise to-day. Jon, the Harken rep here, with my replacement for the overboard headfoil feeder, figured that the bike ride from St. George to Hamilton would take me 30 minutes. Well, no, not really. It’s a little over 20 k.m. or nearly 14 miles. With a strong west wind against me it took me about two and a half hours. Return trip 2 hours. And my butt is sore. There is just about enough room in these roads for horses to pass, a line of tiny compact cars and scooters would back up behind me. I met Jon at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club in Hamilton. An impressive place. Twenty inch wide Heart Pine flooring, at least a 100 years old. Draft Beer $ 6.60 (tips are included here). The weather turned ugly and it limited my opportunity to cruise Hamilton. But again a very attractive place. Hamilton is the main business center and tall buildings down town. Lots of bays and inlets. It reminded me of Auckland, N.Z. Found the marine hardware, for the broken goose neck, had dinner while the skies poured their loads and then rode back through the puddles. I hope to have my Auto Pilot back and fixed by Monday/Tuesday. There does not appear to be a replacement available in Bermuda for the water tank. No place that can vulcanize. So, I am back to the MMM-5200 adhesive routine, when the rains stop.
Mass is at 9 a.m. Sunday at “Stella Maris”. (Star of the Sea) Last time I attended mass at O.L. Star of the Sea, was in the Solomons on the Chesapeake, last August.