Last Sunday I was confronted with the reality that there most likely will never be a widow lighting a candle for me. It was All Saints Day but the service was more about the next day’s All Souls Day. In the pew ahead of me was a widow with her daughter and family. I could sense her loss and the support of her daughter and family. At the end of the service, she and the majority of the congregation filed forward to light a candle for their departed. There was a feeling of envy in me. But then to-day I celebrated my freedom and independence. It was a gorgeous sunny clear morning. I drove north of Amsterdam, first to drop off my mainsail in Volendam for repairs then to Enkhuizen to attend the Classic Boat Show. The sun was out after a week of dreary cold wet weather. The flat country. Green meadows with sheep and Holstein cows crisscrossed with canals and drainage ditches, herons, swans, Kiewiets, the harbor in Volendam, old church steeples on the horizon. Recollections of the 65 mile “Dorpen Tocht” I skated with my brother and 4 friends in the winter of 1956/1957 just before leaving Holland, in this part of Holland.
The Classic Boat Show in Enkhuizen was very interesting but I liked the visit with Astrid Lurweg the most. I met Astrid in my very first port on my circumnavigation in Hiva Oa in the Marquesas. She was the First Mate on the “Soeren Larsen” a classic three masted Schooner Brig. See: www.cometosea.us/albums/albums/SoerenLarsen Astrid hails from Cologne Germany and earned her first mate’s ticket in Enkhuizen. She lives in the smallest house in Enkhuizen, dating back to the 16th century. She has the best location next to the historic city hall and a view of the old harbor. Astrid invited me aboard just after I had concluded that single handed sailors were considered to be excluded from the social circuit of the crewed boats, on arrival at my first destination of my circumnavigation. We will be friends for ever.
To-night, I cooked Moules Marinieres (Mussels) at my sister’s house. One of my favorite dishes. Turned out well. A feast. Last Wednesday I was treated to dinner by Magda and Kees Scholten. Magda is the sister of my good friend Gerrit Alberts. Gerrit grew up in the street next to ours and his parents were close friends of our father and mother. And his uncle married our aunt. Gerrit lives in Detroit, he came to last Saturday’s slide show with his son Jonathan. I have some photos of the evening at www.cometosea.us/albums/albums/Heerengracht528
This weekend I will be busy getting the boat winterized and pack my bags for my Tuesday departure to Seattle.