At 14.45 hours Greenwhich time I am at 74.11 N 61.04 W with 4,900 miles to go to Seattle.
The below photo was taken from UAL 909 over Greenland. I am not particularly fond of flying but this is one of the best flights I have had in years, thanks to my favorite travel agent in Gig Harbor. Upgraded to 1st class…
For those of you who have not been checking this blog regularly, my plan is to stay with Lisa and Rose Marie in the Tacoma area till December 29 then fly to Saigon, I will explore and rest from my vacation in Indo China till March 25 and return again to the N.W. till April 28 and then fly back to “Fleetwood” in Amsterdam. My children and families and friends are planning to visit and sail with me this summer. In the fall it will be time to move on again up the Rhine and down the Danube to the Black Sea and to spend next winter in Turkey.
These 6 months will be the longest separation ever between me and my faithful companion, for the last 30 years. I winterized “Fleetwood” and said goodbye last night to my friends at the “de Schinkel” YC. She’ll stay in the water all winter and there is a good chance that the Hans Brinkers will skate right by her.
Saturday night I had a superb Thai dinner at Joke Brancart’s home. Sunday evening, in Haarlem, my nephew Dirk Jan and his better half, Fransje, had me over for an exotic Asian vegetarian dinner and then last night I ate with chopsticks again at my sister’s. I might get lucky and make friends in Vietnam who will cook me Boerenkool and Hutspot. Anyway I am not complaining. I am the luckiest person in the whole world. The Dutch have totally spoiled me since I arrived in mid August; I reconnected with old friends and renewed ties with cousins I had not seen in over 50 years.
The liturgy at Sunday’s mass at St. Augustinus was sung, acapella, by a Russian foursome. It was extraordinary.” Neva Ensemble”, director Vladimir Matygulin. A soprano, Mezzo Soprano,Baritone and Base. And the director, contra tenor, sang in some of the songs that were sung after the service. The acoustics at St. Augustinus are fabulous and the volume and quality that these two women and two men could reach, without any musical accompaniment, would be the envy of any large choir. The “Ave Maria”, by Caccini, sung solo by the mezzo soprano, Ekaterine Alabina, moved the stoic burghers into an applause these brick church walls seldom hear. If I get to heaven (slim chance according to Dionne Warwick) I’ll be looking for the Neva Ensemble. You can listen to the “Ave Maria” at :http://www.cometosea.us/albums/AveMaria.wma