20 October 2012 | Miami Beach, Fl
The Crew of Island Girl will be Dorothy and Bert. Bert is the captain and Dorothy is most of the time the helms(wo)man. This means that Bert takes care of the sail trimming and the more complicated maneuvering in narrow channels, shallow water and/or marinas. We are a real team, as we have been since we met in 1979 in Suriname SA. What a great coincidence this was. Bert was going to be transferred to Indonesia and Dorothy just completed a 4 year tour working for the Dutch Embassy in Indonesia and was transferred to Suriname. Bert wanted some information on what to expect from living in Indonesia and met Dorothy for lunch in Torarica, the only good hotel in Paramaribo, and the rest is “History”. Dorothy said that the best way for her to help Bert in Indonesia is to take her with him, so she quit her job with the Dutch Foreign Service and moved with Bert to Jakarta, Indonesia.
Dorothy was home again in the country she loved and was born and raised in. Dorothy was born in Medan, Sumatra one of the larger Indonesian islands. In 1962 when the Dutch were fighting a war about the Dutch part of New Guinea now called “West Irian” all the ‘non-full blooded’ Indonesian people were forced out of the country with nothing else than the clothes they were wearing. Dorothy arrived in one of the coldest winters in The Netherlands and did not like it from the moment she stepped out of the plane, arriving from Bangkok, Thailand. She decided to do everything to be able to return to Indonesia and after graduating took a job with the Dutch Foreign Service. After a posting in Germany her dream came true and she returned to Indonesia. Unfortunately the Foreign Service does not like to keep people on the same assignment for a long time so after 4 years she had to leave again and was transferred to Suriname.
How different was Bert’s life, born in a small town in The Netherlands, Zeist, to a family with a farmer’s background. With 3 older brothers and 2 older sisters and in his early childhood with grandma living in the house, he was very well protected and grew up as a spoiled little brat. When he became ill and spent 8 months in the hospital and close to 2 years at home, most of the time in bed, this became even ‘worse’. His family really took care of him. After Bert started school again he had to start from scratch and was in school always with others at least 2 years younger. He worked as an intern for KLM Aerocarto in 1968/1969 for 8 months in Suriname SA. Directly after graduating he continued his employment with KLM Aerocarto and spent 10 years in several functions in South America and the Caribbean.
After living in Indonesia Bert was transferred to The Netherlands and traveled for business to many countries in the Middle East, South and North America. We also used the opportunity for free travel to visit many countries. We even traveled 2 times around the world during 3 weeks vacations.
A close business relation with Bryan Logan, the President of BKS in Northern Ireland, gave us the opportunity to travel to this beautiful country on a regular basis that was in that time close a to civil war. Bryan also gave us the opportunity to move to the USA and Bert took a position with a mapping firm in San Antonio, Texas. Living on our property at Lake Medina, was absolutely great and we could not believe that we decided to go for a year to Miami Beach. This 1 year became 6 years and we sold our beloved property in ‘pieces’ and purchased Island Girl.
We have sailed Island Girl now for three and a half years and during that time we sailed Biscayne Bay and the Ocean off of South Florida. We made many Gulf Stream crossings to the Bahamas, including two trips to the Exumas and one to the Berry Islands.
We still have a lot to learn and hope to get the opportunity to build up our experience to become good sailors. We are open to any advice so please use the comment section of our blog for that.