Newsletter nr. 12 – April 1969

oldnewsheadMrs. A. A. Valentijn – De Winter
On one of the last days of the year 1968, Mrs. Valentijn died. her death came as a great shock, because although she had been ill for some time, her condition was not thought to be serious, and recently she had appeared to be making a recovery.

In this newsletter, we would like to write a few words in commemoration of her strong and charming personality. When her husband died suddenly during the crisis period of the thierties, Mrs. Valentijn took over the yard, and put all her energies into making sure that the old yard – which was established in the eighteenth century – would manage to survive the hard times. Her sons were young then – really too young to be in charge of the yard – but she helped them in every possible way to carry on, and we have her perseverance to thank, in great measure, for the Valentijn yard as it is today.

We extend our sympathy to the whole Valentijn family, for whom her passing had been such a heavy blow.
God bless her.

Ships and Owners
Mr. R. W. Rogers has sold “ALcyone I” to Dr. J. M. Smit of Rotterdam. We are sorry that we shall no longer see Mr. and Mrs. Rogers and their family aboard the mother of all our ships: but we hope often to see them personally at our meetings, where they will always be very welcome.
A word of welcome to Dr. Smit, whom we saw working on his boat at Langeraar with such enthusiasm, even on the coldest days of winter. Let’s hope his enthusiasm will bear much fruit.

Mr. B. van der Ploeg has sold his “Banckert” to Drs K. F. Broekens of Zaltbommel.

Saying goodbye to Mr. and Mrs. van der Ploeg also means a great loss to our Circle. They both did so much for it, Mr. can der Ploeg being a founder member and the first Secretary.

Welcome, Mr. Broekens. You have bought a fine ship, and we hope that you, your wife, and your family will enjoy sailing her.
Four new ships of the “Alcyone II” type will be built in the course of this year.

One for Mr. Gilbert M. Garle of Boston, Mass., one for Mr. J. M. L. Ingen-Housz of Voorburg (Z. H.), one for Mr. B. van Hees of Heemstede, and one for Mr. P. J. Sorensen of Oslo.

We do not need to say that the owners and their new yards will be most welcome to our Circle.

Revised List of Ships and Owners
A revised list detailing the latest changes of ownership and addresses is annexed to this Newsletter.

We hear from Sir Percy Wynn Harris that he is now sailing from Cape Town to the West Indies. From there, he intends to sail to England.
The “Biesbosch” Rally, 1968

We agree that this name is not accurate, for the rally might just as well have been called the Drimmlen or the Loevesteyn rally! But nobody will deny that we had a pleasant sail in the Biesbosch. It all began in Drimmelen. About 14 of our ships gathered in the big yacht harbour there, a section of which was specially rserved for us.

In the afternoon of Friday, August 9th, the following yachts were present:
“Alcyone I” – R. W. Rogers, Horton Kirby
“Avalon” – T. Cardinali, Southampton
“Caecilia” – Mr. J. C. M. van Marle, Amsterdam
“Helena Anna” – A. H. J. Dijkgraaf, Amsterdam
“Alcyone II” – L. L. B. M. Nieuwenhuys, Vught
“Blue Griffin” – Captain C. R. Sanders, C. B. E. – V R D, London
“Dorothy” – H. P. Sturm, Gorinchem
“Dotterblume” – F. W. Lühl, Wickrath
“Oogwaai” – Jhr. C. G. Sandberg, The Hague
“Vita Nova” – Mr. G. van ‘t Hull, Amsterdam
“Zeekmeel” – Ir. A. C. Dros, Amersfoort
“Frinke” – J. F. Bueters, Amstelveen
“Margaretha” – H. K. Bolte, Amstelveen
“Zeepaard” – C. C. Dieleman, Rotterdam

We spent a pleasant evening in the harbour café, drinking a certain amount, and talking to old and new friends.
Mr. and Mrs. Gunning were there, as well as Will and Riet Valentijn.

The next morning, after the Captains’ “palaver”, we sailed out of the harbour, enjoying the very pleasant weather conditions which favoured us during the whole rally.

What a beautiful sight it was to see all these ships of the same type sailing on the river in the sunshine!

At about 12 o’clock we entered the Biesbosch at its Western side, where we anchored – all the yachts alongside each other. A little bit of sherry and a pleasant swim made life extremely agreeable! When the flood was high enough, Paul Sturm gave us the sign to sail, and under his guidance we criss-crossed the Biesbosch. Although the many shoals make this quite a risky thing to do, we all arrived safely at the locks in Werkendam by the end of the afternoon, and sailed up -river to the cCastle of Loevesteyn, where we anchored in a good, quiet anchorage. Getting ashore proved a bit difficult, but somehow we all managed it! None of us will ever forget that evening in Loevestyn Castle, lit by candlelight, where we had drinks in the Lady’s Room and a Dutch meal in the dining hall. The dinner was served by men wearing 16th century Dutch costume, who bought the dishes in on big boards, exactly as portrayed in Breughel’s paintings!

Many speeches were made. Mr. van ‘t Hull told us about the poem “Waar Maas en Waal tesamen vloeien en Gorkem rijsy van ver”. A mediaeval minstrel sang non-mediaval songs. Owing to a misunderstanding, Captain Sanders did not perform – our apologies to him. Later, he kindly sent us his brain children, so that we could include then in this Newsletter.

Somehow, we all managed to get on board again, and the following morning saw us sailing in the sunshine, past the Loevesteyn Castle to the Andelsche Maas.

Here some yachts anchored and the others moored alongside them, so once again we formed a long line, and could walk from ship to ship.
The water was tempting, and everybody had a swim. Then we had a glass of sherry, and in the afternoon we begin the homeward sail, each ship making for her home port – where sooner or later we all arrived, full of pleasant memories of this splendid rally.
Thank you, Paul Sturm, for your fine organization of this beautiful weekend.

Tune “Clementine”
In a corner of a Market
Placed in strength across the Rhine
Work the builders – many guilders
Known to all as Valentijn.

Chorus: Oh my builders, Oh my builders
Oh my builders Valentijn
Thou shalt built and sail forever
Very grateful Valentijn

With Max Gunning and a Brain wave
You have built this ship of mine
My Blue Griffin – nothing missing
Sailed across the foaming brine.

With the older Alcyone
She has stood the test of time
With her music – made a few sick
And produced this taste for Rhyme.

We have sailed across the Biesbosch
Hope the weather will be fine
In the Delta – good for shelter
And the castle Loevesteyn.

Where in Banckert – what a pity
For the van der Ploegs have gone
Cross the North sea – not the Forth sea
Like Caecilia’s been and done.

Tune “Widdicombe Fair”
Max, Gunning, Max Gunning, design me a ship
All along, Holland to sea (see)
For I want for to go for a cross Channel trip

Chorus: With Vita Nova, Dorothy, Margaretha
Cormorant, Avalon, Zeepard
And old Alcyone and all
And old Alcyone and all.

Blue Griffin, Blue Griffin’s the best I can do
All along, out along, Holland to sea (see)
There may be a better, I cannot say who.

When the wind whistles strong in the rigging at night
The skipper says “Damn it” and shivers with fright

At last in the meer where the IJssel is found
The sun shines so brightly and paling are found.

(Verses made by Capt. C. B. Sanders, C. B. E., V. R. D.)

Meeting on January, 1969, in Amsterdam
We had a very pleasant meeting in Mr. and Mrs. Dijkgraaf’s hospitable house in Amsterdam. More than 60 memebers and guests were rpesent, including Mr. and Mrs. Lühl, who came from Germany especially for this meeting, and Mr. and Mrs. Gunning, who came from England for the same reason.

The host and hostess organized the evening to perfection!

As the guests arrived, each found in the hall a label to wear, bearing his or her name. The principal furniture had been moved into the garden, so that there was enough room for all the guests to have a drink and to chat to each other. On another room, chairs were arranged so that we could sit down to watch the films and colour slides. It was very pleasant to see the really beautiful colour slides which brought to life again the whole weekend of Drimmelen, the Biesbosch and Loevestyn. Altogether a delightful evening.

Many many thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Dijkgraaf for all their hospitality.Plans for the Cruise to England in July 1969

During the meeting at Mr. Dijkgraaf’s owners of yachts had a “palaver” and discussed the possibility of a cruise of several yachts in company from Holland to England.

The intention is to sail from Flushing (Vlissingen) on Saturday, July 12th, 1969 – the rendez-vouz being in the yacht harbor, which is situated on the south side of the canal through the island of Walcheren, quite close to the railway station.

On Saturday morning we shall be busy loading fuel and water, and, of course, bonded stores, but we hope to get through the locks before noon. Weather permitting, we plan to sail along the Belgian and French coasts, and to cross from there to the south coast of England and on to the Isle of Wight.

Because some of us have shorter holidays than others, it will not be possible to return in company. Everybody will have to arrange his own schedule for the return trip to Holland.

All those who would liek to take part are requested to write or phone as soon as possible to:
Jhr. C. G. Sandberg,
Blauwe Kamerlaan 5,
The Hague. Tel. nr. 070 – 850.383

The necessary details about charts, provisions, etc., etc., will be sent to all participants in due course.

Plans for the 1970 Rally
During the Biesbosch meeting, the Captains’ “palaver” also discussed the early 1970 rally.

It was agreed that this should take place during a weekend in July 1970 on the IJsselmeer. We hope to let you know more about this rally in our next newsletter.

“het hinkende paard komt achteraan”, as we say in Dutch – (roughly, “the limping horse always comes last!”) The fact is, we need some money – not much, but a little!