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And that recording now one must not get one's knickers in a twist. I'm trying. These are the stories your granny never told people loved by everybody. I was raising a car, and this keeps until I slipped up on some stoop on the road and pushed my mom like. Alone from the confines of my closet, it is your host, Nikki, and this is stories your granny never told the monthly podcast where I interviewed The Wiser Generation about stories from their youth this month considering the current situation of global pandemic.
I broke one of my only rules and recorded a remote interview because I don't really want to be infecting older people right now. It actually worked out really well, but I just wanted to let you know if you hear some cracking or cutting out, that's the reason why. So this second interview features none other than my very own grandpa. His stories are one of the main inspirations for this podcast. He has sailed all over the world and collected sailor stories all along the way.
This, my granny friends, is where you find out about not only one, but two of the song clips from the intro, The Onion story and story of our very own Clint Eastwood.
I'm so excited for you to hear it. As an added bonus, we don't talk about the virus that must not be named at all. So rest assured. Hold your horses and get ready for my grandpa and personal hero case. Let's start and what's your full name or whatever part of your name you want to tell me, because I just recently found out your full name. OK.
Yeah, and, well, it's correlational speakers.
I didn't even know that part. Yeah, well, it's my first name is derived from my granddad, my father's dad. My second name was from the father of my mother. OK, and the third name is for my only that we have a tradition that you name your children after your parents.
Right. And my whole life, I was just calling your case all the time, but it was Cornelius Yohannes Peters and I only found out last year. So yeah.
For further recording, you're my grandpa and you want to say your age you don't have to. I'm 79, 79.
And what was your occupation for most of your life as a sailor? Yes. And for anyone who is listening but can't see, I think you look like the cliche of a sailor. But that's just my bias, I think. And you're from the Netherlands. You're born in the Netherlands. Right. OK, do you already have, like, a story in mind that you want to tell? That's like maybe an unexpected story from your youth? Because I know a few already, but maybe you have some that you already think about.
I didn't think I have all that sort of exciting things happening to me when I was young. Of course you did, but I didn't experience it like that.
Well, I don't know. You probably have earlier stories, but I have a few that I have in mind. I know maybe about going to Papua New Guinea, but yeah, really interesting. How did I start out?
Well, that's quite a story. I was drafted in the Army at the time. We didn't have to do that in the Dutch army, Dutch army. And all of my at the time I was very into sports and particularly swimming. And because of that, I was elected and the military national team. And of course, I was in the national team and I didn't feel very much like being a soldier. They made me a physical instructor in the Army.
Oh, and just to interrupt, I remember you were practicing for the Olympics in waterpolo, right? Freestyle swimming, 100 metres of my my number.
And you're practicing. Is this true? You're practicing in the canals also? Yeah, of course we have. We have a lot of at those days, it's less now. But the negotiations between the various clubs, you had competition in the outside swimming and that was in the canals. That was two kilometers, three kilometres. My longest one was eight kilometres.
That's the most Dutch thing ever swimming. OK, so you were the fitness instructor for the Army?
Yeah. And then I went to get to this school. You get taught that. And when I finished that, that was all fine. I had to go to where the new recruits come in, the new soldiers who come out alive. And they are really very unwilling and boring. And they they didn't want to do anything, anything to do with military. They say no. Yeah. So even if they were sportsmen and member of a sports club at home in the Army, you didn't want to do anything.
So I got so bored with that. I said, now, wait a minute, I'm not going to do this anymore. And luckily, the sports the physical instructors are a separate unit in the entire army. So my boss is never the colonel at the base where I'm at. That is a colonel in the central office of the army as such. So I told them what I said about this. About what? About Guinea. Yeah. And in my capacity as a physical instructor.
So that's why I went there. But when I got there, we started to have a little bit of a war with Indonesia because Indonesia claimed.
But what, New Guinea as being part of Indonesia? Well, it's not at all because it past anthropological not a single time. The race living in New Guinea are a different race. And the people who live in Indonesia and at the time it was a Dutch colony.
Right. That's why there was this war called me. But what year was that about?
That was in sixty one. OK, but er before that in nineteen fifty two I believe top of head Indonesia became free of Holland. There was a fight with the Indonesian people and the Dutch army about them getting independence, what they finally got. But then after a while they claimed that bit of New Guinea being part. Indonesia. Well, it's not true. Right. OK. So anyway, I went there. But then the Indonesians started to send paratroopers down, but especially the base where I was is completely surrounded by jungle but jungle.
What makes the Amazon, like Hyde Park, really think like crazy?
Guinea's extremely mountainous and the jungle is really tight and there's very few people living there. It's so complicated. So when they started sending paratroopers over Indonesian, did our boys have to go out and pick themselves up and capture them as prisoners of war? And funnily enough, we also had a small Coast Guard vessel and the boy who was the commander of that, he was also a sergeant. That was my rank. Then he got sick. So we had to be sent home and there was nobody could do that.
And they said, well, who knows a bit about navigation? And I knew a very little bit of navigation. So my commander that was lieutenant colonel, he made me commander of the Coast Guard vessel.
And so is that how you started being a sailor? Yeah, I didn't know that. That's where it all started.
I still have some photographs. Show me on. That little vessel was only small, 28 meters. So that is some 80 foot. And there was only four crew, including myself. So there was a machine gun operator, engineer cum deckhand and another Lukow guy. That is a funny story. Actually, when we were patrolling there since I volunteered to go to New Guinea, I got away not as a draft at first, but as a professional soldier.
Yeah. What is a good salary? Yeah, but being sent abroad, you got double wage for colonial service and then when you were in enemy contact, so in the war situation you double salary became double again. So you had quadruple of a normal salary. Not bad, but you had to be in fire contact with the enemy.
So even if we saw a very big bird in the sky, I told the guy behind the machine gun to start firing on that aircraft, but with an actual bird or a plane, that was a real bird.
But we did see planes every so often, but we called everything with moved in the sky. You played just to pretend that fire that the anti-aircraft gun on that. And that means we were in fire contact for that trip. We had a quadruple of our normal range. So that's that's a good thing. So when I came home after a year and a half from getting a little bit less, my contract was for two years. But after a year and four months, the United Nations decided that all of them should give that calling me to Indonesia and India hand over.
We got the blue biracial U.N. troops. You know, some countries delivered troops and they got the blue beret. They called the blue beret and the white helmets.
Now the blue helmets, the white helmets were rescue people. Oh, yeah. In Syria, two children. And and they came and then we handed over to them and then we were repatriated to Holland. And then I still had six months to go, but I didn't know what to do with us in the army anymore. So they sent us home and we kept nevertheless not a big wage, but the normal wage for the six months I was sitting home and all that while I was theoretically still in service.
So after that, I had quite a lot of money made up over that period. And I went back to study because I left after my motor crash. I think you've heard about that.
You have to tell the motor crash story. That's my favorite story of all time.
Now, to make a long story short, when I was at university studying engineering. Yeah, polytechnic, right after two years, I had this motorbike accident. And because of the damage, yeah, it's still not good now, but I'll tell you later, my memory was really messed up.
Yeah, but how did you crash? Because it's the most strange crash story ever. Well I was then seventeen and I wanted to do a motorbike and I was working in the onion pickling factory to make money to buy a secondhand motorbike to do it up. OK, we make more money. I worked double shifts, so I did the morning shift and the evening shift. Your pickling onions? Yeah, the small white onions. I use it at cocktail snacks.
Yeah. That was you. You made all those. Yeah. But I didn't make it. They came in from the farmers and that was different. Built by machine and that they ran into big barrels to be picked up in brine for for a year or so, and then they go to another factory from the same owners where they were putting those little glass jars. Yeah, but anyway, so in the end, I had enough money to buy a very old motorbike and it was a 1939 zoomed up to cylinder.
And it's the same type as now the police BMW are in Europe. Hmm. But anyway, so in the days I didn't work, I organized a bike. And I must say my father, who was alone with me at home because it was in the month of August and my memories of four sisters left on a summer home on the coach. OK, but my dad had to work. Yeah. And I wanted to work because I wanted to buy a motorbike.
Yeah, it was a heavy bike. It was two cylinder, six hundred cubic centimeters. So I couldn't kick started by standing on the side. I had to walk along. It just wouldn't let go of the clutch. I hope it would start. But I didn't have a licence. I was only 17. You can only get your license in Holland then when you were 18. Yeah so I did. I didn't have that. So my morning shift at the Onion Factory started at five o'clock, so I had to leave for 30.
So at four thirty when the bike was running, I was yeah. Sneakily brought it out from the shed to the street and a postage stamp and I drove off to get to work. Mm hmm. But then after at six o'clock we had to half an hour break to go and have a meal at home. And then when I was not home at six o'clock, I was getting worried and I was enjoying it for the past six years, even longer.
But what happened is there was something wrong with the motorbike. Yeah, actually, I was a bit of dirt in the in the carburator. That's where the fuel gets injected in this willingness. I had to clean that. I was busy doing that. And that is my dad coming on his bike. Yeah.
To check up on you to see what the hell I was, you know, and obviously I got the turn of a bollocking because I took the motorbike not having a licence, being underage and all that. But the bike had to go home and that factory was on the on the edge of town. And in the town was what we call the poll of polls, which the green light was all the.
Yeah. The fields with the cows and everything, the fields with the cows and all that.
Yeah. Right on that edge. So I said to my dad, now, OK, I'm coming home now. Can you give me a push on the back to help me jump started. Yeah but I was not really cos I didn't have that. I wasn't dressed for biking at all. I had rubber boots like the farmers had because obviously in the onion factory I had a pair of jeans and a T-shirt. Some it was OK. So he helped me push the bike and I drove in to the fields and turned around and my father was watching and that factory was in a slight, slight curve on the road.
Oh, no. So I came out to the lines, back to drive past my father. And I want to wait for them look like the truck should bring all the onions from the farmers to the factory. They spent a lot on the street. Yeah. So in that slide band, especially when I made that my dad, I slipped on the onions and from that and like I said, I had no protective clothing, no question. And so I somersaulted my father said I was doing 50 miles an hour.
That's not true because I only went one hundred and ten maybe because like I said, it was even then already a 25 year old bike. It's still really fast, though. The idea was fast. But then the next thing I remember is that I woke up in the hospital four weeks later. Four weeks later. Yeah. And so the whole point of this story was that you miss your exams because you forgot everything because you were in a coma, right?
Yeah, I was first in the coma and then and I had the doctors didn't know. They thought I had a crack in my skull. But in those days they couldn't achieve it. I had bits of the bone of my skull in my brain or not. So they kept me in the hospital for two and a half months. After those three and a half weeks or so, I woke up and I didn't know where I was. And I was put in a room with a very old guy who was there because that was the room of the people who were.
Yeah, basically, you're right. Oh, no. They said they not going to the old boy who was there, he was like maybe eighty or so. Yeah. They didn't give him a chance on a long life anymore. Yeah. But I was that guy in the same room. So my parents, especially my mam, was very scared because I was at the beach where the people died. Yeah.
I would be scared too like, oh why don't you put him in here.
Yeah. So but OK. When I woke up the first time I saw this old man in the bed next to me and I said. Are we and where am I? We should be in hospital last night, I said I have to go for a beat. Where's the toilet? We should all get through that door. The old man who was already a bit senile or whatever. Yeah. So I got out of bed and walked to the door.
And then again, I don't remember because I was not allowed to get out of bed or to come out of the horizontal. So I collapsed in the bathroom and the night nurse an hour or so later didn't see me in the bed. And she asked the old boy, Where's Mr. Ackerman? Or he went for a beat. So she came and have a look. And I was I had crashed out on the floor.
And because it's concussion number two, then I was unconscious again for another three or so days. And then when my parents came to visit, I said to my mother, Oh, man, very nice of you to come and visit. What's your name?
Oh, no. Oh, that must be horrible. I'm panicked. She was crying. She thought, oh, well, he's lost everything. But about a year and a half for my normal brain course, I well, I claim to have quite a good memory. Yes, you do. And that came back eventually. But in the meantime, I was almost two years not going to school anymore and I didn't feel like going there anymore. I still had to go into service.
So I said, well, I'm not going back to university anymore, so you can call me in if you want to. And they did so in December nineteen fifty nine.
I was drafted right after that and almost eleven months later I went to New Guinea.
OK, what's the past that kind of happened after New Guinea? What went from coming back from the army and then later becoming this sailor who traveled around the entire world? Because I want to get to that as well.
I told you, I've made quite some good money in service. Yeah. And then I came back, my dad, he was always a picture of me. You don't try hard enough. And I spend all this money on you and blah, blah, blah. So the first is, I must say, the parents got a letter from the Army when we came back out of New Guinea that the boys who came home could have changed quite a bit from the boys they were when they left.
Oh, wow. What a being in the jungle and being involved in in in military action and all that crap.
Did you ever get in the line of fire and stuff when you were in the jungle? Not really. Did you see any weird animals?
Yeah, well, the biggest one I see what they called their collar is a very big it's a flying dog, a bat, but. Yeah, a fruit bat. Oh those are cool.
Know it's a big bat. It's bad with a wingspan of about Jimmy Dranoff.
Yeah. Yeah they're huge but they eat fruits. Yeah. Yeah. Don't worry, you're not in danger.
The biggest animal in New Guinea does not make an honest living. Birds and pigs was picked for.
But yeah your parents got this letter so when I got home and told them what you're going to do and what you're going to do and you have to make a career and you have to do this. And I said to my dad at first, I don't want to hear your bitching to me again about all the money you spent. I got enough money now I can pay for myself. So I did. Yeah. Independent. Yeah. And I then studied to complete my engineer's course.
So like continuing on what you did before you left. Yeah. Yeah. I had met by the way, before I went to New Guinea. I met Mario. Yeah. My grandma. Yeah. Yeah. And but it didn't last very long. And when I came back to New Guinea, we at some point run into each other again. I think I tried to make myself run into it, but that's not how she wanted to leave home. And the only way she could do that is by getting married.
Yeah. And you guys were like, what, 18, 19, not 19 yet.
She was eighteen and I was twenty three. When this marriage thing came up, I had to find a job. Yeah, it's helpful if you make money somewhere. Somehow. Yeah. And so I did. Well that's that's that episode of my life. Yeah.
You were living on a farm and a lot of that for a while, but that's later.
And we got married. We lived in a summer cottage in the woods then my you got pregnant, your dad's got her mom and me didn't get along very well at all because she thought that we got married so quickly because my was pregnant. Oh it wasn't because we married on September the 1st. And then if you can't find your dad's birthday, you realize she was conceived in the first week of our marriage.
Thanks for that information, girl. You asked me to tell you so. I do.
Oh yeah. Now I know. So it was legitimate. It wasn't a shotgun wedding, but it would have been legitimate anyway.
So then you guys were living in the summer cottage and and then we couldn't live.
There was a baby in that cottage, you know, and the company I found a job with as an engineer provided for us a flat. And when we lived there for about three years and OS. I was born and I came home one day and she bought a farm. Oh, I said, wait a minute, you want the farm was a wreck. So that's how we got on the farm.
So you had to fix up the farm, I presume. And then what kind of animals did you get? Well, I kept working while I was on the farm the first year and a half. We had a couple of big calves, two or three donkeys to a horse, and then the little stuff, chickens and ducks and that sort of stuff. And kids of sheep that was on the farm. Yeah, well, after a while, you and I didn't get on anymore.
And so that was the end of that. And the only thing is that I didn't want to run because I worked quite a lot to still do, actually. And luckily at that time, I was offered by an American company job as a field engineer for slaughterhouses and meat processing factories in Poland. In those days. It was in 1970. Right. And that is when I went to Poland and I worked there for almost two years. But in those days, I was kind of funny because it was done well behind the Iron Curtain was very communistic.
Right. How was it like living in a communist country?
It was an American company, so there was no thought of how our social life would be.
Oh, so it was almost like you were in a compound. You were in the compound. And we work seven days. You weren't living like the true Polish life, I guess.
Well, we we went out into it, but every so often. But still we worked in average six or seven days a week. You didn't have a lot of time for that.
Is there some stuff that you noticed? Because, you know, for me, this is kind of abstract, like what was happening during the USSR times?
No, not so much. What was shocking from our feeling of liberty and freedom is that at every construction meeting, what we had a short meeting every day at nine o'clock in the morning, and we had a big meeting on Friday morning, nine o'clock. But there always there were Communist Party people present at the construction meeting to see that we didn't do it on a capitalistic degree, but on the communist way are interesting.
Those people obviously had no idea about what we are doing. Yeah, nobody had any idea. Slaughterhouse Meat Factory was in those days ultramodern and all automated and all that stuff and wanted the whole sailing thing start.
When that project was finished, it took about two years. Yeah, I had statutory luckily quite a bit of money because it was a very good payday. And a friend of mine who had built a 30 foot sailboat and I had in the meantime, in the evenings I studied for myself navigation. So how to calculate a stroke site which you sextant into a position or position line.
This was just for fun or it was for fun. So you know how to use a sextant. And I forgot the name of all the other really cool brass navigation instruments.
But the only thing what you need, but you need obviously an action and Facebook's value. You can look up at what time of the day, what body is where in the sphere. Hmm. Right. And then all you need is an accurate clock and resections. And then you can calculate for the time of the day and so forth. It's quite complicated to go into that. But it's in fact is not complicated once, you know, and once you have a feel for Metropia, which you definitely do and I definitely do not.
I thought it was simple. So since you are good at that, your friend lets you come and work on their ship that they built.
He was in separation from his wife as well. And when that boat was finished, he said to me, You've got tons of money now and you know how to navigate. I've never done it, but I know how to put on paper. And yeah, he said, now what we're doing, you're going from Holland to Greece first for the summer and then you have time to practice. And then what you do afterwards. We'll see. Nice. So we decided to go to the Caribbean as well, but we would stop anywhere where a good time could be had.
Yeah. So but we had a good time in Greece for for a month or two. And then in September we started to move towards Gibraltar, but we stopped and all sorts of places in Malta and Sicily. And it was then that was before it got really famous for its first wild times. But at the time was there already, there was a lot of artists living there and hippies living there should be drawing that and we felt quite good there.
So it was already a party place at the time.
Yeah. Oh yes, certainly was. And then we sailed. Gibraltar, and that was all little trips where my navigation skills were not really tough to get right. But once you leave Gibraltar, it's a different piece of cake altogether. Oh, yeah. Because you got to cross the Atlantic. Yeah. So we've heard that Madeira was a nice place to visit, so we decided to go there first and it was really nice.
And these are islands off the coast of Spain or it's about 800 miles from Gibraltar. OK. And then we went from there to the Canary Islands and then finally from the Canary Islands, we decided to do the big jump to Barbados.
Oh, man. How did that go on this small, small ship. Small sailboat. Yeah. Yeah. So you are confident enough in your navigation skills. You said, let's just do it.
But there's only that. My mate, Young, he was called after four days out. We saw this after water, water, water, water. We saw the rock. And you wouldn't believe that it was malaria proof that my navigation was correct, that.
Oh, so when you were going from Gibraltar to Madeira, you are losing hope and then you finally got there? I was losing anything, but he said he wanted to see it first because he didn't believe that I could actually navigate. And I said it was for me was a bit of trial and error.
A good test. Yeah. You want to make sure before you cross the Atlantic. But apparently it worked. And in the end, that got us all the way to Barbados. How long was the crossing? 21 days. Yeah, you remember that precisely. Oh, yeah. I hear from most crossings I've done how long it took.
Did you go a little bit mad during that time or are you just kept trust that you would make it?
Oh, no doubt, because in the end, young, my mate, he said it's like Columbus. As long as we go west we'll find land. Yeah.
Might not make it to India, but to get somewhere. So but anyway, we wanted to go to the village and we did find the bay and then we fooled around the Caribbean for the rest of the winter. But by then I was a bit too bullish on the boat that size for over a year already then. Yeah, you get sick of someone. I couldn't stand it anymore. OK, so after that you went back home now.
And then when I left the American company, they said, well, we know you're going for sailing. That's all night and you can always come back to us.
So that's nice. That was in the end of March. I said to Yum-Yum first, I can't afford cos you have the perfect home to give you still money. And that's what you used. But I used money from my savings. Yeah, I, we did party a lot I must say, in fighting the sailor lifestyle, you know. Yeah.
And then I met a captain of a motor boat. That and strangely enough the captain could not navigate and those things that happened and he hired somebody to navigate them across the Atlantic. But he had hoped that he could learn to navigate in that one crossing. Oh, but he did. So he spoke to us and he was Dutch as well, that was. And he said, would I never get the boat back as a job? And since I was leaving Young to go back to work anyway, yeah, I said, oh, yeah, I don't have to buy an airline ticket.
I can sail mechanical failure as. And then I realised that the pay in yachting wasn't all that bad. So that's what started it all. You thought I can make a living doing this? Exactly.
What's happened is the engineer of that boat, he got married, so he his wife wanted him to leave the yacht and that's when he got to Spain. And then the captain asked me why you were an engineer. Can you run the danger? I said, Oh, yeah, piece of cake. And he asked me to run the summer with them in the Mediterranean tour, you know, like south of France, Italy, Greece and back to Spain.
Yeah. And I did that. And then the boat was laid up for sale. But strangely enough, the owner took me apart and he said, guys, listen, I've seen the boat yourself with to America. You said it could be a bit of luck, but you have to know you must know how to sail a boat if you can't bring a little rack like that across the Atlantic. Yeah, I said, well, well, I was not such a wreck.
He said, I've seen it. It was a wreck. And he has wrecked Nostradamus. You must have heard about him. Yeah. And he had decided that Nostradamus it was written that around those times that was in the early 70s. That would be a war between the Western world and the Arabs over oil. Funny enough, in the end, we didn't have an oil crisis in the early seventies. You can check on it.
You know, enough monkeys with enough typewriters eventually predict something. Right.
I realize that you said that because if an old crisis, I need a boat to go run away from the war. And if we can get oil, it needs to be. Sailboat. Yeah, so I have ordered at the shipyard in Holland a sailboat and you know how to sail. I've seen you run this engine room so you can run the engine shell, but you can sail it. And when it's ready and the wall does come, we can go wherever there's no war in the world.
But it's going to be a worldwide cruising yacht. OK, you said, but that's a secret. And I'm asking you to be the captain. Very nice. I said, that sounds good. So I went home and two months later he called me. He said, you can go to younger shipyard and you meet with Mr. So-and-so there, and then you can arrange that. You go to the yacht and you make sure that this is the best boat they've ever built.
Money, no object.
That's like a playground for an engineer. You had all your jobs just lined up so well.
That wasn't me, but it was just pure luck. Your luck. Yeah. And that's how I started with a yacht. Yeah. Sounds good. Obviously, I did keep in touch with the boys as much as I could with all my traveling and rambling around. Yeah. And so at some point I acquired a small sailing for food myself. And that's where the boys got used to being at sea because they spent all their school holidays.
And you must know from meals and your dad heard some stories what they had to do on that boat because they thought it was just for fun.
Yeah, every every holiday they had to come and work their asses off. I think my dad told me story about how you taught him how to turn the boat around. Yeah. How did that go? Oh, well, that was one of our trips. I used to try and not to have to work and school holidays, but doesn't always work often a day because the owner had understanding for them that I had to go on the show. We went sailing with that boat around quite a lot.
The three of us. And just I talked about the sailboat, that's all.
Yeah, but you wanted to teach them how to turn, so you just jumped off the boat or on one of the early days, we rented the little catamaran in the south of France of come actually to be correct. And so I taught him how to sail that boat and he knew from our own boat had to sail. That's what I thought. She knows she can do it and will do it if we had to. But he should be shot himself in that boat.
We were sailing around me and I said, well, you know how to do it now. You said, yes, I. So and in those days, I still didn't smoke and all that stuff. I told you I could swim that half a mile to the shore easily if he couldn't be able to turn the boat around. But he did he turn the boat around with seven fish. And then I climbed back on it.
And that was that story just sounds different when my dad tells the story. It's quite a bit more panic.
I think it was a bit shocked by my blunt action.
Say so you've been around the world on the sailboat. I mean, you've done Cape Horn on Cape Hope.
I believe now that they were on different cruises. So not all at once. No, I didn't do a physical all around the circle in one on one boat in one trip. But if you add it all up. But I sailed ten times around the world. If I had all my models up and I went to all various places, but I've never been to Australia and New Zealand. Oh, shame. It's like if I have an known and he said, I want to go and see how Cape Horn looks like, then I say, Oh, that's good.
Let's go get well, it's not that simple. The first one, this guy was my last post. I worked on mission that for nine years he bought the boat and the first time we took the boat out with him, he had friends with him. And they asked me, Kaysville, you take this boat from Cape Horn?
And I said, no, I would not work, because that is known famously to be the most dangerous place to sail, more or less, because it's it's got such bad weather and tides and all of that, right? Yeah, a bit. A bit.
And I've had very bad weather in that area, but I didn't think it was the most dangerous place I be. But that's beside the point. But the French told my employer that you got to take this boat around the horn. So my employer called me and he said, The captain, I understand you're not taking this boat around the horn. I said, No, sir, I don't. He said, no. Then I have a task for you.
You do the pre design of a vessel. What you will take around Caple Oh, cool. In the year and two years or so, we worked on that boat. Jeanette helped me a lot. I ordered some drawings from various shipyards and I had to plan what I seen because in the meantime, I felt quite a bit. Yeah, I then I had already at least twenty transatlantically my belt. So I did some, some experience a little.
And I so I had an idea.
How about. For that trip should be like, yeah, he wanted a certain amount of things.
What I would prefer not to have him was like fancy stuff. No, no.
But the location that from the salon, they could look into the bridge. He wanted that. That's sort of strange things. So we had to design the vessel around those requirements. He paid for the boat having built. Yeah. He must have a little bit of help with that. Yeah, a little bit, yeah. And then Jeanette and I, we went to live in Holland for a year and we built both in the final. Oh yeah.
That was that's a fear. When we built the boat and made them lake in Holland, we had rented a little old farm workers home and it was full of spiders. So every time we got home from the shipyard, I had to go up a vacuum cleaner to vet all the spiders who were in the room. And it was well, that was funny enough for.
But anyway, so we could get to the Mediterranean and we took it to Patagonia and we cruise Patagonia for a month, Mr. Bush and three French. So it was a gentleman, Scrooge, as he called it. And then we had to go to Antarctica. That was the main plan where we were.
How was did you go around Cape Horn then?
Well, is in Patagonia and on the mainland. It's at the tip there. Yeah. Yeah. Should we be safe as a boss through the Microland passage and then you come out and put the Paloma, I believe, and then we were going to Antarctica. How was the weather at times? Windy. We had to stop every so often go and try and find protected Anchorage to wait until the storm blew over. Basically, that's as a storm every week.
Oh, nice. Last two, three days, four days. And then it's should quiet. But yes, we went on our way to Antarctica and we were out of sight of land. We were there on the way, I think. And one of those cruise ships, the small cruise ship where people go on to go to Antarctica. Yeah. And the guy called me on the radio and he said, Captain, where are you going? I said, where you come from?
I said, Greenland. That is the Chilean Antarctic base where most ships go to. That's only a couple of places in Antarctica where you can get in a safe Anchorage visitorship. Yeah. And he said, well, I would think twice if I was you because that's really bad. Oh. And I must say, we were there in the area ready for a month and we knew if the winds start from the northwest and freshening and backing, it will increase in strength all the time.
OK, that's how depressions work their way through the Drake Passage between Cape Horn and Antarctica. Luckily, the owner and his friends were in the salon and this was a good thing that they from the salon could see me in the break because they heard me talk on the radio. Yeah, he heard that. The guy said, well, I would certainly turn around and run. Oh, I turned around to the deferred compensation. We are going to turn.
He said if I any say in this, I said, no, you have to go further out and within half a day it starts to blow. And we had from three days, never less than fifty notes for the sheer force. Ten in a sailboat. Yeah, the sailboat is in that sort of conditions more often safer than a motor boat.
How come? Oh, because the kyozo like Long Island of Sea, will have a lot less influence on you sideways rolling on the capsize situation because the winds in sail keep your boat steady so it doesn't start rolling about like mad.
OK, it's OK. So it stays stable. Is that the worst weather that you've ever had? And while sailing in wind twice.
Yeah, but not insisted Ceaser. Very big I think. Well maybe 13, 15 metres. I got a nightmare in the Southern Ocean. They are very far apart. So the crest of a wave to the next crest could be three or four hundred metres.
Oh, so you had time to recuperate kind of when you shoved down the wind lessons because you in the wind shape of that big wave behind you and then the wave comes and you surf from the next wave down again. That's a short rule. I've learned that over the years in bad weather, you have to go faster than the speed or slower, but not the same speed. Huh?
How come that that the reason is that the movement of the boat and the movement of the sea will synchronize and then you lose control of the vessel?
Oh. So you could like, capsize then? You when you first broke and then you capsis the best angle is 70 degrees to the direction of which to see.
OK, I guess you just learned that by experience at some point. So where, where was it then when you had the worst weather that what's even worse than that.
That was after we passed Cape Horn. Yeah. What happened. It started with the really strong gale and it lasted for three days and 12 hours before we were making landfall in Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands. The wind stopped and the sea quieted down really unbelievably quick. And we had in the end to use the engine to motor into Port Stanley.
Well, the ocean just changes so fast, I guess. Yeah. So that reminds me of some other trips that you've chartered. Famously, I have heard these stories that you chartered a trip with Clint Eastwood. I don't know how much you want to. Ah, you're allowed to say about it.
Oh, well, the thing is, we worked for an American gentleman on a motor boat called Blue Danube, and this gentleman had three sons. One of his sons lived in some villa and his neighbor was Clint Eastwood. So that's how the family got to know him, OK. When Mr. Woods wanted to take the boat to Alaska for himself and friends to use, but also that his children could use a boat in Alaska. Yeah. So Clint Eastwood that I would like that as well.
What's he like? A big shot at the time already? Oh, yeah, very much so, yeah. It was after the famous Hey, you made my day.
Go ahead, make my day.
Yeah, I love that. Yeah. He was still married to Sandra Bullock at the time. Oh. I didn't even know they were married. Oh yeah he was then. Anyway, she was special and so they came and we went to look at this house. She was on the boat for two weeks and the funny thing was the second day and that made apple pie for him for dessert. Yeah.
And he said, Janet, this apple pie is as good as my mama and my mama's baked the best apple pie in the world. I can have it every day for breakfast. So from that day on every day, you got a fresh baked apple pie for breakfast. Oh, and when he left about the MGM plane, came to pick him up. Nice for the phone company and genetic make sneakily another cake for him. And when he left the boat, she gave him this book and he said, Jeanette, I know what's in there.
The first thing I'll eat when I come on our own show if you're very quiet. Yeah, but, you know, in his early films, he hardly ever spoke like in the Western movies, let's say. Uh huh. And in real life, he doesn't talk very much at all. He's a very pleasant man. He was OK. We enjoyed it.
But that's such a good story. I mean, Dutch apple pie is famous for nothing. It's really good. I've tried I'm pretty sure I've tried to get apple pie and it is amazing. So I understand I don't know if I could eat a whole one every day for breakfast, but it was for the whole team. So they went, all right. What's happened is before we went to Alaska, the owner wanted me to install a certain type of toilet, what they have in his offices.
And they said, I shouldn't do that because that on the boat it doesn't work. He said, if I want those toilets, I'll get a cold. Yes. So you've got and they were jet toilets. So but if it's very cold, then it's like if you put the beer bottle in the freezer and it's still liquid, but as soon as you open it, it it freezes all of a sudden. Oh yeah. Yeah. Now that happens.
There's no toilet. So when the water was really cold that you flush the toilet, it froze. Oh no, we fixed the toilet for him and the second day it happened again. When you wake up in the morning you want to go for pee, flush the toilet frozen. Oh, he said if you fucking tell me, I piss over that side rather than the phone here. Clean it. Yeah, you did. We didn't see him physically do it, but that's what he said.
But I guess you have to add another funny thing was we were in Glacier Bay and we saw a hell of a lot of whales there, actually mostly hung hunchbacks, humpbacks, OK, about whatever they called.
I thought they were hunchbacks like, no, that's Victor Hugo. There's something else.
Anyway, those giant animals, we were very close to those whales in the war. A whole bunch, six, seven of them, I don't know. And they were like 10, 20 meters from the boat. And then Sandra Klensch wife at the time, she said, got to be careful, you got to hit them. And I said, well, I'm awfully sorry, but I couldn't hit him if I tried because they are so quick. Yeah, but that was that was kind of funny that they I said, well, don't worry about.
We can't even if we try to. Yeah, they know what they're doing, they're faster than the boat for sure, or if they move the tail for half a meter and they're 100 meters away because obviously they go extremely fast and they're so big.
I can understand being afraid of. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Hold on. They also have a very sturdy standing with unconfuse. Oh go ahead. Unconfuse. You was kicked out of school and he was kicked out of school before once or twice. So I said to. Well you can send them over to me. You can come with me on the boat and he doesn't have to go to school, so we don't have to get kicked out.
Yeah. So he joined us, Ginetta me and indeed and we we worked with us for a while now. I had to rule on the boat when there's no gas, we work normal week and we are on deck at eight o'clock. That means we don't have breakfast at eight o'clock. No work. Yeah. So if you want breakfast you have to wake up that you have time before. Yeah. That was no problem at all. And you never went out and he worked and he was with us for two and a half months or so and he always claimed he was French.
Yeah. OK, because he's Dutch but he grew up in France.
So what have we come to my yorka and what is there next to us is French boat with all French crew. So he felt all of a sudden he's British but the French people, right. Yeah.
And the very first evening, the boat next she went to shore with those folks and come home like three in the morning. Well loaded up. Yeah. So the next morning he obviously had a terrible hangover. He was not on lackadaisical, so I called him and out of respect, I said, wait a minute, you know, room on deck at eight o'clock. If you want to go out and get drunk, that's your problem. But you have to be at work.
You get paid for this job. Yeah. So you stayed in the next day he went out with the Frenchman again. Same story I said. Now, wait a minute. This is the second time there is no third. But so he stayed in any stadium and the next day, even though he just slept in two days later, he stayed on the boat. But then again, most weekend and Friday night, the French boys came home. We'll just go out for a drink, blah, blah, blah.
So they went out. And the next morning he came on only at five o'clock, five o'clock in the morning and drunk as a lord. He went to bed and the next morning I let him sleep. And at nine o'clock I went. I went to the travel agent, bought a ticket to France, came back and woke him up at ten o'clock. And I said, Hey, I got a present for you. And he saw this envelope, Cyberia, on this.
He was really angry with me. He was also terribly Hanover. Yeah. And so he packed his bag. He said goodbye to him that said nothing to me and went off to the airport. Bye bye.
He sent him home because he couldn't write lyrics.
So that was a bit hard on him. Maybe, but I don't regret it at all. But anyway. So then I got the message from Mario that he was taking a job in France and he was ascender in that body shop for car repairs, and that was a horrible job. No, that is a horrible job. Yeah, well, you can make a mistake once or twice, but you'll get another chance. So he came back and especially since I told him we were going to the Caribbean is that boat.
Then he was interested. Was very interesting. And he came and worked with us. So that went over very well. We came back and we had one of our crew members was an Australian guy. So one night Muse's on watch on the middle of the Atlantic, on the way back home came and wake me up. He said, you have to come because I think we have a leak in the boat, a leak in the boat. We went and he had that water.
I said it's a valve, that spout of water and the exhaled just a real well. His English was quite good, but Gary was Australian. It went to Gary, Gary, Gary, come on to bed. That's the only hope for an Australian dollar as a tourist, you know what I mean, huh? Gary said, are they still going to get your fucking bill so you can't see them, but you can smell them.
And I yeah, you can smell they smell like like fish. Yeah, I called them fish. Yeah. Yeah. And but it was very close. It was a giant. Well I'm sure he was at least ten metres but maybe more and he was next to the boat. And you don't like that enormous animal next to a sailboat. Yeah. So we decided we have to chase them off and they showed back putting lights on them like a searchlight this.
But he was happy there. He kept swimming next to us and he stayed there. Then we decided to make noise, maybe go away. So we started the engine. Yeah. And he went away. So we stopped the engine and we carried on sailing vision. Twenty minutes later, the thing is behind us and it kept following us and in the end it disappeared.
But that was Nillson experience with a whale that I do have some questions and I ask at the end if I can stop making noise.
What's your advice for my generation today? For your generation? Yeah, that's almost impossible to answer question.
I know, but you have more experience, so I don't think there's an issue to get a silly answer for. I think that it would be good if the younger generation shies away a bit from that, working for money and money and money and money and things to buy and things to buy and things to buy. I think we yeah, we eat all the fruits, what the world gives us until there is no fruit tree anymore.
That's really wise actually. Yeah. And enjoy things what you don't need to have tons of money for.
And then the last thing, would it be OK for you to read out this review. Yeah, I'm reading it out loud.
Oh yeah. Out loud.
Oh all right. I really love the concept. Getting to hear these stories will be a treasure and I'm looking forward to hear what those Gradney have to say. I highly recommend the podcast. Thank you. I haven't listened to any podcast so far yet, so I don't even know what exactly is or what it's supposed to be and what it will be like. Who are all the other people are going to hear this? The Internet.
OK, all right. That was episode two. If you like that and you want to hear more episodes launch on the 14th of each month, you can follow stories your granny never told on social media to get updates that stories your granny never told Dotcom. We're also on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Gmail. And if you aren't technologically minded, you can leave a voicemail at three, three, two, two or three, two, five, nine.
The background music is the maple leaf rag by the New Orleans Rhythm Kings. Please, you know, share it to all your friends and all your grannies and leave a review because as you know, I get the guests to read them out loud. Thank you, Lorianne, for that comment. Super sweet.
And if you in the review tell me about the most granny, anything that you've ever done, I will assign you random granny points that you can use for absolutely nothing other than street cred. So, you know, everybody, you wash your hand, stay inside, use this time to bake 200 cookies that are shaped like little dinosaurs, or maybe knit a scarf for your cat out of its own hair. I don't know. Do whatever it takes to keep yourself sane.
See you next month. Yeah.