January 2011 – Piet and Sally joined us in the Exumas
Bahamas.Piet is the powerhouse behind
the “Save Askoy II” foundation.Their
quixotic quest is to restore a famous boat, the Flagship of the Royal Belgium
YC, that once belonged to Jacque Brel, the famous Belgium singer.
ASKOY II - Lee became friends with Jacques 33 years ago, while sailing
in the remote Marquesas Islands, and ended up buying his boat (for a “loaf of
bread”).After cruising cruising the
South Pacific islands, and rebuilding the massive Gardner diesel engine in
Fiji, the boat was sold.Many years and
several owners later, the boat was shipwrecked (not by Lee) on a beach off the
western shore of New Zealand.There it
sat for 15 years...a rusting, neglected derelict.
The Belgians venerate Jacque Brel.Piet, whose father made the original sails,
decided to save Askoy II.Incredible
drive and determination resulted in the boat being dug from the sand, trucked
to Auckland and shipped to Belgium.There skilled volunteers are now restoring the boat, which will become a
sail training ship, sailing for World Peace.Wendy and I have been invited to join the celebrations on April 11, 2011
when the Askoy II is relaunched in Belgium.Those interested can refer to website:http://www.askoyii.be.
DONATED MATERIALS - We met Piet and Sally when they visited the boat last year
in the San Blas Islands, Panama.Subsequently,
Lee retrieved from Oregon storage his old logbooks, diaries, drawings, 35mm
slides and even Super8 film of Askoy sailing in Fiji.Piet was overjoyed to receive this donated
bounty.He’s promised us digital copies
of all materials.