SAIL 2015

SAIL is an Art Project about the Ocean and about WATER. Please read all about it here:   and connect via facebook
SAIL heeft ook een nederlandse website met meer gegevens over de reis zelf:

the VOYAGE of 2015

Route stop overs: SINT MAARTEN (Caribbean) - BERMUDA - AZORES - UK - the NETHERLANDS
A portfolio, with a part of the art for the exhibition, is here:

What follows is an (due to the sailing circumstances) almost daily blog about this second part of the trip - last entry first:

THURSDAY July 16th.


We are coming closer to Holland and to the end of this second voyage which has taken us all the way from the Caribbean across the North Atlantic.
It is now time to gather all the collected material, photos and texts and finish the exhibition and book. As you know, to finance the exhibition prints, frames and transport, I designed and made a book which will also be the accompanying publication for the traveling exhibition.

The subtitle is "In Eighty Pages around the World" and it will show you wellknown and new artworks and connections relating to the Discovery of Our Oceans.

All the subjects in the book link to more information on the wenbsite. It is specially handbound in a piece of sail from the yacht -sy-GEMINI- on which we travelled.

So by buying the book, you are sponsoring the exhibition and it only costs 10 plus the postage to where ever you are.
more info on the project and book here:


WEDNESDAY July 15th.

# Enough is enough, time for some positive news!

  Of course you are well aware of the massive overfishing or plundering which is causing a depletion of certain fishing grounds and even the extinction of certain species of fish.
  Neither do I have to tell you about the acidification of the North Atlantic, with a devastating effect on coral reefs.
  Put on top of this all the global warming and you will agree that the future of Our Oceans looks pretty bleak.
  So I think it is better to mention below all the positive and creative plans, which may give a different direction to what the foreseeable future will bring!

# Aquaponics (positive news 1/7)


Aquaponics is the integration of recirculating aquaculture and hydroponics in one production system. In an aquaponic unit, water from the fish tank cycles through filters, plant grow beds and then back to the fish. In the filters, the fish wastes is removed from the water, first using a mechanical filter that removes the solid waste and then through a biofilter that processes the dissolved wastes. The biofilter provides a location for bacteria to convert ammonia, which is toxic for fish, into nitrate, a more accessible nutrient for plants. This process is called nitrification. As the water (containing nitrate and other nutrients) travels through plant grow beds the plants uptake these nutrients, and finally the water returns to the fish tank purified. This process allows the fish, plants, and bacteria to thrive symbiotically and to work together to create a healthy growing environment for each other, provided that the system is properly balanced.
ISBN 978-92-5-108532-5 (print) E-ISBN 978-92-5-108533-2 (PDF)


# 50 Ways to save the Ocean (positive news 2/7)

50 Ways to Save the Ocean

Our Oceans remain a largely uncharted and unexplored frontier wilderness, filled with unique habitats and innumerable ´alien´ species that scientists are only now beginning to identify. Our Oceans drive both climate and weather and are the source of over half the oxygen on earth, an essential ingredient for all life forms. It provides us with recreation, transportation, protein, energy, security, medicine and a sense of awe and wonder.
"50 ways to save the Ocean" is a book originally designed as a teachers aid to help educate children´s awareness, but I think is a great resource for anyone interested in understanding and expanding one´s engagement with our Oceans.
©: David Helvarg author and founder of the Blue Frontier Campain


# CleanUp the Ocean - Boyan Slat (positive news 3/7)

Boyan Slat The Ocean Cleanup

Boyan Slat (1994) combines technology and entrepreneurism to tackle global issues of sustainability. He currently serves as the founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup.
After diving in Greece aged 16, frustrated by coming across more plastic bags than fish, he wondered; why can't we clean this up? While still being on secondary school, he then decided to dedicate half a year of research to understand the plastic pollution and the challenges associated with cleaning it up. This ultimately led to the passive cleanup concept, which he presented in 2012.
Working to prove the feasibility of his concept, Boyan Slat has given lead to a team of over 100 people, and Boyan Slat then quit his Aerospace Engineering study to completely focus his efforts on proving the feasibility of The Ocean Cleanup. In June 2014, having worked with an international team of 100 scientists and engineers for a year, the concept turned out to be 'likely technically feasible and financially viable'. A subsequent crowd funding campaign then raised close to $2.2m, now enabling the organization to start the pilot phase.
In 2012, The Ocean Cleanup has been awarded Best Technical Design at the Delft University of Technology. Boyan Slat has been recognized as one of the 20 Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs Worldwide (Intel EYE50), and is a laureate of the 2014 United Nations Champions for the Earth award.
©: 2014


# Fish oil made from GM plant to be saviour of the oceans. (positive news 4/7)

article in the Times on fish oil july 8th 2015

Fish oil has been grown successfully on a British farm in a scientific breakthrough that could reduce the plundering of the oceans
A field trial in Hertfordshire has demonstrated that plants can be genetically modified to reproduce the nutrients found in oily fish that protect against heart disease and help infant brain development.
Scientists genetically modified camelina, an oilseed plant known as "false flax" to produce seeds containing the omega-3 fatty acids present in salmon, mackerel and herring.
©: Ben Webster (environment editor) in The Times 8/7/2015


# Noordzee boerderij - North Sea Farm (positive news 5/7)

A new way of cooking

Sushi, soups and salades, straight from the North Sea to the kitchen table. That will be the future in a couple of years, according to the Stichting Noordzeeboerderij (North Sea Farm Foundation). They planted edible seaweed near the coast of the island of Texel (north of the Netherlands) and harvested the first crop last week of June. The seaweed grows on a large frame, floating one meter below the sea´s surface.
This is only the start, because they are allowed a ´'pastry´ of a square kilometre with the possibility of growing shelfish at the same time.
Seaweed is more than just food, it is a part of for instance toothpaste, chocolatemilk and cosmetics. Besides that, it forms a safehaven for small fish and it is environment friendly. No need for land, fertilizer or precious sweet water.
©: the test is an intiative of Schuttelaar & Partners Consultancy (NL)
in dutch:


# GOOGLE Street View (positive news 6/7)

Google´s new collection of Street View Imagery assembles underwater photos from over 40 locations. Google put the new images online to mark WORLD OCEANS DAY ( on 8 June, hoping they will inspire people to learn more about this precious natural resource". The images help the conservation of underwater environments because each one is recorded using GPS, allowing researchers to measure how conditions change over time. Click the link below to go to Google´s Lat-Long blog, where you´ll find more information on the company´s projects to help preserve the oceans. and shortcuts to the best images.
©: text taken from WEBUSER issue 373
picture: walk the coastline of Larsen Bay, Samoa, home to some of the most prestine coral reefs in the Pacific with ©: Google Street View


# Wave & Tidal Stream Energy (positive news 7/7)

Atlantis Meygen Tidal Energy Project

Wave & Tidal Stream Energy has the potential to supply 20 per cent of UK electricity avoiding 30 million tonnes of CO2 emaiisions each year.
Atlantis Resources' MeyGen Project in Scotland
With tidal stream technology turbines sit under the water and literally generate electricity as the tides move throught the turbine.
©: 30/6/2015


SATURDAY June 27th 0600 hrs.

# On Our Way

appoaching the Isles of Scilly

Appoaching the Isles of Scilly on our way to Falmouth (both UK)
©: Robert Schilder


# The Piri Re´is Map (Columbus & Atlantis claim)

click the image for a much larger view Piri Re'is map, with parts of the original Columbus map and claims for the island of Atlantis
The Piri Re'is map was found in 1929 in the Imperial Palace in Constantinople. It is painted on parchment and dated 919 A.H. (in the Islamic calendar), which corresponds to 1513 AD. It is signed by an admiral of the Turkish Navy named Piri Ibn Haji Memmed, also known as Piri Re'is. According to Piri Re'is, the map had been assembled from a set of 20 maps drawn in the time of Alexander the Great.
read more: Piri Re'is map

A very interesting index explaining the Piri Re'is map
[From "The Oldest Map of America," by Professor Dr. Afet Inan. Ankara, 1954, pp. 28-34.]

Surviving fragment of the Piri Reis map showing Central and South America shores. In his notes appended to it is written "the map of the western lands drawn by Columbus".

"The Piri Re'is Map is only one of several anomalous maps drawn in the 15th Century and earlier which appear to represent better information about the shape of the continents than should have been known at the time. Furthermore, this information appears to have been obtained at some distant time in the past." Piri Re'is Map.htm

reproduction ©and more info on: WIKIPEDIA
tags:  @



# Sailing to Falmouth, UK

Pico Island, Azores
PICO Island (Azores)

We´re on our way sailing again, this time to Falmouth (UK), which will take us approx. 10 days
©: Robert Schilder


MONDAY June 15th

# Whales & Whaling on PICO Island, Azores (whales 7/7)

Museu de Cachelotes e Lulas
There are several modern, state of the art and well-designed musea on whales and whaling with very interesting content on Pico Island.
First of all there is the Museu de Cachelotes e Lulas of Malcolm Clarke in Madalena. Professor Clarke is a world expert on sperm whales and giant squid.


SIBIL Whaling Factory
©: SIBIL Whaling Factory, Lajes do Pico
Then there is the Museu dos Baleeiros and the old factory of SIBIL in Lajes do Pico.
SIBIL Whaling Factory


# ´Sunken Atlantis Pyramid´ Discovered off Azores Coast

A huge pyramid had been discovered off the Azores islands by Portuguese amateur sailor Diocletian Silva. The 60m-tall structure was found underwater between the islands of Sao Miguel and Terceira. Its base measures 8,000 sq m - bigger than a football field - and Silva believes it was man-made. He says his find may be a remnant of the legendary lost world of Atlantis, which sank into the ocean after a failed attempt to invade Athens. Silva found the pyramid around five months ago while fishing on his yacht in the area. He discovered the structure through bathymetric navigation and its tip is submerged around 40ft.




SUNDAY June 14th

# Porto Pim Whale Factory (Fábrica do Baleia) (whales 6/7)

Porto Pim Whale Factory, Horto, Faial Azores
The factory in Horta on Faial, closed in 1973 and during its 30 years of operation it processed 1940 sperm whales, producing 44,000 drums of oil.
Whaling Heritage Faial
photo ©: 2015 Robert Schilder


# Scrimshaw (whales 5/7)

Scrimshaw, John van Opstal
"An art born of loneliness onboard 19th century whaling ships: engraving on whale teeth taken by Azorean hand-held harpoons. In Horta (Faial - Azores) Dutch artist John van Opstal still creates his engravings on whale teeth."
photo: Robert Schilder


# Roger Payne: Songs of Humpback Whales (whales 4/7)

(...) Roger Payne focused his research on whales where he together with researcher Scott McVay in 1967 were the first to discover the complex sonic arrangements performed by the male humpback whales during the breeding season.
Payne describes the whale songs as "exuberant, uninterrupted rivers of sound" with long repeated "themes", each song lasting up to 30 minutes and sung by an entire group of male humpbacks at once. The songs would be varied slightly between each breeding season, with a few new phrases added on and a few others dropped.
©: source: WIKIPEDIA


# North Atlantic Ocean

All is quiet on ocean´s front, but for how long ...
©: 2015 Robert Schilder



# Dolphins under way

A common sight when we were on our way, like these dolphins, from BERMUDA to the AZORES. They like to play in front of the bow of the GEMINI.

©: 2015 Robert Schilder

# Slavery in numbers (slavery 2/3)

Slavery in numbers
I remember this stamp from when I was a boy at boarding-school. The image is so strong, probably at that time for other reasons than now, that it always stayed with me.
Regarding the subject: the real horror is in the fact that nothing has changed. People are still and even more than before, exploited by other humans for labour, sex or as commodoty.
Read more:
Handcuffs from a slave, photographed at the Scheepvaartmuseum in Amsterdam
picture taken in Scheepvaartmuseum, Amsterdam



# "Portuguese Man-of-War"

Portuguese Man-of-War
All along the way from BERMUDA to the AZORES we encounter this remarcable creature: Cnidaria Hydrozoa
> The Portuguese man-of-war is very bizarre. It has a large gas-filled bladder, tinged with blue and pink, which can be 30 cm long. Dangling in the water, below this bladder, are many tentacles. It is related to the jellyfish, but quite distinct. It is not a single animal, but a close-knit colony of four different types of individual polyps, or zooids.
The Portuguese man-of-war has developed an interesting relationship with the shepherd fish, the clown fish, and the yellow jack, species which are rarely found elsewhere. The fish accompany the colony on its travels around the high seas.
The name Portuguese man-of-war comes from the likeness of the gas bladder of the coloy to the sail of the old Portuguese fighting ships.
"Extraodinary Animals" PIPER
©: photographer: unknown?


TUESDAY May 19th

# WHY would you go to BERMUDA?

bus passengers on the bus from Hamilton to Saint George
WHY would you go to Bermuda?

An archipelago, discovered in 1503 by a Spanish explorer, Juan de BERMUDEZ, who made no attempt to land because of the treacherous surrounding reef. In 1609, it was claimed for the English Crown by Admiral Sir George Somers, after he was shipwrecked in the 'Sea Venture'. Bermuda is now a British Overseas Dependant Territory with significant autonomy.

If the islands were not situated between the US (650 miles) and the Azores (nearly 1800 miles), they would have been forgotten.
Bermuda is a tax-free paradise with sandy beaches, yes, that's right: no income tax and no VAT. But a hefty import-tax as well as on land and property.
There seem to be an abundance of resorts and golfcourses but most of all boats. Of course, 70.000 people who live on 23 square miles of islands, have boats. But I have never seen so many boats in my entire life.
The islands form a fish-hook shape together and there are 7 main and 100's of smaller ones.

The houses look spic & span, well-kept and preserved; build from limestone and in pastel colours with bright white roofs and special drains to catch the rainwater. People really like the look of fresh paint! The houses have names instead of house numbers, allthough I found that difficult to verify. Up the hills you can see the big estates who have their houses photographed for DOMUS and Architecture. And they may even have a boat-house, (nothing speaks more to my imagination than a boat-house!)

Bermuda is aimed at tourists. O, excuse me: 'visitors' I should say and all come from far away places. There are visitors from enormous cruiseships from the US and from Europe. And of course there are the 'yachties', sea-sailing with no other choice than to bay where available.
Big cruiseships moor at the DockYard near Hamilton, the capital. To make such a cruise gives the impression that you are rich, but now it seems to be more for the 'Pyjama-people' who have saved for the self-service buffets and organised trips on the stopovers. They look generally overweight and blend in well with the locas with their shorts and sneakers.
Yachties are never overweight, also wear shorts; they may walk funny because their main focus is working with their hands. They are generally well-off (else you couldn't affort such a boat). Unlike the locals, they don't have to carry their drink in a paperbag because they cán affort the 10 dollars for a beer on a terrass. The locals, who like to tell a joke LOUD, see all this with weary eyes.
Most men wear Bermuda-trousers and knee-socks, sometimes in pretty weird colour combinations. There is re-enactment in a Disney-like fashion which tells more about the here and now then the past history.
All, visitors more then locals, are more interested in their smartphones and tablets than in the scenery and flock near the loos and free access-points. The many snapshots they take are only about themselves.
Shops don't appear to be very fashion concious, but who cares? And the worldnews is easily replaced by local tit-tat. The supermarket, here in Saint Georges where we are moored in the harbour, is well-stocked but prices are without exception twice as in Europe. Staff is very friendly everywhere.
Even the bus system works, with passengers who remain seated as requested untill to a full stand still.

But yes, the islands are very beautiful and distinct.
Bermuda fun-facts
shipwreck islands: Sunken clues to Bermuda´s past.


"The pyjama people are boring me to pieces
Feel like I am wasting my time
They all got flannel up 'n down 'em
A little trap-door back aroun' 'em
An' some cozy little footies on their mind".

lyrics: Frank Zappa ´Po-Jamma People´

photograph ©: Robert Schilder


SUNDAY May 17th

#National Museum of Bermuda

Bermuda Sloops, Deryck Foster
Bermuda Sloops - Elizabeth & Mary and Elizabeth - off St. David´s Head, c. 1747, by Deryck Foster, 1983. Bank of Bermuda Foundation

pewter spoons - National Museum of Bermuda
And now your daily pewter spoon has turned into a museum item.
I think the bends in the handles are made intentionally, they don´t look very convenient, those handles. Strange to think who has been eating what with these and under what circumstances.

©: National Museum of Bermuda



Horse Latitudes
30 degrees on both sides of the Equator you are more likely to find areas without wind. So in the days when sailingships had no other way of propulsion, be it an engine or by rowing, they would get into trouble.There would be really no other solution than to wait it out, which could take days or even weeks. Drinking water aboard would get very scarse. Some of these ships carried horses. Horses for warfare or colonisation, like in Columbus´s fleet. It is said that horses would be thrown overboard, because there was no more drinking water for them. Hence the name: Horse Latitudes
How sad is that? ..
©: Robert Schilder


# WADI AL-HITAN (whales 2/5)

Wadi-Al-Hitan, Whale Valley, UNESCO World Heritage Centre
Wadi Al-Hitan, Whale Valley, in the Western Desert of Egypt, contains invaluable fossil remains of the earliest, and now extinct, suborder of whales, Archaeoceti. These fossils represent one of the major stories of evolution: the emergence of the whale as an ocean-going mammal from a previous life as a land-based animal. This is the most important site in the world for the demonstration of this stage of evolution. It portrays vividly the form and life of these whales during their transition. The number, concentration and quality of such fossils here is unique, as is their accessibility and setting in an attractive and protected landscape. The fossils of Al-Hitan show the youngest archaeocetes, in the last stages of losing their hind limbs. Other fossil material in the site makes it possible to reconstruct the surrounding environmental and ecological conditions of the time.
©: UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Whale-Valley.pdf


# To catch a whale ... (whales 1/5)

New Bedford Whaling Museum
There you are, up in your crows´s nest, feeling miserable and very, very cold.
And than, all of a sudden: YES! There they are!
You shout to your friends below. They have to lower a boat (weather permitting) and ROW towards the whales. When you are lucky they are not miles away by now.
The guy in the front of the boat has a harpoon with rope attached to it. Now he has to throw it far enough and hard enough so it sticks in the whale, who won´t be pleased and will give you a very hard and sad time before it dies.
Than, it has only just started, hasn´t it?
You will have to get this enormous animal onto the ice somewhere or into your boat (?) cut it to pieces and boil it, for ´train-oil´ or margarine?.
You must be joking!

Picture on the left is a famous gravure by Gustave Doré: "the Ancient Mariner". ©: WikiMedia Commons
The picture on the right is from the collection of the New Bedford Whaling Museum, attributed to the Dutch painter Adam Silo: "Arctic Whaling Scene" info#48



What were they doing all day, when the weather was calm I mean?
Practising combat, fancying their ridiculous uniforms? Walking the horses around the ship (longest ship of Columbus fleet was only 24 meters!)
Bragging in the evening about their sex-life, gambling the wages they hoped to receive.
Or were there games or challenges?



# THEODORE de BRY (colombe 2/3)

The Bry senior was a Hugenote. He lost everything he had because of the Spaniards and was forced in exile. The only thing he still had was his craftmanship.
Theodor de Bry, his sons and successor mixed features of different tribes of Amerindians, even of countries to make their illustrations.
But their stories about cannabalism came from an eyewitness.
Everything they published was made from what they had heard, or, at best, it was from woodcuts from older books.
Again, as with Columbus, indigenous people were regarded as sub-humans.
So their opinion was coloured by their religion: against the Spaniards and with no respect towards the Amerindians.

"Icon and Conquest: Structural Analysis of the Illustrations of de Bry´s Great Voyages"
Bernadette Bucher ISBN 0-226-07832-9 Univ. of Chicago Press


J.M.W. Turner -the SLAVE SHIP (slavery 1/3)

J.M.W. TURNER was inspired to paint "The Slave Ship" in 1840 after reading "The History and Abolition of the Slave Trade" by Thomas Clarkson. In 1781, the captain of the slave ship Zong * (read here) had ordered 133 slaves to be thrown overboard so that insurance payments could be collected. This event probably inspired Turner to create his landscape and to choose to coincide its exhibition with a meeting of the British Anti-Slavery Society. Although slavery had been outlawed in the British Empire since 1833, Turner and many other abolitionists believed that slavery should be outlawed around the world. Turner thus exhibited his painting during the anti-slavery conference, intending for Prince Albert, who was speaking at the event, to see it and be moved to increase British anti-slavery efforts.[citation needed] Placed next to the painting were lines from Turner's own untitled poem, written in 1812:

"Aloft all hands, strike the top-masts and belay;
Yon angry setting sun and fierce-edged clouds
Declare the Typhon´s coming.
Before it sweeps your decks, throw overboard
The dead and dying - ne´er heed their chains
Hope, Hope, fallacious Hope!
Where is thy market now?"

see a large image at Boston museum of Fine Arts
©:Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons
* The Zong was originally named Zorg (meaning "Care" in Dutch) by its owners, the Middelburgsche Commercie Compagnie. It operated as a slave ship based in Middelburg, Netherlands, and made a voyage in 1777, delivering slaves to the coast of Surinam, South America (read in detail)


# facts about COLUMBUS (colombe 3/3)

the map Columbus took on his first voyage
the map Columbus took on his first voyage...
The man caused an enormous change. Greater than anyone could imagine at that time
Allthough he himself persisted in having found another route to Asia untill he died, he made the world twice as big by discovering the Caraïben. This led to the discovery of two whole new continents.
He did it first of all for money and personal fame.
Slavery was at that time normal. Indigenous people were regarded as sub-humans, heathens, work force, at best curiosities which you could take home to show.
Columbus was immensly cruel, he wasn´t the only one, so was his time.
The discovery of the Americas was the start of the largest genocide the world has ever known.
10 of millions Amerindians perished after that.

"Columbus´s voyage to America began a legacy of European piracy, brutality, slave trading, murder, disease, conquest and ethnocide ..."
The American Library Association (1990)


SUNDAY May 3rd

a Portrait of Christophe Colomb (colombe 2/3)

It is all about PERCEPTION.
When we are in a room with people and pass a message on secretly, it is very unlikely that the message remains the same when it reaches the last person.
When Lenin gave his famous speech "Power to the people" to an enormous enraged crowd on a big square back in 1906 it is also very unlikely that those people could even hear what he was saying. The consequences were enormous.
Now, what has that got to do with a portrait of Christopher Columbus?
During his lifetime no portrait was made of the famous seafarer, so no one really knew what he looked like. Now, Columbus is a symbol and his name is given to towns, universities, space exploration and religious organisations. I think when you are only a little objective, you would better think twice. But he certainly was a great explorer and seaman.
What I would like to say is: we make our own truth: we know better, we know what he looked like and we know who and what he was.

How did he look, really?
Paul Martin Lester used modern morphing technology to produce a composite portrait of Christopher Columbus from several images and paintings. The result is in the portrait on the left.
Quite another portrait, and I my opinion a very interesting one, is the painting by Marie-Madeleine Gérard which is the picture on the right. I have no idea how she did this, but it sure looks like how I see him.
portrait "Christophe Colomb" by Marie-Madeleine Gérard reproduction: Wikipédia - creative commons



Columbus and the REDISCOVERY of the Americas (colombe 1/3, de bry 2/3)

click the image for a much larger view
Columbus -the Rediscovery of America
In a post below, I told you I would like to come back to THEODORE de BRY, a most remarkable artist in a even more remarkable time!
Please look carefully at the illustration above and take your time! It is about the discovery of America by CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS.
There is so much to see, it is hard to compare the sixteenth century to ours. What does it all mean and of course, how does it compare to our ways of seeing?

It is said that there are no real portraits of Christopher Columbus during his lifetime ( so Theodore de Bry, the artist of this etching, must have used his imagination.
Now for Theodore, this was not quite uncommon, he must have used his imagination to the extreme. He was used to make his drawings from stories travellers told him. Look at his drawings of America and of the Spanish atrocities in the New World

I mean, look at it, what were those people thinking? How different was it then from now? Tell me!
©: creative commons

your reaction please


picture of sy-GEMINI in the Pacific Ocean
sy-Gemini at dawn in the Pacific Ocean
Here's a little more about ship and crew:
Frans, my brother, a forensic psychologist, has sailed the world with his yacht the GEMINI for the last 12 years, with professional intervals.
I am an artist (photographer) and organiser of cultural events and exhibitions. (
We are both proud fathers, (I am a granddad of 3!) and share a lot of our interests, for one: The OCEAN.
The boat is a 46 foot steel KOOPMANS of Dutch origin, she may look rugged but is kept in the best possible state.
I joined them last year on a fantastic voyage across the South Atlantic and again this year back to Europe crossing the North Atlantic Ocean.

We are still in Sint Maarten, due to visiting family, but will leave coming Monday May the 4th.
Heading towards Bermuda, we will probably sail straight to the Azores, in approx. 3 weeks time.
During these weeks, I will work on this project but will not be able to publish anything until reaching there.


SATURDAY April 25th

The picture shows patterns in offal of a red snapper, the gills.
The SIMPSON BAY FISHMARKET looks almost empty. Is there no more fish or are we at the wrong date or time? We feel a little awkward, all of a sudden our colour of skin seems of importance.
We buy a red snapper for US$ 14.00 a kilo. The enormous black woman who reluctantly cleans it, looks angry at us. She literally tears the fish apart without interest and removes the scales with a stick with the sharp edges of bottle caps.

FRIDAY April 24th

SPACE and COLOUR are truly universal in both ocean and galaxies and in Art. We may mess up our world but on time it will have little effect.
Long Salp Chain. Salps belong to a group of undersea animals called tunicates. Tunicates are saclike filter-feeders that live on plankton and organic matter they strain from the water they pump through their bodies. Their more well-known relative is the sea squirt or sea pork -Steven Goodheart

Leucothea ctenophore... Of all the shallow-water lobate ctenophores, this spectacular species is the largest, reaching lengths of at least 25 cm.
©: Alexander Semenov,

Artist name: ?


Caribbean Coral Reefs

Caribbean reefs with unhealthy corals, Guadeloupe, 2013 Photo: Catlin Seaview Survey
Caribbean reefs with unhealthy corals, Guadeloupe, 2013 Photo: Catlin Seaview Survey
Caribbean coral reefs 'could vanish in 20 years', BBC News, 2 July 2014

From despair to repair: Dramatic decline of Caribbean corals can be reversed 02 July 2014
IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature:


WEDNESDAY April 22th

The history of Sint Maarten

'Discover' magazine is a more than glossy magazine focusing on jewellery and high fashion.
SINT MAARTEN doesn't remember whether is has been conquered, occupied or discovered. Its history of piracy and slave trade have been washed out by Sun, Sea & Sand and luxurious yachting. For the same money (actually it is US$ and €'s here) you can imagine yourself in Malaga, Saint Jean the Luz or in a resort on the Turkish Coast.
And the 'air' is all about selling jewellery and time share apartments. There is hardly any interest in its own history, the small heritage museum in Philipsburg is struggling.
The French part SAINT MARTIN has more of an own style, may it be a little worn out with blistering paint and low storey buildings,
When it rains, the brown sides of the low sloping hills change to the brightest green you can imagine, but there is no agriculture; they say because the descendants of slaves are fed up with working the land.
History of the Caribby Islands (download 245 mb)
This early study of the Caribbean is an English translation of a French work published anonymously in Rotterdam in 1658 under the title Histoire naturelle et morale des iles Antilles de l'Amerique (Natural and moral history of the Antilles). The original author was Charles de Rochefort (1605-83)


Across the Sea

'Across the Sea' from an antique american game by Milton Bradley Company 1910
Especially charming color lithograph showcasing the countries of Switzerland, Russia, Japan, Holland, Venice and Egypt. Established by Milton Bradley in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1860, The Milton Bradley Company has become a household name in American games.


SATURDAY April 18th

GOD the Geometer and a Memory Game

The project includes a 'MEMORY GAME'. A card game of 24 small cards with an explaining text sheet, of subjects related to 'ocean' or 'sea'. The cards are laid face down on the table and the position of pairs has to be memorized.

One such pair is 'GOD -the geometer (science is divine) and FRACTALS (geometric -scientific- recurring patterns in nature)

God as Architect/ Builder/ Geometer/ Craftsman, The Frontispiece of Bible Moralisée
Description: science, and particularly geometry and astronomy/ astrology, was linked directly to the divine for most medieval scholars. The compass in this 13th century manuscript is a symbol of God´s act of Creation. God has created the universe after geometric and harmonic principles, to seek these principles was therefore to seek and worship God.
Circa 1220-1230, illumination on parchment, 34.4 x 26 cm (13.5 x 10.2 in)
Current location: Austrian National Library
Accession number : Codex Vindobonensis 2554, f.1 verso
Source/Photographer :
©: anonymous artist, Public Domain Wikipedia


Lamarck - SEA URCHINS (detail) Jean Baptiste (Pierre Antoine) de Monet, Chevalier de Lamarck [1744-1829], Echinus 136 -Tableau Encyclopédique et Méthodique des Trois Regnes de la Nature, Paris 1791-1798. From the pattern library of Photograph by D Dunlop.

Sea urchins are sea creatures that live in oceans all over the world. Similar to sea stars, sea urchins have a water vascular system. Their spherical shape is typically small, ranging from about 3 cm to 10 cm in diameter, and their bodies are covered with a spiny shell. The skeleton of a sea urchin is also known as the test. The shells within the test of these creatures are made up of packed, fitted plates which protect them from being damaged. As for the spines outlining their shell, these are movable and help the sea urchin to camouflage or protect itself from predators. Sea urchins can vary greatly in colour. Some of the most frequently seen colours are black, red, brown, purple and light pink. On the bottom side of a sea urchin there are five teeth that these organisms use to ingest algae and break down other foods they consume to survive. These five teeth continually grow throughout the sea urchin´s life. On the outside of their body, they also have hundreds of transparent tubes that emerge which allow them to stick to the bottom of the ocean or to move at a very slow pace. These unusual tubes are called tube feet". Their tube feet are much longer than the spines outlining their shells and they are also used by the sea urchin to trap food and in respiration.
Read more:
©: Public Domain


Map EU Overseas Countries & Territories

Here is another map -relevant to the area- which you may find interesting.
Map of the EU - Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT) and Outermost Regions (OMR)
Map of the EU - Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT) and Outermost Regions (OMR). This map shows the territorial scope of the Treaties of the EU as specified by Article 52 of the Treaty on European Union and Article 355 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
©: The original is from:
Source: Natural Earth 1:50m ( Author: Alexrk2


Theodor De Bry - Central America 1594 (de bry 1/3)

The original map is: Occidentalis Americae partis - Central America, Caribbean 1594, which you can view here on Wikimedia;
source: Helmink Antique Maps
© of the coloured image as featured (and can be purchased from) and bridgemanimages on

More on the remarkable artist Theodore de Bry later ...


FRIDAY April 17th

KLM map showing busy airtraffic to the small islands in the Caribbean
Today was the start of the second part of my SAIL-project: the flight of nearly 7000 km from Amsterdam to Sint Maarten (Caribbean) in little more than eight hours
It is a funny idea that we will cover the same stretch in reverse direction, sailing, for the duration of probably 3 months.
You can follow the project at and our sailing adventures (in dutch)