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Amsterdam, February 9, 2001

Dear Friends,

After driving down to AMSTERDAM in a flurry of snow which was exciting, slippery and beautiful I parked next at the old factory in which one of "OCEAN WARRIOR"s sets was built.

From this room I look out over the Amstel River.

I can’t quite see the house where I grew up but it is very close. It is still the Venice of the North. Very beautiful.

What I can see is the first place I lived in after I left my parents' house. It’s a barge which I had bought way up north. The idea was to slowly convert the cargohold into a household. It didn't happen. The marriage lasted 3 months. Lovely memory.

The barge is still there and in exactly the same spot where I moored it 36 years ago.

"OCEAN WARRIOR" is a very interesting screenplay, loosely based on the life and events of Paul Watson. After splitting up with the Greenpeace founders he has been fighting for the seals, the whales & a healthy environment for them.

For four decades now he has been sailing into areas to stop illegal fishing activities. Trying to reinforce treaties. Giving meaning to their written words. Paul calls himself a conservationist, in the true sense of the word. The "Ocean Warrior" - which is the actual name of a ship - is moored in the harbour here.

As I prepare myself for the part, we get together for a couple of hours at a time. I think he is one of the solemnly amazing guys. Words fail to describe the size of this man and I don’t mean weight/volume. (www.seashepherd.org)

As of this evening, I have been told that the beginning of principal photography on "OCEAN WARRIOR" has been postponed by other three weeks. Moneybackers a re either not performing or backing out. Who knows? I keep my fingers crossed. It would be a sad loss if this fell apart.

I’ve met about thirty people in the offices and around the sets which have been built.

By coincidence I saw the three "mechanical whales" leave on trucks on their way to MALTA where a lot of the boatstuff will be shot. Each "whale" was hanging in steel cables, on an open 40ft container. What a sight.

People are here because they wish it well. Wait and see.

Update: it ’s March 4th. I’m still waiting. I’ll keep you posted.

Rutger

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