Monthly Archives: May 2007

always something to do

a brief visit into boat yard palma, and half an hour later, i have a job for the season, including some sailing between here and the spanish mainland. So the french job will be shelved and rejected purely because they have not been quick enough to confirm details with me, it really is as simple as that!
the boat i am moving to was next to us all winter while i worked on nariida. they are still here and desperate for good help so i will take my chances. meeting the skipper again this evening to thrash out the details but that is just a minor thing. He wants me to start in the morning but i have already committed to someone else for tomorrow.
so here we are. mallorca for the summer. I am still in contact with nariida, the engineer there is still keen to pursue the job share scheme but as they havent made it to norway yet, they havent been able to thrash out a deal with the boss, but this is the job i really want. I am confident it will happen.
just picked up the keys for my old apartment, moving my stuff back in tonight so all is looking peachy once again. life is just too good to me.
enough for now, just wanted to let you know i am alive and kicking

when life is this good

all you need is a sweet wave!
i landed in palma at 6.30 yesterday. this morning i started preparations for the job hunt on monday. 30 A4 envelopes, 30 cv´s and 50 business cards.
while i was stapling them together and tucking them into their envelops,  was told of a job. so, it looks like in two weeks time, i will be heading back to St Tropez as a relief engineer on another Wally, more money than the previous boat too.
all i need now is a cute latina honey by my side, so tonight, palma is gonna get it
authors note. I am really beginning to dig these little notes! just a quicky this time. Max is alive and well as you can see from her comment on my previous posting – alive and well and living in Leighton Buzzard, well somebodys got to!!!!

a brief interlude


you notice many things while travelling. many things. i suddenly realised that since christmas i have taken no less than 7 flights around europe.

to help me with my boredom, i usually play a little game. when you first settle down on the plane, take a look around, no, not to find the nearest exit incase of emergency, if an emergency occurs, odds are you will be smashed to a pulp before you get to open one. take a look around and see if you can guess which of the passengers will be the first to hot foot it to the bathroom as soon as the captain switches off the seat belt sign. there is always one, at least one on every flight, sometimes even two or three.

it makes me think about their logic. odds are that they have been away from a toilet for less than 30 minutes, but the moment that sign is off, the race is on. gotta be first to take a pee!

the other thing i notice is english travellers. i know i am always bleeting on about the english abroad and how embarrassing they are, maybe that is because you dont notice the quiet ones, afterall millions of brits travel each year into europe. there is always one complete fuckwit, the type that makes you cringe at the thought that the locals may associate you with them. ok, i am not a snob but i bet you have all been in similar situations while you are away on holiday.

while waiting for my connection on madrid this week, i met one that would make anyones toes curl. to call him a northern monkey would be a complete understatement. to call him a retard, would be an insult to retards, in short, he was just a complete wanker.

two of them sat at the next table to me in the restaurante. i could clearly hear their conversation, simply because they were so loud. i did at first struggle to place the language and then the accent because the gimp obviously thought it was hip and cool to act as retarded as possible. that jaw open gormless look with the accent and slang that suggests he came from ‘moron-ville’ and was probably heading straight back there because he didnt like the food. every other word was ‘fuck’ and he was loud! embarrasingly loud.

now this brain of britain ordered a ham and cheese toastie, then while munching it over open mouthed, told his friend that he didnt like cheese! now you are asking the same question as me huh, why order a ham and CHEESE toastie if you dont like cheese.

he was a kind hearted chap though, he did offer it to his friend. his pal, graciously declined though, as he asked ‘ dont like cheese, you want it?’ he did so with a ball of the stuff in his mouth and his mouth agape with his food rolling from side to side tossed around by his tongue. you would have needed a very strong stomach to have taken that sandwich from his plate.

anyway, back to familiar soil, spain, mallorca. it feels good to be able to speak the native tongue when i want something. italy was a great adventure, i would love to return, but at the same time, i would have to stay a while and learn the language. I have to say, the italian women were absolutely stunning. even the munters do it with style. what would be a ten pinter in england would be a two pinter in italy. Sadly, i never had the chance to make any aquaintances!!

so it is back to the grind for a while. i am now keen to head back to portugal for a while but that will be a few months away yet. i miss the insecurity of my front door, the ability to just leave it wide open when i go out, i miss paddling out and meeting freinds out back and i generally miss the solitude that the place brings and of course the many friends i have made. i am curious to see who is still there. it is absolutely clear that many people arrive with the idea of staying forever but leave when they realise just how hard it is to survive down there. for me, it was always going to be easier, i had enough dough to buy my own place so work is really just for shits and giggles

i leave you yet again with the hearty question – WHERE IS MAX?

better than a slap in the face with a tramp’s sock

Its time to move on.
tomorrow morning i will make the pilgrimage back to mallorca. 6 weeks with St jean have left me a little weary so today the captain and i agreed to part company, naturally on good terms, we just dont get on.
so tomorrow night, i will be blowing the top off a few with mallorca’s biggest cock, Mr Mason Jones Esq! hiding safely away from foreigners in the tavarua.
I hope to pick up some serious work too, there is even talk of two jobs, one, deliviering a 60 footer to ireland, the other, a classic sail boat based in Mallorca so tune in over the weekend for more news
authors foot note. i would like to thank both paul and blem for their avid readership and also for adding as requested, a comment to the visitors book ‘ where is max?’ Max’s whereabouts are still unknown so please, if you havent aready done so, and you are reading this, add the comment to the visitors book without delay – or the puppy gets it !  Oh yes, one more thing – WHERE IS MAX?

curious things in life

a wise old chinese man once told me – believe half of what you hear and everything that you see (obviously i translated it for the benefit of those who are not fluent in chinese!)
But some things recently have aroused my curiosity somewhat. Of course, we have all heard the statement, 78% of statistics are made up on the spot!
but there is a bigger blag than that!
you all must have heard about the report ‘they’ did on peanuts in a bowl at a bar. Apparently, when tested, ‘they’ found 32 different traces of urine on the nuts! ok, intially you are shocked but think about it for a second. You have seen these bowls right? do you really think there are 32 handfulls of nuts in one of those stingy bowls? and even after 32 clammy hands had been in there, the would be no bloody nuts left to test. It also raises the question of why havent ‘they’ got anything better to do with their time ?
Ok, not so much a blag, more of a massive overstatement. My chums across the pond (america – fuck yeah!), we have all seen those ‘ high speed vee-hickle pursuits’ that they have over there, and we are all familiar with the method of halting such pursuits. The manouvre i am talking about is called a P.I.T. Manouvre, or in laymans terms a Presicion Intervention Technique! The PIT manouvre consists of a ‘police cruiser’ ramming the rear quarter of the bandit vee-hickle until it spins out, looses control and crashes. My question is simple, how precise is that ???
Here endeth todays lesson on the observations of a fuckwit! which for some reason, microsoft wouldnt let me call my page? Ah, before i go, i would like to appologise to my chums at microsoft.
I lost the sound on my speakers and headphones for the laptop last week. I looked at their support site only to read that there was a problem with windows vista when the laptop lid is closed and the unit hibernates. There was a ‘hotfix’ as they call it but i wasnt allowed to download it. I was also told that i could contact a microsoft person for support, 40 quid plus tax but if i had a pre installed unit it wasnt their problem and i should contact the laptop manufacturer.
But they are helpful. they left a customer feedback questionaire at the bottom of the page, you know, did this answer solve your problem and how easy was it to understand and another section for additional comments, so i gave them some feed back and some comments. something along the lines of ‘ you scamming shits sold me this crap and now want me to pay to fix your problem’ or something similar, and finished it off with ‘next time i will buy an apple’
two days later, i found a volume control button on the front edge of the laptop !!!!!!!!!
seems more people read these little sections than i originally thought. so, to prove my point, if you have read this section, please do something for me. in the visitors book on the right hand side of the page please leave a comment. keep it simple and just ask one question…….’where is max?’

italian women

they really got it going on !!!!
maybe i wil stay on for a while?
so let me fill you in.
we finally arrived on friday evening after the captain decided that we should push on regardless of the little waves we would encounter. we had maybe a four metre swell and i thoroughly enjoyed it. for the first time since nariida, i had to hold on to stuff while i was on deck.
we got dolphins again too. i am completely intruiged by these swimmers. i think they are as curious about us as we are them. they swim along side, rolling in the water showing their white bellies and then swim wider and start jumping out of the water, presumably to get a look at us. They seem to be playing with us, to see how fast we can go but of course they can swim much faster. I have noticed though that they much prefer the sunny side of the boat!
Anyway, tomorrow we haul out of the water and move to a hotel. Something tells me that we will not achieve our three week deadline and work will run on but it wont be because i havent finished my work list.
today we had a buyer look around the boat and afterwards we sailed in the bay so that the broker could take some more shots of the boat. the first time i have seen the boat with any sails at full mast but today we had the main, mizzen and genoa at full furl. wind wasnt up to much though so no extreme angles of lean.
tonight i hope to sleep like a dog and then work hard for the next couple of weeks.
so nothing too exciting to add today, just that i am alive and well and busy checking out some fine italian ass!! latinas everywhere, and tall ones too

sod naples, hed straight for genoa

seems the plan changed at the last minute and we finally got some rough seas too, thats the spirit!
will be here for a while, so will update again shortly with my latest adventures.
be sure to drop in again this week

next stop – Naples

oh yeah baby.
tomorrow we are going to have a 20 hour rampage to naples and seek shelter there again until saturday.
by all accounts, thursday and friday it is going to blow its tits off!!
check in tomorrow night to find out how we get on with our next leg. i have never been to naples before, will have a two day stop over
and my new telephone number for italy is +39 340 623 0992

Athen to Genoa Pt 1

so far so good. we left athens in something of a hurry on saturday afternoon and arrived at our first stop on italys west coast at dark last night. Apparently there is some bad weather on the way and the captain has chosen to hide in a harbour for a day or two. Not my preferred sense of adventure but he is the boss after all. so for now, i am sitting in a harbour in a very small and quiet town called Viba Marina. But let me tell you more about the amazing journey here.
Sailing is tough, especially when the skipper chooses to motor or the wind isnt right for sailing. we have been chugging away for to days now, covering a monsterous 200 miles in 24 hours. we chug non stop, working shifts to keep watch for other ships and to make sure we maintain our course. 5 hours on and 5 off to sleep, working in pairs so you really do nothing but work and sleep.
we left athens in something of a hurry , keen to get underway. Crossing the bay from athens to our little shortcut through the greek mainland was pretty uneventful, apart from the hundreds of ships and tankers that we shared our water with. We did have a cunning plan though, to cut through a man made canal that meant we didnt have to go south first to clear the bottom of greece.
The canal costs 1000 euros to use and is less than three miles long. Our boat fits comfortably through, ok, with only four metres each side, it was comfortable for me, but you can see the tension on the skippers face on the photos i have added.
it was of course one of those beautiful moments everyone should experience. The canal has road bridges at each end to allow traffic across too, but these are at sea level. when a ship approaches, the bridge is sank into the ocean, down to 8 metres deep. The ship passes and the bridge is re-floated until next time. once inside the canal, the silence is mind blowing. the chug of the boat, the gentle lap of the waves agains the wall, the crystal blue water and the cliffs that surround you, some 55 metres or approx 170 feet. it needs to be high too, our mast height is 42 metres, we have 10 metres clearance on the lowest bridge.
when you get through and out the other side, the bridge lowers again and we entered the corinth sea, our last blast in greek waters.
with land in sight at all times, we head for our next landmark, the rio crossing. we passed this at night, the bridge was afire with neon blue and yellow lights as we passed through the centre and highest arch. The photos just don’t do the sight justice.
shortly after passing the bridge, we hit the open seas of the Ionian. Nothing in sight for what seemed like an age. Even taking the radar out to 64 miles, showed no land and no other ships. totally alone, just the ghostly whispers of other bored mariners on the VHF, like something from a horror movie, these other mariners get bored and speak in spooky ghost like voices, that had me checking over my shoulder at regular intervals. The drag was long.
then, i had my first ever Italian sunrise!
Soon we would see the coast of italy and the island of sicily, with Mount Etna towering above the clouds, still capped with snow! In the distance i spied another vessel, a curious looking thing. Turns out, it was hunting sword fish. Two men at the top of the mast on look out, and a man with a harpoon at the front of the boat who would then run out along a plank that was at least twice the lenght of the boat. the photos are something to look at. but the best was still yet to come.
I love these curious little creatures. I spied a small group swimming towards us and grabbed my camera and ran to the bow. As they met us head on, i can see them in the water, turning broadside and then heading in the same direction as us, they pick up speed to match the boat, skip and dive across the surface before submerging and crossing under the boat and carrying on with their own journey. I got one super cool picture of three dolphins under the bow together and my reflection on the surface just infront of them. enlarge this picture to capture all of its magic.
that woke me up for the rest of the day. We chugged for the rest of the day until we reached port at dusk. Moored the boat, hooked up the shore power and finally settled in for dinner. I hope the next leg will be as intruiging. we wil be here until at least tomorrow afternoon, depending on the weather and nothing more. Next stop Genoa.
I have also bought an italian card for my phone but it will take them at least two days to get it live. i will let you have the number as soon as i know it. only in italy can you buy a sim card but not know the phone number you have bought.
and lastly – the italian women are a vast, vast improvement on the greek, fat hairy chumps i have gotten used to viewing

all hands on deck!!!

So, it appears we are going to leave this afternoon.
5 days solid to Genoa, no extra crew as yet and the promise of some ‘bad’ weather as we get close. Now , bad weather, is something i am looking forward to.
so far on my travels, the most turbulent waters i have encountered are that of a wake from a passing ferry. at this point, i would always make my way to the bow sprit and get right on the end so that the boat movement is maximised, but it just aint the same.
a metre of movement on the bow sprit just aint the same as 4 or 5 metres midships – bring it on.
will be away now until around thursday lunchtime i guess.
until then, keep warm and dry

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