Monthly Archives: May 2009

pondering – 2014nm

Tonight, we are anchored off the island of Capri.  Its very mellow and surreal.
My first knowledge of capri was from coronation street many years ago.  some characters were going there for a honeymoon but i be buggered if i can remember who – i think it may have been alf from the corner shop.
Yesterday was a strange day – we left naples to head north after the boss cancelled his visit this weekend, then two hours out, we got the message to turn around and come back in, he was coming after all, then 2 minutes later, another call to say no, turn around again and head to Jersey, then minutes later, our final call, turn around again and head back to Naples, the boss would join us the next day!
All the effort to prepare the boat, twice in one day – but hell, thats what we get paid for.
By sunday , we should be clear and heading to palma for a day or two to restock and head out into the atlantic and north again.
Lastly, I would like to sincerely congratulate and thank Vodafone uk for their best ever summer offer – free roaming.  Because of their kindness, from 1st June until 31st august i will be available only on my uk number.  If you dont have it, just ask for it.
its a hard knock life !
Happy birthday Junior

time to leave – 1467nm

One more time
time to leave palma for hopefully the last time.  Tomorrow we head for Capri to look after the boss one more time before heading north to Norway.
Later in the year, looks like we may even be in england for a few months – now that would be perfect if we were there over winter, wouldnt have too far to travel for juniors wedding on new years eve now would i.
Anyway, expect not much from me for the next few weeks, but dont let that stop you leaving me a message.

Pirates and customs officers

I wonder if there is a difference?
Last night , at around midnight, about 2 miles off the west coast of corsica, in fog, a ship identified itself as the french coastguard and asked us to stop our ship.
The skipper declined, suggesting that it was unsafe to do so in thick fog at night and also we could not see that they were infact customs officers.  There was also a reported case a year ago of pirates raiding a moored vessel in corsica so i can understand.  They threatened to shoot at us and declared they would take over our vessel if we failed to stop.
When we cleared the fog bank, they finally did come alongside and they were legitimate customs officers but here’s the scary thing.  They boarded our boat, two of them , with side arms , reeked of alcohol, arrogant and agressive!
After 2 hours of them on board, they cleared off again 
 bloody garlic munchers !!

The cycle of life – 825nm

Some things take a while to sink in, and when they do, they can spurn an amazing train of thought.  I have often wondered about the cycle of life and the defining stages of it and then today, i learned about two more stages that i completely forgot about.
At the end of the year, i have a wedding to go to.  I was kind of thinking that this would be my last wedding as nearly all of my friends are married now, well all of them that are destined to be married anyway.  Weddings was clearly in the cycle of life, a section of our life that determines which stage of life we are at as individuals.
The cycle starts with a celebration of birth, your birth.  Unfortunately you are too young to appreciate the immense intensity that has just begun.  People gather to celebrate the beginning of your cycle of life.
The next cycle is of course school.  The longest cycle, or certainly it seems that way while you are living it. It is massively under appreciated at the time we live it, purely because we have not seen enough of life to realise just how carefree and easy our life is at this time.  We celebrate the end of this cycle as best we can at the age of 16
Soon the cycle changes again to a celebration of birthdays.  Either you will celebrate being 18 or 21 – or if you are incredibly posh and wealthy, you may celebrate both of them.
Then, before we have had time to mature fully, we hit the ‘engagement’ cycle.  Most of the people around you begin to find their life partner and stay with them into the ‘wedding’ cycle.  This of course brings a flurry of parties, engagement, stag/hen and wedding parties themselves.
The wedding cycle is a favourite of many but for different reasons.  For me, it is a damn fine excuse to get everyone together.  People make an effort to get to a wedding, more than they might to get to a meal out, its always a good place to catch up.  For some –  it is also a good place to meet your life partner!
In an old fashioned world, the next cycle would be babies although modern times allow for the cycle to get a little disjointed.  The baby cycle is a funny one really.  It wasn’t that long ago that you were at your own, although you wont remember it.  This cycle is where the men are allowed to go out and get drunk and smoke cigars while the women all pile into one house to make strange gurgling and coo-ing noises at a little bundle of life that has no idea what is going on.  It is important to remember that this is a new cycle of life for someone else.
After the baby cycle i had always thought that it was downhill but today i learned of two more cycles of life and also learned that the downhill stage is still a couple of decades off.
Today i learned of divorce!  I heard from a friend today who i was best man for some 8 years ago.  He tells me that he and his wife are now divorcing.  This made me think that will i now begin to witness some years of friends divorcing just like i witnessed the beginning of the marriage cycle a decade or more ago?  The divorce cycle will be remembered as an unhappy cycle – or will it?  If you are leaving something behind that has clearly made you unhappy – why do we not celebrate this cycle of life with a party too ?  Imagine – receiving an invite saying ‘you are invited to the divorce party of jack and jill’  You could take presents too, infact they would be as much appreciated now as they were when they married.  Imagine, suddenly they will need 2 TV’s , 2 microwaves and so on.
While discussing my theory of life cycles with the deckhand on the boat, he asked me a question.  It was a question that i had pondered many times before but today i could also give what i now feel is THE definitive answer.
He asked me – at what stage of life do you reach the pinnacle, the height of your climb and start descending the hill, slowing down, becoming less agile, less mindful until eventually you wither away and die.  For a young lad, he had asked quite a thought provoking question but my answer was easy.
The downhill run begins with another baby cycle.  Not the birth of your children, but the birth of theirs – your grand children!  Imagine, your drive from your own baby cycle, through life into the wedding cycle, then onto your own childrens baby cycle, but it doesnt stop there.  You still grow with them, protect them, nurture them until the point that they too experience their own baby cycle.
It is at this point, the human instinct realises that its drive to populate, to complete in the biggest competition of all ‘ survival of the fittest’ is now complete and the body and mind will slowly begin to slow down.  Consider this the halfway point in your own cycle of life.  If you are a grandparent by the time you are 45, i reckon you will live to be around 90 – but dont take my word for it, apply my theory to your own life experiences and see how it compares.
That was a very heavy train of thought for a sunday.  Needless to say, i am looking forward to the wedding in december and hoping the divorce cycle will be shorter and less frequent than the marriage cycle.  One thing i am certain of – babies have a lot to answer for !

Tired & Bored

I am completely shattered and a little confused.
The boss left us early on wednesday morning and we are currently sitting on the dock again in Genoa.  We should be away by tuesday, heading for a small destination nearer to Rome.  The boss is due on by the weekend, and off again before the beginning of next week.  As soon as he leaves, we will begin our epic journey.
The first leg is just a 2 day sprint back to palma where we will change some stuff off the boat and bring some other stuff on.  I have a couple of repairs that have to be done in palma while we are there and then we will be off again, stopping at gibraltar to refuel and then the big heave north.
One more time, sailing past the Cape in portugal that i still manage to call home, up the west coast of portugal, clip the top of spain and then across Biscay to France, maybe passing by Jersey on the way up.  Then we have a few decisions – west coast of Ireland or up the middle of england and ireland, then round scotland and across to Norway for the summer cruise.
The crew have deserted the boat for today, the captain is driving his motorbike back to scotland from palma, the mate is in london with his girlie, the stewie is in monaco with her chum, the chef and deckie jumped on a train earlier today to discover some more of italy.
I stayed with the boat in order to look at some of the more confusing issues i still have outstanding.  One thing is confusing me immensely and if anyone out there has experience with PABX telephone exchanges, please get in touch.  Can a handset operate on just 2 signal wires ?  I would say no, it would also need 2 power inputs (4 wires in total) but i cant find any more inputs.  I have checked the exchange itself and the CAT5 cable is adapted to the 2 signal wires before heading off to the phone unit itself.  One more ultimately confusing thing – i can see no switch or sensor to show when the handset has been lifted – how does the unit know when the receiver is up or down ?  Someone help please.!
Also the AIS is only showing targets that are considered a threat in the immediate area – why ?
Sounding nerdy yet?  my life is turning that way, nerd nerd nerd nerd nerd!
i need a woman!!!!  applications from lisa melvin will be given priority

November in the November archives

I am now very curious.  I have been looking at the stats again for my page and the most frequent visitor arrives here by putting ´november´into a search engine.  Please, leave a message next time you stop by.
My curiosity overwhelms me. I wonder how many pages of ‘hits’ you have to endure until you end up at my humble little offering?  Stop by and tell me.
Bank holiday weekend !  i guess many of you have been out on the piss or out for a meal.  Me, i am sitting on deck in a very pretty italian natural harbour called Portofino.
The boss is on board for a few days and he seems more than happy to just chill out on the boat and do nothing.  This clearly suits me very well as it severely limits the amount of work i can do as most of my work can be very intrusive.  Its time for me to relax too but dont feel bad for me, it is not unusual for me to work until midnight for many nights prior to the boss’s arrival.
So here i sit, laptop, cup of tea and the smell of dinner wafting out of the galley.
I was thinking of the very gorgeous Gary Lineke just yesterday, so i dropped her a quick line to say hello.  Also on my mind over the last few days is that glorious honey pot of a creature that they call Lisa Melvin.  Not to mention Jr. Gurnsey who sprung into my thoughts due to her impending wedding at the end of the year.
Lets talk about portugal for a moment though.  My lucky tip off with the local council engineer appears to have come to nothing.  I have sent him a few choice words over the weekend, in my best portuguese of course, i should expect a response some time this week.
But should i worry ?  No, not at the moment.  Next time i am home, i will look for a new engineer and start again.
We will be leaving portofino again on wednesday morning heading back to genoa where we will wait for a week or so before sailing for the island of Capri.  Am i a name dropper or what ?
oh well – dinner time

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