Sitting in front of the radio and listen to @ndrinfo. Every year this German radio station rents some shortwave frequencys for a very special show. They invite sailors families to send Christmas greetings to crews on air all over the planet. A great program and a very special moment for every sailor. Imagine to be half between some continents on a huge container ship or a small sloop far away from home and hear your loved ones on the radio.
It is a moment to think about the people I met along the trip so far, sailors and landlubbers who made my travel such a special experience. A good moment to thank you for help, support and maybe just some great hours.
No, this stays a sailing and travel website. But sometimes politics affect sailors and than talking politics becomes talking sailing.
At a few moments along this trip I figured to be a little too young for the adventure I am on. Not so much because of missing life experience or lacking wisdom that only spoken through a weathered face has its authority. Anyways, the following might sound so even it came from younger lips.
I often feel too young because everywhere I dock, tie up to a mooring ball or walk along a dock I am about twenty years below the average age. – Fortunately a gap that slowly closes as the journey goes on …
Most people do not work on their cruise like I do and so it is only natural, that only a few cast off before their retirement.
Even outside the US people have recognized that something remarkably mentally deficient goes on in the US. A government that „shuts down“ due to a fight over budgets and its citizens health. Politics, that are normally rather far away from most sailors lives. But talking to people on docks and moorings opens how fast gambling in government comes close. It is as simple as this: People fear missing social security checks. And they don’t blame one or the other side in the government, they blame both for being incapable of handling their business.
Like these sailors, all sorts of public life are affected in one way or another. What a timely coincidence, that tropical storm Karen is approaching the US gulf coast and is putting real lives at risk on the far end from the gamble in Washington, DC:
Due to the shutdown of the U.S. government, postings on the NHC Facebook page will not be as timely or updated as frequently. We urge you to go directly to the NHC website at www.hurricanes.gov for the very latest information regarding the tropics.
Rest assured, the National Hurricane Center remains operational and will continue to provide its mission.“
Right, they stay in business. But facing the lack of money NOAA‘s National Hurricane Center (NHC) just had to consolidate manpower to keep things. Sure no one there is going to just turn off his or her computer to leave a few hundred miles of shoreline in Alabama and Louisiana in the state of a „hurricane watch“. But even this slight cut in communication is dangerous. How many of the 239.000 following the NHC on Facebook will have missed the above post. How many will not receive timely updates as they rely on being informed the way they have been before?
I might have not a weathered face, but playing with money seems dangerous to me if it is money that is important for other people.
[button color=“#fff“ background=“#000″ size=“medium“ src=“http://www.Islandsandpaper.com“]…previously published on Fort Myers Beach „Island Sand Paper“[/button]
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Everyone needs a vacation from time to time. A week or two to think about what has been archived and what are the goals to go for: A camping trip into the woods or laying back on a mountain lake shore, just watching clouds passing the blue sky. A changing scene generates new inspirations and frees the mind. Like changing wallpapers at home can make an old house look new, another lookout can help to refresh an old life. I experienced this every time I felt uncomfortable with what I did. A week focusing on the problem while looking ad fresh images always revealed the way I would go next. It made and enlarging time between jobs to travel and finally led to where I am now: Living on a boat in Fort Myers Beach. And doing so changed the pattern.
Wallpapers at home stay the same and a vacation means to return to them at the end of a trip. Sometimes this is the bad part of a journey, returning from an exciting place to face the reoccurrence of the day to day life that was just left behind. But what, if the wallpaper change is the day to day life.
I live aboard for more than five years now and since than returning home has changed a lot. Sailing back to Paulinchen‘s homeport does not feel like returning home anymore. Over time it just became a destination on the trip, to finish a circumvention not to end the voyage. My home is floating along changing scenes and seasons. And a vacation has become to see friends and family at the life I have once lived.
Some training for the south american Andes next year … Well, the trail from the Männlichen to the village Wengen is probably nothing compared to the Inca Trail. It winds along a direct line of only two kilometers, takes about four hours and covers one kilometer in hight…. at the end we hiked 16 Kilometers in front of the inspiring world famous Eiger North Wall and its Eiger Glacier.
It‘s been a while and some have already asked me: „What did you do?“ – I simply decided to not post a home story while I am back in Europe for the winter. This blog is supposed to be a „travel on a boat“-blog. But since some asked me how life across the ocean from America is, sitting in Switzerland and watching the spring arrive here, it‘s time to give a short review over the past three month in snow, mountains and with lots of Fondue.
The latter seems to be kind of Switzerland‘s national food. Not that it is known to be somewhat low fat, or a a good source of anything. But that does not count in a country where walking to your neighbor normally includes a height difference of a few hundred feet every couple of yards. This year my first „Fondue moitié-moitié“, a combination of two aromatic cheeses melted in a clay pot and spiced with a hard liquor, took place in a remote alpine hut near Klosters. At daylight you can walk there from town in a few hours and it‘s quite a scenic walk. But this time we choose a one hour horse sledge ride through the falling night.
Covered under heavy layers of fur blankets, beyond city lights, we drove through the woods illuminated only by reflections of a pale moon from a snow covered surface. Once the eyes get used to it, it spends enough light to read a book. The horses lope along their well known track and the bells on their neck rang in the rhythm of their motion. Between it silence, some a creek purls along the path and the scene took us magically into an ancient life. Deer watched us drive by while we watched them raising their antlers high into the black sky. – The days around Christmas probably can‘t be spent anywhere else more intense than in place like this.
But after that business kicks in to my Switzerland vacation as I was not only here to enjoy the country. Germanys biggest boat show called for various presentations of my „Route 66 for sailors“ – I found this name to be adequate to give an idea to europeans about what to expect from an adventure through North-Americas Great Lakes, Mid West and South by boat.
It was followed by a short series of longer presentations to sailing clubs and finally finished by attending Austria’s boat show in Tulln last week. Now I am getting ready to head out at sea again. But before that I have to grab my things and return to my boat tomorrow. From there I think to leave mid april towards South America. – Plans have changed a little while watching my route from a distance. But that will be published here after some final research is done.
So… consider me to be back on my boat, back on my trip and rushing out to the many places left on my bucket-list! – And since I have seen a few notices from fellow Loopers who spend the winter upstream in Demopolis or Columbus, now waiting for the river to drop below flood stage, I hope to see some of these friends I made along the way again pretty soon.
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