Monday, June 27, 2005

When I look around me!

Sitting in the relative luxury of my boat tied up on my pontoon at the weekend, I looked around me and suddenly I was launched into the real world. The world of "others" the unfortunate and the very fortunate, the happy and the un happy the rich and the poor!

A while backI read in the paper that an old man ( my age) was found dead in his home and had been like that for a week. The autopsy ( his stomach contents) showed that he had been gnawing at a piece of fire wood to gain sustainance, possibly to prevent his eventual demise, this is not a fitting end for a proud man! Is this the real world? didnt anyone care?

Yesterday some friends of mine set off on holiday (the first since they got togeather six months ago) they duly worked hard to prepare their boat and on the day of their departure, duly gassed up and started down the fareway towards the marina entrance keeping to the correct side of the fairway. A passing vessel one and a half times the size of theirs rammed them whilst going astern and pushed them into a moored vessel who fortunately had the presence of mind to quickly place some fenders between the two boats. the larger boat realising their folly shot ahead and turning at the same time dragged their safety rails off their vessel (the dingy and outboard caused the damage). The ensuing discussion I am informed wasn`t pleasant and they limped back to their mooring. The bigger boat said that it was their fault for being in the correct position on the fairway and that he was the better seaman! Having made some covert enquiries it appears that the bigger boat, may have lost control of their directional control system but I guess that they will try to get away without paying for the damage, which really Pisses me off my friends being financially challenged too !

What absolutely bad luck. they are not wealthy and indeed live on their boat, their jaunt that was going to be in the way of a belated honeymoon has now been cancelled indefinitely and they have to go through all the rigmarole of sorting out who pays what, and getting the work done.

Even when I visited them today they were quite positive and getting on with life. in fact their attitude is that they now have some more freetime (being off work for a couple of weeks) to get on with some more work to their boat, what rotten bad luck.

Well the trauma of helping them back to their berth and calming them down started me thinking that some day I may find myself in a similar situation either the crash or the somewhat tragic death situation.

Isnt it funny how something like that starts you to examine your own situation. Well Iv`e decided that the crash isnt worth thinking about and the tragic death can be resolved by " going out loudly so when I decide to end my life you will all hear me going from where you are at the time :o))

Yes you are right I`m bored and my post is a load of crap but there you are, for what its worth! you could psycho-analyse for me!

6 comments:

RisingSlowly said...

Ah, but Rob. Some of us will always be lucky. I often say to whoever will listen, 'God, we're lucky to have been born in the UK and not on the streets of Birmingham[oops, that is the UK]. And yes, I do feel fortunate and I cannot quite get to grips with the horror of day to day life for many millions of people out there in the slums and the projects and the shanty towns. A programme on the box last night illustrated just how little has been done to help those affected by the tsunami over in Aceh. This is their reality. My reality is bitching about the heat. How pathetic I am! You'll never end up gnawing on piece of wood, either. There are too many people around you who love you and respect you. That man who died alone, might very well have been alone for most of his life. Maybe he was a miserable bugger. Maybe he didn't realise that help was out there. But one things for sure, your situation is very, very different.
Sorry to hear about your friends and their boat. Just goes to show that you can never let your guard down. When we've sailed down in Kobe I've been a bundle of nerves when I see big boats/ships and this is because I feel that one cannot rely upon everybody sticking to the rules of the road. I think that my caution is a good thing to have on the boat. I'm sure that we will be very careful sailors.
Cheer up and forget about folks less fortunate than ourselves. That's what BOb Geldof is here for. He takes care of them. Nobody listens to us anyway!

rob said...

Te He ! Thanks Maria I like the bit about ! "sir Bob"

B. said...

Hi Rob,

any story concerning boats are never boring for us....and wouldn't it be typical that the wealthy arrogant guy goes crashing into the scamping liveaboards!?...and then of course act all righteous and disregards facts because he's a "better seaman"...(I bet he was an engineer/lawyer/doctor kind) oh boy I would have jumped him (unless he was much bigger than me). Once I was with my parents in Vulcano, in the Eolian islands, we were at anchor in front of a village, just past sunset, and hadn't turned the anchor light yet on because we could see very well the other boats in the moonlight and the lights from the galley were shining the deck anyway. So all was well, bunch of boats at anchor in sight of each other, good visibility etc. Then here comes a motorboat, at 5 knots (remember, 5knots by a known anchorage spot) will all lights on, cabin, steaming, cockpit, decklights, looked like a christmas tree...pointing straight at us. The lights was so intense on their deck we could actually see the captain's face at least 30 meters away. We started screaming and howling, and he turned just in time not to sink us, but he thought well of slowing down by us and unnerved, shout at us what was the matter that we hadn't turned our anchor light on...that we should learn some seamanship....
Now, a guy gets near an anchorage on a christmas tree, totally blinded by his own lights, and everyone should go about setting up fireworks because "He Is Coming", all those bad sailboats with their lights off....how unseamanlike! Needless to say I proposed boarding him in the night with long knives and a wrench to open the safe somewhere in the yacht....I mean, he shouted "learn to sail" to a family who's done little else continuously from 1939.
And a motorboater. I still hate him.
Anyway,
I had only one chance to sail Grey Dawn duering my visit to Mex.
Wind was an afternoon termic, so a breeze really. We had up only main and genoa, and though, it slid undisturbed on the water where other boats would have not moved at all. And there was no staysail or mizzen up, so when that is rerigged I assume we'll be able to pass on the motoring in 95% of passages.
I also espected the concrete to cut through the waves and be steady, it is instead very buoyant, the boat bobbed up and down with the swell while mantaining speed.
As for "changes", I am not sure what you mean by that...I will of course install some equipment and rewire some areas (the charting/instruments table), we'll put a water filter to the foot pump for drinking water, have a cockpit awning and wind catcher made, install the solar anchor light on the mizzen top...sew up a few rips in the mizzen....personally I don't mind doing the work on a boat, but I don't go about inventing some for myself, and so far I have not seen the need for any structural change. The boat is very harmonious as it is, and if anything, some day I'll want a watermaker to do away even more with having to go to a marina. Maybe as we'll live on her we'll figure some improvements, but for me improvement is only what makes everything simpler and less prone to require work/maintenance/repair.
If you see anything in GD that you would change let me know, I am well aware that my enthusiasm might fog my judgement right now! We have lots of pictures of it, although Maria pretty much posted them all in the blog.
I am writing a little for my blog also...check in a few days for new stuff, as you noticed I'm really slow to update it...
And do come visit us in Mexico when we move in next year, we'll give you the airy V-berth...
All the best,
Francesco

Yvonna said...

Hi Rob!
I've found some poems of Mickiewicz.Unfortunetaly I can't find the best known of his poems entitled "Lithuania! My fatherland "
Here t

Within their silent, perfect glass
The mirror waters, vast and clear,
Reflect the silhouette of rocks,
Dark faces brooding on the shore.

(…)

These mirror waters, as before,
Still lie in silence, vast and clear.

They mirror me, I mirror them,
As true a glass as they I am;
And as I turn away I leave
The images that gave them form.

Dark rocks must menace from the shore,
And thunderheads grow large with rain;
Lightning must flash above the lake,
And I must mirror and pass on,
Onward and onward without end.



(2)

Above the vast clear waterspace
with thunderous roar the lightning burned:
in the translucent water-depths
the glare was caught, then calm returned.

(…)

The waters, when the furies passed.
were crystal still, outstretched and vast.

I watch the waters and reflect
each aspect in my faithful mind.
The rocks, defiantly erect,
the lightning-sky, I leave behind.

Aye, let the rocks in menace rise,
the rainclouds keep their tempest-trail,
the lightning leap through opening skies—
and onward let me sail and sail!



(3)

Above the vast, clear depths
Cliffs stood, erect and stark,
And the transparent depths
Reflected the rock’s dark face;

(…)

And still the vast, clear depths
Are transparent as of old.

I see these depths all round
As I reflect the sky,
The flash, the proud rock’s frown—
Everything I pass by.

Cliffs must stand tall and reign,
Clouds must carry their rain,
Lightning must roar and be gone,
I must flow on, on, on.



(4)

Over the great clear pool
Rocks ranged in steep files;
Water, transparent and cool,
Reflected their black faces.

(…)

Clear as before, the pool
Lay, transparent and cool.

This pool surrounds me and
I reflect what’s to see
Whether the rocks still stand
Or lightning flashes free.

Black rocks forebode me ill.
The clouds have rain to spill.
Loud lightning has to glow.
I have to flow, to flow…

I wouldn't say they are superb and I;m afraid they're a bit lost i translation...']
Bye

rob said...

Hi Yvonne thankyou for postint those I think the verse:-

Aye! let the rocks in menace rise,
the rainclouds keep their tempest-trail,
the lightning leap through opening skies—
and onward let me sail and sail!

Says it all for me! What a brilliant poet? even with the translation I really enjoyed them!
Thanks once again. Hows your life at the moment are the Americans still visiting, are you enjoying the holidays?

rob said...

Hi Francesco! my comment "what changes" really only related to things that you had found that needed repair or modification. I, like you, dont go looking for trouble, although last weekend I had to climb into the bilge of my old Gin Palace and scramble around to try to find a leak. Given that the bildge water is full of oil and heaven knows what else I really didn`t want to have to taste it so I hosed it down with a biocide and pumped it out. I scrubbed the bildge board and climbed down. If you imagine that the space I have between the engines is 400mm and between them and the tanks is 250 mm I dont have much chance to swivel around being nearly 1.9 metres tall and 111 kilos But I got down in there and couldn`t then, move very far I looked everywhere that I could and some places (with the aid of a mirror) that I couldn`t but still can`t find the leak. Ive checked both engines and they are full with water and also the water tanks and still no leaks so I pump and pump! All skin fittings are secure and the water pump doent keep pumping defining a leak. I find it very frustrating, bit I will progress (a can of petrol and a match :o))! (after all that work I think not)
I am really looking forward to when you get back after the month out in Mexico I have a feeling that the Blogs are going to be something else.

I like to think that I am a good all round sailor that just happens to own a motor boat at the moment. I am always pleased when a sailor admonishes me for being a Smoker (diesel power boater)and when I then tell him that I am also qualified offshore on sailing boats their bemusement they always ask the same question "why do you not have sail? To be quite honest I sometimes ask myself that.

Thanks for the very kind offer of visiting you in Mexico I would really love that. Oh! I read a pleasant little book yesterday sitting in the sun it was called
SEA CHANGE and written by Peter Nichols ISBN number 1 86197-185-0
It is about a guy that takes his old boat acros the pond for the last time to sell her in Maine I found it very pleasant a little sad but enjoyable. anyway! thanks for your visit I always enjoy talking with you!
Take care
regards
Rob