Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Amsterdam, then Sailing in Sweden

My good friend Thomas Janelid from Sweden invited me to go sailing with him in the Archipelago off the east coast of Sweden. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity. In order to get there, I had to train it to Amsterdam and catch and early morning flight. That meant hanging out at the bar below until it was very late.

Amsterdam is a beautiful city, with the canals, and art museums (yes, I did go to them for a change)

Upon arriving in Sweden, Thomas and his dad and I went directly to the boat, where Thomas swiftly insisted we needed more beer. I noticed a little tension between him and his father. It turned out to be a typical situation of a father not realizing when his son is grown, and continuing to impart his wisdom, and son doing things a little differently.

The father had recently purchased this beautiful sailboat, and Thomas wanted to use it with some friends. I didn't realize that as a condition of using the boat on his own, Thomas had to sail with his dad for a week.

This was probably the first time they had sailed together since Thomas was a boy, and Thomas later confessed part of my invitation was to act as barrier between him and his father, so that they wouldn't kill each other. He didn't quite phrase it like that, but Thomas and I are good friends and think very similar, and I knew what he meant.

We were able to get away and row to a little island to relax. The trip as great, as I learned a lot about sailing, and got to experience one of the most unique places to sail in the world. The archipelago is not very tidal, despite being on the ocean, and it has thousands of islands you can just sail up to and anchor at, thanks to the great Swedish land use laws.

For instance, our little boat adventure to an island led to wonderful contact with nature.

And an encounter with a rare poisonous snake.

We headed back to the boat in the evening, for some whisky. I learned to sort of appreciate sipping a good whisky while on board the boat after an excellent meal. Every meal, on the boat was great. I think it was the combination of the sea, and the outdoors style cooking that just made it a great experience. In the end, I became a sort of son of Thomas's dad as well. I made me think, for my dad to be a part of this trip would have been great, as the fathers had a lot in common.

Here I am piloting out little craft out to a multi million dollar sailboat. Thomas wanted to see the inside of it, and since we had helped them off the rocks the day before, we figured we had the right to stop by unannounced. We were sailing by and noticed they were crooked and still. The guy came to pick me up, and I helped him while his wife panicked. We tried to tow the boat of the rocks using the anchor, then the rescue boats came, and a camera crew to record for a show similar to COPS, but for ocean rescue. It turns out Thomas's dad called them in.

We did quite a bit of fast sailing as well, when the wind was up. As you can see below, the boat is tilted quite a lot as evidenced by my dangling feet.

That sort of sailing also caused us to rip a sail, which meant Thomas had to get hoisted up to get it down, and I spent a good deal of time sewing it up. That wasn't quite as much fun.

It was a great trip. I have been truly blessed by the great experiences I have had.


At 6:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you posting right now? I was looking at your site as I referred someone to it today. Hopefully new tenants in Civano! Cya Soon,

At 8:04 PM, Blogger heidi said...

rare poisonous snake? bullshit.

ha.. love you...


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