Saturday, September 02, 2006

Adventures with Anders - Chapter 2

Chapter 2 - After all the boats had been launched (see dropping in the boats), Donald and Anders were working out logistics for dinner at Donald's mom's house and they agreed that I should sail down with Anders to Donald's mother's house for dinner @ 8pm. It's roughly half the distance to Marstrand and would make the trip for Anders easier to break it up. He was going to single hand it the rest of the way. So, we leave Ljungskile at 4:30pm and as soon as the sails were up and the halyards stowed he asks if I want to take the helm and I do. The water is all flat because it is protected by a huge island called Orust and there was good wind when we left. He pokes around his boat like all skippers do when they put their boat back in the water then shows me where we are going on the charts. When we got out into the channel he announces that he was going to go down below and take a nap... Now that's trust. I was a little hesitant at first but said ok right away and down he goes for a 1 1/2 hour nap. So there I am on Anders Olsen's boat basically sailing by myself somewhere in Sweden I've never been with charts from 1977. They were easy to read and the wind was mild, it was a little cloudy, but I was wearing shorts, fleece and black beanie, we had just eaten a bowl of strawberries (jordgubbe in Swedish) and everything was chill. The wind changed directions and I had to beat up the straight and against a slight current, but I was making good progress until the wind died just before 8pm. Anders wakes up and says, "I think now we put on the engine." We fire it up and motor for about 15 minutes and we were there at Donald's mother Lena's house on the island of Stenungson. He goes down below to find what he thinks are his more current charts only to discover they were made in 1972. The rocks aren't going to move, so whatever. The only changes are going to be which islands are wildlife preserves. We tie the boat up at the end of this dock, walk up the hill to this cute little house that reminded me of Belvedere, if you know what I mean. We are greeted at the door with drinks and handed them before we walking the door. We were late and that's a big no-no in Sweden, espeially when the host is making a specific dish that won't taste the way it was intended if it stays in the oven too long and dries out. So, we were standing just outside the back door on the stairs apologizing for being late when all of a sudden there was this thump sound and the stair case lowered 6 inches with the 3 of us stading on it. We all scurried into the house and Donald walked around to assess the situation to discover the support beam had collapsed. The only thing holding us up was a piece of wood that jutted out from the house. Scary close call, but since everyone was ok and no one spilled there drink, it was straight to the dinner table because we were late to dinner. Dinner's first course was a seafood patte with a piece of lettuce on toasted white bread. Main course was a rice, shrimp and some kind of swedish fish I can't pronounce, but tasted like trout cassarole.... with salad and beer. Desert was melon and vanilla ice cream with a shot of conyack, followed by a shot of scotch. Very small shots, really. After dinner Anders and I went back down to the boat and talked about the regatta in Marstrand, who was going to be there then we listened to the weather report like all good Sweedes who sail, then went to bed. We got up in the morning, had breakfast again on Anders' boat, then Donald came and got me in time to have Bjorn set me up for a hike in the hills above Ljungskile. We were late and I could see the anxiety on Donald's face... I was making us late, I didn't walk up the house at the time I was supposed to because I was engrossed in conversation with Anders and I didn't put my watch on. Donald was going to be a sailing instructor that day to help out Bjorn. Before we get in the car, Donald warns me about the ticks out in the woods and what wonderful diseases they carry... yikes. Donald's wife Ingegerd was sitting quietly in the car and I knew I was in trouble. Swedes in the summertime are usually very relaxed. They eat breakfast at 9:30, lunch at 2 or 3 and dinner at 8 or 9pm. And when they are on vacation they just do whatever sounds fun or relaxing. But Donald was stressing and it was my fault. He was driving really fast and I could tell it was making Ingegerg nervous. Then his car beeped at him and he slowed down. It turns out he's programmed his speedometer to slow him down if he goes too fast. We get there and Bjorn is waiting with coffee in hand with a sly smile sort of saying, "Good morning, here's your coffee, I made it because I was bored waiting for you because you're late." I quickly changed so Bjorn could take me up the hill to the trailhead. He also warned me about the ticks... as he was leaving he tried to scare me with this blood curdling laughter and threats of associate vikings coming out of the bushes and killing me. Thanks Bjorn, I needed that. Probably deserved it too. (See Hiking in Ljungskile for details of the hike)

A swedish bouy.

The view from my bunk on Anders' boat. I thought the chainplate construction was worth taking a picture.


Post a Comment

<< Home