Monday, July 28, 2008

Super Nanny and Uncle Mikey

Meet the self proclaimed Super Nanny. Bjorn has many talents, child care is one of them. As soon as he saw her he took her and did this sort of mind meld thing and made a fabulous connection with Annika.
He was even thoughtful enough to bring Annika a book about Pippi Longstocking because of well, you know, Tommy and Annika are main characters in the book and her name is... yeah. By the way, Pippi may not be the best role model for kids... she does and says a lot of outlandish things and my daughters all ready a bit... focused, determined... ok, we don't want her to use her strengths for purposes of evil. Maybe we read the book in such a way as not to make Pippi look like a hero.
Everyone gets a turn watching Annika on this trip and Uncle Mikey is no exception. I know we were here to race, but... how can you resist those cute little blue eyes blinking at you?
Be warned, Annika will grab your glasses quick if you're not paying attention.

... and keep an eye on your beverage.
You may just find a hand in your beer!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Youngest Crew in a Gold Cup

Ok, I don't even know these guys' names. They weren't in the list of entries, they didn't talk to me much... hope I didn't scare them. I tried to be friendly. They sailed the Flensburg Club Folkboat and flew sail number GER 77 and had the guts to get into it with 66 boats on the line. They were awarded the youngest team special award... combined ages = 45. Lucky kids... my dad wouldn't even let me take the boat out by myself until I was 24.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Mid-Week Castle Dinner

When a German says we will be leaving at 6:30pm to go on a walk up to the castle for dinner, don't be late. After the sailing on Wednesday, we went back to Robert's to clean up and broke a few driving laws to be back right on time... and I mean to the second. The goal for the week was to get as few points as possible in Flensburg, on the water and with the countries driving records, which are kept in Flensburg. Anyway, the group had gathered and was walking up the path as we scurried to catch them. So, I was already breathing hard when we started. Now, had I known the path was up and down hills and over rather rough terrain I would have done like so many others did and take a cab. Pushing a stroller with little bitty wheels over cobble stones and hiking trails, down stairs and over tree roots ain't easy. But after not looking up for 15 minutes or so just make sure I didn't snag the buggy wheels on something this incredible view of the castle appeared and made all that struggle worth it.
We were in the back of the pack, but the view just got better and better.
Ok, this is cool...

I didn't know what this sign meant, but we went left. Schloss must mean castle.
Ah, an ancient torture device to keep small children from being bad.

It was really hot up in that room with everyone, so Annika and I ducked out for a bottle.
This is what we saw.

Then, out of know where, Donald Bratt shows up! Finally, my chance to talk Swedish politics! For those who care... this is where I get my information on Swedish Politics:
Mike comes over and goes, hey I know this guy!

Suzi is just figuring it out that Donald was there when this picture was taken.
Micheal and Team Wilson having a good time.
Haymo is the only guy in the room taller than me.... I put Annika in his hands and she smiled... thanks. My arms were getting tired.
As we left, the clouds rolled in and made for an excellent sunset...
...and as we turned the corner to walk back the same way we came, it started to pour down rain. At first I was upset, but Cassandra was enjoying herself so much... see, walking in the rain is great. Walking in the rain in Germany with your wife and daughter through the woods and back to the marina laughing the whole way back is awesome!
These pictures are from Anders Ronn... some good shots of inside the castle and well... a recap of the fun we had.

Friday, July 25, 2008


As I was walking up to the bathroom, I hear this German guy talking to Mike say, "Do you know what you are?" Mike says no, what? "Schluckspecht." There was much laughing around from the others on boats near by and all I hear is Mike saying, "What does that mean?" over and over again.
It turns out to mean someone who drinks too much. Who?! Us?! Wait a minute, what's that in your hand? a beer? Hmmm... I don't know how they got this impression of us.
Maybe because we always seemed to have a fresh beer in our hands?
People kept offering them to us, including Stephan Rosehr... what am I supposed to do? Say no to the NFIA president?!
Ok, we had a few glasses of wine at the Castle and shared a moment with each other... heck, we were doing well in a regatta we weren't expected to... so yeah, we had a few drinks.

Ok, Mike did give us engraved flasks with rum and we had a little nip each morning as we left the harbor and we did carry a 6 pack of beer and a bottle of aquavit... but only to celebrate if we sailed well. So, what? No body else brings beer with them when they sail? Right. We took everything else off the boat that wasn't bolted down to reduce weight, to make room for the beer. This was the last day, so we had 12 beers on board... I gave away at least 3, maybe 4.
I picked up these German Captain's hats in Hamburg, thought it might do something for team spirit... with spirits, for the spirits... you get the picture.
We did sit next to the kegerator and refilled our beers until they caught us and turned off the tap. Little did they know our skipper and bar owned turned it back on in a bout 2 seconds flat. :)
Fritz said the legal drinking age in Germany was 18.... he's only 19. Hinnerk was talking about bringing his boat over and selling it... GER 512... maybe he was drinking too much.
Bjorn did reach up and ring the bell... he bought a round for everyone left at the bar... maybe 30 beers?
He's trying to blame someone for him reaching up and ringing the bell, but we all knew he wanted to do it. Schluckspecht, huh? We found out it literally means gulp-woodpecker. Like the beak of the woodpecker pecking at the alcohol... I think it will make an excellent name for my next boat.

Spy Project Target: GER 658 Chikita

Ok, Quick... Christoph is parked at the regatta beer, let's go take a look at his boat.
Simple... that was my first impression. Everything is simple, streamlined and no extras. The winches and traveler were moved slightly more forward than most boats... makes sense, keep the weight forward, but Christoph looked like he had lost 20 or more pounds... Hmmm.
Backstay draws beautifully straight down, lines very thin...
Nothing fancy here either... those stars on in front of and behind the jib lead tracks are kinda weird, but again... real simple.
I don't care how fugly the boat is, it's fast... I'd buy it if I had the money.
Oh shit, here comes Torben... act normal.

Hey Torben, nice weather we're having, huh? We are so busted.
What are we doing? Oh nothing, just looking around, taking some pictures... mind if I look down below?
No? Ok, I'll just take a look at the mast then.
Hey, why don't you come up on the dock so I can see down below... I've always wanted to see where you guys put the mast on the step.
Scheisse Torben! You shouldn't have stepped there, now Christoph's going to be pissed! Not to worry, it's nothing a little epoxy can't fix. You're not going to fix it? I hope you don't get a splinter in your arse. Hey, it's about to rain, let's go get a beer?