From September last year till this summer, I was working on a project which demanded some extra time and efforts, especially at the end before launch (which doesn’t), and the customer was nice enough to treat us to a reward trip for our success; basically, for doing what we’re paid to do in the first place.
Anyway, I really appreciate grateful customers, so naturally I agreed to go on the trip. We were about 20 persons going on this trip (I think), and the plan was to have two sailing boats and do some match racing in the Swedish archipelago, to our destination Sandhamn. With me on my boat was two colleagues who I like very much: Visar Ulaj and Clark Kent (aka Jonatan Larsson), who joined the projects for the last couple of months.
Unfortunately, though, there was no wind. No wind at all. And then it started raining. We made a lunch stop and watched the Olympics in our sailing boat, drinking beer and generally having a good time. After lunch, the clouds actually started to disperse, but still, no wind.
With us being good sports, this naturally meant mocking the people in the other boat, their instructor and each other. While drinking more beer, of course.
Jonatan constantly bugged the instructor to get to steer the boat, and was indeed very proud when he could do it with a certain “technique”. His words and the sight of it still echoes in my head:
Look, no hands!
Luckily, Visar (arm on the left) quickly showed him that that’s not an acceptable behavior:
After some hours getting literally nowhere, the sky once again darkened. And this time, it blew up to a storm, in the exact direction we were going! Soon the rain was pouring down and lightning started to strike down closer and closer to the boat. Throughout the thunder and increasing wind we could hear the skipper cry out:
Whatever you do, don’t hold on to any metal!
He told Jonatan to steer with just one hand now, in case the lightning actually did hit us, and trust me, Jonatan didn’t seem at all interested in the no-hands method now…
We counted seconds between the visual of the lightning and the roar of thunder, and it got so much closer in such a short time that we eventually had to cancel the race, and sail of in another direction, and consequently run by engine instead.
When we reached Sandhamn we were all drenched, even through our rain clothes, and for some reason the crotch area seemed to be the weak part in our set of rain protection pants. A big group of men walking of a sailing boat in the harbor with wet crotches isn’t really the kind of entrance one wants to do…
After that, though, we had a great evening with jacuzzi baths, a great dinner and lots of fun events. During dinner, at one time I laughed so hard I thought I’d stop breathing, so if a good laugh prolongs life, I’m sure to become a lot older than those yogurt fetishists in the Kazakhstani mountains.
One of my other favorite happenings during the evening was when one of the guys in the team got rather, eh, ingenious, and was going on like crazy: disliking the DJ’s songs, the apparently lame crowd and other assorted things. He wasn’t violent at all, just upset that he didn’t get to do all the proper dancing he wanted to.
Me and a guy named Peter shared room, and he had this idea to drink about a gallon of water before going to bed, to avoid feeling ill the next day. I went to bed and feel asleep, very tired and fairly drunk. After having been asleep for just a short amount of time, I heard someone running into the bathroom.
My father instincts kicked in right away, and I got under the impression that it was my oldest daughter Emilia, 4 years old, in the bathroom. To make sure everything was ok with her, I jumped out of bed, yelled “Emilia”, and ran to the bathroom door and pulled the handle. As soon the door started to opening, it was jerked closed again rather curtly, and I heard a groan from a very deep voice in there.
Man, Emilia has gotten a very dark voice
I thought, and slowly it dawned on me. It wasn’t Emilia at all, it was Peter in there…
I withdrew very quickly and quietly to my bad, and didn’t say a word when Peter got out again. After that, Peter went to the bathroom at least once every half hour, since his body had decided he needed to pie out that gallon of water before sunlight.
The morning after
We were awaken in a nice harmonic way: garbage trucks backing up and emptying dumpsters with glass bottles. Hallelujah! Apparently some of the people living on the other side of the hotel were instead awakened by cannon shots, so I guess we can call it a draw.
I had decided to get up in time to get some hotel breakfast before the trip back home again, and, lo and behold, I was actually the last person to get to the restaurant. Either all the other people have great stamina or they just don’t live as hard as I do.
The day after: A picture of Peter, my room mate. He was a bit quiet all day…
At 11.30 we started our journey home, and that was the end of the trip. If anyone’s interested, I’ve published pictures from the Sandhamn sailing trip (unfortunately none from the storm, for obvious reasons).