May 15 2005

Thank you Mother Nature!

For one of the few times I can remember since moving to southern Sweden nearly three years ago, the weekend weather was absolutely PERFECT for the activities we had planned. Saturday was warm and only partly sunny…which was ideal for sailboat waxing. And Sunday was warm and mostly sunny…ideal for new bike riding! But if sore muscles are any indication, I can say with some authority that waxing an 8.5 meter sailboat is much more strenuous than cycling 26 kilometers!

I knew that boats (particularly boats of any size) required ALOT of maintenance, but I had no idea that fiberglass hulls had to be waxed before being launched for the season. And it turns out that you cannot wax a hull until it’s been treated with a special marine polish. So first we polished, and then we waxed. It took 7 hours to finish the job.

I volunteered Dr. Darling and myself for this duty when another ex-pat friend at work happened to mention that she and her Swede owned sailboat. I did this because growing up in the land-locked midwestern U.S. makes dreams of sailing practically compulsory. I have wanted to learn how to sail for as long as I can remember, and now that I actually live in a coastal community there’s at least a chance of making the dream a reality.

But sailing lessons are expensive, so I thought it wise to at least spend some time on a sailboat before plunking down the cash. I have basically been trying to befriend a sailboat owner ever since…and once I had done that, offering to help get the boat ready for the season seemed like the best way to secure an invitation to go sailing. So far the plan is working perfectly!

And actually, we had a really lovely day in spite of the hard work. It was a lot of fun to get to know my Estonian friend’s family. She and her partner Henrik have a daughter who will soon be 4-years-old, so we were able to take regular breaks from impersonating Daniel in "The Karate Kid" to supervise Emily on the nearby playground equipment or help her catch small shrimp in a net.  After we finished down at the harbor we had a barbecue in the garden in front of their apartment…delicious food and great company.  Needless to say, I’m really looking forward to the sailing!

Sunday was reserved for zipping around town on my new bike.  We rendezvoused with our American pal Nicole who is still getting used to using a bicycle as her primary mode of transportation.  She was a real trooper about the rather extensive trek we took her on.  I was very proud of her!

Feed my ego!

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