Sunday, May 30, 2010

Back in the US (thanks to Dad)

My flight from Poland was cancelled due to the strike at British Airways (avoid traveling thru London!), and rescheduled for June 9. Dad rebooked me on a direct flight to Chicago, where I spent a lovely day working off my jet lag by lounging in the sun, riding in Dad's convertable, and shopping with Mom.

Now I'm back on the boat, where fans are running at high speed, and the sun is scorching our decks. It's ninety something outside today, and I'm waiting for the sun to creep across the sky to offer me some shade to work by. Travis is off in Va. going to motorcycle school and I will attack the overhead on our back deck, meaning I will peel off what fiberglass there is hanging loose, then grind, sand and finally primer the exposed wood. Its not a big area, but its all overhead, so it should be pretty terrible. I'm going to capitalize on my renewed enthusiasm for boat work however, and get this job over with. Having been away from boats for the last 14 days, I'm pumped enough to perhaps enjoy this job a bit. OK, who am I kidding? This is not going to be fun, but, the after-glow of a hell job completed will be awesome.

I will leave you with a few pics of Poland.

This is Bialystok. The city I grew up in. The biggest culture shock for me was the cleanliness of the streets. There are trash cans everywhere(and people use them) as well as people walking around sweeping the streets and parks. I didn't see a single piece of trash anywhere!

Churches, and there are many of them, are open all day long. Anyone can come in and vandalize... um, I mean look around. I thought the bloody feet on this Christ were particularily disturbing.

Inside this church is dripping with gold leaf, typical of the Catholic style. You can see a worker on the left, touching up the gold leaf. My footsteps echoed loudly as I toured these quiet sanctuaries, where ordinary people stopped by on their way to or from somewhere to say hi to God.

These trains are loud and fast, and the train station chaotic but immaculate!

Stork migrate from Africa to Poland? Its true. They come back year after year, and build their nests on top of special platforms people set up on top of electrical poles. Storks are said to bring good luck and having a nest on your property means you are free from moles digging up your yard, as moles are evidently easy prey for the stork.

Restoring old things must run in the family. My aunt took over as director of what used to be a dilapitating country school, and after fifteen years, this is what it look like today. Beautiful!

I saw this sticker in several places. I also saw a gang of skinhead questioned by the policja. Poland is a land full of history and contradictions.


Jamie said...

Overhead work SUCKS! I am feeling your pain. Will look forward to pictures, of course. Cheering you on from here, J

jomamma said...

Very interesting! Glad you are back safe and sound.

Mid-Life Cruising! said...

Sounds like you had a nice time in Poland. It's always good to take a break from boat work. It can be really tough!

Motorcycle school, huh? Ken and I both ride motorcycles and look forward to when our sailboat is back in the water and we can actually ride on our bikes (and boat) again.

Travis and Maggie said...

Thanks Jamie, its nice to know I'm not the only onewho knows the pains of overhead sanding!

Jomamma, thank you, as always

Mid- Life, so you guys ride and haven't died yet? Everyone is telling us how crazy it is to want to ride a motorcycle, coz we're sure to have an accident and definetly die. That's the same thing people say about sailing BTW. Travis did really well riding, and he's very responsible, so I feel comfortable that we will be safe (that's for mom who's probably reading this :))
What kind of bikes do you guys ride? Any bikes you'd recommend for a first timer?

jomamma said...

Just like anything, if you get overly confident you could get hurt.

We got a call just last night from our very emotional 24 yr old son who had witnessed a good friend loose control of his bike on an on ramp, he fell, his helmet came off and he died. Our son and other friends had all been out riding. I think Jeff had been looking back in the mirror to see if he was coming and saw him go down. He turned around to try to get to him. He was taken by CareFlight but didn't make it. Not something anyone should have to see at any age.

Please be careful and wear all the protective gear correctly. I don't want to put a damper on your excitement of learning something new and becoming legal... I would definitely not recommend a Crotch Rocket, although these boys may have been riding modified (for street) dirt bikes.

Travis and Maggie said...

Oh wow. Your son must be devastated. That's so sad, and scary. I feel sick that I was talking so lightly about dying on a bike. That's really terrible.
I'm guessing he died because he wasn't wearing his helmet correctly? Or was he overconfident like you said in the beginning? Man that's just such a terrible story.
You know in truth I don't care for having a motorcycle, but Travis has wanted one for a long time, and we are knocking out our unfulfilled desires one by one, so I guess this one is up. I can't really stop him anyway. I hate hearing all these terrible stories though. I think this one takes the cake. I'm really sorry for your son's loss.

jomamma said...

Maggie, I think if a person has the strong desire to do something that others look at as dangerous then that's their choice, and we have to let them do it. The hubby has had bikes and also raced cars. He would never take me riding on his bikes, he didn't want me to put my life in his hands. When I showed interest in racing go-karts, he obliged by buying me one. He paced the track like a Nervous Nellie while I raced. And he was so relieved when I gave it up.

People who choose these risks should do it at their own choosing. Unfortunately it sometimes takes something scary to make them decide they don't want to do it anymore. My brother laid down a brand new Harley just driving it home from the dealership... slid into a backhoe that made an illegal turn in front of him. That was the last of many close calls on bikes for him. He decided he didn't want to leave his daughter an orphan.

We are very shaken by what has happened to Jeff, but not near as much as he is. I talked to Jeff tonite, he's still in shock. We are just going to have to wait and see how he handles this. Whether or not he decides to sell his 4 bikes and not ride again will be his choice. If he does continue to ride I would hope he did it safely (which he usually does) and would also promote safe riding with others. The boy who died, made several mistakes, he didn't wear his helmet properly and he split the lane and misjudged how much space he had when passing Jeff and another rider who were going up a on ramp of the freeway. He hit the curb and lost control of the bike, he was thrown into the concrete wall of the overpass at a high speed knocking his helmet off. All Jeff and the other rider could do was stop to keep from hitting the wreckage and call for help, then wait... it's so sad. Not anything you want to hear about or have your child go through.

I know Travis will be safe for you.

Travis and Maggie said...

Yes, I know he will.

Wow, I thought your son was in front of the wreck, but you say they were coming up on it. That's horrible. I guess he saw the whole thing happen. I can't even imagine what that would be like. I wonder if he will ride again.

And its like you say. You have to let people make their own choices, no matter how much you would want them not to make those choices. Travis will definetly not be getting a crotch rocket. He's considering a nighthawk (sporty) or a silver wing ( a small couch on wheels, basically) we'll see. Again my deep condolances go out to your son, his friends and the boy's family.

rob said...

Maggie I rode a BMW R80 for years and only had a couple of near misses (well not so near actually) I used to have a feeling or "man and machine in unison" and at that point I would sl.,ow down and take extra care! usually I would enter a corner to find that a lorry was turning in the road or the road was oily or something ! not a sixth sense maybe coincidence? who knows but it worked for me. I always chose a "sit up and beg" style of riding position and the head down a*se up style had no attraction, if I wantew to go fast I`d sit in an aircraft or parachute, a darn site safer than riding on two wheels made of 6 inches of configured rubber which you have little or no control over, on a surface over which you have no control of (i.e. it could be wet oily or slippery you never know! get Travis to take care :o))

Travis and Maggie said...

Hey Rob, thanks for your comment. That's exactly the style T was looking at, one that sits him straight up. No heavenly arses for us. I don't know though, we may just hold off on the bike thing. Or at least hold out for a good deal. A couple of guys here at the marina ride BMW, they're nice, but so big! and expensive!

jomamma said...

My brother had or may still have a BMW. He loves them. Hubby had a Buell? They were made by Harley Davidson, but I think they may have stopped making them. It was a nice bike but he sold it when he got sick.

rob said...

Hi Maggie and Travis! you won`t be dissapointed with a BMW. my first one was an ex police bike with a million miles on the clock, but it "did for me!" and I traded up to a seven year old version, it wasn`t so expensive I think I paid about £600 in all for my last one, sure they were only BMW R 80s but I enjoyed them, they handle well are steady,not to flighty, easy to maintain. if a bit dated now?

rob said...

Just read in another blog.Hope all well and the works progressing well Rob!
Hannah. A colour change as we found the cream latex paint we’d used on the coach roof, whilst durable, turned black from the soot from the chimney and we could never get it clean. Our great friend Cary had supplied us with some paint he’d had left over from a job and we used that to tidy up the boat. Plus we decided to try the Cetol teak stain and have been more than happy with the result. All this took several weeks/months, as we needed to work between weather systems. In fact at one point we nearly didn’t work at all as, standing on a float alongside Hannah, I dropped an electric hand-sander into the water. I could see it buzzing away under water and hauled it up by the cord and grabbed hold of the unit to turn it off............. You’re probably ahead of me on this one but the resulting buzz I got made me glad it wasn’t the UK’s 240 volts I was receiving. Luckily Bee was on hand to disconnect me before any damage was done. Happily enough after we’d washed the unit out with fresh water and dried it over the next few weeks it worked fine. We used the time to remove booms, gaffs, and bowsprit and get them cleaned up and checked over. The dinghy got the once over too, a new mainsail cover made, lines replaced and some changes made to how things run. Hauled out for 48 hours to clean up and paint the bottom, helped Cary on various projects with his boat

Travis and Maggie said...

Yeah that dropping of the sander into the water is a constant thing to be aware of. . The scariest of me, was last year when we were doing the haul out, and when the tide came in we were actually saning while standing in three feet of water. All the electrical cords and connections had to be constantly monitored that they were nowhere near the rising water. Gotta love boat work!