My skirt was a little too big for my combing; the result had been that every time I turned hard, cold water spilled onto my leg and into my boat. I tied a string around the front of my skirt solving a problem that had annoyed me for the last 18 days.
It didn't seem like lowering the skeg had made much of a difference since the last time I fixed it. I checked to make sure it worked and discovered it didn't. I might be able to fix it with a hex wrench which I do not have. I weighted the stern to reduce weather cocking.
I paddled in the tight space between islands and under their connecting bridges before setting out into more open waters.
To the northwest the sky and sea were bright blue. To the southeast they were doom gray. I paddled the glassy sky-reflecting waters in between passed small islands. To the east bulbous stony mountains were great puffs of smoke reaching towards the heavens forever frozen, broken by fjords meandering deep into the mountains.
I tried some seaweed. The leave's pea sized enclosures perpetually reached towards the surface where the sun was brightest. There was a rough sawdust after taste.
A tail wind picked up. The waves began to break around me left and right as I pulled into hyperdrive. Without a skeg, my boat wanted to weathercock, despite the extra weight in the stern. The wanting wasn't subtle like I want a Jewish Norwegian wife, it was powerful like the need to go to the bathroom after I eat insufficiently cooked Norwegian peas.*
I edged way over nearly using my gunwale as my keel. I held my paddle from the end and only on one side. Each stroke I exaggerated pulling water away from my bow. Barely, and only with my most massive effort, did I keep my boat going straight-ish.
At least I was going fast and I soon arrived in Stokko's marina, phenomenally exhausted. There, in an unattended marina building, I found a hot shower, kitchenette, and well heated living room with a comfortable couch.
The next morning the wind continued. After my own failure to fix my skeg, the locals gathered together with all their tools and wisdom to repair it for me.
In the end, they told me "There's a place up north where they may be able to help you with the stripped screws," that were part of the problem. They showed me on my chart. It was a week and a half away.
In the afternoon I sat at a bar to use the internet. A man started chatting with me and invited me to sleep over. Only, I'd need to drive him home since he'd had too much to drink.
The last time I drove stick was in Naples after the first leg of my Spain - Cyprus expedition. That was for three blocks and the car stalled as many times. My host helped by occasionally operating the BMW's stick and telling me to press the break. Before long I figure out that by break he meant clutch and we were moving. Sometimes I did it all by myself, but occasionally went to the wrong gear. Fortunately, I managed to stay clear of the reverse, except for when I needed it and that wasn't so fortunate.
That night at the beach he introduced me to Andrea, who had just come back from studying in Paris. She was a little taller than me and made a point in life a facing her fears. I wonder if she knows how long to cook peas. She wanted to hear my stories, which was good since I wanted to tell them to her, and then maybe speak of love.
The young lady sitting next to Andrea got up to go to bed, but not without a long intimate romantic parting good night kiss with Andrea. Andrea told me that she had an extra bed in her room and I was welcome to stay with her for the weekend if I wanted to remain on the island for a few extra days.
I went to my very comfortable bed that evening confused and slightly titillated.
*Hopefully my Norwegian wife will know how long to cook the local peas, and I'll hit two birds with one stone.
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