from the Radiance crew in Denmark.
Happy Halloween from Denmark
An early Halloween at Tivoli, October 18th
Fall in Farum, (Denmark)
The sea berth
This is our sea berth. This is a photo taken while at anchor somewhere. Normally there will be cushions and pillows on both sides to make it just wide enough that you can wedge yourself in.
The best sleep in the world
07/05/2009, The farm in Denmark
If you have followed along with us through our sporadic blog postings then you may recall reading things like "sounds like somebody taking a baseball bat to a car door" and "Every time a wave smacked against the fibreglass hull, it made a sound like a collision".
It is true, at sea you will hear you boat make sounds that are unbelievable from the beating they take.
On noisy nights I sleep with ear plugs so I do not hear a thing. That said; a sea berth on a passage is where you will likely get the best sleep in the world.
That 18 inch wide bed against the hull-side lockers on one side and a lee-cloth (sheet of fabric) on the other is like a cocoon. When laying there wedged in between pillows and cushions, the motion of the boat stops. And that is a good thing. For a few hours at the time, you do not have to brace yourself, hold on to something, or adjust your balance.
But that is not the best thing about the sea berth.
There, you have a feeling of total assurance that nothing can happen to you while you are asleep. You are perfectly safe in your snug bed. I suppose it is like falling asleep in your room when you were 5-years old, listening to the faint sounds of your parent's voices, knowing that they will watch over you in the night.
In the sea berth you know the person on watch is looking over you, and keeping you safe. Radiance is looking after all of us. In the few seconds after putting my head on my pillow, before I fall asleep, I often marvel at the home we have. Radiance, with the help of the tireless windvane Wanda, keeps on going through the pitch black night, keeping steady on her course. When you get up in the morning and make breakfast then it is almost as if she says to you "I am glad you guys had a good night, go ahead and have some breakfast, don't worry about us we'll just keep on going".
It should be said that we always sail very conservatively at night, and therefore only have to wake up the off-watch on very rare occasions.
We have found it useful to have two types of upholstery on our settee cushions. The normal side (nice side) and a bottom side made of heavy vinyl. While in the tropics it can get very hot when you sleep and some of us sweat like crazy, so it is nice to have a cushion that is easy to clean and that does not stain. We have not yet perfected the sheets and covers we use, but I would say that some research into synthetics that do not absorb moisture and salt, and are easy to wash, would be worth looking into.
Let me finish this with a confession. The above statements are only 95% true. There are of course nights when the seas and wind are just such that it is almost impossible (except for Malou) to get any real sleep. That is OK though, as long you are out at sea, since you are not really doing anything the next day anyway.
P.S. Bad weather does not always mean a poor nights sleep. The worst weather we had on our passage from Mexico to Marquesas was just north of the equator. Late one afternoon a large squall caught up with us and stayed with us. The seas were so crappy and ridiculously steep that it made no sense to keep on sailing. So we hove Radiance to with a deeply reefed main and went to bed, all of us. Best sleep we had on that trip.
The Sears Tower is at risk of being renamed.
What does working with one's hands or Shell Oil Company in Nigeria have to do with sailing?
It is all connected, somehow.
Sailing, cruising, downsizing, reducing waste, conserving resources, taking a journey from having work as your life... to work as only a means to an end... and back again to seeing work as something you enjoy, believe in, and find productive and satisfying for your mind, body and soul. That's kind of an ideal, and can obviously only be achieved once one's basic needs are met. But the more basic one's needs, the more possible it is to meet them with the income from a job one enjoys.
..."good food, shelter, and something meaningful to do." - and friends and family.
[This posting references the previously-dated two postings with links to news articles and photos.]
What's happening in Nigeria? I don't know the conversation among Nigerians living near the oil leaks and gas burns and polluted fishing grounds. It's probably about the basics. The lack of basic necessities, in direct contradiction to the wealth being pumped out of the ground. Not only does it seem that none of the wealth is seen locally, but that the direct reverse is the case; they are paying the consequences for someone else's oil and monetary gains.
So, what will happen to Shell and companies like it? Probably not much. But, the market can make a difference. The market being a looming term for all the stuff we buy and the value of the resources it takes to make all that stuff. It comes back to conserving, downsizing, and thinking.
So many things we use are made from petroleum. We try to think about the packaging at the grocery stores where we shop. There is plastic everywhere. Non-recyclable plastic.
People seem afraid to talk to the stores about their supplier's packaging. If there is only one kind of eggplant available and it's wrapped in plastic on top of a foam carton, (which we have seen), then should we choose something else for dinner? Denmark seems to have as much plastic packaging on regular non-organic produce as anywhere else we've been. There is the option of buying organic produce, which often has better packaging, (also more expensive), or of buying from a 'green grocer', meaning a small veggie-only market. They are more likely to sell produce individually, possibly more locally-grown, without the packaging that is common for produce that's been shipped to Denmark from Spain, or even South America.
It's tough when you are on a budget, to change policy through your shopping habits.
Life is a lot tougher for people who live in a place that's been exploited of it's resources so we can have twenty kinds of fresh produce year-round, fish that once sustained a small poor nation, and a cup of daily coffee, and the disposable cup it comes in.
It's not popular to talk about people's coffee. Enough for now. But, have a "bring your own cup to work day"...soon. It's not unsanitary if it doesn't touch the machine. Certainly no more unsanitary than the germs on the money being changed hands.
We will keep thinking and keep trying.
The next posting topic might be about immigration... which is pretty hot whether you're in Denmark or Missouri, U.S., and is also connected to the issues in the posting above. ...the Nigerian woman in the grocery store in Denmark; poverty-stricken Somalia with it's depleted fishing stock; the children's book at the local library that is in Somali and English; the Arabic children's book that begins on the back page instead of the front; the check-out girl at the super-market who wears a head scarf; the political poster on the advertisement board at the train station that says "Give us Denmark back".
It's all a learning process for me.
Link to photos of Shell Oil Company in Nigeria
Royal Dutch Shell Nigeria
Topic for the day.
The Case for Working With Your Hands
By MATTHEW B. CRAWFORD
Published: May 24, 2009
Changes in the economy have had the surprising effect of making the manual trades more attractive as careers.
Matthew B. Crawford lives in Richmond, Va. His book, "Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work," from which the linked essay is adapted, will be published this week by Penguin Press
Denmark photo gallery has been added...
a shop in Holte, Denmark