Category: Story

Looking Back

Well, our holidays are almost over and we are home again!

This weeks weather wasn’t what we hoped for. As soon as Michelle and Dounia had left on Easter Sunday, it changed during Easter Monday and the evening was rainy and grey. Which meant we haven’t done so much, except of scrubbing the boat on Monday afternoon.

On Tuesday it was still raining (at least the wind had died down) and Patrik and I decided to drive to Savona to check out the shipyard. We want to sail Luna Azzurra there end of August/beginning of September, in order to lift her out of the water, clean the hull and repaint it with antifouling.

Since we have three weeks holiday then, it would be perfect spending the first week in Savona, working on the boat and afterwards having two weeks for sailing!

However, going around the shipyard in the rain, wasn’t much fun and when Patrik called the guy who is operating the lift and manages “his” part of the yard, it turned out he didn’t speak english. Such a bummer!

On the way back to the Marina di Loano, we went grocery shopping and around five p.m. we were at the boat again, unpacking and preparing a little aperitif.

Surprisingly, Patrik’s mobile rang and it turned out that the guy from Savona had managed to organise a friend, who speaks english. So with his help Patrik was able to ask a few questions and get an email address. With help of a translation program we’ll be able to communicate with each other.  Super!

Since the weather hadn’t improved, we soon started to cook dinner – a very tasty ratatouille with couscous and salad. It wasn’t even eleven when we went to bed – tired nevertheless.

Wednesday morning started dry when we got up, but just before lunch it started to rain again…. *arrrgghh* 

It didn’t bother Patrik that much, because he went out and changed the genoa sheets anyway. The old ones looked a bit ragged, so we bought new ones, in a nice bordeaux colour.

The rest of the day went quiet, we visited the marina office and Matteo at his new shop.

Unfortunately, I’ve received the news by now that our bimini won’t arrive this week….We suspected that it wasn’t even finished yet. But the responsible person promised that it will be shipped on Friday, 26th April. And – surprise – on Thursday evening I received a tracking number for the consignment. At least that worked out!

That meant that Patrik and I would leave on Friday, no point staying longer. Also, the weather didn’t improve a lot – when it wasn’t raining, it was windy…

So on Thursday my main job was cleaning the boat, while Patrik tested the new Mercury motor with the dinghy! It worked wonderfully and Patrik was more than satisfied! Great job!

We also had to  settle things with Matteo, about mounting the bimini. Regrettably he explained that he wouldn’t be able to mount it by himself, so we decided that Patrik would drive to Loano and together they would complete the job.

It’s annoying of course, since we’ve spent more than a week at the boat, partly of course, planing to mount the new bimini!

We suppose the consignment will arrive on Monday or Tuesday next week. That means Patrik would leave for Loano at lunch on Tuesday, arriving at the marina in the evening and on Wednesday morning, 01st May he an Matteo would assemble the bimini -which shouldn’t take more than three hours (according to them).

Afterwards, Patrik would leave Loano again, hopefully coming home within a reasonably time in the evening.

That’s our plan so far…..we hope it works out that way! Also, because the sailing season is starting and we have a guest booked for next weekend! We need Luna Azzurra to be ready – and asap!

 

Easter Greetings from Loano !

Happy Easter everyone! Since Thursday afternoon we are in Loano, staying on Luna Azzurra.

We are four this time: My “oldest” girlfriend Michelle – we know each other since kindergarten – and a friend of hers, Dounia, are with us. Partly for a short holiday – on Sunday afternoon they will drive back to Switzerland – and partly to help us to mount the new bimini. OR SO WAS THE PLAN!

Another reason is that Michelle might rent Luna Azzurra during the summer with some friends, one of them has the sailing license, and she wanted to have a look at the boat and the marina.

What have we done so far?

On Thursday afternoon, we drove directly to Albenga, there you find a huge shopping mall, to buy groceries. Then back to the Marina di Loano, where we started to arrange ourselves and get comfy on the boat. I have a strong feeling, the two “girls” like their cabins and feel at home!

Like I said, on Friday it was planned to mount the new bimini. Well, was….. Unfortunately, the manufacturer in Germany couldn’t finish it in time. Although I’ve tried everything last week, even called them to push the production, but it turned out that 12 weeks delivery time wasn’t enough… What a bummer!

I’m not saying, it’s the manufacturers fault! Patrik and I should have ordered a week or two earlier. But we took it for granted that the mentioned, approximately 12 weeks in the offer, would be plenty! Well, next time we’ll know better….hahaha!

So, according to the administrator, the bimini was finished this week and sent to Loano. It means it should arrive withing next week (fingers double crossed!!). Luckily, Patrik and I are still here for a week (instead of being out sailing…..*grumble*….).

Sadly it’s only the two of us then and I hope we’ll manage to mount this vast structure! Patrik and I would have been super happy about Michelle’s and Dounia’s help!

Saturday started quite gusty, but the sun was shining. So we decided taking Luna Azzurra out and enjoy a sailing day! It was 09.30 a.m. when we left the marina, everyone was in high spirits. The wind was great and soon the mainsail and jib were out. We reached between 6 and 7 knots and passed Savona and Genoa.

Sadly, Michelle started to feel a bit sick, but after we had some lunch she started to feel better again! The temperatures rose slowly, which was good – but unfortunately, the winds started to die at the same time. As soon we did our tacking (around 2 p.m.) in order to turn around, heading for Loano again, the wind was nearly down to zero… It meant we had to start the engine – too bad!

It was almost 5.30 p.m. when we reached our home marina. The sun was still out, accompanied by a light breeze and everyone had a big smile on its face! Happiness was evident!

After the mooring, it was time for an aperitif, then a shower and soon we started preparing our dinner!

Weariness wasn’t far away so it wasn’t even 11 p.m. when we went to bed…. Good night my friends, sleep tight!

Today is Easter Sunday, which means Michelle and Dounia will drive home today! After a late breakfast and discussing their trip, we will probably head once more to Loano, for a short stroll. I think between 4 and 5 p.m.  they will leave! Thanks for coming, you two and have a save trip back to Switzerland!

Patrik’s and mine plan for next week is still vague. The weather forecast for tomorrow isn’t very dazzling and we still strongly hope that our bimini will arrive…

 

A New Family Member !

We are very happy and proud to announce that a new member has arrived in our family…..it’s a…….Volvo !

Well, the main reason was Italy. Since we most probably will travel there more often now, we decided we need a “cheaper” car. Still big enough to load stuff – as we can with our Chevy – but one which isn’t as thirsty. We also have an Audi TT Roadster Cabriolet, but since it is a two-seater, it’s not very practical.

Although, it’s a real fun toy, which suits Italy and its climate.

Well, it’s obvious that we can’t have three cars and a Harley – so one had to go…. sadly it was our toy car! Since spring is coming, the chance of selling a cabrio was much higher than that of a heavy, 2 ton, always thirsty, American dinosaur! And we were right, the car dealer took our Audi as a partial payment.

Our Chevy has meanwhile had its service and the obligatory check-up and everything was fine – he passed the test! So now we are thinking about selling it as well and buy a small car again (preferably a cabriolet again). But there is no rush….

Anyway, about our new car: We were looking for quite a while until we settled for a (second-hand) Volvo XC60, which aren’t monster-big, but have enough room to load and transport things. It’s a 2015 model with 91’000 km, black outside with ivory-colored seats.

Plus it’s a diesel and it boozes almost half of the Chevy. Another positive point is, it’s a very comfy car, so when driving 6-7 hours to Italy you don’t feel like having been run over by a truck!

And you know what, here comes the clou: It’s the Volvo Ocean Race Edition! It’s such a fantastic coincidence! We couldn’t believe it when we saw the ad and when we drove to the car dealer and saw it live, we knew we’d found our new car!

Luckily, the guy was open and didn’t only accept our Audi for payment, but he also agreed that we get 4 winter tires in mint condition and he arranged to tint all the back windows. Of course check-up and service had been done as well when we picked it up last Saturday!

So yes, we are confident that we bought a good car and can’t wait to see, how little fuel it will use when driving to Loano the next time – which will be before the Easter weekend!

That means, see you next time on Easter with greeting from Italy and Luna Azzurra!  A Presto!

Visitors on Saturday Evening !

Well no, no martens this time (although, we still hear them sometimes running around on the rooftop)!

No, our dear neighbour – and Odins hero (catsitter) – Cony, her three children Tiana, Samuel and Kilian and Cony’s partner Lukas came to us for dinner. Their baby girl Lina was also with us, but she slept most of the time – with seven months no surprise!

We decided to do a homemade chilli sin carne (of course), accompanied by a crisp sallad and  fresh (bought) bread, for our guests – a second version a bit less hot for Lukas. Apparently, he not very used to chilli and Co. No problem for us, of course!

The benefit with this meal is, it can be easily prepared the day before and it actually tastes better by doing so. So Patrik was in the kitchen on Friday evening, cooking his tasty speciality. Soon the house was filled with the spicy smell…it was hard, not to fill two plates and eat a big portion already…

Since Lukas is a milk goat farmer and had to do the evening stable, he came a bit later than Cony and the kids. But around 8 p.m. we were complete and enjoyed the remaining aperitif.

The main course was a true success and everyone loved it…. no one reacted that Patrik used soya “minced meat”, as usual actually!

Of course we had a lot to talk about, since we hadn’t seen each other for a while. One big theme was Cony’s relocating with her kids. Since Lukas has his farm he has no intention of moving house, which is understandable.

So the only other solution was, that Cony and her kids move to Lukas. It took some time, since Lukas parents also live at the farm and a new house had to be built for them, otherwise it would have been too crowded.

Well this summer it will be finished and our neighbours will say goodbye to Uesslingen. Although, it’s not too far away – maybe 20 minutes from us – we will miss her and the children… And Odin of course! Countless times he made a visit to them, while Patrik and I were working. And of course, they were the “can openers” when we were away. So yes, it will be quite change, for us as well!

However, we still have a few months to spend some time together, so I guess we’ll make the best of it and visit each other as often as possible!

Here are a few photos of our evening together, hope you like them  🙂

Greetings from Italy !

We are in Loano and Borghetto Santa Spirito this weekend and wish you all an amazing time!

A Surprising Turn!

In case someone is interested concerning the outcome about the search for my roots. This is what happened:

My father actually contacted me by email! Sadly, he wrote that he hadn’t anything left from his father. The only photo he had of him, has been destroyed when he was a teenager….

So no, no letter or documents available. At least I know now how to write and pronounce the English name correctly 😃

But amazingly he also wrote that he never wanted to end our contact. The last time we saw each other (more than twenty years ago) and then said goodbye, we arranged for a new meeting. Unfortunately, afterwards I saw that on that date I had already arranged to meet my girlfriend, so I called and cancelled with my father. I told him that I was sorry and I would look forward to a new arrangement – which never came. Therefore, I thought, he wasn’t really interested keeping in touch….

Well, now I learned, that he thought the same. For in his eyes, I’ve cancelled the meeting with him because I rather wanted to go out with my girlfriend. Like, something “better” had come up, suddenly.

Ridiculous really…and albeit it’s such a long time ago, I know for sure, that I would never have done that. An appointment is an appointment!

So I explained that to him in a new email and also told him what a silly misunderstanding it must have been. He thought that I wasn’t interested to keep in contact and I thought the same of him….🙈

Anyway, last weekend we talked on the telephone, after he explained (again in an email),  that he and his wife would gladly meet me and my husband and we would be welcome at their home in Zurich. So we settled for a Saturday in April, Patrik and I are invited for dinner and I’m sure we’ll have a lot to talk about.

Isn’t it funny how life plays sometimes? Regrettably, I couldn’t find out much more about my family history, but instead, I’ve recovered my “roots” somehow, after all 🥂🍾

 

A First Wary Forecast

Well, since I’m a bit superstitious, I almost don’t dare to say it….

But we can’t deny that the last few weeks we did have some bookings for Luna Azzurra. Plus people are showing a general interest in her and ask questions by email.

So, considering that Patrik and I are new to this whole business, I would say we can be happy so far!

It’s still early in the year and we are not sure if people do usually wait a bit longer with booking boats for vacation. The weather isn’t really tempting either, perhaps a bit early to think about sailing, swimming and hot weather…. At least here in central Europe it still looks more like winter than spring. Luckily no more snow, but still chilly with cold winds. The sun is kind enough and presents herself sometimes, though!

When checking the weather in the south it’s a few degrees warmer and we envy the lucky ones there. We also saw on the webcams that the marina is starting to wake up from its winter sleep. On nice weekends people are there, fiddling with their boats, go out sailing or simply enjoy a few days on their yachts!

Yeah, Patrik and I do wish we would live closer to our Luna Azzurra!

As a little treat, we’ll drive to Loano on the 30th March and stay for one night (only). Most of all we have a customer who would like to test Luna Azzurra for a few hours on Sunday morning till early afternoon. Plus we plan to fix the bow toilet (nothing major, but it has to be done).

So why not taking the chance and do a little work on Saturday afternoon and meeting a guest on Sunday?

Furthermore, on Saturday evening we’ll meet someone who owns a sailing school in Loano. Naturally, we look forward to this gathering – who knows what comes out?

This time we won’t sleep on Luna Azzurra by the way, but in a small hotel in Borghetto Santa Spirito. Firstly, we always wanted to visit this little town, which lies just beside Loano. The other reason is that the effort of cleaning the boat after only one night isn’t worth it.

So yes, things are happening and good ones too! We definitely are very excited and hope for a good sailing season with many happy guests!

Cheers and Ahoy!

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