Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Welcome to phase 2

I'm not far off a month into my "sea phase" and I have heard little from my training company about going to sea.  Many of my fellow Cadets have; so I'm sitting around, feeling frustrated, and generally not liking things.  The word is, that the beginning of April is a likely date for a birth to become available.   Don't be fooled, it's not all been sitting around moping- two weeks ago, I impulsively booked a two night trip to Krakow in Poland.

 It's funny that I said I wouldn't go there again, on the count of so many rude people there; in hindsight, that's not really the problem. I'd rather people act how they really are, than put up a charade of pseudo-friendliness, like here in the UK. For the second consecutive year, I gave up my seat on the bus for an elder, only to be scowled at. I'm beginning to think that manners are quintessentially a British custom. I was pretty inebriated in a bar, in the Jewish district, and I ended up playing some Mercury Rev, and Echo and the Bunnymen songs on a Piano; which was a particular highlight. The low point, being on the first night; my 'beer compass' must have needed recalibrating, as I didn't get back to the hotel til'  5am; after walking up and down in the snow for what seemed like eternity. I wanted to go and see inside the churches; and there was a few orchestral concerts on; I hinted to my mate about going, but I think he was just interested in the beer. Which wasn't a bad thing; but next time, I'm going to go for longer, and do what I want to do, as two nights wasn't enough.

This week I've been attempting to keep busy.  I've done 30 miles on the bike so far; and I'm intending on doing another 70 before the weeks out. 100 lousy miles; Considering last year I'd do 100 in one day; this isn't really acceptable.  Yesterday I took my dog across to Hilbre Island, which is a small group of three Islands off the coast of the Wirral; which you can walk over to at low water.  The intention was to test out my new (ish) camera by photographing the Seal colony; but they were not there; they must have been frolicking on some sandbank somewhere. So I just took some of the Island.

Lifeboat Launch (1849) - Last used in WW11

I made my way across through the morning mist; and when I got there, it was beautiful.  I was the only one there. For a twenty minutes or so; I took my hat off to Tom Neale. I'm reading Tom's book at the moment "An Island to Oneself" in which he tells of his 6 year stay on a tropical Atoll in the south pacific.  Just as I was beginning to appreciate the solitude; a family arrived, running amok; and a group of young hoodlums, one of which was a 'brummie'- he was louder than the American woman on the bus in Poland. Forgot to tell you about her, didn't I?   Anyway...back to the concrete jungle I went.

I bought my self a concert ukulele to take to sea with me; which over the past week, I've managed to master. I've been working on all different types of fancy strumming techniques, and I have to say that I love it. I don't go near my guitar any more!  

Another 6 weeks or so, of PHD level procrastination awaits me, before I finally go to sea.  I suppose I'll get stuck into to some rule of the road; and go over all the academic stuff from phase 1.