Yesterday, we arrived at the harbor of Stralsund at 23:15. Jeremy from the Cruising Association was ready, waving a flashlight so I knew where to go and I cannot tell you how relieved I was having that last uncertainty removed.
We had D tied up and engine off in 10 minutes, surely a record.
Saturday started in a frustrating fashion and ended the same way.
I use my Kindle for most books and I use the Kindle app on my phone for magazines and newspapers. The app works better because it’s in color and the newspaper I read, the Wall Street Journal is formatted far better for that medium.
Why do I like the WSJ?
As I moved around the world, the WSJ was the one paper that one could get consistently and I liked the mix of world, US and business news. Since I’ve gotten it on my Kindle, I like it even more since the version I get is for NY and has stories of the NY sports teams.
During this past year, I have come to realize that after a long day or before a long day starts, I really like having my cup of coffee and the newspaper. On reflection, I realize that while Dauntless is my main job now, almost as important, is reading the newspaper in the morning.
I grew up that way and since my first job was delivering newspapers, a job that was setup by the upstairs neighbors who wanted the four morning newspapers and therefore found another half dozen customers for me to make it worth the while of a 10 year old. So, I had the paper every morning to read before school. As I got older, work and organizing my day mentally took precedence.
But now on Dauntless, I find a satisfaction on sitting down in the morning with the paper and my coffee that can hardly be described.
With my Samsung Note I can take it with me anywhere has been great. I’ve even gotten used to the fact that it is not available until just before 8:00 Ireland time; which means an hour later on the continent.
OK, fine. But since I have been in Germany, my internet connections seem to have vanished. Last week I was in a particular foul mood all day, just because I could not get the day’s paper. Now Amazon certainly has its issues. About once a month, the kindle has a hissy fit and tells me something stupid like all of a sudden I have too many devices or there is no new paper today.
If you email Amazon support, they now give you the boilerplate answer: cut off your pinky, use the blood to wipe the screen, say praise be to whatever god your believe in or not, and that should do it.
Well, not exactly, but it’s usually just as bad, erase everything on your phone, reinstall everything and it will work. Sometimes.
Yeah, I don’t do that either. Strangely most of the time, within a few hours it starts working again.
OK, but now, it’s not Amazon. It’s the many places that say they have Wi-Fi, but really don’t. And that now includes the Telco’s.
So no paper, email for days. I didn’t miss it crossing the Atlantic, but now people think when I don’t respond to their email I’m ignoring them. Worse, Gmail manages to send some stuff, but other stuff sits for days in the Que.
So this weekend ended on a sour note for me. No paper, made worse because it took me a day to figure out the WSJ had not published on Saturday, the 4th.
Then Monday dawned bright and first thing it was back to the O2 store that sold me a data only SIM on Saturday to find out why I still had no Internet. Now, I had returned to the store Saturday afternoon, just before closing to ask why it was still not working and the response was many people are having the same problem. That was confirmed by my German friends who had checked online for me.
OK, so off I was to the O2 store for a resolution one way or another.
But this time, when I inquired why still no joy, I asked the question, that I should have asked on Saturday, but naively didn’t, assuming I would be told the whole story from the beginning.
But I had forgotten I was in the former DDR. Germans are a bit reserved, at least compared to Italians or Irish, but the denizens of the former DDR are even more reserved. With extra information, words, even necessary information, comes the risk of saying the wrong words to the wrong people. Living for three generations, 60 years, under the watchful eye of the Gestapo/Stasi will do that to you.
So I was understanding; I smiled and did not say what I was thinking as he finally told me I needed an APN (an internet protocol). In Italy, and with Verizon, the phone needs an APN, but is not needed in the Netherlands, or Ireland. But, behind my tolerant smile, you know, the kind you give your puppy after he eats your favorite shoe, I wondered how he could have neglected to mention this after I returned to tell him it still wasn’t working?
But little did I realize how my mettle would be tested just 36 hours later locked in an old watchtower on Ruden.