Pictures of Latvia

Here are some pictures that did not make it into the last post.

The Cat Building of Riga
The Cat Building of Riga
One of the 5 indoor markets
One of the 5 indoor markets
Riga, Old and New
Riga, Old and New
The Krogen in Poland
The Krogen in Poland
A Kadey Krogen in Riga, Latvia
A Kadey Krogen in Riga, Latvia
Riga
Riga

The Pity Party

I was feeling sorry for myself last night.

As I laid myself down in bed, this intense loneliness came over me.  Hadn’t talked to any friends in a few days, and was reminded again that so far the only down side of this boating, moving home life, is being seemingly cut off from those close to me at times.

And as I’ve lamented before, even those close to me seem fewer, are fewer.

But then as I write this, being objective, I am forced to remember the wonderful times I just had in Italy: an abundance of time, connecting with those whom I have known more than half of my entire life, the true intimacy of friendship.  People I can be so open with, because they have truly seen the good, the bad and the ugly in my life.   But I wasn’t thinking of that last night.

No, last night, I had a terrible headache and just thinking about why seemed to make it worse, as it usually does.  Especially since I knew it was due to drinking red wine and eating dark chocolate.

Then finally I said enough of the pity party.

I’ve just a wonderfully hot shower, I lying in a warm, cozy bed and I have enough fuel to go 2300 nm, 4000 km, that’s all the way to Nova Scotia, or north of the Yuzhny Island (Banana Island for those in the know), or the Cape Verde Islands, or the west coast of Africa.

The world is my oyster and I only have to open it.

So, give yourself a pat on the back and go to sleep.

I did.

And this morning the Lyric FM, a wonderful Irish classical music station,

Dauntless Planning Plan B

Already the plan has changed; not significantly, but it will give me more time in Ireland.

I’ve realized that it makes more sense not to depart Ireland, until I’m ready for the Schengen clock to start (my 3 months out of every 6). Therefore, we will use April and May to explore Ireland. Julie only has the 10 days Easter break during that time, so actual cruising will depend up who is aboard.

To that end, I’ve also put a posting on Cruiser’s Forum, for a Crewmate/roommate/conversation mate for winter and spring. We’ll see, the winter months I don’t have much to offer, but April and May could be nice. I have a number of projects that need to get done this winter and realize I just work better, more efficiently, with someone to bounce ideas off, help pull wires and just be around to help.

I have a few friends who have expressed interest in leaving Ireland with me in June as we start our odyssey on the continent. We’ll see. Dauntless is pretty well booked for the high summer months of July and August, but by September 1st, I expect to be back west, in Denmark and will need someone to help me get the boat back to Ireland, via Norway, the Shetlands, the Orkneys, Scotland and finally Ireland by month’s end.

As I am in Italy for another few days this holiday period, today, the 4th, Befana starts. Every town had built a big bonfire, 30 feet wide, 40 to 50 feet high, that will be burned tonight to symbolize the burning of the witch. Even small towns. One of the pagan rituals that has survived Christianity. I wish I could see a satellite shot. Maybe I can find an IR satellite picture tonight, but it would probably need the resolution of a polar orbiting satellite, not the ubiquitous GOES.

But the real point of this story is that I get so excited talking about our future plans with Dauntless, 2015, but also 2016 and 2017. This is where I must manage my expectations, so that I do not take away from the present Baltic trip, because I am thinking of the Pacific crossing. On the positive side, by having a plan in the back of my mind, it allows me to refine and think of contingencies well before we ever execute it.

Dauntless’ Spring & Summer 2015 Cruise Plans

Currently Dauntless is wintering over in Waterford, Ireland, a wonderful town in the southeast of the country, full of really nice, interesting, outgoing people.  Ireland has so exceeded my expectations, it will be hard not to return next winter, but we have six months of exploring and cruising before that decision must be made.

Dauntless in Waterford November 2014
Dauntless in Waterford November 2014

As of now, I am subject to the 90 days out of 180 days Schengen Visa requirements.  Worst case, this means I can only be in the Schengen area for 90 days and I would then plan those 90 days to be 1 June to 1 Sept.   There is a possibility that the Schengen area countries will offer a 180 day Visa in the near future.  That clearly would solve my issues and I could stay in the Schengen area for April, May and September.

Ireland, Scotland, the U.K. and the Channel Islands are all out of the Schengen area.

So worst case, only 90 days,is once I leave Ireland in the spring, stopping in France and Belgium only for a week or so, before retreating to the Channel Islands.  Then by the end of May, start heading east, first into Holland, then Germany ending up in Gdansk by mid-July, starting our Baltic explorations as described below.

Spring and Summer 2015 Cruise Plan

When Where What
March Waterford, Ireland Prepare Dauntless for the cruising season
Early April Depart for France/Belgium Channel Islands, enter French Canals, Dunkerque-Escaut, in NE France or go to Belgium direct
April, May France/Belgium or Channel Islands Explore NE France & Belgium Canals, subject to our Air Draft of 4.5m
June Head NE, Belgium, Holland and Germany Find the most interesting route to the Kiel Canal, the Baltic adventure begins
End of July Germany and Poland Eastern Germany and Poland, Gdansk last two weeks of July
August Baltic Republics Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland. Russia?
September The Baltic or the North Sea Finland, Sweden, Baltic Republics, Russia???
October Winter Haven? Returning to Ireland ,Scotland or the Orkney’s