Sunday, 30 October 2011

Sunday morning

photo: Henrik Nor-Hansen

I was taking pictures of the power plant in Morro Bay, when a drunk man came up to me and said: "She's got kids with hooves instead of hands. What we should love is love itself."

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Puppies for Peace

photo: Henrik Nor-Hansen

A homeless is watching as a peace demonstration starts to pick up momentum. It's not much of a momentum, though. 40 persons, at the most, has gathered downtown San Francisco to protest USA's wars in dirt poor countries. So the homeless watch for awhile, then drift off. He probably couldn't care less.

photo: Henrik Nor-Hansen

What's interesting about this demonstration is that it demonstrates how little people care. It also demonstrates that there ain't no bite in the message given. In fact, it's hard to imagine a more pathetic protest against American imperialism.

Then it suddenly strikes me that the American diversity may be a bit superficial. The core values are dished out on an even scale. The American war machine has made people believe in an eternal war. An eternal war for peace, that is. So it's easy to sit back and shrug it off. Unless you're in the country where the bombs drop.

"It's hard to see the truth when it's the lie that feeds you." Ooops, who said that?

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Scary sailing

We're off at dawn. The weather forecast predicts a light breeze offshore. They also mention a 12-14 feet swell from a distant storm. We don't pay attention to it.

It's slow going under the Golden Gate, but at least we got the tide right. We start our three hour watches, and I'm stretching out on my bunk. I fall asleep. There's no swell yet.

The wind dies. I'm half asleep. Nina is getting frustrated; I can hear it by the way she pulls the sheets. Bika is rolling more and more. After a while it's not even possible to stay in the bunk.

The predicted swell is coming in fast. We're still close enough to see buildings on land. We can see huge white breakers that slam up at Ocean Beach, but what's more serious is the towering swell at the San Francisco Bar. It breaks here too. It's unbelievable; we're ghosting along in a light breeze, with the gennaker, and the sea is breaking.

We have done a terrible mistake. This kind of swell will break in shallow water, and the scary part is that we have no idea how bad it will be. Try measuring the wave height in a small boat. It's impossible. There's only one thing to do: get out into deeper water. So we ghost along, straight out against the towering seas. My mouth is dry. This is some of the scariest sailing we've ever encountered. In the bottom of every wave we're wondering if we ever get to climb the next hill. But Bika do. And eventually we reach safety in deeper sea.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

How will it end?

photo: Henrik Nor-Hansen
Non-sailors often get shocked by the fact that we cross oceans in a 26 feet sailboat. We have met people who can't even fathom that it's allowed. Then they drive away from the dock.

The list of motor vehicle deaths in the US have shown a remarkable decline the last two decades, down to 32,708 in 2010. But it's still a staggering figure. Imagine motor vehicle deaths world-wide, not to mention the number of people who get seriously injured and molested for life. It's like a trivial version of World War III.

I'm puzzled by the connection between triviality and fear. It seems like a higher risk of death reduces our fears. But this is not what's meant by safety in numbers.