We have 80 guests showing up for hotdogs and beer and we have rented a hotdog car.
The dog car shows up and proceeds to get ready. We got the idea of renting a dog car from a neighbor last year who did it and it was quite a success. But they had electrical problems, so when I contacted them to reserve them for the date (8 months ago!), I reminded them of their electrical problems and they said not to worry they had everything under control. I talked with them twice in that 8 months and both times I noted that they should be sure they had cured their electrical problems. Both times they said – not an issue, it was under control.
What did they have when they fired up the grills? Electrical problems. After screwing around for a hour or so, one of my friends showed up . He happens to be an electrician and fixed this within a couple of minutes. OK – everything is now set and Vinni and Carsten can relax. Uuh no. Seems their beer machine is not working either. Fortunately we had 5 cases of beer on hand and people started in on that until they got the beer machine going.
In the middle of this – 4 motorcycles come driving down our pier and I’m floored. Truly I was touched beyond words. The motorcyclists were 4 of my old employees from the Netherlands who had heard we were leaving on a circumnavigation and drove up on their bikes just to say “Good-bye”.
I don’t know what to say –I have no words to express my feelings about this. In Danish we have a saying “Thank you” is a poverty-stricken expression, meaning saying thank you simply cannot convey what you want to say. Thank you was simply not enough. I haven’t seen or talked with these guys for 14 years. Guess I was a better boss than I thought………………………
Around about 80 people showed up, the weather was perfect and they consumed tons of hotdogs and drank gallons and gallons of beer. About 30 stayed on and continued partying, we sent out to Dominos for pizza.
25 large with extra cheese and pepperoni. Their day was made.
Later that evening we decided it was time for drinks and I set up our “Happy Hour” sign.
It was late and Vinni and I fell into bed. Tomorrow we sail.
The Big Day
Sunday dawned and it showed to be a perfect day with not a cloud in the sky, pure sunshine and very warm. The morning rolled away faster than we thought, lots of people gathered and all of sudden I could blow our fog horn and announce “11:30 – ½ hour to go”.
We looked around and it was a crowd – at least 100 people – carrying horns and Danish flags and trying to get around to all of them to say “good-bye” was simply beyond us. Everything was happening quickly and suddnely – it was time………………….
We had noted that if anyone wanted to “sail us out of the harbor” they would be welcome to do so. We never dreamed that 6 sailboats and 9 motorboats would show up. It was a full Regatta that sailed us out. Exactly at noon, I took in the lines and Vinni sailed us out of our canal for the last time. We and everyone else had “dressed ship” with our festival flags flying and my oh my, weren’t we a grand sight.
Capri was brave in her new colors and polished so you could have used her sides for a mirror to shave.
She was followed out by all manner of boats from a 50 foot sailboat to a small 10 foot dinghy. My friend Cameron had sailed all the way from the UK to say good-bye and wanted to lead the regatta out behind us, but business called and he had to sail to Finland a few days before our departure. A Swedish friend was going to sail from Stockholm but couldn’t get a crew together that though it would be fun to sail 3 days to Copenhagen, follow us out of the harbor and then sail 3 days back again (pussies!). The fog horns were sounding left and right and lots of people on the piers waving. Strangers stopped and asked what was going on. The local TV station had a boat on the water filming and the sun was shining from a clear blue sky.
I had contacted Copenhagen harbor and asked for permission to lead the Regatta out through the royal port entrance, instead of the usual entrance leisure boats are confined to. They agreed readily, and by god, there we were, 16 boats, flags flying, sailing right out the royal channel – and well damn – how about that?
Friends – how can we ever thank you for such a send off? It is a memory for a lifetime and both Vinni and I find it beyond our meager vocabulary to express our feelings properly.
Outside we took down our flags and set sail. The rest of the boats sailed back into the harbor. All except Mario and Graznyia, their home port is north of Copenhagen so they followed for about an hour.
We continued to Helsingør, passing by Kronborg (Hamlets Castle).
This was built in the 1600’s and many a sad song has been written about having Kronborg to port, signifying that a seaman was leaving Denmark for who knows how long or if he would ever be back again. On the other hand, many a glad song has been written about having Kronborg to starboard, signifying that the seaman was once again home.
Helsingør marina was having a marina party and a band was playing as we sailed in. They were playing a well-known Kim Larsen song, “A seaman left on a voyage so far”.
Yes, the symbolism was heavy.
We were staying in Helsingør for 4 days waiting for my daughter, Anne-Sophie, and her family to show up from the states. We thought this would be great – we could finish installing everything we hadn’t managed to before we left and we could settle into the boat.
One of the first things was installing the wind vane – a mechanical gadget that is an autopilot that doesn’t need any electricity. I had packed this away in the back of the boat, unpacked it and found I was missing 3 vital parts.
Hey – no problem. They’re in one of these spare parts boxes.
Wanna bet? Remember when I said that neither of us could remember where anything was packed and it would come back to haunt us? We simply could not find those 3 parts. We tore the boat apart 4 times, looking everywhere – no parts. After 3 days I finally admitted defeat. Somehow they must have gotten put into storage or thrown out.
Here our friends Ulrich and Susanne come in again, far and above what you can ask of friends — Ulrich volunteered to drive 100 kilometers with me and empty out our storage container to see if they were in there.
I checked the Danish e-bay and guess what? Someone had wind vane for sale in Aalborg – so we decided to sail there and buy it. Anne-Sophie, my daughter, her husband Jamie and their two children, Viggo and Frida showed up, we all had lunch they waved good-bye and off we sailed to Aalborg.