White Dog on holidays

It’s been a while since you’ve heard from us. The reason why is that we put our Dog on the hard, and went to Europe, to visit friends and family, and do some shopping! Don’t get fooled here, it was not about shoes or clothes. Mostly it was boat jewelry like new valves and through-hulls, beautiful yellow inverter, sanding machine or sewing gear, etc., but also tons of books and two armies of little, plastic, green soldiers, which was Vincent’s birthday dream (!).

DE – NL – DE – PL – NL – DE. 5000 km in 6 weeks*

First, Vincent and I, due to special weather conditions, instead of going direct from Tobago to Frankfurt, flew first to the Dominican Republic, watching impressive heavy clouds of the soon-to-be category 5 hurricane Dorian. Shortly after we flew back to Barbados, just to watch the cyclonic development from the other side. It took almost twice the time to get to Europe, but onboard premium service was for free, so we didn’t complain at all 😉 not to mention … we were still in the Caribbean mode, very easy on everything.

Frankfurt – jetlagging by my parents

Europe hit us with noise, rush, and tons of people. Ok, Frankfurt airport, being one of the biggest in the world, is maybe not the best place to land straight from the jungle. Civilization at the highest speed. Luckily Germany welcomed us with nice temperatures of about +27C, so we avoided the shock. All that didn’t matter when we got to hug Grandma and Grandpa. We couldn’t be happier to spend those days with them, not to mention…. strawberries (YUMM)

17deg.C in summer and 3m below seal level – this is Holland

A week later we went to the Netherlands. The minute we crossed the Dutch border the temperature dropped by 10 degrees and the heavy rain and wind hit the car. I started to laugh like crazy. Holland*!!! – in your face, man! As we arrived in Haarlem, I couldn’t stop the awkward feeling, like this last year never happened, like it was just a beautiful dream. Old habits are so deeply rooted in our minds, that it took me only a few minutes to start acting as I did before. Changing gears, braking, speeding, the same way as I had been doing it for years. It really freaked me out, but when I walked up the stairs of my old office, I simply panicked. Like some twilight zone or some damn Hotel California! The Caribbean vibe disappeared in the second. Completely irrational yet very strange feeling… my mind was playing some crazy tricks on me 🙂 However, in general, seeing friendly faces and meeting friends… that was a blast, both for me and for Vincent!

Agenda for Holland:
(Kasia, not bragging 🙂 )

  • reduce our stuff in the storage in half (done)
  • get taxes straight (almost)
  • get bookkeeper happy (yey!)
  • get house documents in order (almost)
  • drink beer with Aussie (not wasted, but OK!)
  • meet friends (90%)
  • not freeze to death (still alive)
  • check boat gear that we want to buy (hmm…)
  • buy boat stuff (75%)
  • give back boat stuff (25%)
  • buy some other boat stuff (25%)
  • get hit by truck (done)
  • get insurance papers in order to compensate the damage (%!$#@%$!)
  • don’t get insane (not sure)
  • arrange the garage to fix the damage (not)
  • arrange insurance to pay the garage (idiots)
  • not kill insurance guys (kinda…)
  • calm down my mum (still working on it)
  • arrange inspector to survey the car in the NL (uff!)
  • arrange the garage in Poland (!)
  • not pay parking tickets (will see in few months)
  • pay parking tickets (expensive sh^%t)

Meantime in Trinidad…
(Marcin)

  • remove antifouling
  • drink beer
  • not die from heat…
  • swear
  • shower
  • (repeat)

*Holland is famous from cheese, super yachts, weed and terrible weather. If you haven’t been living there, you only think you know what I am talking about, it is that bad 🙂

Poland

Day after Marcin arrived in Europe, we drove to Poland. For all non-Polish readers I wish I could explain the mix of feelings we had upon arriving in our homeland. It is not that simple though… We love to meet our friends, the family, LeCinema, theatre, but politics now… it is a fricking disaster. Imagine Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, and Darth Sidious had an ugly baby – this is a more or less nice description of the current polish leader (we might lose few readers here). The worst thing is that people are fighting now badly over politics. The public enemy and the main theme for coming elections is now LGBT+. To make a statement, we took part in the rainbow equality march to support people who are now clearly not only excluded or treated as second-category citizens but also threaten or even beaten by half brains, encouraged by the polish church, government, and political media. As my friend wisely said: “This march was the only place where good people should be”.

The following week became a crazy roller coaster of visits, medical tests, dentists, orthodontists, new people, shopping and completely not having time to sit and breathe. (and yes… Marcin came to Europe with his very relaxed, fresh, Caribbean vibe which I lost already in the Netherlands. You can imagine how annoying it was!)

Agenda for Poland

Kasia:

  • go to orthodontist with Vincent (4 times – done)
  • remove 4 teeth or rather talk Vincent into opening his mouth (50%)
  • have eyes checked (done – not happy about it, learned that I am old and it’s gonna get worse, sucks!)
  • Meet friends, get wasted (50%)
  • find stuff – buy stuff
  • fix the car – accident from Holland (partly done- still pending)
  • not kill insurance people (not sure yet)
  • spend some crazy time with my brother (done – big time!)*
  • go to the cinema (done)
  • go to the theatre (done)
  • go to the concert (done)
  • spend some time with family (50% happy)
  • find option for voting in Trinidad (failed)
  • find the way to unsubscribe from polish church (failed miserably

.

Marcin:

  • STCW (done)
  • go to cinema (done)
  • go the concert (done in sport shoes 😉
  • meet friends, get wasted (50%)
  • spend some time with family (30% happy)
  • żurek, kluski z twarogiem (polish food is good!)

Vincent:

  • be happy – (90% done; – 10% for dentists)
  • ice cream!

*as for fun part with my Bro, we did some crazy rafting on the Drweca river, in the inflatable, orange, rescue suits. Can you imagine faces of anglers we passed? We looked like some biohazard squad, not to mention that we laughed like crazy! Their jaws literally dropped down and stayed there!

Bye bye Poland!

Before going back to Germany, we had to go back for a short visit to the Netherlands again to sign some serious papers and drink some wine with friends. Marcin also managed to visit his old company and Vincent got to say goodbye to his old school friends.

So now… I am sitting in my mom’s living room, with my feet on the heated floor (thank God for that). We are flying back in 4 days. The weather outside is SO bad that I don’t believe in tropical countries anymore. I am trying to rest finally and recap the last 6 weeks. Over 5000 km by car, 1 accident, 1 broken fog light, 3 countries, over 50 friends and family, 2 milk teeth gone, 5 kg gained, 6 parties, no major hangovers.
Everybody keeps asking us if we miss our old life. Truth is – we don’t. To our biggest surprise, Vincent, as much as he enjoyed playing with his friends, going to school for a week, happily admitted that he likes boat life and is ready to get back to our adventures. We don’t miss neither the house, cars, toys, bathtubs, clothes nor the daily routine. We miss people. Family. Some of them are not able to visit us anymore and that is the biggest loss. We promised ourselves that once a year we would visit. For the future, we would have to work a bit more on agenda though. This was way too crazy.

Talk to you soon. White Dog Crew is ready for take-off. Over and out. 🙂

PS.
Recently Thomas Cook went bankrupt, so I am maniacally checking if Condor Airlines (part of the group) is still operating. We are really very ready to go back to the boat. We desperately need some holidays!!! and I want my Caribbean vibe back in my lungs! Cheers!

PS-2. from Trinidad
We made it! Back to the boat, back to work, and enjoying nice temperatures!!!

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