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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Adventures At Sea

May has been an incredibly beautiful month in Stockholm. We have had a few occasions already to be out on the water in our trusty little Finnmaster. Tanner is delighted to be near the water and relishes ever opportunity that he has to swim.  At times, this creates a bit of a tricky situation on the boat as he would rather be in the water than in the boat! But he is also like his mama and finds great contentment in basking in the sunshine. Sometimes it's a battle for who gets the better place in the sun!
Saturday was lovely but proved to be a bit windy on the water. None the less, it was our last chance to get out before our month long stay in the US so we loaded up lunch and the dog and headed out. 
We have a favorite little island that we enjoy tying up to. It has a great perch from which you can enjoy lunch and is often deserted so Tanner has free reign of the place. He can run, swim, and sniff around to his little canine heart's content.
Once there, Tanner and I jumped off the boat while Doug stayed on board and tried to get a good anchoring spot. I tied off on a nearby tree but the water proved too rough and the wind too strong. Suddenly, we were faced with a bit of a dilemma. Tanner and I couldn't get the right footing for getting back on the boat that was being tossed to and fro by the choppy water. After a bit of drama and a few attempts at different boarding spots, we finally got everyone back on board! Tanner was barking like crazy whilst we were attempting to re-board and all in all, total chaos ensued. I am happy to not still be stuck on that island! 
Adding to our adventures that day was the stop for gasoline. For some reason, whenever we stop, Tanner starts barking like a crazed banshee and creates all kinds of idiotic chaos. He just gets so excited to get off the boat and just can hardly contain himself. This time, the inevitable occurred. Whilst trying to jump from the boat to the dock, the boat swayed away from the dock and Tanner landed squarely in the water. Fortunately, we still had hold of the leash so he did not swim away and even more fortunately, the young guys working at the gas station were very cool and did not mind hauling a soaking wet labrador out of the water! Oj. The adventures we have sometimes. I have found that speaking English in these situations proves more helpful. For some reason, I think the Swedes are far more patient with a “dumb American tourist” than someone who actually lives in Sweden and should know how to behave in all situations involving boats! The kicker was when one of the guys asked me how old Tanner was, and when I said, 7, they said months? I said, no, years! They laughed a little and shook their heads. I know, right? He acts like a 1 year old. Oh well. His energy is mostly appreciated! He was exhausted by the end of the ride!  He had experienced lots of new and exciting and unplanned adventures that day!
Once situated with plenty of fuel and the knowledge that stopping and getting off was going to be difficult, we contented ourselves with just puttering through the beautiful waterways. As luck would have it on this adventurous outing, we happened upon a practice sea rescue!  We were very glad it was just practice but it was very cool to see.  One helicopter was circling the area where we were, landing and taking off right in front of us. Then another stormed in and Doug could see that it was a search and rescue vehicle. We stopped and watched the show. Rescuers jumped out of the chopper and were lowered to the sea where the “victims” were waiting for them. Once secured, they were both lifted out of the water back into the helicopter.  It was really neat to see how this worked, but seriously, I hope I never find myself in that situation. 
On our way back to the marina, we enjoyed an afternoon fika.  Fika is the Swedish word for a coffee break and a little something and it is one of the more wonderful aspects of life in Sweden! The day was just gorgeous and the little harbor where we motor out to the sea from our marina was sparkling in all its beautiful glory.  I look forward to many more days of puttering on the sea, successfully tying off on various islands and good times with Tanner safely in the boat, or swimming in the open!