300 days to go

The empire strikes back – if it’s not too busy.

It starts in 42 weeks. Over 500 times I have written the number of remaining days in the steam of the shower and now you can call it a real countdown.

Talking about my fight with the empire of the authorities named as bureaucracy, which I have described here (link), incredibly little has happened in the last 100 days. The administration acts offensively by doing nothing. In the confused administrative structure of health insurance in our country – in which everyone in Luxembourg has to be a member – we are passed around like hot potatoes in the best sense of Boris Vian. In 120 days nobody wanted to give me concrete information as to whether and under what conditions we could continue to be covered by health insurance. The same thing happened to Ka with the pension insurance in Germany: The discovery of slowness meets insomnia. Isn’t it the job of civil servants to clarify citizens’ concerns? In exchange for not too little tax money? I must have misunderstood something.

But there have also been positive things in the past 100 days. We have accomplished a lot of our to-do list and finished the fine tuning of the technical specifications of the Rivercafe. We upgraded the solar panels to 800 watts, invested in lithium instead of AGM batteries, changed the flexiteak design. For this purpose we choose a wooden table instead of the standard plastic version for the outside cockpit, changed the navigation lights, selected other outside cushions, ordered a third halyard and a counter for the anchor chain plus some other minor stuff.

In the meantime Leopard has decided to build the future 45 only in a lounge version and to discontinue our performance version. From now on the 45 Leopard will only be available with another lounge as roof terrace. I have no idea why you need three lounge areas on a 45 foot vessel. We don’t want to open a café or sky bar. Our performance version will be one of the last of its kind. We will use our rooftop area for plenty of solar panels and we are looking forward to a better sailing performance.

Our house is slowly emptying. After 11 years of filling it with stuff, now there’s a lot more going out than in. We sell the first surplus furniture and appliances, books leave the shelves by the box. There won’t be more than one garage filling left from our accumulated possessions. The thought alone is liberating.

In the next 100 days we will attend some courses in technology and medicine in order to further improve our skills. If I consider that my tool equipment on our first ship consisted of a hammer and a mobile phone, then a lot has already improved. The last few months I have reduced my electrical gaps on board – and I have reduced my hangar-sized gaps. The upcoming medical course is almost not challenging for Ka. I owe it to her treatment that my hand is still complete and usable. She deserves an honorary license but Dr. med. h. c. Ka is sure to learn new things for the hopefully missing medical emergencies on board.

September will finally bring us back to the Mediterranean water and we will sail with friends. First I`ll  improve my cat skills on an Outremer 5X. If you learn to fly and start in a fighter jet right away, that’s not bad either. Afterwards we visit the Cannes Boat Show and have the opportunity to measure the Leopard 45 in detail. Then we sail a few more days with a friend on his new Hanse548. It will be a pleasant September.

The next 100 days will surely be even more eventful. And maybe the Empire will report back by then as well. /HB


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