Past the Azores, racing towards the British Isles

About two weeks had gone by since my dad left the safe haven of St. John’s Island. I had been checking his progress every couple days, and this particular morning I hadn’t looked yet, nor did I know that you could click on one of the blue dots on his path (on the previously shared website) and get more stats. I was sipping some scalding mint tea (Seriously I never learn my lesson), when I get an email in my intel inbox from a family friend. I swallow a bit too quickly, slightly burning my throat in the process. *Ouch*. He sent it to a couple people, including me, but it’s a bit odd because this is a bunch of my dad’s friends.

[translated from Hungarian]
Csaba: “Well he’s paddling around in the Hayes Fracture-Zone, why are you surprised,” is the first line of text I see. (?!?) What are they talking about!? I read further…

Gyuri: “I don’t know if you guys have been following Jozsef’s path, but it has varied between 1 and 74 ft in height. That’s quite rough!”
Hmm?? How do they know that

I figure it out quickly enough, and hurriedly click through all the blue dots trying to find what they are talking about. Whew, looks like an anomaly. At that point he was back to around 35ft avg.

The guy who owns the boat, “Hanse Sailor” as he is called continues to write his blog, and it must have been around this time where he mentioned that there wasn’t much wind. I guess they survived the variable elevation, but I did for a moment imagine this:

shipInWaves
Octopus Tearing ship apart

But in his blog, Hanse writes: “Jo is on dinner roster tonight and look,s as though he is trying to beat everyone else’s past dinners . starting 4 hours before dinner time.” That is my dad alright!

So it’s more like this:

Let tha boi cook

And now, this crazy sailor is past the Azores and only a couple hundred miles from the the British Isles. Go Dad!
Dad in the Atlantic

My dad is sailing across the Atlantic

Say What?

Yeah. He’s talked about sailing around the world, so this trip from the Caribbean to the UK is, let’s just say: his training trip. So I’m a tiny bit worried… this sort of trip was not something done by the faint hearted… thinking back to 400+ years ago when Columbus and others sailed from Europe to “India”. Many people died and fell into the ocean (Yikes). But I think he will be alright, technology has improved so much that he will even have a GPS tracker on him. (And we thought the Marauder’s Map was fiction!) Here’s the link. He’ll be sailing starting in early April and will be getting to Europe by Mid May. Sick!

https://share.delorme.com/JozsefToth

 

Mt. St. Helens – the Edible version

This was a journey requiring 1 hour of shopping, 6 hours of mixing and baking, and 1.5-2 hours of decorating. The idea came out of a weekend getaway in the enchantments. On the drive home, a two hour discussion then turned into reality: a cake in the shape of the famous Mt. St. Helens. It even included spirit lake, the logs, and certain contours around the area. Besides that, all the ingredients except for the tan-sand colored frosting was home-made. The base material was made of a sponge cake, the same as what the Hungarian Dobos Torte is made of. Here is the time-lapse in pictures:

First rough cake-looking part. This will be the main mountain.

Image of one of the thin layers. Kind of falling apart but it will be used!

The frosting I made – It is a mixture of coconut oil and semi-sweet chocolate chunks from trader joes

Spirit lake being created…

Cutting out contours for the glaciers

Bird’s eye view of the contoured mountain. Looks like a mess without frosting and cover up.

Closer image of contours

Frosting starting to be applied

Almost finished, only the vegetation missing now.

Finished! (not the best quality…) this is when we presented it to the birthday boy. Maybe next time I’ll put an explosive in the crater or some dry ice or something.

The birthday boy was really happy for the cake. real man hug 😉

Sweat till you Drop


Friday started out really sunny… finally! It was perfect because I had booked a Kayak tour in Flam. So, I got a ride with the French couple staying on the ship. We were in kayaks of two; I was paired with a Swedish guy. The group was really international from South Korea, Sweden, USA, Australia, and Germany. During the tour (which was sadly not long enough to fully enjoy the sun and amazing scenery), I learned of many things, including that an enemy ship found its way into the Fjords during WWII and the people of Flam got them to abandon their ship by hosting a big party, thus allowing the national guard to put dynamite into the hull and blow up the ship. The shipwreck is still underwater thus making it a prime place for scuba diving. Even though the Fjords are directly connected to the sea, the water was not salty due to all the glacial water pour off the mountains.

After this kayak trip (from which I was sore for a good number of days!), I decided to rent a bike – except that I forgot my ID. So – they gave me the bike in exchange for my credit card. With the bike, I went back 7km all the way to Aurland to get the ID, biked back to Flam, then told myself that I’ll go part of the way up to Myrdal which is 20km long, over 1000 m elevation gain trip one way. But of course, me being me, I push myself all the way to the top, where there were still large snowy patches. This trip is one I feel silly describing by words, since even the pictures don’t do justice to the beauty of nature. It is like biking up the road to some water-queen heaven. At one point I told myself I won’t stop at every waterfall to take a picture, only every other one, which then had to be switched to every third one. After all, I had a deadline of 10pm to return the bike. It took around 3 hours to get to the top, partially biking, partially pushing the bike (especially at the top “death path” of 180 degree hairpin turns of insane steepness – I lost count how many there were after about 7 or 8). And of course, taking tons of pictures.

I passed no other biker going up, and neither did anyone else pass me going up. There were others biking down, presumably from the train station at the top, but it seemed no one else was crazy enough to do the uphill journey.

Well I was. And I’m glad I did it. Even though I ate dirt on the way down, getting a bit carried away with my ability to navigate hairpin turns at high-ish speeds. My right knee paid for it in blood, and left thigh in bruises. Something also happened to my left ankle as I couldn’t move it for about 30 seconds, but I must have sent some insane healing energy towards it because after a few minutes of resting it up on a rock, I couldn’t feel any pain anymore and could move it no problem.

By the end of the day, I had biked over 55km, with 2000+ m elevation change, and kayaked for 2 hours. As soon as I returned the bike, I sat down right there, and ordered a nice wild caught salmon with potatoes and salad from this “Green norWay” food cart. I must have worked off like 4000 calories that day. Then it started drizzling, but I was still 7km from my ship-cupboard room… and I was pretty sure the last bus was gone. So I either hobble back on foot, or… hitchhike. Thankfully after standing in the misty bog by the side of the road for about 15 mins, a Polish-Norwegian couple picked me up and dropped me real close to the port. On the ship, I found out that a new couple had joined us, from Portland, OR. What a small world, and… Ahhh… what a Friday 🙂

Arteeeeeest

I have to recount the euphamistically stated “eclecticity” (yes, invented words) of my relatives in Transylvannia. Let me recount yesterday night.
Ülünk a hallban négyen az asztal körül. Már későre jár az idő, én pötyögtetek a gépen, unokatestvérem is a nagy komputeren, rendez valami ügyeket minden percben felkiáltva egy ujabban szines káromkodással. Az egyik nagynénem keszül lefekudni, mikor fiatalabbik nagynénemnek eszébe jut, hogy kiakar próbálni valamit. Semelyikünk sem tudja, mit akar pontosan, hiszen magyarázni nem magyaráz, csak felpattan, s kezd kotorászni a szekrényben. Néhány perc multva visszalép az asztalhoz, három talpaspohárral a kezében.
-Nincsen kristálypoharunk? kiáltja kérdőjelesen.
-Nem tudom, mondja a növére, nincsen ott valami a masik szobában, az egyik sarokban?
Azt odamegy, kotorászik egy kicsivel többet, aztán előjön néhány kivágott kristálypohárral. Leül az asztalhoz, s kezd toltogetni belük vizet, kozben hangosan magyarázza, hogy olyan szép volt amikor az a “bácsi” kitöltötte a templom magas falait olyan széééép hangal. Közben unokatestvérem felhívta a barátnöet Skype-on, s beszélget vele miközben én folytatom az én dolgomat.
Pár percen belül, megtudosúl, hogy miféle “szép hangrol” volt szó.
S ezt a képet lefestem a kedves olvasónak… Széken ülve, a müvésznő kiállitott harom kristálypoharat, s kezdi simogatni a peremüket. Hunyorított szemmel, odadugja a fulét, s erlőlködik, hogy valami hang száljon ki. Kérdezi töllünk: Van hangja? Ekkor elöször, volt, de nagyon halk. Mondjuk neki igen, van de nem valami hangos. Ő jajongva felkiált, de én nem hallok semmit! Ennyire süket vagyok? Megtörli a kezét, s újra probálja, nyelve félig kinyulytva, koncentrál. Egyszer csak, elkezd énekelni a pohár. Hát mondjuk inkább kiad egy éles fütyülő hangot amitöl féltem kireped az abalak.
-Ahhh fejezd be, mar fáj a fejem, orditja a fia. Nem hallok semmit a barátnőmtöl.
Annya nem hal semmit csak azt a “Gyönyörű” pohár hangot. Fülét odatéve, egy hatalmas nagy mosoly igazodik el arcán, szemekörüli ráncok simulva, szeme csukva, s testét ringatva, ismétli az ujjával megtett köröket a pohár peremén. A külső világtol eltávolodott müvészi lélek…
Körülötte levő embereknek dobhártya szemvedő arckifejezése, s hangos rimánkodása nem érdekli őt.