Stories of this Canadian girl's adventures exploring Europe...join me!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

dock?

As we stepped into great guy’s little motorboat Sunday afternoon, he said to make sure we bring along the hedge clippers. I thought, ‘how many hedges are we going to clip as we zoom around out on the river?’ As usual, I had no idea what he was thinking, and so I just grabbed the clippers and plopped them into the boat.

It was the first, nice, blue-sky afternoon in a long time and so we were heading to our favorite place to have a currywurst with pommes and mayo (something I love way too much), and a schoppen (wine spritzer). Since this fave place sits right on the Rhein (hence, why we like it so much) it just makes sense for us to take the boat…and saves up parking spaces for the poor losers who need to take a car!

The only problem, which great guy has turned into an adventure, is that he doesn’t actually have a dock at this fave place. People can rent their own private little dock, but there is no public one. And since one of his life’s mottos is ‘why spend money when you don’t have to’, he came up with his own docking solution.

The first time I went along by boat, stepmum happened to be with us from Canada, fresh from her knee operation which she had here. She howled and laughed with glee, as we zoomed up the Rhein, really really happy to be on a boat again. As we slowed down and glided past the boats tied up at their own docks, I wondered where we were going to tie up. Would we throw down our little anchor and have to jump out, somehow carrying stepmum with her crutches through the water to shore? Oh my, how glad I was that my dad wasn’t here to witness this!

Of course, great guy had a different plan. We came up to a drainage canal and he turned into it. There was a cement wall, about a foot wide, which he tied the boat to. Handily, there was an iron loop right there, for us to use…most likely great guy welded that into place years ago! The wall slanted upwards to the top of the small, bushy shoreline. The canal water was murky and algae-infested and I had no idea how stepmum was going to climb up the wall, without putting weight on to her leg and falling in. I already had visions of pulling her out, all drenched, covered with weeds and green stuff.

But, she’s a sportler or maybe ‘trooper’ is a better word. She laughed and thought it was all quite funny. With me on the wall, great guy in the boat, and a crutch in one hand she climbed on to the wall and very cautiously shuffled up the small slope. At the top, great guy showed us a vague path through the thorny, bumbleberry bushes, which we needed to negotiate. He went ahead, stepmum hoppled along, and I followed. It was all surprisingly smooth and easy.

So, yesterday, as great guy and I sped up the Rhein, passing long, slow freighters with great names like, ‘helena jacoba’, ‘illusion’ and the best, giant boat name ever, ‘sneek’ (love it!), he told me that the clippers were to clear a better path through the berry bushes from his own, private ‘dock’. ..probably for the next time we bring outta town guests to our fave place. Ahh, all clear now. Sometimes I’m a little slow. Sneek.
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