Alone Like a Rolling Stone

In life nothing is given to you

When you think "It can't get any worse", it usually gets really thick. After our rest day on Sunday we went back to work on Monday and at the end of the day the whole ship was scraped off.

Unfortunately, the primer turned out to be a tar epoxy which, according to the instructions, is not compatible with the Coopercoat at all. So the stuff has to be completely down. Easier said than done. The priming is extremely stubborn and the sanding laborious. After 5 days the first hull was clean. However, there is almost no gelcoat left, let's see what else it will be. So far the muscle in the middle of my body had my full attention, meanwhile I know that the human body has innumerable muscles. Thanks to the stubborn colour I also know exactly where they are, because at the moment I can feel every single one of them. During the day you are still distracted by the work, but at night a simple turn in bed becomes an act in which tendons and muscles cross the blade and you feel every stitch until you have reached the new position in bed after a felt slow-motion study.

Nevertheless, or precisely because of this, we are making good progress in our project. When both fuselages are worn out, the worst should be over, but I said that when I scraped them off. Positive to mention would be the weather, which fortunately is relatively stable with 20°C -25°C and a lot of sunshine for October. On Friday we had a visit from friends from Germany, who stopped by on their way back after an impressive tour through Italy.

After a gigantic sunset at the Pier of Fiumicino we found a restaurant with local cuisine. Already from the starter that was served to us one could get full. The main course fish and the corresponding bottles of wine rounded off the evening. Diana and Michael had a lot to tell about their trip and so the evening was very entertaining. In the local Irish pub we took a nightcap and afterwards we said goodbye very warmly. The next morning we went home for some, for others we had another working day at the boat. The only day we didn't work on the boat was Sunday.

This Sunday Ostia Antika was planned. Ostia Antika was once the port of Rome. In its heyday up to 55,000 inhabitants lived there. In the low season the entrance is free every first Sunday of the month, so we took our bikes and drove towards Ostia. As already mentioned Italy is not made for pedestrians or cyclists. The problem is only one does not see the misery coming towards itself but is sometime simply in the middle of it. So we cycled our 5km to the only bridge over the Tiber. Arrived there there was even a pedestrian lane which we used, this ends however directly behind the bridge on a road. As far as still no problem, we had our bicycles and biked off cheerfully. The signposting "Ostia Antika" was also big appropriate and clearly to recognize only we were after 200m on a double-lane expressway and we with our two folding bicycles on the stand-track if it would have been present then. After a long 1,5km we reached the exit to Ostia, where we had to cross the feeder road of the opposite lane. There the term " wild change " had suddenly a completely new meaning with us. We made it somehow and reached the main entrance of Ostia Antika. Two thirds of the city has been excavated and one walks along the old Roman streets past the remains of the public and private buildings. Columns, house portals, and wall coverings are partly still preserved and give a good impression how the people lived here at that time.

In the thermal baths and behind the theatre numerous beautiful mosaic floors have been preserved. The town has been inhabited for four centuries. After an earthquake reduced the population of Rome to 15,000 inhabitants and the Tiber River silted up more and more and changed its course, Ostia was no longer viable as a port of Rome and was abandoned. In the end, only a few convicts were left in the city to work in the fields. After that it was transient. Then Sigmund Freud came into my mind who once wrote: May a time come, when the pictures and statues, which we admire today, have decayed, or a generation of human beings after us, which no longer understands the works of our poets and thinkers, or even a geological epoch, in which all living things on earth have fallen silent, the value of all this beauty and perfection is determined only by its significance for our sentimental life, does not need to survive this itself and is therefore independent of the absolute duration. So also the transience is relative, because we and with us 1000 other visitors admired this beautiful city still today. But unfortunately my aching muscles brought me back to reality and after a beautiful day in the old Roman port of Ostia the hard life on board is back on Monday.

We'll tell you next week how we're getting on with our project and what else we're doing. In this sense, as always, Fair winds and keep your ears stiff.