Sunday, 10 August 2014

As probably a lot of men, Henrik has an interest for both cars, boats and planes, although his interest and devotion changes from time to time. When we had crossed the Atlantic, Henrik was so tired of sailing that he asked me, if we should leave the boat in the Caribbean and fly through Africa instead. At that point I was firm, though. After 31 days on the Atlantic I wanted to be rewarded with white beaches and palm trees: We are sailing!

My friend’s partner has once said that the best thing a girl can do for her husband is to go with him to a boat show, but I think that if he had also had an interest for planes, he would think that joining him at an air show would be a greater accomplishment. I have always happily followed Henrik to boat shows in Europe, since they usually are placed near a big city, so a visit to the boat show could be combined with some big city shopping. However, this week I've joined Henrik at an airshow in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, of which a local girl said: “Not much is going here.”

Oshkosh is situated app. 300 km north of Chicago, so we flew to Chicago, where we rented a car and went on a road trip to the city where nothing happens except one of the world’s largest conventions for experimental aircraft. People fly in and camp underneath the wings of their plane, or they drive to Oshkosh in their RVs and spend a week’s holiday with 500.000 other plane enthusiasts. Earlier, I would have thought that boat- and plane enthusiasts were similar with only the vehicle as the difference, but I can't imagine cruisers camping outside the Excel Center in London for a week just to go to the boat show every day. Maybe boat shows can learn something from the air shows?

Of course, the air shows has the advantage that they can do acrobatic shows, which was also what I found the most interesting. (I care less for thingies for a plane than thingies for a boat). Small acrobatic planes threw themselves around in the air and the US Air Force’s Thunderbirds roared past us with 800-1100 km/h. Some times, they must have reached Canada, before they were able to turn around and come back in a new formation. All of this was of course accompanied with a salute to the American flag – we are after all in USA!

We are now back on the boat, and it’s good to be “home” again, even though I get a taste for the life as a landlubber, when sleeping in a non-rolling bed. But as a cruiser said to me once, when I was complaining about life on board: “Life on land is highly overrated!” So we are sailing!

Signe Storr Freelance journalist and friend of Boatshed