Page 1

From Esbjerg, Denmark to Tahiti aboard a Junker 22

I got the boat in the water in June after spending all winter making it ready for the cruise. As for the cruise itself - well, I have sort of kept a low profile. Especially within the sailing community regarding the destination and for how long I planned on sailing. I didn't want to make a fool of myself by telling, (and because) if I quickly quit and went back home, my experience and seasickness taken into account.

Trojka, port of Esbjerg, Denmark - June 2000
Trojka, port of Esbjerg, Denmark - June 2000

Trojka, port of Esbjerg, Denmark - June 2000
Trojka, port of Esbjerg, Denmark - June 2000


(Trojka is Junker number. 22117, link:, Rita)

What got me the idea of sailing in the first place, was when I sat alone in my rented room one late night, watching a tv show I think is called TV Åben (?) (TV Open) - a series of broadcasts where the viewers themselves recorded with borrowed video cameras. This particular night it was a really pathetic show about a young guy (and a couple of friends) who were at the start of a world circumnavigation. They had big plans, but only made it through the Kiel Canal. They'd already had their experience, they'd had it - and just wanted to go home.

I think I have always been fascinated by sailing far away, getting by on your own. I have seen the Danish adventurer Troels Kløvedal's circumnavigations of the world on tv whenever possible. Later on, I also read Svend Billesbølle's books over and over (again), but had never seriously thought about sailing myself, since I have suffered from sea sickness all my life. Even the shortest ferry rides made me feel poor and unwell. By this time I had lived alone for about 3-4 months, lived in a rented room, surrounded by a folding bed, writing desk, a chest of drawers and a 12-inch tv, which was everything I brought along with me, when I left my now ex after 12 and a half years of marriage.

I was 40 years old, and I think I was having(/experiencing) a big-time midlife crisis.

According to Anne and others, I have never been the most "normal" person - actually quite a character. Though for the past 13 years I had lived a "normal life". I married Anne, who had a son, Sune. Later on, we had two more children; Nicklas and Simone. All three (four, Anne incl.) still very much loved. But I have a bad conscience because of the way I have now chosen to live.

I lived an easy and comfortable life. I had a job as a superintendent (with own forge) at a soft drink factory, in a job where I had the liberty to display myself in terms of abilities and desire. I had no worries really, other than the fact that I felt that I needed something (challenges?). The idea of living alone (for a while?), I had for about a year or so. At the same time I started spending more and more time running. I developed the desire to run when I was about 10 years old and it never left me. This feeling was only strengthened during six years of military service and has stuck with me ever since (at a high level, edit). Running is not just moving your legs - running is experiencing nature and using your body in a very satisfying way.

To run and think, or to run and don't!

When you're running a lot, your body releases endorphins, a morphine-like substance that nearly gets you addicted. I simply love to run for hours on small roads. During that year, I eventually ended up running to and from work - extending the run back home by 10 to 25 km, besides two weekend runs of 25-30 km each. That calls for a very understanding family, which I had.

Running that often gave me a great deal of satisfaction, and put me in the best shape of my life. In the long run though, it didn't fill out the "emptiness" I was feeling, and maybe it was partly self-defeating, but led to the inevitable; Telling Anne what I thought I wanted to do. To this day I believe that if she had started yelling and screaming, threatening and hitting, told me to fight for this, change our lives - things might have ended differently. But Anne is an understanding woman. Maybe she agreed because her feelings were hurt (and in a way got me feeling "trapped" by the situation). As it turned out, she actually thought it was a "good" idea to live separately for a time.
(As mentioned before; living with me probably wasn't the easiest, so...)

Telling Anne wasn't the worst I have tried. That happened, when I had to tell the kids. They simply couldn't comprehend what I was telling them, and made me repeat myself. They were looking for a smile or any indication that I was playing tricks. It took some time for them to understand. When I saw their shoulders drop, their teary eyes, and I heard them starting to sob, Anne and I(/we) hugged. In that instant, something inside me collapsed. Only Anne's decisive look(/ability to keep a straight face) made me get on with what I had to say. If people ever stay together only for the sake of their kids, I now totally understand (them). And really, I didn't mind living with Anne. It was just this issue that there had to be a little more challenges in life, if this turns out to be all we get. Apart from that, I would have happily spent my life with her. Not for a moment have I wanted another wife, in either this or future lives that I might have.

At that moment I thought, what my rights were to destroy the lives of kids this(/that) young, because that was how they looked. Never had they doubted that we were their firm reference points in life. And now I was telling them that I wanted to ruin everything. And what for? I didn't know. Anne and I played our roles well and almost got everything looking bright. A new apartment closer to school, selling the house, the car, etc. And soon we were all dining in the kitchen as always: One happy little family. Later on, Anne and I talked about how easy these things are on kids etc. Deep down inside I must admit that I had my doubts. I think Anne felt the same way, but we walked the line.

Anne's big shock came at a later date. I know this, because she couldn't hide it. This happened one week later, when I told her I had already rented a room(/small apartment). She then said that it was all happening too fast. That we still got along just fine. And it was true. I still think she and I are perfect partners. Heck, we're just as crazy as each other, have never been on bad terms. That is why it came as such a big shock to the kids: "But we're doing fine!!". But I had already made the decision, and when I have a "plan" (put my mind to something, edit) it's going to take more than 10 wild horses to hold me back.

To Page 2

From Esbjerg, Denmark to Tahiti aboard a Junker 22