Page 35

I went to an Internet café. Many people had written me e-mails and it took a long time getting through them all. Anne writes that she would like to know what was going through my head out there, all those days at sea. (Why is it that so many people think that crossing an ocean is somewhat of a religious experience(/spiritual awakening)? It's just a lot of water. A whole damn lot of water to cross. Something anyone with a decent boat would be able to pull off). And she asked and wished; for maybe the last time that she wanted me to come home for her sake and "fight" for her and the kids. I find such e-mails extremely difficult to respond to. I don't want to offend her or make her feel second best, even though that was what I was doing in the first place. But I'm not changing this life(style, edit) voluntarily. It is something you need to try to know what it actually is(/feels like). At this moment in time, it is extremely difficult/impossible for me to picture myself in Denmark: Living and working there, spending so much time and money paying taxes, only negative news on the radio. And then there is the shitty weather too. No. I guess I just haven't had enough of this yet.

Obviously there are advantages to living in DK. It's just that right now, I'm only able to see the disadvantages. But how do you tell somebody that in a "nice" way, without giving them the cold shoulder and burn all bridges behind you. After all she's the one with all the "hassle" (read = the kids). Maybe my dilemma is that I'm trying to eat my cake and have it too, and that I know this. I am an egoist, so I'm told by Anne.


You regret some of the things you have done, but eventually it passes.

It's the thought of the things you didn't do that's going to haunt you for the rest of your life... J.H.


Down here people are of Dutch origin and speak Papiamento, a mixture of Portuguese, Dutch and a bit of English. The newspaper is also written in Papiamento, which looks quite funny.

Everywhere you receive an incredible welcome. Everybody greets you and smiles, as if you were old friends. Even at the Customs House and immigration offices. Often you are asked if you need any help and receive spontaneous advice about where to do your shopping, what to see, etc.

Everything is incredibly clean and freshly painted. They love colours, which means all colours of the rainbow have been used painting their houses. It's actually like a small piece of Europe, only with a tropical climate. There is a total prohibition on anchoring. You have to use a mooring swivel.

I'm told that they are charging more here to be berthed, than they did in the port of Las Palmas. The price level is high.

Down here diving is a great experience. There is an astounding life. Turtles, whales, dolphins and fish in all kinds of shapes, sizes and colours. Since I was wet already, I cleaned the hull, so now we're able to go at top speed once again. I borrowed a tap and die from an American boat, so now the thread on the wind steering is in top form.

Tomorrow I'm going sailing with a local fisherman. He has got the last original fishing sailboat (without engine); Ettienne. He's been the owner of the boat since it was new. Now it is 45 years old, and he 72.

Kristi, the contact person of DOCA (Danish Ocean Cruising Association) has a sail loft here at this marina, but not for long. She is closing it on February 1, 2001, but will continue to make sail repairs, only from off her boat. And then she's done with the big jobs. The rent is simply too expensive and takes up 2/3 of the income. I hope she will continue as their contact person.

Ulla and Daniel, a young Swedish couple, are also here(/present). Ulla is working at the marina reception, while Daniel earns a living as a diving instructor.

To Page 36

From Esbjerg, Denmark to Tahiti aboard a Junker 22